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Monday, 17 March 2014 17:40

God’s point of view is the one that gives us the true picture of all creation

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Presentation Sister Elvera Sesta's seemingly never-ending battle with a digital camera gave her a clear insight on her struggles with prayer. She finds that a rich prayer life rewards us with a sharpness of vision to lovingly see the world through God's eyes.

A couple of months ago the school camera could not be relied upon to work satisfactorily. As I take many school photos this became a problem as in the middle of a shoot the shutter would cease to function. Thus began my camera saga.

Initially, I checked that the battery was charged. There seemed to be no problem here.

Next we thought that the card was the problem so a new card was installed. That seemed to work, but then the problem resurfaced.
I was told that I needed a better quality card. I went down that track with similar results.

Eventually, it was sent to the “camera hospital” where a new body was procured. It worked at first although the focus was not sharp.
I thought the problem was my eyes! However, once again the old problem resurfaced. I wondered what I was doing incorrectly.

After a visit to the camera shop, it was suggested that the problem had to be the lens as that was the only constant.

After the new lens was installed, I looked through the eyepiece. Lo and behold, the focus was sharper than ever it had been before. As well, the problem was solved.

My camera saga reminded me of prayer and my relationship with my God.

I want to be able to pray and to pray well.

We often read about the saints and how they often seem to be carried up to the “seventh heaven”. I would like to achieve that state too.
So I try this technique and then that technique. It seems to work for a while and then it becomes just humdrum yet again.

I now realise that I must put in the effort but prayer is really a gift from God.

There is a story told about an old man who would spend many hours sitting at the back of the church. When asked what he did he simply replied “I just look at God and God just looks at me.”

We need to have faith and trust that God will show us the way. I persevered with the camera and the problem was eventually solved. I needed to put in the effort but I personally did not fix it.

I have often heard it said that we are God’s hands and voice in today’s world. As a small child I was given a Box Brownie camera. I still have some of the photos that I took with that little camera. They are black-and-white and a little fuzzy.

Today I use a DSLR camera. There is a world of difference in the output – colour, sharp images. I am able to take many shots and so choose the best.

When speaking about God, no analogy is perfect. However, if we are to be God for others, then we need to be the best we can be.
We need to become more Christ-like; to act in the spirit of Jesus in our world today – to treat others and our world as he would – the refugee, the homeless, the one who is different from us, the environment.

As John writes in his gospel “He must become greater; I must become less … For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.” (John 3:30, 34)

I had not realised before that a camera can wear out; that it is made of plastic and that nothing digital lasts forever.

Our life, our world, too, is transitory.

While on earth we need to live our life to the full, to “seize the day”.

St Teresa of Avila’s bookmark reminds us of this. “Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing affright you. All things are passing. God alone is changeless. Patience wins all things. Who has God, wants nothing.”

When I looked through the eyepiece using the new lens, once focused, it was as if I were looking at a different world, everything was so sharp and clear.

This reminded me that we need to look through God’s eyes at our world.

I can be very critical and judgmental of the other, but is that how God would see that person or view that action?

Paul tells us in his letter to the Corinthians that “now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)

Or again, it reminded me of the life to which I aspire. Paul describes this as “what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him”. (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Sr Elvera Sesta is a Presentation Sister and a teacher at St Rita’s College, Clayfield, Brisbane.

This article first appeared in the 16 February 2014 edition of The Catholic Leader, the official publication of the Archdiocese of Brisbane.