Archive for July 24th, 2021

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Jeremiah 5

belief_quotes_6Universal Corruption

We are all human. None of us is immune from our tendency to stray from truth. Each of us is from time to time fascinated by the darkness that ebbs beyond the circle of light in which we stand. Physically, we press the limits of the body to find our weak spots and our strengths. Psychologically, we tinker with the places in life which lure us into wrong-doing – all the better to know what we might become if we allow ourselves to grow. Spiritually, we wander into the places where doubt blossoms – for as much as we doubt, so also do we believe.

Miguel de Unamuno, a 20th Century Spanish existentialist, wrote a sonnet entitled Prayer of an Atheist in which he explores the pendulum swing of faith and doubt, hope and despair. He also wrote a beautiful poem, In the Hand of God, in which he juxtaposes images to create the gentle rocking back and forth we feel of our movement between God’s two hands, our movement to and from God’s breast. We are well-loved. We are constantly tended. We consistently stray. We are always offered the opportunity for reconciliation and restoration by a loving and giving God. We may always open our hearts to those who wound us.

In his book The Sacred Heart of the World: Restoring Mystical Devotion to Our Spiritual Life, David Richo describes a four-fold devotion to the Sacred Heart with which we may join others in healing the world. Today we pause to think about the impossibility that God may make possible . . . if we but ask.

  • First, we extend our prayer life to include others in anything we ask for ourselves, and thus we seek the Christ in each human being.
  • Second, we pray for those who persecute us, and thus we convert insult to prayer.
  • Third, we commit to ceasing engagement in retaliation, and thus we return blessing for hurt. This does not mean that we ask to be humiliated; rather, we protect ourselves and our personal boundaries while in the meantime we . . .
  • Fourth, pray for the universe, for we are all corrupt in one way or another.

Richo includes prayers of mystics which we might use, and here is one from Saint Teresa of Ávila: I shape my heart like that of others that I meet and theirs like mine.

Imagine what goodness we might bring about if we might only pray earnestly in this way.

An interesting read is The Isaiah Effect: Decoding the Lost Science of Prayer and Prophecy by Gregg Braden. In this book, Braden encourages us to examine what happens when we come together in petition, what takes place when we agree to gather through prayer to ask God’s healing for the world.

Imagine what beauty we might bring about if only we might see our universal corruption . . . if only we might pray earnestly in unison . . . if only we might join in bringing about the kingdom . . . if only we might believe that the impossible is possible . . . if only we might act in our hope for the world.

For a 30 day online retreat with references to Teilhard de Chardin, Karl Rahner, and practicing the art of spiritual imagination, visit Richo’s site at :http://davericho.com/sacred-heart-retreat-html/

For more quotes about belief, click on the image above or visit: https://quotesgram.com/quotes-about-belief-systems/

Adapted from a reflection written on June 9, 2008.

Image from: https://quotesgram.com/quotes-about-belief-systems/ 

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