Sunday, September 6, 2009

Creating space

It is not easy for me to be rooted in grace. Often I want and only look for specific graces or blessings. I wanted to visit Jesuit friends I knew at the Ateneo previously, but they all were out of town. I wanted to exercise by jogging, but it has been raining almost non-stop for three days. I wanted to “be still and know that God is God” (Ps 46:10), but many people made noises outside the chapel along with the mosquitoes buzzing around me. Alas, perhaps I am called to “create space” rather than “get graces.”

Creating space involves clearing, uncluttering what I want or what I think I “should” focus today, and allowing what God wants to unfold, to flow through my consciousness. It involves a shift in focus … from “my” concerns and preoccupations to the 1-2 things that God desires to share with me today. A shift happened within me this morning. The Loyola House Chapel is very spacious which helped my spirit “make space;” I listened to the birds sing, almost in surround sound since there were several of them. I was honest with the Lord in prayer and said, “Ok, that’s what I wanted … what do you want me to focus on today, Lord?” I ended up helping a frustrated brother Jesuit fix his computer; it made his day … and mine. And Jesus smiled. Less clutter … more space for God to do what God does best: love us into new life!

The deaf-mute man in today’s Gospel did not ask to be cured. He did not seek healing or change. He was probably focused on begging to survive. He did not expect to be touched by God or to have his life changed. His friends did him a huge favor: they begged Jesus to cure him. How interesting that Jesus cured his hearing first and subsequently his speech. I feel like that man. For much of my life, my speech impediment has been (and still is) stuttering. But as I learned to listen to the Lord more and more (i.e. create space), not only do I stammer less, I am finding my voice. Like the birds this morning that sing in praise of God, I am learning to “be opened - Ephphatha” and to speak more clearly in giving Greater Glory to God.

The deaf-mute man had friends who did him a huge favor! They took him to Jesus and “begged him to lay his hands on him” (Mk 7:32). I’m learning to do the same, lifting up by name the 964 people on my prayer scroll to the Lord. I’m learning to create space … somehow God surprises me with so many graces through many of those whom I pray for by name.

Loyola House of Studies Oratory (Chapel) and Outer Hallway


  1. So many valuable (and subtle) pieces of advice! Today I'm definitely learning to "create space, to be opened, to listen..." Thank you Cha oi, for doing me that huge favor - lifting my name up to the Lord. I'm forever grateful...

  2. Hi Cha!
    After reading your words, it remind me to create space in my life. In the past three weeks, i am starting to understand and see everything is God's gifts even if some of them are in disguise. Now, it confirms to me more on the idea of creating space in my life to allow God to move freely. Oh cha.. let us continue to be in union through prayers.

  3. Hi Cha,
    Strangely I feel closer to you now that you are in the Phillipines rather than when you were still in the States. I have always wanted to get to know you more and listen to your words of wisdom.
    Now, thanks to your blog, I (and many others) will be able to journey together with you through what God has in store for us.
    Thanks be to God for his ways of bringing us all together and become a community in His name...

  4. Hi Cha,
    We just got back home after Trung Tay Gathering weekend. We've all missed you but felt that you were there with us spiritually. It's great to know that you have a blog that could bring us closer. Thanks for your sharing!!! Creating Space is another angle of my life I need to look at.

  5. Cha I'm happy to see you happy where you are at right now. I am also very much happy at Divine Word college. My campus is kind of similar to the the pictures you posted. I am living out the graces that you helped me receive at the Carus silent retreat and falling back in love with Jesus again. Thank you Cha for updating us on your journey and for keeping us in your prayers. I am too praying for you each day here. I look forward to reading more of your journeys in the future.

    Take Care Cha