Wednesday, February 7, 2007


The blog Caught by the Light has a great sermon posted on transformation - Caught by the Light: The Call of Tomorrow. A key paragraph:

Like Peter in his boat, and like the reluctant prophet in today’s reading from Isaiah, we are prone to hesitate when God in Christ pays us a visit and demands something of us. We know our own lives too well, which is at times both comforting and frustrating. Comforting because our lives and work are so familiar. Frustrating because the downsides of who we are and the challenges of our lives haunt us, sometimes doggedly so. But to break with both can be frightening.
It can be frightening to recognize God's voice and to actually listen to what God says and then make changes in our lives. But then God stands there ready to help us with the hard work of transforming ourselves. And what is life, but transformation? Hence the three vows that Benedictines make - poverty, obedience, and conversion of life.

Richard offers an image of ripples of change transforming us completely. The image of water has been a powerful one in my spiritual life. In spiritual direction, I once imaged myself playing in a rainstorm with Jesus. We were holding hands, skipping and running and jumping in puddles, as the rain pattered around us, washing the world clean. I can't say that this playful image has made a huge impact on me, but it's one of those alternate ways to see God. It's important to visualize God in different ways sometimes. Father is great, and the person Jesus who lived in Nazareth in the first century is amazing, but there are many ways to encounter God in our lives.

Another image that is incredibly powerful for me is to see myself as a stone, immersed in the river of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit runs over me, smoothing me and shaping me and - what's the word? - transforming me into the person that God wants me to be.

So I invite you - as God invites you - into the hard work of transformation. But know that God is there, and grace is there. You do not have to transform yourself alone. Peace be with you.