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First Friday Reflection for July 2017

  • First Friday for July 2017

At a particularly difficult moment in the noviceship, I found myself at the botanical garden in Encinitas, California, where I was surrounded by desert flora and could see the Pacific Ocean in the distance. The internal work of being a novice at that moment felt too big for me – whatever it was I had discovered in myself could no longer be contained by prayer in my room. It needed instead the openness of ocean and desert.

Though I no longer remember the details of that day’s strife, my understanding of God and of my relationship with God changed that day. I realized that my image of Jesus was too small. I was so focused on Jesus as human like me (which is a very comforting thought) that I forgot that Jesus is also part of the Trinity of Father, Son, and Spirit. My heart shifted as I realized the human Jesus no longer seemed enough to contain my emotional and spiritual reality. I understood in that moment that Jesus is so much more than merely human. My heart opened, and I was relieved by the great open heart of God.

God is love that cannot be contained, not even in an infinity of divinity. That is a love that overflows, spills out, radiates beyond each Person of the Trinity to the others – Father, Son, and Spirit – and out to us and to all that is. With the view of trees close over my head and the ocean far in the distance, I knew that God’s love was surrounding me in the moment and also was big enough to contain all the love and sorrow of the whole world.

Reflection by Juliet Mousseau, RSCJ

A Sacred Heart Mosaic from Paray-le-Monial, France