Thursday, October 30, 2008

Birds and Flowers

Like lots of people right now we are tightening our belt. I find myself at times consumed with worry about the future. I keep sending out resumes to help ease the pressure, but to no avail. I struggle with is this God telling me I don't need to worry or is it a sign of my unemployableness :)? I shared this thought with someone last week.....I sometimes feel that my worry stops the hand of God as it extends to provide and bless. Could thankfulness and gratitude open the gate of gracious giving?

Today I read very carefully Matthew 6:25-31. Can that be true? Is that really what I'm suppose to do? Would God actually just give me everything I need if I only, single heartedly seek the kingdom? Oh, I know what everyone would say. They would all give the good Sunday School answer, "Of course". But none of us live like that. Do you? I don't know anyone who does. We have to work hard and be diligent. We earn what we have. Oh, we say that God gave it to us but we believe it's because we went to work 8 hours a day.

I'm not looking to be lazy. I don't mind working. I am just tired of worry. Worry so robs my joy. It's like if we don't worry we aren't carrying our fair load.

I so want to simply love God and people. What is the hourly wage for that?

Bonus: I love this quote

"So I saw Him and sought Him; and I had Him and wanted Him. And it seems to me that this is how it is and how it should be in this life" - St Julian of Norwich, 1373

Monday, October 27, 2008

Thoughts to Wrestle

A few of my latest, favorite quotes:

Jesus is not a law to be obeyed, or a model to be imitated, but a presence to be seized and acted upon. – John Shea

I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand.
St. Anselm of Canterbury (1034 - 1109)

If I find Him with great ease, perhaps He is not my God. If I cannot hope to find Him at all, is He my God? If I find Him wherever I wish, have I found Him? If He can find me whenever He wishes, and tells me Who He is and who I am, and if I then know that He Whom I could not find has found me then I know that He is the Lord, my God. He has touched me with the finger that made me out of nothing.
Thomas Merton (?)

I need to spend time on each of these. Oh, that I would spend more time searching God.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Prayer, Social Justice and Friendship

During my reading yesterday I came across this by Ronald Rolheiser in "Forgotten Among the Lilies". Fr Rolheiser was Brad's first prof at SU.
"Through much pain, we have come to realize that prayer alone is not enough, social justice is also needed. Now, through more pain, we are coming to realize that prayer and social justice, together but alone, are also not enough. Why do I say this? Because too many persons who both pray and do social justice are angry, bitter, lacking in gratitude and joy, and full of hate. What is lacking? In a word, friendship.
A healthy spiritual life is anchored on three pillars, prayer, social justice and friendship. The latter is as critical and nonnegotiable as the former. Without the warming and mellowing that good friendship brings into life, we invariably lose gratitude and joy.
To pray and to do social justice is to be prophetic. But that's a lonely and hard business. Prophets are persecuted, are powerless and are rejected. Because of this, it is all too easy to get angry, to feel self-righteous, to fill with bitterness, to become selective in our prophecy and to hate the very people we are trying to save.
When this happens, gratitude and joy disappear from our lives and we are unable to live without the need to be angry. Invariably, then, both our prayer and social action become perverse.
We become recognized not for our joy and love, but for our anger and bitterness. Our prophetic words are spoken not out of love and grief, but out of indignation. We turn poverty into an ideology by losing sight of the end of the struggle - namely, celebration, joy, play, embrace, forgiveness.
Only friendship can save us. Loving, challenging friends who can melt our bitterness and free us from the need to be angry are as critical within the spiritual life as are prayer and social justice. To neglect friendship is to court bitterness and perversion."
This is what I want in community. I wonder if I will ever find it?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Image

This morning while thinking about what I said in my last post I chose my God image for the now...Christ on the Cross. In my journal I wrote,

"Jesus is who I love"

"He is the image of God"

I then wrote and will continue to write all that Jesus showed us to explain God. I'm going to live with this for a while. I'm going to hold my Christ-God image close. This is how I know God.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Image of God

So I think my image of God has become so big that I have no image. According to many wise authors regarding spiritual formation God can have no image. Any image we may have of Him is incorrect because it is incomplete. I don't feel this makes me wise. I feel it leaves me lacking and sad.

Mystic or not?

In one of the many books I have been reading the author said a true mystic begins thinking about God the minute they wake up. Hmmm. Does it matter what I think about God; how I think about God. I'm afraid I mostly think how I won't do as much that day to know him as I would like. My fault completely but I do think about him.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Why Am I Doing This?

Have you ever been through a time when so many things are changing in your heart and in your brain that you can't keep up? For the last 4 years that's me. I want and maybe actually need to have a place to say some of these things outloud. There has been an overwhelming amount of new knowledge in my life; some invited, some not. Even the uninvited has been welcomed. The welcoming doesn't mean it's true, it just means I'm willing to consider it. With all the knowledge comes a realization that it does no good if it doesn't transform.
I continue to say this to God all the time. My prayer goes something like, "God, don't let me just keep filling up my brain. Please transform me. Make me a person who loves you more and loves everyone else more." Sometimes I have this fear that I am letting too much in. Then I notice how changed I am.
What do you think? Keep pouring in the new stuff and let God, in me, use what is useful, save what might be needed for later, and throw away what's not for me?
This won't be a profound, highly intellectual blog. I don't know how to be that. This is for me, not to wow people or convince them how smart I am.
I want God. I want to know how completely unknowable and yet discoverable he is.

Thanks for listening.