April 19, 2017: I AM here

~by Louis Templeman


“And, I am here.”

I have this simple conversation almost every time I kneel and look at the priest holding the consecrated host aloft. It goes something this. “I am here! I can’t believe it! I am really here.” I will be in that beautiful queue of reverent worshipers holding their folded hands before them like a plow preparing the soil for seed. I will soon be in that slow line to receive my Lord.

And, often in my deep imagination, I hear the Spirit reply. “And, I am here, too. I have called you. I am here. I have set a place for you. Together, we are one.”

Then I do the most amazing thing. I join the slow file of folks and receive the host from the minister. It is a renewal of my bond with God’s Spirit. A recognition of the historic act of Christ that created a covenant between the believer and the believed. From the uncertain slippery sands of time I enter into the peace of the eternal now.

This simple and very deep epiphany cannot happen without the pronoun I. My individuality, my sense of self is vital in this divine conversation. In order to have this conversation with God I must deal with some personal questions. What so we mean by “I”? Sometimes I wonder who or what I am. How do I fit in this life? In the over powering largeness of this universe, who am I? Do I matter? These questions grabbed my attention recently and as I was praying: “I believe in God, maker of heaven and earth . . . I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church . . . .” The great and ancient creed begins with my “I”. Amazing.

I had recently viewed some of the stunning photos from the Hubble telescope of our beautiful, infinite skies. With those images in mind I began to pray, only to get stuck on the first word, “I”. In the history of human beings, in the civilizations reaching backwards to our primitive ancestors whose times are barely known and reaching towards societies, culture and lives not yet conceived, I felt insignificant, hardly visible.

I was not even a blip on history’s radar. How presumptuous for me to expand my mind in prayer, to assume I had the attention of the One who made all things and who keeps all things together. I was not having a crisis of faith. I was surprised, even awestruck, with perspective. The expanse of God’s creation surely speaks of God and standing myself in juxtaposition to Him who cannot be measured or defined, I found myself placed in an either-or fork in the road. Either it is pure idiocy, and out-of-control presumption, to think I have God’s attention, or it isn’t.

So, I pray “I believe” and realize it is one very weighty act of faith. It also colors with tender hues of lovingkindness my understanding of God. For it is God who sought me. God who found me. God who keeps me. God who has a plan and a future identified for me.

I say, “I believe” and I certainly do believe. I am not so insignificant. I matter enough for God to do all He did in Christ, in the development and history of the Church and in the love and shape so intricate in my tiny speck of a life. I can see myself as a speck or not quite a speck but it is the divine definition that truly matters. I am God child, a part of His family that hears me when I say “I.” It is God’s eye that puts the weight in my “I”. So, I hear Him when He replies, “I am here, too.”

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Louis writes from Jacksonville, Florida where he lives with his old friend and wonderful bride, Joy. They transformed their friendship into the sacrament of marriage on August 30, 2012. They share their home with two self-absorbed, playful, twin cats (Flo and Jet) and one very allusive and arrogant cat named D. Louis has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and is fighting the good fight. Much of what he writes these days he is sharing his journey with us. Please keep Louis and his wife Joy in your prayers.

CLICK HERE to visit Louis’ Catholic Journeyman Archive

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