St. Thomas Episcopal Church | Medina


Thoughts and Happenings

Sharing Our Stories: Friday Edition (10/16)

Posted on

Sharing Our Stories: Friday Edition (10/16)

This was an email originally sent out to the parish on Friday, October 16, 2020.

Hi friends:

Here are the latest group of stories we have collected. This is a wonderful way for us to stay connected with one another and to accompany one another on this journey. We would love to have YOUR story. Check out the broad guidelines HERE.  And if you have already submitted a story, please let us have another one!

Reflection by Dwight Russell

On the wall of our front porch we have a plaque inscribed with the words: “Vocatus Atque Non Vocatus, Deus Aderit”. Translated from the Latin it reads: “Called or not called, God is present”. The Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung (1875-1961) had these words carved over the entrance to his home, and they were also the epitaph on his tombstone in Zurich. Jung believed in the presence of God not only in death, but in life as well. To him God’s presence was a light during darkness, hope to the fearful.

“God is present” so beautiful to hear, so easy to forget. However, we must remember that we are human beings and we frequently forget. Many of us spend time finding a reason not to follow God’s call. He is always with us, but we tend to leave Him alone. If a friend came to visit, we would think it rude not to converse – why then should God be neglected?

So, how can we realize God’s presence and thank him for always being with us? We can recognize his  presence by continually talking to Him. This is not an easy endeavor; our minds wander, but after asking forgiveness we can return to Him with even greater trust. Our conversations with God should consist of praising, adoring, and loving Him unceasingly. We begin by listening in silence, creating a space to hear. After a while God will make himself felt in our soul and excite us to converse, giving us a profound inner peace. This is our wonderful employment as Christians and the journey to discover our charisms is one of the central tasks in our life in God. When we hear God calling we can enter into wisdom – the sacred mysteries.

Herein lies the intellectual, spiritual practice that is so important, but how else can we experience God’s presence each day? The priest and author James Finley said that “Jesus saw God in all that he saw”. This resonates with me as I walk my journey and say “Hi God” to all of the animals, birds, trees, flowers and people I encounter – sounds simple but I encourage you to try it. It will make your day delightful -  a form of prayer. A more formal prayer which is easy to internalize is: “God is present, God is present. Amen, Amen”.

Further, I offer to you Thomas Merton’s words on the presence of God: “The thing that we have to face is that life is as simple as this. We are living in a world that is absolutely transparent and God is shining through it all the time. This is not just a fable or a nice story, it is true”.

And, it is true that nothing can separate us from the love of God. He is present, and I invite you to listen . . . what is God calling you to do?

Deus vobiscum,
Dwight Russell