by Ken Rolheiser
Set pieces in the mosaic of our lives

Two cows were staring at the moon. One says to the other, “Now there’s something I’ll never get over.”

Fortunately you and I have the ability to ruminate, from the Latin “to chew cud”, to turn over in our minds. We can get over it! It is our gift to get it. Lately I have been caught in the realization of a sense of the history of our spiritual journey.

Daily life is never divorced from God since our origin is in God and our destiny is with God. To borrow a thought from Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? –every, every minute?” Emily makes a pronouncement from the grave, “Live people don’t understand, do they?”

Life is a quilt, a patchwork of many pieces representing our experiences – some good, some bad. We stich them together as best we can, of necessity. It may not make sense until it is all finished. Sometimes not even then. So mused a character struggling to deal with the loss of her sister in Christmas Everlasting, a 2018 movie.

Perhaps a mosaic is a better metaphor to describe the details of the set pieces that make up our lives. Every memory from earliest childhood adds color and meaning to the picture. The love and interaction in family life is a great place to start.

I remember a family picnic at Dillberry Lake: the hot sun, the splashing water, Mom’s picnic lunch, burying myself in the sand. The wholesome joy of family life! The journey home and praying the rosary with many a yawn to bless this day.

I remember the joy of family life around the Christmas tree the night the Christ Child came into our humble home. The sleighrides to my grandparents and uncles and aunts’ farms for New Year wishes. The deeper moment of reflection during the third Mass Christmas Eve as the priest prayed rapidly in Latin, while I gazed at the creche.

I remember moments of grace during decades of Easter celebrations. The sweet memories of love, family, God. 6,000 meals together, growing up on that farm. Hundreds of Sunday family worship shared. Little moments of grace like walking with siblings in a sunny pasture learning new prayers from our priest brother.

It is time to be creative as the stage managers of our lives. Creating that mosaic requires beginning with the big picture. God created us and surrounded us with family and love. Thousands of smaller incidents make up our lives. The quality of these experiences is measured in how they touched our lives.

The goodness of this memory is more significant than that moment of unforgiveness. Setting the coloration and dimensions of individual pieces is important to the final masterpiece depicting our true selves.

Accepting help from the Iconographer or Maker of our lives is the final step in understanding our spiritual journey. The Holy Spirit is God’s continuing gift to us. Travelling with this companion leaves us open to many blessings and the joy of the journey.

Again we can sit for a restful moment on God’s lap feeling the love Jesus came to tell us about.

(537 words)