Seeing is Believing!

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Seeing things are THEY are, not as WE are!

This was the main point of the Sunday homily here in Durham, North Carolina. It relates to the gospel about Thomas, who would not believe until he saw the risen Jesus for himself. The priest told a story about a battleship captain, full of his own importance.One very foggy night, he was notified of a light in the distance.  He ordered the chief mate to signal so that the other boat would get out of the way.   Back and forth the signals went: YOU move!  No, YOU move! Each message from the captain indicated another reason why HE was more important and needed to stay on course.  Finally, the signal came from the other light….  “I am a lighthouse!” The captain finally saw what was really there, and he changed course!

I was reminded of an experience I had recently.  I visited an “art installation” created by a local artist who is exploring religious themes.  Entitled “The Confessional”, it consisted of a fairly large room with rough wood on the outside.  When I walked into the room, the walls were entirely lined with mirrors.  Therefore, I immediately saw 8 or 9 versions of myself….from every perspective.  In the middle of the room, on the floor, was a pile of stones…big enough to really hurt someone. Printed large with tape on one wall were the words: “Let the one without sin cast the first stone.”  The artist was inviting me to see things from the perspective of the other rather than just from my own perspective.

It seems to me that if I am to live a spirituality of companionship I need to keep trying to see things, to see myself, from the perspective of others. Someone has said that prayer requires a person to be able to relate to an Other who is different from  oneself.  So companionship with Jesus in prayer affects companionship with others in daily life, and vice versa.

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