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Posts Tagged ‘fear’


Tuesday, July 6, 2021

god heals2 Chronicles 11

A Prayer for Returning Home – A Reprise

This week we have looked closely at the process and power in asking for and giving forgiveness, in seeking and receiving healing, in pursuing and relying on God. We cry out against injustice and ask God’s intervention. We lament terror, horror, falsehood and betrayal; and we ask God to bring goodness out of all harm. Today we consider the power of returning home. And so we consider how we might move from loss to gain, from hate to love, from death to life.

The Healing

Anger, betrayal, loss death.

Silence, stillness, a numbing, penetrating chill.

Eyes slowly opening to see old light in a new way. The ringing din eases into two harmonious tones. We are not alone.

Joy, celebration, gift, life.


Image from: http://girlsofgodsheart.blogspot.com/2013/08/a-god-who-heals.html

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Saturday, July 3, 2021

Da Vinci: The Last Supper

Da Vinci: The Last Supper

Job 19:19

Horror

All my intimate friends hold me in horror; those whom I have loved have turned against me!

God says: This is perhaps the deepest fear that grips you: fear that your family or friends will turn against you. So many acts of terror have taken place at the hands of humans who fear the loss of intimate friends. Yet, honest and authentic friends do not abandon one another. Good and faithful friends do not threaten to cast off relationships like used clothing. Noble and dear friends do not use one another in useless games of self-preservation. The real horror in your lives is not that you are left alone . . . but that you take any action or profess any creed as you gather around standards that are your own and not mine. When you join a group or society, think about what it is that calls . . . and consider if the work you do with them builds or destroys the kingdom.

Jesus says: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. (John 14:27)

Enter the words: Last Supper Discourses in to the blog search bar and consider the quality of God’s peace. Read more of Jesus’ Discourse by following the scripture link to John above; or use a Bible Concordance and enter the words “Do not be afraid” and determine how much God cares about our well-being, how eager God is to dispel the horror in our lives.


For some thought-provoking ideas about Jesus’ last days, click on the image above or go to: http://www.sott.net/article/259610-Shape-Shifting-Jesus-described-in-ancient-Egyptian-text

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Friday, July 2, 2021

Jeremiah 20:10

Pierre Antoine de Machy: Place de la Révolution Exécution Capitale

Pierre Antoine de Machy: Place de la Révolution Exécution Capitale

Terror

I hear the whisperings of many: “Terror on every side! Denounce! Let us denounce her!” All those who were my friends are on the watch for any misstep of mine. “Perhaps she will be trapped, then we can prevail, and take our vengeance on her”.

So much that we do – or fail to do – stems from fear. Fear that we will err, that we will be left alone, that we will be too foolish, too prickly, too slow, too something, too anything or too nothing.

God says: You do not need to afflict yourself with these terrors. Does not my prophet also say to you, “But the Lord is with me, like a mighty champion: my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph. In their failure they will be put to utter shame’ to lasting, unforgettable confusion.” This utter and endless confusion comes upon your enemies through the very plots they lay out to entrap you. Always remember that you are not alone. Always remember that you are always guided and protected. Always remember that you are well loved. In that way, these terrors that grip you will fall away. These terrors that your enemies plot against you will vanish into nothing-ness.

Jesus tells us endlessly: Do not be afraid. Let us consider how fear operates in our lives and let us determine to remind one another that when we live in and through, and with God, there is nothing and no one we need fear.

Enter the word fear or terror into the blog search bar and reflect on who or what motivates us.


Image from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pierre-Antoine_Demachy_Une_ex%C3%A9cution_capitale,_place_de_R%C3%A9volution_ca_1793.jpg

To read more on how the Committee of Public Safety brought about a Reign of Terror in France, click on the image above or go to: http://sheg.stanford.edu/reign-of-terror

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history-of-clocks_mdMonday, May 10, 2021

Mark 13:3-8

Such Things

See that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name saying, “I am he,” and they will deceive many. When you hear of wars and reports of wars, do not be alarmed; such things must happen but it will not be the end.

We live in a world in which information flies around the globe more quickly than we can take it in. Some of us are overwhelmed. Some of us become desensitized. Some of us try to find a place for our fear and an appropriate reaction.  Some of us hide and try to protect ourselves in the monuments to our fear and control that we build for ourselves and loved ones. Some of us take in this news and try to balance our caution with our love.

