SUNDAY STORY : Why Story

WORD Becoming, Spiritual Reflections By Fr Roderick Salazar SVD

Elie Wiesel in his book, The Gates of the Forest relates:

When the great RABBI ISRAEL BAAL SHEM-TOV saw
misfortune threatening the Jews, it was his custom
to go into a certain part of the forest to meditate.

Then he would light a fire, say a special prayer,
and the miracle would be accomplished and the
misfortune averted.

Later, when his disciple the celebrated
MAGID OF MEZERITCH had occasion, for the same
reason, to intercede with heaven, he would go to
the same place in the forest and say:
“Master of the Universe, listen!
I do not know how to light the fire,
but I am still able to say the prayer.”

And again, the miracle would be accomplished.

Still later, RABBI MOSHE-LEIB OF SASSOV, in order
to save his people once more, would go into the
forest and say,
“I do not know how to light the fire,
I do not know the prayer,
But I know the place,
And this must be sufficient.”

It was sufficient. And the miracle was accomplished.

Then it fell to RABBI ISRAEL OF RIZHIN
to overcome misfortune.
Sitting in his armchair, his head in his hands,
he spoke to God:
“I cannot find the place in the forest.
ALL I CAN DO IS TO TELL THE STORY.
and this must be sufficient.”

And it WAS sufficient.

God made man because he loves stories.

Thus, Elie Wiesel.

In his turn, in STORIES OF GOD:
An Unauthorized Biography,
John Shea adds:

“No matter our mood, in reverie or expectation,
panic or peace, we can be found stringing together
incidents, and unfolding episodes.
We turn our pain into narrative so we can bear it;
We turn our ecstasy into narrative so we can
prolong it…. We tell our stories to live. “

“Someone has outlined the perennial Christian strategy as:
1. Gather the folks
2. Break the bread
3. Tell the stories.”

Today, Sunday, after your Hour with God,
try to relax on your own and treasure your stories
and talk to God about them. Listen, too, to His.

Then you can take out that old Neil Diamond song
in your cassette (if you still have that) or CD
or ask Youtube to tube you in:

The story of my life
is very plain to read
it starts the day you came
it ends the day you leave

The story of my life
begins and ends with you
the names are still the same
the story’s still the truth

I was alone
You found me waiting
and made me your own
I was afraid
that somehow I never could be
the man that you wanted of me

You’re the story of my life
and every word is true
each chapter sings your name
each page begins with you

It’s the story of our times
and never letting go
and if I die today
I wanted you to know

Stay with me
share with me
care with me
stay and be near

And when it began
I’d lie awake every night
just knowing somewhere deep inside
that our love affair just might write

The story of my life
it’s so very plain to read
it starts the day you came
and it ends the day you leave ….

Happy Sunday

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