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Posts Tagged ‘God is love’


Saturday, June 5, 2021

God's love language1 John 4:13-21

This is How We Know

This is how we know that we remain in God and God in us, that God has given us of the Spirit.

We speak and think about God the Creator and God the Redeemer and we often forget about God the Spirit.

Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the son of God, remains in God and he in God.

The Holy Spirit looks for a dwelling place in every human heart.

God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.

We cannot avoid these words. If we say we love God we must act it. If we say we know God we must show it. If we say we love God we must love as God loves. This is how we know that God is within.

Tomorrow, victory over the world.


Click on the scripture link above and read the different versions of this citation. Choose another version from the drop down menus and reflect on what great love God has for us and what great love we might have for God.

Enter the word Spirit into the blog search bar and reflect on the dwelling place we have arranged for God within, and on how we extend an invitation to God to live in our hearts.

Image from: http://vfntv1.blogspot.com/2013/01/obedience-gods-love-language.html

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Monday, July 13, 2020

imagesCA8I90271 Kings 14-16

Lessons of History

Following King Solomon’s death, the territory of Israel was split into two, the northern (10 tribes renamed as Israel) and southern (the tribes of Benjamin and Judah renamed Judah) kingdoms.  (1 Kings 12)  The rest of these annals labeled Kings continues the story of these two kingdoms.  James Mays in HARPERCOLLINS BIBLE COMMENTARY (Mays 290) characterizes chapters 14 to 16 in the following way:  They summarize the last fifty years or so of the reigns of Jeroboam’s transgression and Rehoboam’s folly.  “Judah’s transgression involved illicit sacrifice outside of Jerusalem at high places and is said to have been the fault of both the people and their kings”.  This culpability and apostasy were counterbalanced by king Asa’s attempts to reform his people.  Yahweh remained faithful to the covenant.  By contrast, Israel’s kings led the people astray; King Ahab and his queen Jezebel supported state-sponsored worship of idols and in particular the god Baal.  Yahweh, despite the repeated cycles of abuse, continues to maintain his part of the bargain with these stiff-necked, hard-hearted peoples.  What are the lessons these people or we today have learned from our God?

Reading these historical narratives is a bit like reading the tiny abstracts of soap operas or evening drama.  We watch the endless returning to past misdeeds.  It seems as though no one is listening, no one is paying attention; yet Yahweh remains faithful.

Jesus, when asked by his disciples the question How often are we to forgive others their transgressions? answers seven time seven or in other words, endlessly. Both the Father and the Son demonstrate goodness, and mercy, tempered with justice.

So today we might unravel these stories toward the end of 1 Kings and we might investigate what went on before and after these difficult times of the Divided Kingdom.  Putting these chapters into context we might understand the circumstances in which these people found themselves.  We might better see our enemies as reluctant learners, and we might also see ourselves as these same reluctant learners.

Why does God continue to love us when we refuse or are unable to learn the lessons of history?  Why is it that God forgives us endlessly when we have ignored and even laughed at the lessons history has to offer?

Because God is love, and God loves us fiercely.  We know this because we have read the first letter of John, chapter 4 verses 7 to 16.  We know this because countless times we have asked for forgiveness and have received healing and pardon.  We know this because we have been graced to witness countless reconciliations of bitter enemies.  We know this because we can feel the arms of Christ the Comforter stretched between ourselves and those with whom we are in conflict.  We know this because once we begin down the path of peacemaking, the world begins to look like the beautiful Eden we thought we had abandoned, and because from that moment onward, we are never the same.


First written on July 30, 2008 and posted today as a Favorite.

Mays, James L., ed.  HARPERCOLLINS BIBLE COMMENTARY. New York, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1988. 520. Print.

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Daniel 9: Gabriel and the Seventy Weeks

Sunday, November 17, 2019

“I was still occupied with this prayer when Gabriel came to me in rapid flight”.

