Have you ever met someone who is really old and really wise? I have met several such men and women, mostly at daily Mass. Their eyes are gentle. Smile lines are etched into the wrinkles of their faces. In some, a lifetime of generosity is written into their bodies, as though their hands reach out to hug you, even when they have not moved. Others are quieter, but their faces radiate peace. Kindliness and holiness have become a way of life for them.
Simeon and Anna are the first-century equivalent of those saints whom you and I have met. These two pray. They pray a lot. Simeon is described as “upright and devout.” When he sees the child, he believes. He believes! An eight-day-old baby is being presented to the Lord. And Simeon sees in that child the Savior of the world. How does that work? Something must have moved within him.
Faith is an inner assurance that rises within us to convince us that God is at work. That belief, at that moment, is a gift.
Anna has prayed night and day in the temple for years and years and years. Many of us have tasted the seasoning of the Spirit. But there are saints who have tasted of the pure Spirit, as though it were something they drank straight. Anna seems to be one of those people, those who live on the borderline between God and the world.
You might just be one of those people. If you are, thank you for your life of holiness. If you are not, then like me, let’s keep working to drink deeply of God’s Spirit, day after day. God is real, at work at all times. Faith is a gift, an inner assurance that this is so.
~ Thanks to John Barker and Karla Bellinger