His students said,
“Each of Israel’s twenty-four prophets
spoke about you.”
“You ignore the living one in your presence
and speak only about the dead.”
I agree that this Logion is about “presence.” In fact, it’s about “your presence.” So I’ll take that to mean me and tell you what it means to me.
When do I most experience presence? When I’m with my wife. When I’m with my children and grandchildren. When I meditate and pray. When I do Spiritual Direction. And there’s other times.
What is one of the ways I know I’m “present”? I lose track of time. I can think of being with any of my grandchildren and wondering where the afternoon went. Ok, so there’s one. The others? It’s kind of similar but different. I “see” my wife Joy. I know who she is. I have from the first moment I met her, and she’s helped me to see more ever since. My children? I see them too. I was there when they grew up, so I know who they are. I love them for it. Plus, I see myself in them, I see their Mothers, and I see them in there too. And I love all of that. It’s nice to know I can be present. Even if it’s only for minutes or hours, or seconds even.
What about with God…the Spirit? That Spirit is in me because it created me thank you very much for the opportunity. Can I be present to the Spirit? The Spirit within me? I know I have, I can, and hope I will be able to. But is it enough? The world has a hold of me much more than I am aware of Spirit. How can I dial down “things” and leave more openness to the Spirit?
Meditation does help. So does talking, working things out. Or listening to people tell me their challenges and hopes and dreams. You have to be open to the Spirit to do that.
I want more of my life to be that.
Peter J Nagle
Soulwork Spiritual Direction