Encountering God in a Sunset

An Encounters of the Fourth Kind Video

By Fr. Ron Will, CPPS

Welcome to this ninth episode in a series entitled “Encounters of the Fourth Kind.” I am Fr. Ron Will, a Missionary of the Precious Blood, serving at Precious Blood Renewal Center in Liberty, Missouri.

Just to refresh your memories, some years ago there was a science fiction movie called “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” An encounter of the third kind is the sighting, in the distance of non-human beings.

An encounter of the fourth kind is not just the sighting in the distance, but the actual personal encounter of human beings and non-human beings.

This series invites you to go deeper into your relationship with God, a non-human being; to plunge into that deeper relationship. It is an invitation to enter the divine embrace.

Some evenings, I walk outside at just the right time to experience a sunset across our lake at Precious Blood Renewal Center. It is always an awesome experience. Sometimes it takes my breath away.

It is an experience of tremendous beauty. And behind the beauty is an experience of God.

Each of you viewing this episode has probably had a similar experience. Today I am going to invite you to recall that experience, to re-live it.

First, I invite you to place yourself in a meditative mood. (pause) Close your eyes and get comfortable. Relax your entire body. Take a deep breath; hold it; then exhale deeply. Do that a few times and relax. (pause)

Now look at the picture on your computer screen and listen as I read Psalm 8:3-9.

Now either continue to look at the picture on your computer or close your eyes and remember a magnificent sunset that you yourself have experienced. Remember the place and the setting. See it all in your mind’s eye. (pause)

As you look, begin a silent conversation with God. What sentiments do you wish to express to God? (pause) What is God saying back to you? (pause) Express your gratitude to God for this beautiful experience.

You are having an encounter of the fourth kind; not just the sighting from a distance, but the actual personal encounter of a human being (yourself) and a non-human being (God revealed in the beauty of a sunset); an encounter with the hidden God.

Continue to sit in silence for a couple of minutes and continue to experience that encounter. Savor it.

Then join me again next month, for another “Close Encounter of the Fourth Kind.”

In the meantime, may God bless you.

All of the videos in this series can be found here: Encounters of the Fourth Kind.

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[Fr. Ron Will, a Precious Blood priest and spiritual director, is a graduate of Catholic Theological Union and Creighton University’s School of Christian Spirituality. He has a special interest in helping form intentional disciples of Jesus, encouraging others to go spiritually deep-sea diving to explore a deeper relationship with God, and walking with people as they dive into the ocean of God’s mystery actually experiencing God rather than simply dipping one’s toe into the water.]

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