Showing posts with label lesson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lesson. Show all posts

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Stripped in the Desert

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
picture by Steven L. Pierce



This is the title of a reflection from the book Radical Grace by Richard Rohr, O.F.M. It truly speaks to me today.

The Hebrew people entered the desert feeling themselves a united people, a strong people, and you'd think that perhaps they would have experienced greater strength as they walked through. But no! They experienced the fragmentation and weariness; they experienced divisions among their people. They were not the people they thought they were.

When all of our idols are taken away, all our securities and defense mechanisms, we find out who we really are. We're so little, so poor, so empty--sometimes, even so ugly. But God takes away our shame, and we are able to present ourselves to God poor and humble. Then we find out who we are and who God is for us. The desert is where Israel experienced its sinfulness, that it was weak and unable to do any good. Our temptation is always to shorten the time, make our timetable God's timetable. We want to get out and get it over with. But we cannot rush the journey of faith. We have to attune ourselves to its times and seasons. You can't bake a cake quicker by turning up the heat to 450 degrees, nor can you slow it down by lowering it to 200. It will flop either way.
from Great Themes of Scripture
by Richard Rohr, O.F.M.


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He was talking to me. I trust we all have been here. Some for longer than others. I'm still such a slow learner or stubborn that only a gentle kick in the rear will bring me back to reality! Yes, sometimes a stiff KICK in the rear. DUH! Then the light comes on and I see how God has been there all the time fine tuning and pruning what I thought I was bold and wise enough to do by myself. Yes, indeed, there it is, The Hand of Providence. So if any of you were wondering, it was a fruitful and wonderful retreat at the Woods!!!

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Thanks be to God!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Latin Moment

Sunset leaving Dublin, 2005


I felt the urge for some Latin this morning as part of my reflection, so I went to my favorite book Latin Sayings for Spiritual Growth by Archabbot Lambert Reilly, O.S.B. To this I was lead.

Si Deus pronobis, quis contra nos?

("If God is for us, who can be against us?")
St. Paul ( Romans 8:31)

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God has revealed His love for us in the person of Jesus Christ. St. Paul tells us that "neither death, nor life, nor angels, not principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38, 39)

Suffering could be added to the list. God does not promise freedom from suffering for His friends. In fact, there's no doubt we will suffer, as Jesus Himself did. "The Cross is the gift I give to my friends," is what the Lord told St. Terese of Avila.

Although that which is difficult will be regularly ours, God's sustaining power enables us to conquer in His name, which means through His presence within us.

So here's where our hope lies: If God is with us--and the difficulty is a sign that He is--we can endure and overcome. No enemy has a chance if he is opposing God, and if God is with us, no enemy has a chance to conquer us. +

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Hope, that gift so often hidden. Hope, that I will be the best God has to offer to others. Hope, the will to start a NEW day!

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Thanks be to God!!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Funny story about me!

I just came from a visit with Mike at This I Do. It was all about waiting on the Lord and receiving answers in his good time. It really struck home this morning. When I pray, you know, being patient is not what I do best. But of late He has been asking me to do just that.

I can give you a personal illustration, and an image of how impatient I can be. Remember the YouTube video a few days ago titled "Alleluia by Randall Thompson"? Well, I tried to upload it directly on Monday, not once, but five times. Each time I would wait and check the blog and it was not there, so I'd do it again. Finally, I was able to use another process and I was successful. When I opened my blog this morning, much to my surprise, there were ALL five uploads. Now, I don't have any idea where these were for the last three days. Floating around in cyberspace, no doubt, and finally decided to land. I could only laugh at myself and at the zeal with which I wanted you all to experience my excitement.

Yes, this morning I see it as a lesson I must be taught again and again about being patient. And, I suspect, until I get it right. Only He knows when I will be even slightly successful.

Though this project did not have anything to do with prayer or being sure I am following his plan for me in my life at that time, it just goes to show that if I would just WAIT, there would be an answer. It doesn't mean I should stop praying, it teaches me that maybe I should not nag (uploading, uploading, uploading...). In three days I got the answer, not yesterday as I hope, but an answer nonetheless. And yes, I got it...in three days! As Mike says, "May we know His strength as we wait upon the Lord."

God is Good!!! All the Time!

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Thanks, Mike, and thanks be to God!