Infant Mystery

“Allow the little children and do not forbid them to come to me, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to ones like these.”

Matthew 19:14

At last Sunday’s Divine Liturgy, while waiting in line for The Mystery, my wife and I stood behind a young mother with an infant in her arms and three little boys. Brothers, maybe 3 to 6 years old. Well scrubbed and well behaved. Waiting patiently, they had done this before.The baby squirmed and cooed. However, when the priest gave that sweet little baby the spoon full of Mystery all heaven broke out. It was our first time witnessing this. We couldn’t hold back our gift of tears. SELAH! HALLELUYAH! AMEN! Only a God, who was once a baby Himself, now ‘everywhere present and filling all things’ would act like this. Straight-up Truth and Glory, now here.

“The quality of mercy is not strained.

It falls as the gentle rain from heaven

Upon the place beneath. It twice blesses.

It blesses him that gives and him that receives.”

The Merchant of Venice — William Shakespeare

Glimpses

Now and then we may be granted a glimpse of that ultimate reality which is God’s kingdom” Alcoholics Anonymous 12&12

Glimpses are allusive and momentary. And that’s just regular, earthbound, caught on the fly glimpses. You have to reach out and grab them to keep them.

Now Glimpses of Glory are available and constant. Average and everywhere. You have to look for them. The Church Fathers called this ‘nepsis’. It is an important idea in living The Holy Orthodox Way. It means wakefulness or watchfulness. Because, you see, Glimpses of Glory are given and received, only. They come as gifts and we receive them as gifts. From God and each other. All the time, everyday. And in order to keep them you have to give them away.

In AA we do ‘The Twelve Steps’ and follow the lesser known ‘The Twelve Traditions’.

STEP 11 ~ Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

STEP 12 ~ Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

TRADITION 2 ~ For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.

So, how do we start paying attention? Start receiving and giving away these Glimpses of Glory?

Be Thankful. As my friend Gene O. use to say, ‘You’ve got to have an attitude of Gratitude.’

Matthew 24:42

Therefore be on the alert, because you do not know what day your Lord is coming