God says: It is impossible to sort out all the conflict that surges around you locally and globally. This information is fearsome but do not let it drive you further from me. I am not in the event. I am in you. I am not in the dreadfulness. I am in the caring hands and feet and hearts that tend to the wounded. When such things happen that frighten you, remember that I watch over you just as I watched over the Hebrews when I guided and protected them as the pillar of smoke and fire. You are as precious to me now as were the Hebrews then. Live out my love as you address the wars and reports of wars but do not be alarmed. Such things happen but it is not the end.

Let us consider how we might preach the good news Jesus speaks to us today in these words recorded by Mark.  We may want to visit an “End Times” web site and applying God’s words about such things.  (A typical site can be found at http://www.signs-of-end-times.com/.) Think about the presentation of such information, and reflect on how we react, why we react, and how we might live out the Gospel words we read today.

Tomorrow, the coming persecution.


To learn about the history of clocks and timekeeping, click on the image or visit: https://interestingengineering.com/the-very-long-and-fascinating-history-of-clocks

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jesus-appears-to-the-disciples-after-resurrectionFriday, May 7, 2021

Mark 16:9-20

The Shorter Ending

The short version ending to Mark’s Gospel might leave us looking for more . . . Then they went out and fled from the tomb, seized with trembling and bewilderment. They said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid . . . And they reported all the instructions briefly to Peter’s companions. Afterwards, Jesus himself, through them, sent forth from east to west the sacred imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation. Amen.

This quick end is simple and direct; yet it leaves us with a number of questions. What instructions were so quickly repeated? Why this hasty summation? Who exactly were Peter’s companions? What does it mean that others were sent forth by Jesus through them? We believe we know the substance of the sacred, imperishable statement of everlasting redemption, but might we not have a bit more detail?

Fortunately, we can turn to the longer story which describes more fully the resurrection, the commissioning of the eleven, and finally Jesus’ ascension; but what the shorter ending gives us a sense of immediacy, an understanding of the fear these disciples experienced, and the knowledge that something quite remarkable has been passed to us through centuries.

Spend some time today with the shorter ending of Mark’s Gospel and decide . . . do we need the details we long for . . . or might we trust God to fill in all the blanks?  Is this merely a story to entertain or amaze us . . . or are we asked to do something more with the details we hope for?  Is the fear the followers of Jesus experience an emotion we observe and document . . . or do we allow our own fear to affirm for us the importance of this singular, sacred Easter story of salvation?


Image from: http://prayersofthepeople.blogspot.com/

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Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Galatians 3:1-14

thebible-jesus-disciples-20130321Our Experience of Christ – Part I

Who has bewitched you?

We might ask ourselves this question a thousand times during the day and the answer is always the same.  It is our doubt, our lack of faith that clouds our vision.  Paul reminds us that our justification, or our salvation, comes “not through the law or works of the law but by faith in Christ and in his death . . . The gift of God’s spirit to the Galatians came from the Gospel received in faith, not from doing what the law enjoins”.  (Senior 297)  Paul appeals to our experience of Christ both in our daily lives and as we meet him in scripture, and he reminds us that while we might come close to Christ by observing the law, it is through faith that we are blessed and redeemed.  This was promised to Abraham and now – Paul reminds us – it is promised to the gentiles.

These new Christians in Galatia to whom Paul writes were former pagans and they were being encouraged by other missionaries to observe all Jewish law along with Christ’s law of love.  This even included circumcision. (Senior 293)  Having descended from the Celts who had invaded western and central Asia Minor three hundred years prior, the Galatians had little experience in discerning and living a relationship with one true creator who loves his creatures so much that he is willing to die for them.  We might find ourselves to be much like these Galatians.


 Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990.293,297. Print.

First written on April 23, 2010 and posted today as a Favorite. 

Image from: http://btscelebs.com/2013/03/21/the-bible-mission-real-verse-jesus-christ-on-palm-sunday/

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Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Free picture (Greed) from https://torange.biz/greed-16736

Amos 8:4-14

Against Greed

We find that it does not matter how much we humans advance in our understanding of our past, the science and nature that surround us, or the human condition in which we find ourselves . . . greed is our constant companion. We need only take a moment to look at ourselves, our families and friends to witness how greed works in a local way. And we have only to look at the international stage to see how greed functions in a global way.

