“When a crystal is touched or struck by the rays of the sun,
it gives forth brilliant sparks of light.
When the man of faith is touched by the light of God’s grace,
he too must shine with his good words and deeds, and so bring
God’s light to others.”
–Saint Anthony of Padua
One effect of the worldwide “shutdown” imposed on individuals has been to limit face-to-face contact. We have been limited to social media, internet meetings, live-streams, emails and phone conversations to keep in touch with one another.
Our social distancing offers us a challenge to experience what Saint Anthony describes as “the light of God’s grace” shining from others. We must look and listen more intently to discover how God has touched the people of faith whom we encounter. One help in discerning is to “look” and “listen” with our heart. Spiritual teachers describe this kind of seeing and listening in different ways, but in each human encounter it is always God at work in you and me.
One spiritual teacher suggests taking a moment to remove any obstacles to real listening and seeing, by letting go of negative judgments and our ego’s need to control. We can only accomplish this if we first turn the whole process over to God.