Brian’s Reflection: Wednesday, March 21, 2012
A Prayer of St Nicholas of Flue (1417-1487)
My Lord and my God,
remove far from me
whatever keeps me from you.
My Lord and my god
confer upon me
whatever enables me to reach you.
My Lord and my God
free me from self
and make me wholly yours.
He was born in Switzerland on the plain of
the Flueli; married, had 10 children; then,
with his wife’s consent, became a hermit, living
as such for 25 years, eating nor drinking nothing.
The more “exaggerated” and implausible these stories become, the more I value them. The implausibility firmly separates them from a slavery to the literal, and makes it clear that this is a “teaching” … an opportunity to understand human longing and the Mystery we call “Divine”.
Exaggeration to make a point is a long-standing tool of Scripture; Jesus often used exaggeration to make a point ….. remember “If your eye offends you, pluck it out” ?? Even the most “fundamentalist” people I know don’t take it literally … as witnessed to by their lack of inaction.
Astrophysics says that we are all made up of atoms that were spewed into the Universe at the “Big Bang” and at later imploding of stars … that we are all “stardust”. In my mind, this may be “literally” true ... but even if you don’t think so, there is that sense of Exaggeration, this time in my view poetic, that fills us with wonder … or at least it does me!
The Biblical (or other ancient) creation stories were a prophetic shout of what was later to be discovered. And the Science an affirmation of the human Imagination.
How about that!
Brings me, anyway, a deep sense of Belonging and Peace.