They shall see the Lord face to face and bear his
name on their foreheads. The night shall be no more.
They will need no light from lamps or the sun,
for the Lord shall give them light,
and they shall reign forever.
Revelation 22: 4-5
How to word this...
The reading above was from Sunday, the 17th, Night Prayer. H and I went over to a good friend of ours house, Barbara, a Third Order Franciscan like us but also an ex(?)-nun (is their such a thing?) whose order dissolved many years ago. She is still a nun to us, a very holy and devout woman, in her 80's. She had already done Evening Prayer, so we did Night Prayer. She told us that in some Monasteries the monks chant Night Prayer in the dark, having committed it to memory. I love Night Prayer, the darkness of it, the way in saying it it points so effectively towards God, towards prayer. When Barbara and Helen get together they like to chant their prayers, so we chanted Psalm 91, Barbara and I doing one verse, Helen the other. And we did everything slowly, never rushing, enunciating each word. Barbara has many tips and insights from back in 'the day', and she always shares with us. That night as she read the Reading, Revelation 22:4-5, slowly in her clear voice the words really jumped out at me. 'They shall see the Lord face to face and bear his name on their foreheads.' To see the Lord face to face. Just think about that for a moment. What will it take for us to get there, to see Him. I think of how far I've come on this journey and realize I've really not gone anywhere. The further I think I've progressed the more I realize, well, I don't know what I realize. I do know that, for me, complacency is my bitter enemy. Every once in a while I find myself feeling good, almost feeling smug, in my faith. It's like blinders have been put on and all I can see is the good around me. God doesn't want that in me, maybe not in any of us. H wants me to stay hungry, hungry for His love, hungry to see His Face. And how will we see His Face? Not being complacent. Not accepting our lot in life. I believe only by living the Gospel life will we have the path to reach Him. All week the Readings have been about discipleship, about how to constantly be alert and strive to reach the higher goal. When I feel myself just going thru the motions, just living in the secular world and not the world of heaven, that is when I must stop and look at the Cross. There hangs all the answers. He died for us not so we could live a half-life, or to ignore Him completely. He died to save us from ourselves, because we cannot go it alone. I, we, are tested every day. And we well know who is prodding us, lying to us and darkening our eyes. It is in weakness that I am strong. I know the Lord wants to entrust me, us, with more. He wants me to seek His Face. And as I do, and hope to find, then...
The night will be no more. They will need no light
from lamps or the sun, for the Lord God
shall give them light,
and they shall reign forever.