You have given space, my God, inhabited by time,
as a home for your children to live and pray,
to dwell within and inhabit in a spirit of play
like the first garden at the dawn of the first day,
in which Adam and Eve lived, as it sheltered their hearts,
and yet also was sheltered as a sanctuary in their virgin hearts.
Space, this material universe that you have given,
acts as an extension of our life in incarnate being,
the body’s communion reaching out,
echoing forth and receiving echoes back
creating a place of personal permanence, indwelling.
This is like sound waves reverberating from voice or instrument,
through the air-space without which there is no noise,
and vibrating against ear drums, and entering, through them,
into the innermost place of the living spirit,
and calling forth a response, born of listening,
that establishes, in communication, communion.
For all created things, whole and complete in themselves,
are nonetheless also tied up with human existence,
with personal care, affirmation, and love,
which, in human heart, sanctifies them, elevates them,
and fills them with a meaning latent already within,
but coming to full expression through the gaze, touch, and love
of the children of God who, in God, receive and cherish his gifts.
The space into which you invite us, then,
calls out to be affirmed and elevated,
sanctified by prayer, play, and love,
by being a space of intimacy indwelling,
the flowering forth of gratuitous meaning
born of the meaning lived in the depths of the heart.
Yet space can also be wounded, fractured,
by the disorder with which we relate to it,
by the possessiveness, pride, and pleasure-seeking
that harm things, even if not visibly,
by rupturing our harmonious communion with them
and with their Creator, who sustains them always.
How, indeed, a flower can be wounded by my lustful gaze,
or a horse by my anxious possessiveness,
or a room by my controlling and obsessive tendencies,
or a home by my dominating pride and conceit,
is indeed quite a mysterious thing, but evident
to the heart upon deep reflection and thought.
The flower recoils from my possession, suffocating it,
and the free-flowing landscape of beauty
wishes not to be caught up in eyes that look only to control,
and the room wishes not to be a space of anxiety and fear,
but a sanctuary where child with loving Father dwells.
How is this the case, this mystery?
For all things speak of beauty, of God’s beauty present in them,
and they seek, by my gaze of love, of non-possessive affirmation,
to arise to him anew, within my own heart,
and to join their creature-song with my child-song
as we sing together to the Creator-Father of all.
The temptation, too, when a place is fractured,
whether by my own wounds and sufferings
or by those of my neighbor, inflicting it,
is to flee from the space to another, a different one,
or to seek to change the space externally,
in appearances only, in what to the eyes is evident.
And though change can indeed be helpful or called for
–yes, can be the movement by which the external space
is made to reflect, transparently, the newness found in the inner heart–
it can also be a running-away, a flight from the deeper truth:
that this place calls out to be loosed by love, purged by prayer,
and permeated by the perpetual play of playful hearts.
This inner mystery of love inhabiting space,
love of persons, man and woman, friends, family,
alone can make space sacred and whole again,
make it transparent to what space is always meant to be:
The living space in which time unfolds in the sight of eternity,
anticipating already the eternal home that awaits at the end,
in which all of humanity—and in us, all creation!—
participates in the endless bliss of the Home of the Trinity,
the perfect intimacy and joy of the Father, Son, and Spirit.