Sr Myra Niland

Did you notice anything spectacular in the cloudless sky on one of those frosty nights during the first week of December? Well, I did. I am speaking of the clear silver crescent moon that lay back relaxed in a blue sky with Jupiter a little higher to its left and a bright sparkling Venus lower down. It was a sight to behold and it has stayed with me. On seeing it I said to a friend who was with me ”how beautiful” and we both silently shared the wonder of it all. Something beautiful may have struck you too and you probably responded with a “WOW”! You see creatures (creative beings, existence) are the means through which the Infinite Mystery touches our hearts because all things are a sign of God who is Infinite Mystery. You see, too, how God longs to reach us, to get our attention. Creatures are the way the Infinite becomes present to our hearts and imaginations and awakens something deep like a thirst within us. I know that thirst is a deep longing for whatever is good, beautiful and noble. So, first and foremost God, Infinite Mystery reveals himself to us in the deepest desires and longings of our being.

For us to grasp this reality we need to be attentive, sincere and free of misconceptions; in other words we need the heart of a child that is open to wonder.

Jesus’ ancestors, the Jewish people, experienced the Presence of the Infinite God guiding and accompanying them throughout the ups and downs of their history. Finally, in Jesus, God revealed himself fully in human form; God became incarnate. Now God can deal with us in a visible tangible way. The Jesus who walked the roads of Palestine could be seen, touched and heard. In the Incarnation God became visible because we are creatures of the senses, who, at a certain point need a God ‘with some skin’ as it were. The incarnation was not a thirty- three year experiment by God in history. Jesus died and was buried. After his ascension, Jesus who is God’s presence on earth did not end. God is still present as physical and as real today as he was in the historical Jesus. But, how? The body of Jesus, the Christ, remains with us in the Eucharist and in us the community of believers. If it is true that we are the body of Christ, and it is, then Christ’s presence in the world depends very much on us. We have to keep God present and real in the world in the same way as Jesus did. We have to become as St. Teresa of Avila so simply puts it: God’s physical hands, feet, mouthpiece and heart in this world. Are you and I up to it?

 Sr. Myra said her final "Yes" to God in October. She died on October 27th 2009. What might she tell us now about her encounter with God who is Infinite Mystery?