Children of the most high
Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C
In the seminary one of our professors always spoke of God as a “Father with womb-like love.” He was referring to some of the intimate expressions for mercy and compassion from the Old Testament that came from words for a mother’s womb. Be merciful as your Father is merciful is the New Testament equivalent.
This Sunday Jesus continues his Beatitude boot camp with the teaching about Loving our enemies, doing good to those who hate you, blessing those who curse you and praying for those who abuse you. To find our way into this kind of loving we first must recognize the ways that we too practice such violence by hating, cursing and abusing ourselves. Then we will see that this is the source of all social violence.
Upon noticing your violence to yourself you can make space for a merciful pause: exhale and soften your belly. Try to feel a bit of the sorrow or pain that you are avoiding through your harshness. Sorrow or sadness dissolves the energetic boundary of self alienation. It can permit a tiny reunion within the self. Perhaps this momentary merciful pause could be a way of practicing womb-like love for yourself.
For the long haul the practice of contemplative prayer helps us spend more time in the womb-like space of non-dual or unitive prayer. The greater the quality of our contemplation the more we are purified of our “us against them” attitudes and our solidarity with others is strengthened through the “Father and I are one” experience of deep silent prayer.
Thus, the grief process and the contemplative process both help us mercifully end the violence within and between ourselves. This manner of relating is an extension of the merciful inner life of God. The more space we can make for this mercy in ourselves the more we will notice that the measure we have received is far greater than the measure we have given.
Our fear of our vocation is based on a feeling of personal scarcity and that motivates giving only when we are sure we will get back in kind. Practicing mercy to yourself initiates you into Divine abundance. Then you will be able to love your friends and your enemies as children of the most high. Vocations are nourished in the womb of Divine mercy.
By Mark Blom, OMI – Vocation Director – OMI Lacombe Canada
Feel free to contact Fr. Mark for advice about discernment and vocation direction. He can meet with you by phone to conduct a short vocation assessment to help you find your way. Contact him at email@example.com to arrange for an appointment.