August 21, 2017
Prayer by Fr. Bill Rowland, S.M.
Today is the first full day of school, but it will be cut short as we all trek to the Hughes Spalding Stadium later this afternoon to view the solar eclipse. Some great pictures will be taken that will end up in the school yearbook for sure.
I must admit that I am both amused and heartened by all the interest and excitement about this. I am pleased to know that something can draw our attention away from our cell phones and iPads and cause us to lift our heads heavenward even if only for about two and a half minutes. Hopefully, our minds and hearts will follow.
I have read where thousands of Atlantans are making their way to north Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas to view this event. That will be one traffic jam I am quite content to sit out. However, from another perspective, the lines of cars, trucks, and RVs heading to the mountains to get the best view possible reminds me of a liturgical procession. After all, since ancient times, mountains have been seen as a kind of natural meeting place between God and humanity. When the eclipse does occur, I suspect that all of us will be filled with wonder and awe. Don’t be surprised if you might feel just a tad fearful. Finding yourself in the dark when the sun should be shining will do that to you. By the way, wonder and awe are religious feelings that we associate with coming into God’s presence. Fear and trembling are the other two. Recall that people responded to Jesus’s miracles with wonder and awe and, yes, also with fear and trembling. If our understanding or vision of God does not evoke those religious sentiments in us, then we need to adjust our spiritual glasses. Viewing the solar eclipse this afternoon will be a good exercise in letting yourself be filled with wonder and awe. That’s a good place to start.
Let us pray. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you his angels;
give praise, all you his hosts.
Praise him, sun and moon;
praise him, all shining stars.
Praise him, highest heavens,
you waters above the heavens.
Let them all praise the LORD’s name;
Mary, seat of Wisdom, pray for us.