What is place?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 9,803
    Jesuit Pastoral Minister Rev. Joe McCloskey explains place as the location Christ was in while meditating on a moment in Christ’s life.

    Host: What is place?

    Rev. Joseph McCloskey: I have stood the gate to Jerusalem and there was actually a person who was begging by the gate. The gate to Jerusalem was an extraordinary moment for me. I also stood in the garden. When I got to the garden going down steps that has just been uncovered from 2000 years ago, so that I have a consciousness of going down to the garden of olives, where he had his last -- the terror of what was coming overwhelmed in the Gethsemane Garden. But I walked down the steps that he walked down. So the steps become important. They come alive when I am doing steps. I also -- when I am doing a marathon, it's kind of like, can I take another step and I think of the scene from the Gospel where Mary goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth and I don't know how many people realize that is 86 miles, from where she lives to where Elizabeth lived, walking. So I look at that place in terms of the different things that happened. There are certain places that make me think about the Lord. Saint Ignatius was one of the great mystiques of the Church in terms of his Trinitarian visions. So when he saw three trees growing together he obvious thought Trinity. He was called up into his original vision or he saw three of those birds flying by in the reformation. He saw Trinity. If he saw three kids walking down the block holding hands he saw a Trinity. Any of that if important to a wining rule and there were three people waiting, he saw a Trinity. So each of the events of our life become triggers that make the reality of God's presence in our life come alive and if I am praying without a place in my mind, you know he gives me that place by growing me into a memory of place that I was with him or if he has opened my eyes because of the places I have been to the beauty of his presence in my world, the place is holy by virtue of the story of salvation in our individual lives. We all have places and events that in the sense make places holy that become part of our prayer and I always laugh at -- to myself anyway, when people are talking about the distractions in prayer. Because in types of prayers that I am talking about, nothing can be a distraction because it's all the reality of the overflow of God's grace to your heart, on your world and the way that I check out how important places are in my life is, I look back on the day, at the end of the day to see the different ways that the grace of prayer came alive. How overflowed on my day, how I show a God's presence in things that I wouldn't otherwise has noticed. 1