“A pressing theological question asserts itself.  Does the writer of Daniel think God’s purpose in bringing history to its end can be changed merely by uttering human prayers?” (Mays 631-632) Commentary will enlighten this passage for us further but if time is brief today we might reflect on this one question: How do we react when we discover that a period of trial will last longer than we had first believed?  How do we manage pain that endures not seventy years but seven times that number?  Do we reject God in anger or do we go to God in faith?  Do we sink into private despair or do we turn to God in universal hope?  Do we lash out against those who bring us truth or do we react in love . . . even toward our enemies?  What do we do when we find out that our seventy years of pain are seven times that number?   How do we endure?

Daniel provides us with a model, a plan, a pattern we can follow when we receive the news that life is a string of trials interspersed with little triumphs.  Chapter 9 lays out a simple map.

I turned to the Lord, pleading an earnest prayer . . . We turn to God and pour our fears into God’s ear.  We tell him our worries with honesty.  We do not hide any of the details for God already knows them.

With fasting, sackcloth, and ashes . . . We make an outward sign to our inward selves that we have given over all control to God.  We put aside all pride.  We place ourselves fully into God’s hands for God already holds us firmly.

I prayed to the Lord my God, and confessed . . . We enter into an open and straightforward dialog with God.  We say all that is on our minds, all that weighs down our hearts.  We admit that we have erred and have sometimes adored false idols.

And we can turn to God because God is good.  We can be truthful with God because God is forgiving.  We can put away our fears, our defenses and our weapons because God is love.

Know and understand this . . . Jerusalem was to be rebuilt . . .

When we discover that our suffering will not be ending when we first believed it would . . . we can follow Daniel’s model and remember that God always loves, God is always present, God always forgives and welcomes his tired ones home.  God does, indeed, respond to human prayer . . . and he sends his messenger to bring us the news that God is with us.


More notes on Daniel 9: “The prophet Jeremiah (25,11; 29,10) prophesied a Babylonian captivity of seventy years, a round number signifying the complete passing away of the existing generation.  Jeremiah’s prophecy was fulfilled in the capture of Babylon by Cyrus and the subsequent return of the Jews to Palestine.  However, the author of Daniel, living during the persecution of Antiochus, sees the conditions of the exile still existing; therefore in his mediation, he extends Jeremiah’s number to seventy weeks of years (v 24); i.e., seven times seventy years, to characterize the Jewish victory over the Seleucids as the ultimate fulfillment of the prophecy”. (Senior cf. 2, 1100-1101)

To re-visit our reflections on other portions of Daniel 9: We begin with Daniel seeking Ultimate Fulfillment in God; Daniel intones a Prayer in the Desert; then suddenly Gabriel Comes to Daniel in rapid flight.  A vision ensues through which Daniel understands that an end will come to the anguish he and his exiled nation suffer . . . but this end is further off than anticipated. 

To read more about this prophecy, go to the Daniel – God Calls the Faithful and Faithless page on this blog. 

Mays, James L., ed.  HARPERCOLLINS BIBLE COMMENTARY. New York, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1988. 631-632. Print.

Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990.1100-1101. Print.   

A re-post from October 27, 2012.

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1 John 4The Spirit of Truth

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Casting out fear, recognizing the anti-Christ, remembering that we are God’s little children, loving because we are first loved by God.  John, Peter and Paul all try to convey to the faithful the importance of remembering Jesus’ message that we follow those who live in the Spirit rather than against it.  They warn Christ’s flock about the cleverness of the darkness; they tell us that our journey through a life of narrow gates will be a refining experience that will sharpen our perception so that we better discern real truth from falsehood and deception.

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of  life that God has promised to those who love him.   (James 1:12

Peter, the foundation on which Christ builds his Church on earth, describes the subtle way that darkness will intrude on our thinking, and he reminds us of the surety of the consequences for succumbing to that darkness.

