Friday, January 4, 2013

Making Room for Jesus

On the Solemnity of the Mother of God (Jan.) I mentioned the detail given in Luke’s Gospel about how there was no room for Mary and Joseph in the inn. This detail has captured the Christian imagination for 2000 years. I said that if there was a sign over our heads, like in the cartoons, would it say "No room for Jesus"?

As I also noted, my maxim is that "the preacher preaches first to himself." I might not even pose this "No room" as a question if it weren’t for the fact that I often find that I’m crowding out Jesus from my consciousness with all the clutter in my mind and heart.

Of course, there is room to various degrees in my heart for Jesus; my entire heart and mind are consecrated to him through Baptism. Also, as a Priest, my life is dedicated to "preparing the way of the Lord" into my life and the lives of those to whom I minister. But still I find my "inner room" (aka "my soul") can get fairly filled with clutter, not unlike my personal study.

When I think of interior clutter, I’m thinking of all the things, concerns, distractions, demands, technologies which preoccupy me to the point that I seem to have little time for entering within myself to seek Jesus. That demands clearing space in my schedule, as well as in my mind. It requires prayer and reflection.  Also in Luke’s Gospel about Mary, it says that she pondered all the things about Jesus in her heart. (see Luke 2:19) That should be the goal of every follower of Jesus.

I could pose a meditation for myself: (1) What do I think is cluttering my inner room? (2) What can I eliminate and what can I retain for Christ? (3) Can I still envision Christ within me, even if I don't have my inner life in perfect order?

Well, I had an image of what I'd like my inner room to look like (via a long Google search) but Blogger won't upload it. So maybe next time.
(For a mediatation on this same subject, see "Bread on the Trail: Making Room for God," by Deacon Keith Fournier HERE)