Human experience of God
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.”
To inspire, deepen and intensify our faith we look to those who have walked before us in the Way of Christ. Having deep relationships with God, walking with Him as He walked with them. We desire this same life.
We look to those who showed courage: to live out the gospel, to work against oppression, to live out Christian faith in all places, who were not afraid to speak out and live their beliefs, who sought justice even when it was costly. In them we see true integrity, for how you live reveals your true heart and nature.
We look to those who have listened: to those different than themselves, providing space for other points of view, were gracious not angry, listened not argued, walked with and did not walk away, humbly listened, welcomed all regardless of views held, created space for others to be.
We look to those who were prayerful: quietly prayed, not loud, but with a gentle prayer, which lead to being a gentle person, where simple prayer lead to simplicity of life, and an inner contemplative life led to a calm(er) exterior life.
We look to those who showed faith in ordinary life who had infectious joy, simplicity, generosity, service, hospitality, which all flowed from their faith in Christ. Who did not just speak about faith, but quietly lived it in an ordinary and flawed way, who saw that they did not need to be special.
We look to those who were honest and intellectual who were able to explore and allow doubt to be part of faith. Who were not afraid to engage with the intellect, being prepared to be stripped back emotionally and mentally in their seeking after God.
We look to those who were present to others those who were hospitable, who knew people deeply, who as St Francis would say, had a high view of friendship.
We look to those who were aware of God’s love and desire for them who saw that nothing they can say or do would make God love them any more, who know this deeply. Who saw that God has given them all the time they needed to do the things God wanted them to do.
We look to the religious life to the passionate prayer and devotion of St Benedict, the seeking of reconciliation with God. The passion for learning of St Ignatius, and the hospitality and service amongst the poor of St Francis and St Clare.