I recall a moment, not much reflected upon, from a time long ago, sometime in early adulthood when I was in formation for ministry, where I stood atop a ridge in the Grampians, Victoria. The moment comes back in a flash from time to time, a kind of instantaneous remembering that is somehow in the present. Just as quickly, it disappears.
It was a moment of feeling at one with the universe in all its splendour, engaging all five senses and more – that inexplicable sixth sense. Although I was alone on the ridge, I had a deep consciousness of the presence of all the people I had ever met and those that I would meet. They, too, were part of this wholesome union.
It comes to mind again as I hear the words of Christ in this coming Sunday’s Gospel lection:
27My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. 29What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. 30The Father and I are one.”
I have often been asked, “How can you know you’ve heard God’s voice?” There is a long answer, but I also supply the short one which is the question of how it lines up with what is revealed in our sacred text and faith community.
I have just started reading Richard Rohr The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For, and Believe.
I have a feeling my Grampians event will be visiting me a little more often in the days to come!