Inspired Psychedelia

Today, I rolled out of bed at 10:00 am. Mt. Irenaeus is about a forty minute drive from my home. I had a decision to make and at first I was tempted to roll over and take a break this week. Then I thought, okay I’ll shower quickly. I got on the road in 20 minutes. I drove through the gray drizzle and arrived just as Mass had started. As Fr. Dan Riley began to read the Gospel I was struck by the image of Jesus telling his mother that his hour had not come yet. It caused me to smile and chuckle slightly. Mothers are like that and Mary is the ultimate mother of the ultimate son. The wedding party runs out of wine and she knows that her son has the power to change that. Like any son put in a similar position, Jesus rebukes her mildly with, “my hour has not yet come.” But, like any good mother Mary knows that her son will do what she asks, because she is his mother and she tells the stewards, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Fr. Dan began the Mass talking about the darkness that surrounds us and our world but that paradoxically the light of Jesus continues to break in. Fr. Dan talked of John’s Gospel as “inspired psychedelia.” It’s a term I had never heard before but it fits well. I told Fr. Dan later that his homilies were inspired psychedelia as well. Fr. Dan has the gift of shedding light in darkness. Like our seraphic father St. Francis he frequently brings images and hope that break open the Incarnation for us. Most churches are sterile and cold, but not so at Mt. Irenaeus. When I come to the Mountain I frequently see the Glory of God. St. Irenaeus, the namesake of the Mountain, describes the Glory of God as a “human being fully alive.”

I was reminded again of the Marianne Williamson’s quote. “It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.” There are those around us who would hope to stifle that light, but we can and we will persevere because we are the children of the light.

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