God says: You need not shove against one another to scoop up or hoard food, materials for shelter or even love.  These life essentials are yours in abundance. When you begin to share you always find this is so. You need not cheat one another in the market place. I see who swindles and who is fair. You fool no one in the end for the truth always reveals herself. You need not struggle to make yourself look better than others or to criticize others to make yourself look better. I know each of intimately and so well that you can hide nothing from me. So put aside your fear. Put away your anxiety. Come to me openly and honestly. In the end, I am all there is. You need nothing more.

We ask ourselves these Lenten questions. In what way do I trample the needy and destroy the land of the poor? Do I use more than my share of natural resources? Do I waste the food or shelter or love that God bestows on me? Am I fair and honest in my interchanges with others? Do I correct mistakes made when I under-pay or over-charge? Do I try to hide part of myself from God? Am I open and honest about who I am? Do I acknowledge my fears and disquiet? Am I willing to believe that God is all I need?

Lord, you have probed me, you know me: you know when I sit and stand; you understand my thoughts from afar. My travels and my rest you mark; with all my ways you are familiar. Even before a word is on my tongue, Lord, you know it all. Behind and before you encircle me. Such knowledge is beyond me, far too lofty for me to reach. Psalm 139:1-4

Let us spend some time today with the rest of Psalm 139 to determine how and where we might stand Against Greed. 


For an interesting read on the concept of greed, click on the image above or visit: https://fhctoday.com/27470/uncategorized/greed-being-a-disease/ 

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Friday, February 19, 2021

 Judean desert in bloom


Judean desert in bloom

Joel 2:18-27

Blessings In the Desert

There has been a lot said about “the desert of love”. Love seeks the desert because the desert is where man is handed over to God, stripped bare of his country, his friends, his fields, his home. In the desert, a person neither possesses what he loves, nor is he possessed by those who love him; he is totally submitted to God in an immense and intimate encounter. That is why in every age the Holy Spirit has compelled all lovers to seek the desert.  (MAGNIFICAT Meditation, December 6, 2009 – Madeleine Delbrêl)

The desert is a place for us to confront our fears – knowing that we are alone and that no one but God is watching. It is difficult to see these many blessings until we have been in the desert. When catastrophe strikes, we are given the opportunity to reap bounty from the crisis.

The prophet Joel reminds us that we need not fear anything or anyone. He reminds us that there are mountains of blessings lifting us up daily, rivers of blessings cleansing us each day. The scourge of locusts is healed. Our storehouses overflow. Everything we were lacking has been fulfilled . . . and more. The Lord walks among us . . . as one of us.

When we go to the desert, we are alone with God and those God sends to minister to us. This is where God finally has our total attention. So rather than fear the arid places and times of dryness, let us listen for the messengers who harbinger good news. Let us allow ourselves to rest fully and totally in God’s great arms.  nd let us remember that it is in the desert that find our greatest, deepest and most abundant blessings.

May God’s peace and blessings be upon each of you.\


To learn more about Madeleine Delbrêl, often called the French Dorothy Day, go to: http://cjd.org/2001/04/01/madeleine-delbrel-a-french-dorothy-day-writes-we-the-ordinary-people-of-the-streets/

Image from: https://www.israel21c.org/top-10-places-to-see-israels-spring-flowers/

Adapted from a reflection written on December 8, 2009.

Cameron, Peter John. “Meditation of the Day.” MAGNIFICAT. 6.12 (209). Print.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2020

The Fifth Day of Christmas

zephaniah-3-17[1]Zephaniah 3:15-18

Among Us

The Lord, your God, is in your midst, you have no further misfortune to fear . . . The Lord your God is in your midst a mighty savior; he will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, he will sing joyfully because of you, as one sings at festivals.

Misfortune becomes blessing. Sorrow becomes gladness. Fear becomes joy.  One who renews his vow to rescue us is in our midst. And he is filled with joy at this union.

Read the Zephaniah – God’s Balance page on this blog and think about God’s promise to be with us always.

Enter the words In Our Midst in the blog search bar and spend some time reflecting on how we know that God is among us . . . and consider why we are Christmas people.


Image from: http://heisourstrongtower.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/jesus-calling-august-30th/zephaniah-3-17/

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