Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Presentation

From "The Presentation," a featured piece by Heather King in the February Magnificat:

""And you yourself a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed," Simeon told Mary. Whatever pierces our heart is a religious experience. Whatever pierces our heart we are invited to offer at the temple.

We bring all our joys and all our trials. We especially bring our contradictions, our compulsions, our wounds.

To present our experiences at the temple is to sacramentalize them. To present our experiences is to recognize that all experience, from the smallest to the largest, has a supernatural dimension. We offer our experiences on the altar of the fact that we are loved just as we are, and that everything that happens to us is an opportunity to draw closer to Christ. We present ourselves at the temple because our lives, our work, our sacrifices are not our own.

We bring our wounds and we also bring our strengths and talents. Otherwise we tend to forget that the purpose of our gifts is to glorify God. We start to think that our gifts make us special, or that we can use them to lord it over the rest.

When we do present ourselves, we find that the temple is not empty. Simeon is there, and the elderly prophetess Anna. People have been praying for us all our lives. We are part of a centuries-old tradition, and we are invited to participate in the ever-unfolding and perpetual resurrection.

We go in peace, knowing that we, too, are servants whose eyes have "seen your salvation.""

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