By Ed Canlas

Opening Verse of “ Book of Hours”

“Praises and canticles anticipate

Each day the singing bells that wake the sun

Open the secret eye of faith

And drink these deeps of invisible light”

So, as we rejoice in the growth of these specific BCBP groups, celebrating the efforts of its leaders, and maybe basking in some of the glory that success brings, it may be proper to recall that not all is fun and glory, but that some of it are despair, or discouragement, or struggle and countless hours of work, and even of praying.

And, truth to tell, recriminations, politics, pride, prejudice and all.

But deep inside us, somehow we suspect that it was the Holy Spirit that made it all possible, so that, looking back at our group’s recent past, with the “secret eyes of faith,” and I drinking of “these deeps of invisible light,” and finally, reflecting on the “praises and canticles that anticipate each day the singing bells that wake the sun,” we can truly now ring out our praises to celebrate God’s blessings to us.

Consider this : After a great start in November 2016, and another one in February 2017, beginning with an attendance of 40 or so, then 50+ something, the attendance at these BCBP Ohio breakfasts then gradually declined, then flattened, and plunged to no “first timers”!!!

But consider again: Fr. Ramon Owera, CICM, then appeared from nowhere, and consented to be our BCBP Ohio chaplain and slowly our chart improved.

Consider again : Dedicated hours of praying resulted in our chart improving more and more.

Consider again finally : Leaders now, in desperation, begin a back and forth of exchanging blame and hurt feelings and misunderstandings ( in the internet, where else?) with this leading to even more discussions and planning and now our chart star to rise again.

Was it the efforts of the leaders that made the real difference. Don’t think so. I think that it was turning our to prayer and asking God to “please help us,” that enabled us to make the turn.

The Psalm prayer of the Thomas Merton “Book of Hours” dawn prayer says:

“The first chirps of the waking birds mark the “point Vierge” of the dawn,

Under a sky as yet without real light,

A moment of awe and inexpressible innocence,

When the Father in perfect silence opens their eyes.

They speak to Him, not with fluent song,

But with an awakening question

That is their dawn state,

Their state at the “point Vierge.”

Their condition asks if it is time for them to “be”?

He answers “Yes.”

Then they one by one wake up, and become birds.

They manifest themselves as birds, beginning to sing.

Presently they will be fully themselves, and will even fly.”

It is my belief and hope, that BCBP Chicago, BCBP Central Ohio, nay even BCBP

NY, BCBP Washington DC, BCBP US of A and BCBPs-all over , will

“ Presently be fully themselves, and will even fly.” (Merton)