Gratitude, Centering Prayer, and my Greek Professor

A few friends and I have been meeting on Monday nights to practice some Lectio and Centering Prayer together which after two weeks has already been a moving, meaningful experience. We use the liturgy for the coming week for our scripture reading, and last night we were talking about how meaningful it is for God’s words and images to linger and germinate in our hearts and minds over the week.
In last night’s Lectio, the passage from Luke 9:28-36 on the transfiguration, Peter’s words, “Master, it is good for us to be here,” rang in my head so distinctively that I incorporated them into the silence, breathing in that goodness. It struck me last night that later in that verse it remarks that Peter did know know what he was saying. I think most often scholars interpret that unawareness as referring to his suggestion for making three dwellings for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. But it occurred to me that even though Peter didn’t know what he was saying, it was “good for he, James and John to be there,” in the presence of Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. Similarly, I was reminded of how good it is for me to be in the presence of God, in the silence last night, in the busy-ness of this place, in life.
Yesterday afternoon after a run with a friend I was remarking to him how my Greek professor here at school has always exhibited that awareness of how “good it is to be here.” A young professor, still pounding out his dissertation, last year in his first semester of teaching, he invited us over to his beautiful home. When we remarked on that beautiful home, he remarked on how blessed he is to be here, to have that home, to be teaching. He has continually taught me much about life, as well as a little about Greek. I pondered with my running partner my hope for my professor’s gratitude to be sustained, and to increase.
And it is my hope that no matter the circumstances or how little we understand of what we are saying, we breathe in the goodness, we listen, we regard God’s silent langugae, letting God know, “Master, it is good for us to be here.”

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