Monday, October 26, 2020

"I Call You by Name" by Bridget Mary Meehan from A Promise of Presence by Bridget Mary Meehan and Regina Madonna Oliver

Unsplash: Kristin Wilson

I have called you by name, you are mine.

      Isaiah 43:1 (NRSV)

During a time of transition,  when I was on a leave of absence from my religious community, I applied for a teaching position with the Archdiocese ofWashington,  D.C. Several days later I received a phone call informing me that a job opening was available way out in Maryland. This posed a dilemma for me, because it was a long distance from home and I wasn't sure I could manage the daily commute. So I told God that there was no way I would do the job unless God got me a ride to the door. This is how I usually talk to God and God doesn't seem to mind. The authors of the psalms prayed this way, too- right to the point.

A few days later I received a phone call from a teacher at the new school whose home was located five blocks from my home. She wanted to know if I would like to ride with her to school each day. There it.was; I took this as a pretty strong indication that God wanted me there, in that place. (In fact, as a result of this association, the Bernadine Sisters who taught in the school referred me to a spiritual director who became a guide on my spiritual journey.)

Another time, I was looking through my Dad's copy of Columbia, the official Knights of Columbus  magazine- a periodi­ cal I rarely read. There I saw an article about  Eileen Kelly, a Presen­tation of the Blessed Virgin Mary sister, and a group of women who were founding a new community modeled on the women of the early church responding to contemporary  needs. I immediately experienced a sense of excitement, a warming of the heart-God's gentle touch enveloping my being. This group of women became important in my life.

Then there is my friend, Eva, who grew up in a rigid Protestant Fundamentalist home where she was taught to look at Roman Catholicism as idolatrous. In my upbringing, of course, I was taught never to darken the door of a Protestant church. Today, we marvel at the amazing metanoia that has taken place in each of our lives. Eva is now close friends with a Catholic sister, and I was the first Catholic and first woman to graduate from a Protestant seminary.

At times some of us may not attempt something we are called to do because it looks like it is in a box we labeled "too hard." Or we let our fears put others who are different from us into neat boxes labeled, "Do not open." But the Creator of the universe is a big God, a God we often discover hidden in unexpected persons, places and events. There, in the unexpected, the "too hard," the "do not open" places, we can hear God's voice guiding us. We can recognize these divine revelations by an inner sense of knowing, a deep peace, and a great joy in our souls. Yes, indeed,  these are some of the ways God calls us by name.


Close your eyes, and breathe deeply through your nose. Breathe out slowly through your mouth. As you continue this breathing, visualize a glorious light entering your head and moving through­ out your body. Let this radiant light flow through you from head to toe. Breathe in Wisdom. Breathe out all obstacles to God's plan for your life. Open your hands as a sign of your receptivity to God's call. Make this your prayer today:

Holy One, what do you want of me now? Is there something you are calling me to do? Are there changes I need to make in my life to become more like you?


Slowly and thoughtfully, pray this short affirmation: You are mine. 

Hear the Beloved saying this over and over to you. Pray this as your love prayer throughout the day.


Recall occasions when you experienced the Beloved's call or guidance in your life. Write them down, and give thanks for each gift of grace.


Ask the God of Surprises to help you break out of prescribed forms so that you might discover new understandings, fresh visions and unexpected changes. Open yourself to the whisperings of Holy Wisdom.


Listen deeply to the Spirit speaking to you today through people, events and chance meetings. Ask yourself how God is guiding you today and if you are ready to respond. Share your thoughts, feelings and insights with God.

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Make this your prayer today:

Birther God, you brought me into this life that is full of possibility, wonder and joy. You call me by name, and you manifest the sacred through my human giftedness. Open my heart to live your vision for my life. Surprise me! Seek me! Mold me! Shape me! Love me! May I be a bearer of good news. Use me as a channel of your loving presence to everyone and everything, everywhere.

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Listen as the Beloved calls you by name and guides you this day:

(Your name), wake up! See holiness all around you. You are standing on holy ground every day of your life. Open your heart to the miracles of my trees growing, flowers blooming, birds flying, cats purring, dogs barking, children laughing. I have given you eyes to see, ears to hear, a heart to love, hands and feet to serve. You, my holy one, be ablaze with my passionate love. Walk in beauty everywhere. Live life fully!


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