The Good News

Welcome to The Good News Blogspot! The Good News is real and alive in my own life. Jesus has fulfilled in my life His promise of fuller and more abundant life (John 15), a quality of life I could not have created for myself. I invite you to share experiences with me so we can all grow into the life He offers us all.

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Catholic by call, Jesuit by nature, a preacher/spiritual conversation partner by choice. Learning about getting older, learning to live in the present moment, one day at a time. Learning to let go and laugh.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Mozart and Maelstrom: Mary and Martha II

I was having another Martha afternoon. (See my posting A Mary Moment on a Martha Afternoon - October 10, 2006.) I was in New York City walking along Columbus Avenue on my way to Lincoln Center for a concert, and my external life was wonderful. But my mind persisted in worrying. The worry made my stomach churn and risked overwhelming my excitement at being in New York City for the first time in 11 years – and on my way to a concert that would be wonderful.

Alice Tully Hall’s oval shape, warmly-lit wood-paneled walls and raked seats bring Mozart-sized orchestras and audiences together in satisfying intimacy. When the orchestra started playing, I nearly gasped at the richness yet clarity of the sound, the precision of the ensemble, and the music itself: two Mozart piano concertos (No. 9 and No. 27) and Symphony No. 40.

But the worries roiling my psyche would not rest, and I faced irretrievable loss: Mozart sucked into maelstrom. From experience I knew I had to focus on the beauty around me: the hall, the sound, and the music. So I listened more intently, more deeply and with ever greater focus and determination.

What won the day – finally – was Beauty. Not just the beauty of the hall, the sound, and the music, though they were exquisitely beautiful. This beauty – small “b” – is the derivative beauty of Creation made in God’s image that can be so satisfying. But what also and in particular saved me was Beauty – capital “B” – the fundamental part of God’s being by which the beautiful Creation sprang into being. The Holy Spirit carries God’s Beauty into Creation as the motive force sustaining the beautiful things of Creation.

This Holy Spirit of God – which is God and which is love - flowed into me as I opened myself – in desperation – to the Spirit’s help. Beauty, flowing to me through the beauty of the hall, the sound and the music, rescued me from worry.

This was what Mary was doing at Jesus’ feet. She chose “the better part,” that is, she chose God’s Holy Spirit of Beauty, of Truth, of Liberation, of Salvation rather than allowing herself to be dragged into the maelstrom. In inviting God’s Holy Spirit into herself she girded herself against whatever worried or constrained or hurt her.

God’s Holy Spirit saves us from what constrains us or hurts us, because by means of the Son’s Crucifixion, Death and Resurrection the Father broke the power of sin and death, raising Jesus of Nazareth into new life as the Risen Christ. Good News, indeed, for us all!

New York City: October 22, 2006


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