by Ken Rolheiser
If God is not enough

Suckling at Mary’s breast
Laughing, baptizing mankind
Your last gasp echoes still

The surface of the water breaks; the head of Jesus rises and shakes off the Jordan’s water. The Spirit like a dove descends: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:11). For a moment the Father, Son and Spirit converge to give us proof.

Always we seek proof. As if God was not enough! The Holy Spirit “fathers forth” with “bright wings” through all creation. -G.M. Hopkins. 

The highest mountain peak, the ocean depth, the sparkling waterfall, the mighty thunder, and the silent stars lead us to contemplate the presence of God. 

Our obedience, our openness to God’s will, effects a similar possibility for the moral good and transformation of ourselves, our families, our churches and the human race. 

It is not presumptuous then to trust that God is pleased with us, and that his presence in creation blesses and refreshes us. If we can only perceive? If we can only believe? Is God not our Father?

And we can seek refuge in our Mother Mary of whom the Saints declare, "It has never been said, since the world began, that anyone had recourse to the Blessed Virgin with confidence and perseverance and was turned away." Jesus is always won over by the loving prayers of His most dear Mother.
What powerful reassurance we have in the Triune God. Imagine that Sacred Heart pumping the precious blood out to the distant capillaries (Father Stefano Penna’s metaphor). The systolic action sends out the blood to nourish us. This is the blood shed for our sins, the blood that washes us white as snow. 

Imagine the diastolic action of the Sacred Heart contracting, drawing us (a sluggish waste) back through the veins to be cleansed and refreshed, only once again to be sent out refreshed and re-oxygenated. As we go forth from our encounter with Christ’s love we are literally and figuratively “pumped”. 

In 1 John 2:20 Jesus tells his disciples they have been “anointed” by the Holy One and received “Knowledge” through an action which symbolizes the Spirit or Breath of Yahweh.

In Galatians 5:22 we read that the same Spirit brings: “…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control.” When Jesus left this earth to go to the Father, he left with us the Spirit that renews and enlivens us and all creation.

In addition to Mary and the Trinity, God has given us guardian angels to “go before us”. St Bernard of Clairvaux called them “bodyguards”. He suggested that we need to follow close to them and we will dwell in the protection of the Most High God. If temptation approaches, ask for their help.

The final and greatest gift God gave us through Jesus is the Eucharist. Jesus said: “Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world.” (John 6:15). 

If our grasp of God is finally enough, then we are called to use our gifts “that all will come to the unity of faith and of the knowledge of the son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ”. (Ephesians 4:11-13). Our lives can then be given to the greater purpose of Christ’s redemptive work in the world. 

(565 words)