By JENNIFER BURGIN
"Fear not, my children; call out to God! He who brought this upon you will remember you. As your hearts have been disposed to stray from God, turn now ten times the more to seek him; For he who has brought disaster upon you will, in saving you, bring you back enduring joy.”
Today's first reading from the Book of Baruch reminds me of the hymn "On Eagles Wings":
And he will raise you up on eagles' wings
Bear you on the breath of dawn
Make you shine like the sun
And hold you in the palm of his hand.
What comfort to know that Our Lord is present, guiding and molding us. He holds us in the palm in his hand as he shelters us from harm. Do not worry about falling down; the Lord lifts up. Do not fret about being alone; the Lord is a loyal companion. Do not worry about death; the Lord grants eternal life to all who believe and follow His Will.
Back in junior high school, our principal asked students to submit ideas for a new school motto. The winner of the contest received a movie theater gift card and recognition during morning announcements....
My mom and I spent a weekend brainstorming ideas. We wanted to use the school mascot, an eagle, in the motto. I remember we stopped by a local Shell gas station to fill up my mom's old '85 Ford Thunderbird. Noticing the word "excellence" on the gas station sign, I turned to my mom saying: "Oh, what about using the words Eagle excellence!?" She thought it was an "excellent" idea. By the time we filled up the gasoline tank, the new motto was created: Experience the Eagle Excellence. It sounded pretty darn good. Yet, I convinced myself another student would come up with a better motto. No way within an eagle's eye would I win the contest!
A few weeks later, I sat in 2nd period when the school motto contest winner was announced: "And our new school motto is Experience the Eagle Excellence by Jennifer Burgin!" My first reaction involved the instinctive cringe after hearing my last name mispronounced! However, I quickly recovered feeling excitement as well as surprise. Who knew my motto was a winner? I remember how proud my mom was after I told her the news. She bragged to all of her coworkers and friends for weeks afterwards.
I often wonder if that school motto is still in use so many years later...
We can allow fear to take over our lives, keeping us away from the Church and the Sacraments. The eagle is one of the largest birds in the world. We may think we can never reach its beauty, magnificence, and stature. We may assume that our littleness is a sign of worthlessness. However, this is so far from the truth. Through our smallness we see a need for God. We may even crave an intimate connection with the Lord, not fully understanding how such a bond can give us interior peace and joy!
Imagine flying on an eagle's wings seeing the vastness of the earth in all of its richness and beauty. Let go of the anxiety and worry. Snuggle up against the immense wings knowing that everything will be okay. Nothing bad lasts forever when we have Christ and Our Blessed Mother close to the heart.
"I look upon myself as a weak little bird, with only a light down as covering. I am not an eagle, but I have only an eagle's EYES AND HEART. In spite of my extreme littleness I still dare to gaze upon the divine Sun, the Sun of Love, and my heart feels within it all the aspirations of an eagle."
-Saint Therese of Lisieux (Feast Day October 1st)
This meditation was written by Jennifer Burgin. Please visit her blog: Jennifer's Spectrum of Spirituality