The Friday Thought - Attuning our hearts and minds to God

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These last two months in particular it makes a change to be greeted in the morning by daylight if not exactly sunshine. I don’t know what your reaction is to the start of another new day.

Unlike Fr Roland I wouldn’t describe myself as a morning person. Whilst he greets us at the breakfast table with a happy Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday etc and joins in singing the dawn chorus I prefer a slower pace.

When the alarm signals another morning I usually have mixed emotions. Firstly I fight with the snooze button on my phone for ten or twenty minutes. In the middle of this reluctant drama I then realise with a sense of relief how I survived the night without being summoned by the hospital pager.

Then for a brief moment there is panic as I check to make sure I didn’t sleep through any calls, although the pager makes so much noise you would need to be comatose to ignore the high pitched beep. Finally when I realise the new day is here to stay I get out of bed.

At this point I turn on the radio usually in time to hear the headlines on the half hour. Every morning the breakfast programme follows the same running order. The news is followed by the lead story or some breaking development. The highlight of the day is normally the sport news, well the football stories, the rest I only really half listen too.

Depending on how sleepy I am, most mornings I’m out of the shower in time for the farming news which is more by accident than design. So for the most part I miss out on the weather, traffic and business news. So as I begin the day I can keep people informed about the latest developments in farming and agriculture, the situation with milk quotas and subsidies not to mention the price of lambs and hoggets even if I’m not sure what a hogget is! My father complains how I take longer than my sister in getting ready in the morning so it’s no surprise that I still have time to listen to the newspaper review, Thought for the Day and finally the news again.

For many people life is governed by routine of daily chores and tasks which characterise our lives. In some respects our lives reflect the world around us, shaped by the cycles of the seasons and the rhythms of the natural world.

We haven’t much control over the weather, or the length of the days, the brightness or the darkness of the sky.

There is little we can do to affect the news we hear on the radio or the real life dramas which unfold in front of our televisions. One of the most frustrating aspects of our lives is trying to cope with the realities over which we have no control.

We’re used to being able to enjoy everything instantly thanks to the internet and other advancements in technology. So when confronted with the changing of the seasons and the rhythms of life which defy our need and desire to be shaped by our immediate wants and timescales, we can feel overwhelmed and powerless. It is precisely at moments like these when we acknowledge our helplessness that we can make space for God.

At the heart of being able to recognise the presence of the Kingdom of heaven is the need to be awakened to our total reliance on God’s grace. We have to attune our hearts and minds to being able to see God at work in the world around us and in the events which shape our lives.

Only by cultivating and building upon our relationship with God can we begin to acknowledge his presence in our daily routines and in the faces of those with whom we come into contact. The glory of God is revealed in a person fully alive, in the person who is energized by the spirit of God at work in their lives.

Through the celebration of the sacraments are God’s people given the strength to bear witness to the world and to their communities of God’s mercy and compassion.

We have to become living gospels, prophets of God’s good news. As a community we need to be conscious of our dignity as God’s children and the need to guide and help one another along the pilgrim path of discipleship necessary for the building of God’s kingdom.