They said to each other, “Did not our heart burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”
- Luke 24.32
The holy man was reverenced with so great gratitude that where he remained for a time in a house, all hearts were resolved to practice the faith more strictly.
- Jonas, Life of St. Columban, Italian, 7th century
Some people affect me just by their presence. Some are so self-absorbed and focused on their own admirable qualities that they repulse and sadden me. Others, shallow and insipid, seem to open a vein in my soul that gladly chimes in with meaningless inanities.
Then there is the occasional person whose presence exudes divine glory – something indescribable but real, something that turns my soul heavenward with wonder. Granted, those folks are few and far between, but I’ve known them, know some even today.
What kind of response does my presence evoke, I wonder? I tend to be withdrawn, reticent, and brooding in the company of others. I’m sure that’s just a really great presence for others. I pray that God will liven me up with His warmth, His intense interest in every facet of others’ souls, His abiding concern to hear, heal, and renew.
I’ve often longed for others to respond to my teaching like those disciples did to Jesus, and like dumb-struck pagans did around Columbanus. If it is to happen, if being around me is to cause others to experience glory, to be enlivened with hope, and to burn with desire for transcendent things, it will only be as Jesus becomes more vitally and consistently present through me.
Or through you, for that matter.
Whom will you be with today? How will they experience your presence? Will your attentiveness, compassion, kindness, interest, and gentleness lift their souls heavenward?
Or will we just be like everyone else who drains others to fill their own needs rather than kindles the flame of heavenly wonder and delight in their breasts?
Pray that God will make us true agents of marvelous grace today.
Psalm 100.4 (Truro: “Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns”)
Enter His gates with thanks and praise; extol His Name through all your days!
Give thanks to Him and bless His Name! His praise forevermore proclaim!
Lord, if I truly love You, and live within Your grace and according to Your commandments, then others will know your love and honor You in me. Adapted from Colmán mac Bógnai, Aipgitir Chrábaid