Monday, December 4, 2017

Marianist Monday

December, 2017
My dear graduates of Chaminade, Kellenberg Memorial, and St. Martin de Porres Marianist School,
God comes and, yet God is already and always here. And so, we are both waiting and welcoming God. Let us reflect on God coming in time and beyond time. God comes in time, for we largely exist in time. God has come, is coming, and will come. We speak of the past as God’s coming in history. The Scriptures, particularly the Old Testament, speak of this coming as Salvation History. God 
comes, reveals Himself, in time within the culture of a time. As we read Scripture, we read a revelation that is within a Semitic culture that is three- to four-thousand years older than ours. Despite this cultural fence, the word and Word of Revelation can be heard and pondered. The limitations can be overcome, and the message heard. For God to enter any moment of human history, He must shape His message within the strengths and weaknesses of a particular culture. To speak to and with humans is to speak in and with a particular culture accent. No word is culture-free.

God comes in the present moment. He comes to each of us in the community and culture of which we are a part. He speaks to each of us in the events that make up our personal history. My father’s events are not mine. I carry the consequences of his events and decisions, as the generation after me will carry my events and decisions in all their limitations and strengths. But, the present moment is a moment in which God speaks to me and to you in the signs of the times. Historical events are, yes, the actions of humans, but in a deeper sense of the weave of time and choice, there is a divine hand that nudges all that is human towards all that is divine in design.
God comes in the present. He comes to each of us not only in the community and culture of which we are a part, but He comes to each of us beyond our culture, beyond our communities, beyond the very words we stammer in speech about the divine. The Word comes wordless in the deepest part of our heart. In the silence between the words that rattle through our minds and lives, the wordless Word seeps through. Despite all the noise, the Silence echoes down the corridors and mazes of our hurried lives. Francis Thompson’s “Hound of Heaven” catches the intensity of God’s pursuit of Thompson in the mayhem of his opium addiction and of God’s pursuit of us in the chaos of our own manufactured mazes of addiction and self-absorption. God pursues; we cannot escape. 

A far greater Love chases us than all the loves that we chase in the illusions of our consumer lives.
At the moment of the phase in action, of the moment of silence, come aside and rest and listen. He
is with you every time and everywhere. Listen to the sounds of silence that sing of his love in the
depths of your heart.
If God came in the past, and He has, and if God comes in the present, and He does, God also comes in the future. God is the goal and the end and the fulfilment of all of human history, all of cosmic evolution, all of human desire, all of the secret hopes nearly still-born in our hearts. He is out there, in front of us, beckoning each of us to come, to follow, to trust. The road ahead is His road. He is that road, for He is the Way. We are called to come and to follow Him on that road.

We are called through the words of the Word of God in human words to trust and to move beyond
the limit of our own words. The future is thrown open, wide beyond the measure of the human, into
the infinity of the divine. You, I, all are called to that Way that is Christ into the Heart of His Father. All time rolls into a completion as Jesus beckons each of us to follow Him as the Way and the Truth of our lives.
Advent is the waiting time. God has come, God now comes, God will come. God makes time and completes time in the fullness of time that is Jesus. We have been drawn into Jesus and His Body in baptism. We are washed clean and born anew for all time to the completion of time.

Listen. Listen very quietly, and listen to the word of the Word that echoes though the ways of your own heart. He came, He comes, He will come.

On behalf of all my Marianist Brothers,

Bro. Mark C. Ormond, S.M.

P.S. We look forward to seeing you at Midnight Mass. Also, we hope you will consider attending our annual College-Age Retreat at Meribah. This year’s theme is “It’s Not How Your Planned It,” and it will take place on Tuesday, January 2 and Wednesday, January 3, 2018. Arrive 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday; the retreat concludes at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday. You can register for the retreat by visiting, or by emailing Brother Stephen Balletta at