Gillick, Larry, S.J.
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This present college generation is not familiar with the things of the past, of my past at least. I mentioned in class recently that the Creighton brothers, whose money helped begin our university, made their money in building the telegraph system in the western part of the United States. After class a rather bright young man asked about what the telegraph was. I asked him if he had ever heard of a telegram. I smiled at his smiling negative reply. He had heard of the typewriter, but not the transistor radio or the 45 rpm records. This lad never had gone to a Sock-Hop either, what a deprived fellow.I mentioned at a recent 9:30 p.m. student Mass that I was hoping someday to receive a God-o-gram. They did not laugh, perhaps wondering if that were a new part of the liturgy. What I was getting at was the human desire, of which I have many, to experience some kind of nose-to-nose contact from God to assist my faith. Just a little lightning flash would do quite well during my prayer-time. Maybe a little waft of mist rising from the chalice during the liturgy would help us all along the way of God. I did have one, kind of.I lived on the second floor of the Novitiate building and it was Good Friday night. The three days before Easter were days of quiet, actually strict silence. I was sitting at my desk reading Matthew's account of the Passion when I heard a slight tapping at my window. I cranked the window open and felt all around for some loose wire or branch. There were no trees near my window at all.I sat back down reading about Judas' hanging himself when the tapping began again and I waited a few moments before opening the window again, but with the same results, nothing. When it happened a third time I began to reflect on how I had read about certain mystics who had these kinds of spiritual experiences and that moved me to a great feeling of being special and very holy. While the tapping continued, I got ready for bed, turned off the light and very piously went toward sleep with a grateful smile and the tapping stopped.I couldn't tell anybody about the Good Friday revelations on Saturday, but was hoping they would continue that night after the Easter Vigil. No tapping, but after all, Jesus was risen. After Easter Morning mass and breakfast, still in silence, we did have a recreation time. My neighbor, Jack, began talking about how long the three-days of silence were. He quietly admitted that he got so lonely that he had untied a clothes hanger and was contacting other novices through tapping on their windows, reaching out, but not, never, breaking Holy Silence. I smiled at him and also at myself, who fifty-five years later is still waiting for even a little God-o- gram or some kind of spiritual tapping from a near-by God.One, who loves, meets the beloved where they are and how they best receive acts of being loved. God, Who is infinite love, comes to each of us how we get come-to. These tappings will never be convincing, though that's what we would like to call faith. God comes to us, keeping just the right distance from our minds, so that we will not be forced to give-in to God's reality, but just enough to attract us. Of course we would like certainty, but all true love-relationships are based on the free, or as free as we can be, leap into the life of the other. I am not listening for window-tappings anymore, because there are so many other God-o-grams coming my way and they are meant for me personally and I am learning to translate them, even if they are silence. It is only a glimpse, tap, tap, tap, tap!!