WORD Becoming By Fr Roderick Salazar Jr SVD
O Lord, my God, into Your Presence I come at this my chosen moment of quiet and prayer.
You know that I do not know how to knit. But I can appreciate the finished product in sweater, glove, cap or scarf. And I can imagine the intricate, delicate work involved. A wrong or an absent-minded turn of the needle would deform or destroy the result intended.
I thus marvel that in Psalm 139, Your psalmist, in addressing You about his origin, does not use the biological explanation of how a fetus is formed. He uses, instead, the creative image of knitwork:
“You formed my inmost being; you KNIT me in my mother’s womb”.
Wow! If in the second account of the creation of the human being in Genesis 2:7, You are pictured as forming the human body (with Your hands) from the clay, the dust of the earth and then blowing into the nostrils the breath of life so that the man became a living being, here in Psalm 139:13-16 the creation of the human is even more carefully imagined: You KNIT me in my mother’s womb.
So the psalmist continues with the acknowledgement of this special touch of Yours, of being Your handiwork:”I praise You that I am WONDERFULLY made. Wonderful are Your works.”
I should repeat this to myself, especially during times when I feel ugly, worthless, un-appreciated:
I am wonderfully made!
For indeed I am. I may disfigure myself with my sins and wrong doings. But I am more than the evil that I do. I am wonderfully made, and with Your grace, my Lord, I shall continue to keep or recover the wonder.
Please help me.
As I grow, I mark with KNOTS the various stages in the string of my life – infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, senior years, old age -and see or try to sense Your presence in each of them. For You are there. At every moment, in every place.
In times of light and joy, I say the knots are like beads in a rosary, marking my joyful, sorrowful, glorious, luminous moments.
When my days and nights are dark and I am sad, frightened, in tears, in pain, to the edge of despair, the knots are just welcome grasping points to which I hold for dear life.
Knitted and knotted in love, I am intimately known by You in love.
I remember catechism class. To the question “why did God create us?” our taught answer was “to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him in heaven”.
Was this really why You created me?
In this quiet moment I affirm that it is. And I thank You.
These months of 2020, even before the virus shook the world and changed our lives and styles of living, You took me out of a relatively active life to remind me of basic values.
You made me stay weeks and weeks in hospital but surrounded me with love of family and friends, doctors and nurses and caregivers. Near and far, they prayed to You for me. You never abandoned me. Thank You, Lord.
And when slowly I got my appetite back and the weight that I had lost, when You gave me strength to sit up again and walk on my own again, some friends would tell me that if I have recovered, it is because I still have a mission to fulfill in life. Perhaps. But I take this mission to be NOT to do big things and accomplish great projects. No. I understand the life You give to me as an opportunity to get to know You deeply, to love You more, and to serve You better. As the catechism had said is the purpose of life.
Please help me, Lord.
Your psalmist again. In Psalm 90, he says “seventy is the sum of our years, eighty for those who are strong”.
How many more years You give to me, I do not know. Please grant that every moment I live, I may live as You want me to. And when I go astray, please quickly take me back.
I pray and I sing as in that movie, The Cardinal:
“Should my heart not be humble, should my eyes fail to see; should my feet sometimes stumble on the way, stay with me.
Like a lamb that in springtime wanders far from the fold, comes the darkness and frost, i get lost, I grow cold.
I grow cold, I grow weary and I know I have sinned, and I go seeking shelter and I cry in the wind.
Though the road buckles under where I walk, walk along, till I find to my wonder, every path leads to Thee, all that I can do is pray, Stay with me. Stay with me.
Stay with me, Lord. Please.
I ask You this through our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God. Forever and ever.