"LOVE IS ALL THINGS. AND THAT, BECAUSE IT IS ETERNAL, EMBRACES EVERY TIME AND PLACE."
(ST THERESE OF THE CHILD JESUS AND THE HOLY FACE)
Reading her words again, through the Lens of God's Eye...
In the "LITURGY OF THE HOURS" (Saturday of the 6th Week of Easter), the Alternative Prayer of that day offers us a meditation on the mystery of God's timelessness and beauty. In these words, the Finger of God's Right Hand passes through our weak flesh and confused intellect and our disordered will to touch our longing hearts. And our souls soar to Himself.
These are those words:
"Eternal Father.....for You, time is the unfolding of truth that already is, the unveiling of beauty that is yet to be".
This profound prayer continues...
"Your Son has raised us in history by rising from the dead, so that, transcending time, He might free us from death. May His Presence among us lead to the vision of unlimited truth and unfold the beauty of Your love".
Our eyes fall on key words in this mystical prayer and we discover that they echo the depths of the words of the Little Flower.
From the prayer in Liturgy of the Hours, we read "Eternal"; "time...unfolding of truth that already is"; "unveiling of beauty that is yet to be"; "transcending time"; "the vision of unlimited truth"; "unfold the beauty of Your love."
St. Therese teaches us that Love is eternal. And we realize that Love has a Name. It is Jesus, Lord. She teaches too that Love embraces every time and place. Have I ever met or known anyone who has revealed His Presence of Love in my life? An aunt? A little child? A stranger? A grandfather? What truth about Love does their love unfold to me? Is it now limited in time or will the touch of their love forever soften my heart? Does this mean that their humble love will transcend time? Will I continue to encounter their love in Heaven, in eternity? Who enables their love? Is there a Source? Will the beauty of their love to me forever be unfolding the Beauty that is beyond description? Will their love continue to be unveiled in times that are "yet to be"?
I never met my great, great, great grandmother in this life. Have you met yours? At the close of the 19th century, when she knelt down in the light of a flickering candle in a dark room to pray for her family, the words of St. Therese and the Prayer of Liturgy of the Hours tell me that her prayer "transcends time". The prayer of our ancients was offered through Love and so was eternal. Their prayer caused an "unveiling of beauty that was yet to be"...You and I were "yet to be" and our living faith today is the unfolding of that beauty.
If her prayer of love offered through Love can soar beyond place and time, so too can ours for them. We can pray for a happy death for our ancients (the words of Padre Pio). And we can enter into the "beauty that is yet to be" by praying, through Love, for those of our families who will only ever see photographs of us, in other words, our great, great, great, grandchildren, nephews, nieces.
Our prayers today will be numbered in the thurible of the angel of the Lord:
"An angel with a gold incense burner came and stood at the altar. And a great amount of incense was given to him to mix with the prayer of God's people" (Rev 8:3).
And one day, when we too have become "ancients" to our living loved ones, this will be our eternal prayer of praise:
"Eternal Father... for You, time is the unfolding of truth that already is, the unveiling of beauty that is yet to be."
Our prayer through Christ Jesus will be the unfolding of that truth that already is and the unveiling of beauty that is yet to be.
"LOVE IS ALL THINGS. AND THAT, BECAUSE IT IS ETERNAL, EMBRACES EVERY TIME AND PLACE" (ST. THERESE OF THE CHILD JESUS AND THE HOLY FACE).
And in the Most Holy Eucharist, the Fullness of His Time and Beauty meet in His perfection. All who ever were, all who are, all who are yet to be are held there, in Him Who is, Who was and Who always will be.