“Anything is a sacrament if it serves as a shortcut to the Infinite.”
Fr. Richard Rohr
Growing up in the Catholic church, one of our first lessons was about the seven sacrament. These included baptism, Eucharist, confirmation, reconciliation, marriage, holy orders, and sacrament of the dead. These 'sacraments' are defined by the Catholic hierarchy for us and offered as formal ceremonies which are more fully experienced in our future lives. They carry the hopes of our religious community. However, I believe Fr. Rohr is calling us to break out of the religious box so we can more fully participate in the day to day sacred opportunities of life.
I have come to know sacraments as “sacred moments”, which bring me closer to my Higher Power. In the past, I have described such experiences as '2 X 4 moments', when the moment is a startling, often painful teaching. Most of the writings I share are examples of such experiences. Always these experiences are humbling. Always they connect me more closely with people and creations wonder and awe.
This week is not different in regards to humility because through this experience, I am placed in the humble presence each of you. Over the course of an average week at home, I am in the midst of at least seven different groups of people. We all have one thing in common: we recognize that we need our face-to-face connection to grow, heal, share, suffer, enjoy.…..... We recognize that, with each other, we leave our group experience feeling better. We share an energy which often is difficult to put in to words.
From my perspective, we come together to engage in our own sacrament. We engage in an experience which somehow fills us a little more with a greater sense of connection; a greater sense of belonging; another experience of our Higher Power. We share this paradox of recognizing that as individuals we are somehow better. Yet as individuals, were are more connected to each other and the greater universe.
Am I putting words in to your mouth? I pray not! This is not my intention. Yet it is my profound …........... something. I'll just have to leave it there.
I have been out of state and out of country for almost six weeks as of this writing. Damn I miss our connection. Time with our children and grandchildren has indeed been sacramental. The hugs and laughter and giggles and fun have been energizing, refreshing, and life changing. Distance makes the heart grow fonder, we are told. I agree. But, none the less, this time has offered reflections on just how critical you all are to my being.
I am excited to be returning home this week, even with tears of separation, and knowing I may not see this part of my family for at least another year. At the same time, there is a stark realization of how important our routine interactions are and how easy it is to take these for granted.
So here we come, Fond du Lac. We are looking forward to more fully appreciating the familiar faces, smiles, tears, challenges, etc. that keep us all in wonder and awe of the simple graces that bring us a bit closer to our reality of divine, shared presence. We look forward to new connections and opportunities to expand the faces and places that keep us together.
I know our place beside the waters is always held in reservation for our sacramental gatherings. These gatherings are always new and refreshing. This, too, holds the joys of those from our past.
See you soon.