Sister Mary Ann Barnhorn: God’s Love Surrounds Us
By Sister Mary Ann Barnhorn
February 2013 Monthly Reflection
We are deep into winter here in the Midwest.
It’s cold and dark and damp. We tend to isolate ourselves in these months, staying warm and safe within the walls of our houses. We feel alone.
Sometimes we feel this same kind of aloneness in our relationship with God. We wonder what happened that put the distance between us. There is nothing quite like the light of a candle or the warmth of a fire, breaking through the winter freeze.
This light, this warmth, reminds me of the light of faith and warmth of God’s love that is always near. Our God is always an initiator! He is our Creator. It seems as though we have been created with a God-sized hole in our hearts which only God can fill! As a result, we find ourselves longing — yearning for God.
Yet, sometimes we humans tend to run away from God and try to fill the hole with everything but God! We are blessed with the gift of faith. Faith is acknowledging the presence of the Mystery, the presence of God in our lives. Sometimes we forget—God does not need us! No, God wants us and that is a significant difference. God wants to give us new eyes. Eyes to see that He is present in every circumstance of our lives. Faith enables us to have the spiritual eyes of the heart.
Pope Benedict XVI calls our hearts the “authentic sacred space within.” What a wonderful image of the heart. This is the place where we find the presence, the voice of God. God loved us first and continues to love us and pursue us.
God invites us into his own life. Pope Benedict XVI says that “Faith grows when it is lived as an experience of love received (God’s love) and when it is communicated as an experience of grace and joy.” In the coming month, I invite you to reflect on love received from unexpected places: the door held open for you by a stranger, the spontaneous embrace of a child, or that sense of peace that comes as you pray over some troubling issue.
Take time to acknowledge and be grateful for all the ways, big and small, that you love and are loved. May our eyes be opened in the coming days and weeks to the ever growing evidence of God’s love surrounding us! In Faith,