Saturday, May 31, 2014

How long is a long time

When Pope John Paul II passed from this life, people in the square were shouting Santo subito! I remember translators saying it meant, "Saint Now" and I laughed. Is that the literal translation, yes. But for any of us who have lived in and love the Italian culture, is that what it means, not really. The closer American equivalent would be soon or as soon as I can get to it. One of the things I most miss about Rome, contrary to the caricature, is manners. In Italian as in Spanish the word education refers to more than books. Maleducato does not mean you didn't go to university. It means you have no manners. What is the connection? Being polite takes time. We have to slow down.

Today is the Feast of the Visitation. When Mary went to visit Elizabeth and the child in her womb leapt. It would be 30 years between than moment and John the Baptist's proclamation of "Behold the Lamb of God." Imagine any of us being willing to wait 30 years for anything. Imagine any of us having that kind of patience, the kind of faith that can trust God for that long.  We pray, and we want it NOW. We pray like petulant toddlers.

The older I get the less time I spend praying for God to do my will, and the more I pray for God to help me do his will.

Can we be patient and see the small signs of God's presence, God's hand at work around us. All babies kick in utero. Yet Elizabeth recognized something more in this kick. She saw it as providential, a sign of God's presence.

Today perhaps we too can slow down, trust God with our lives, and look for the little signs of God's love.