Today we celebrate the Memorial of Our Lady of Walsingham and we thank God for the intervention of his holy Mother in the life of the Church.  Today we pray for our own nation, we pray for the church in England, for our community, for our parish, for our relatives, friends and benefactors, and we pray for those at the hour of their death.  May Our Lady’s prayers always assist us as we draw ever closer to God’s Kingdom.

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When we gaze up into the night sky, most of us see a bunch of stars and maybe a constellation or two, but an astronomer sees so much more.  It’s not because he has sharper eyes, but because he has learned how to pay attention to the position of the stars, the swirls of the galaxies, the minutest of details.

Today, Our Lord urges his disciples to pay attention while he explains what is going to happen to him; he tells them that he will be arrested and crucified.

Even today, Our Lord asks us to pay attention and to be quiet.  Saint Teresa of Calcutta used to say that it is easier to hear the Lord speak in silence.  There is something about quiet places that helps us slow down and focus.  This may mean getting up a few minutes earlier in the morning to spend some time in private prayer.  It may mean taking a walk outside and enjoying the quietness of nature, something we have in glorious abundance on our own doorstep.

Quiet physical spaces are important, but let’s face it, even in a religious house, it’s not always possible.  Even so, we can practice stilling our thoughts and turning to God throughout the day.  We have the great opportunity to do that every time we enter this beautiful chapel.

Part of being quiet and still may mean simplifying our life a bit, or putting some aspects of our life in proper perspective.  It’s all very well running here, there and everywhere, but simplicity and focus are the keys to developing the sharp eyes of the astronomer.  They are what will help us see more than just a bunch of stars and instead, the endless constellations of divine grace available to us.


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