I bet you are probably why I titled this post after everyone’s favorite nocturnal bird. To be honest, I had no plan on writing today; I had a long day at work and my three kids while I love them were overtired and bedtime occurred later in the day. As I was rocking my 4 month old to bed I got to finally slow myself done and starting praying several Hail Mary’s.
And that is when the Holy Spirit told me: “You are going to write about owls, but not really owls but what owls will remind you of after you write tonight”. I soon realized that the word owls contains the same letters as “slow”.
You may ask so what Matt? Why is “slow” important? I have been having a tough time in my spiritual life the last few months and I always struggle with finding balance in my life. After a good confession I had a few weeks ago, I promised myself that I will try to slow down and be more thankful for the things in my life.
Slowly- no pun intended- I have incorporated ways throughout my busy day to slow myself down: prayer more often, be more grateful, and try to be better attentive at Mass. As I was rocking my son to sleep tonight a moment in the Gospels came to mind that fits the theme of slowing down and gratitude quite perfectly. In Luke 24:13-35 Jesus appears to two of his followers on the road to the town of Emmaus. “Now that very day two of them were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus and they were talking about the things that had occurred” (v. 13). What had just happened? Jesus was viciously slaughtered and various claims about his mysterious return abounded. During this seven mile walk Jesus appeared to them but the men did not recognize them. The followers were only able to recognize Jesus when they slowed down and stopped for a meal and Jesus shown himself “in the breaking of the bread” (v. 34).
How often do we debate about the facts about Jesus as we move about our daily lives? How often do we recognize God in our midst- not necessarily in the same physical form of a Jewish man who lived 2000 years ago, but as reflection of God the Holy Spirit who dwells in each one of us? For me personally, I encounter God when I slow down and express gratitude.
And that is exactly why God instituted the Mass with the Eucharist as the centerpiece of that event. God knew that slowing down is essential at time for man. The Eucharist also actually translates to mean thanksgiving. My goal this week is to go to one daily Mass in addition to Sunday worship and to express a thankful mindset at all times. I challenge anyone who reads this post to do the same.
Slow down and be thankful for the things God as put into your life: the Mass, your family, your friends, and for everyone, but especially aviary enthusiasts—OWLS.