the centre

It is only in recent centuries that humans have come to accept that the earth on which we live is not the centre of the universe. While the Greeks a couple of thousand years ago suggested that the planets might revolve around the sun rather than the earth, it was only after the 16th century Polish astronomer and mathematician Nicolaus Copernicus presented this clearly that people accepted this understanding.

Today its hard to understand how our ancestors could have misunderstood something that is to us so obvious.

But then each of us can have the same misunderstanding of reality when we think, speak and act as if we ourselves are the centre of our own existence. We forget that a human can be fully human only when living in relationship with Jesus Christ. We are not our own centre. We are created to be centred on and totally dependant on God.

We find our human health and happiness when we live with this awareness.

The image of the hub of the wheel comes to mind. Only when the hub of the wheel is in the centre can the wheel run smoothly.

Only when we let God take central place in our lives can we live fully.

Too often we focus on ourselves, even when full of good intentions we seek to improve ourselves working to overcoming our imperfection and weakness. But when we shift our gaze to God, everything falls into place.

On her visit to her cousin Elizabeth, Mary turned to God in the prayer we know as the Magnificat. This prayer is used in the Liturgy of the Hours at every Evening Prayer and follows the pattern of all Christian prayer beginning with a clear focus on the centrality of God.

Mary said:

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my saviour.

Note that not only is God central for Mary, but her demeanour before God is one of praise of God and rejoicing in God.  The prayer continues outlining the great action of God in the life of Mary…

for he has looked upon his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

…and the power of God in human history:

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
and has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.”

 

An Invitation

  • Make a decision now to place God at the centre of every thought, word and action for the next 24 hours.
  • If you began your own prayer: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, My Spirit rejoices in God my saviour. For he has….     How would you continue? What would you give as your personal reasons for proclaiming the greatness of the Lord?

 

O Antiphon: 22 December

O King of the nations, and their desire,
the cornerstone making both one:
Come and save the human race,
which you fashioned from clay.

8 Responses to "the centre"
  1. The wheel is a good metaphor for our connection with God, Like Mary, we rejoice at finding God at the centre of our life. Then we see Gd connected to everyone else in the same way, With that comes recognition of our connection to God in everyone else. Our spirit rejoices in the wholeness of the wheel, the wholeness of God our Saviourl

  2. Comforting reminder that it doesn’t all depend on us
    And if we can focus on God as eour centre ,our reason for being ..Then the bigger picture once realised will bring us peace.

  3. How amazing for Mary to find the safe haven of love in Elizabeth’s home, in her embrace and her words of affirmation. Both women waiting and preparing for the birth of their babies, but also aware that they were giving birth to Gods promise of salvation for their people and the world!
    God would be in every thought word and action.
    As I prepare for the coming of Jesus to bring hope, joy and His peace, I will endeavour to remain focused on God as the centre of my life. Thank you Fr John

  4. Very good Fr John,reminds us of our morning offering, To offer Jesus all our prayers works and sufferings of the day for the intentions of His most Sacred Heart.

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