Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Where time touches eternity

E'en eternity's too short,
To extoll thee

I remember once reading about a holy man, - perhaps a monastic, though I'm not sure I ever knew, who had a picture in his room of angels, archangels and all the company of heaven praising God with all that was in them. Whenever he came through the door, there they were at full tilt...and he would greet the painting "What? STILL at it....?!"

That, I'm sure, is what we join in with as the Sanctus is sung during our Eucharists...a moment when the Church militant and the Church triumphant are united in one common purpose, that of worship.

Jesus Christ, yesterday and today, the beginning and the ending, Alpha and Omega; all time belongs to him, and all ages...”

In the relationship between a time-bound humanity and an eternal God, it is not surprising that we humans need some markers, and a structure that enables us to keep hold of the knowledge that we journey through our days in company with the God from whom all time comes as gift. We need to “check in” with God at regular intervals through the day – and, since our own sense of appropriate gratitude or heartfelt dependence comes and goes, an objective system that ensures that this “check in” will happen has been part of liturgical practice from the earliest days. It's one way in which we maintain our connection to God – and as such is also part of his will for us. Hence the Daily Office - something to ensure that this necessary "bonding time" happens, whether we feel like it or not.
It has been a difficult day: "My soul magnifies the Lord"
It has been a wonderful day: "My soul magnifies the Lord".
Actually, today has been overwhelmingly dull: "My soul magnifies the Lord" even so.

But beyond that is the overwhelming truth that this is actually the point of it all.
"Life is for love. Time is only that we may find God" said Augustine...and finding God (or allowing God to find us), we then called to lose ourselves in wonder, love and praise.
And if that praise is to be true to the one to whom it is offered, then it will spill over to fill every second of time that we have both now and hereafter, for in heaven the praise never ends. 
Eternity may be too short, but that chorus of praise is the purpose of all creation - reflecting and celebrating the God who is its source.

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