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you.They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them – bringing swift destruction on themselves.  Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.  In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. (2 Peter 2:1-3)

Paul tells the Thessalonians – and us – that we must stay away from even the fringes of evil; its power to deceive it is far too potent for us to combat.  Iniquity often disguises itself as goodness and we may be taken in and taken over before we even recognize that something ugly  has dressed itself up as a radiant goodness.  Paul tells us to . . .

Test everything. Hold on to the good.  Avoid every kind of evil. May God himself, the God of peace,sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.(1 Thessalonians 5:21-24)

Today we spend time with the Beloved Apostle as he too warns us that our faith is a powerful guardian against malevolence.  In his beautiful letters that describe the ineffable experience he has as Christ’s companion, John calls us to a faith in God that will overcome the dark enemy . . . for whatever is born of God conquers the world.  John writes these things to us who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that we may that we have eternal life.  And this is the boldness we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the request made of him. 

This is the spirit of truth we are asked to seek and identify.

This is the Spirit of truth we are called to follow.

This is the Spirit of Truth we are invited to live.

May we answer this call, this invitation, this voice of God.  And may we follow this voice willingly for it brings us to our only sanctuary against the false teachers who roam the world dressed up in glorious garments that have the appearance of goodness and light . . . but which are in reality woven of the glittering deceit of dishonesty and fraud.


A re-post from November 17, 2011.

Image from: http://extraordinarylivingbydrscotty.blogspot.com/2011/09/running-from-hell.html 

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Romans 8:38-39: Something Eternal

Friday, May 4, 2018

You are going to die AND life never ends. (Rohr 135)

Science and faith participate in a constant dance of doubt and belief, reality and fantasy, humanity and divinity. Quantum physics tells us that we can apply mathematics as we attempt to understand energy and matter on the smallest of scales. Discussions – and arguments – between those who want an absolute adherence to evolution OR creation theories miss the beauty of creation itself. The reality that this science is perfectly compatible with teachings we find in the Bible may be difficult to believe; yet Richard Rohr, OFM reminds us that . . .

“It seems that we are born with a longing, desire, and deep hope that this thing called life could somehow last forever. It is a premonition from Something Eternal that is already within us. Some would call it the soul. Believers would call it the indwelling presence of God. It is God in us that makes us desire God. It is an eternal life already within us that makes us imagine eternal life. It is the Spirit of God that allows us to seriously hope for what we first only intuit . . . When we love consciously within this love, we will not be afraid to die, because love is eternal, and that core self is indestructible. ‘Love never ends’ (See 1 Corinthians 13:8). The entire evolutionary thrust of time and history is making this very clear. Now we know that nothing really dies anyway”. (Rohr 135-136)

As Rohr describes, we too often search for the gift we already possess, the gift of eternity. We too often doubt that God’s love creates and sustains us. We are too ready to discount the idea that God creates us in and for love.

Quantum physics often deals in probability and is frequently counter-intuitive; and so we may pose the same questions as those in a Discover Magazine article: “Do any physical theories allow room for God to influence human actions and events? And, more controversially, is there any concrete evidence of God’s hand at work in the physical world?” Rohr invites us to open ourselves to the possibility of God’s paradox of love.

Click on this image to take Britannica’s quantum mechanics quiz.

The more we explore the contrast between science and theology, the more we question.  In his article published in the Huffington Post on July 13, 2011, Peter Baksa writes that “ our thoughts are the language of the universe” as he describes the relationship between energy and matter. Might this be the something eternal we possess and still seek? Might our thoughts be actual energy that connects with the energy that is God’s love? Might this be the message that all of creation and all of scripture shouts at us? And might we want to join in this great shout?

Today as we explore both science and scripture, we practice the art of taking in opposites as we allow God to reveal the something eternal within, the Common Wonderful nature of the universe, the splendor of God’s unending love.


Richard Rohr, OFM. A Spring Within Us: A Book of Daily Meditations. Albuquerque, NM: CAC Publishing, 2016.

When we compare different translations of these verses, we find tools to help us understand the common wonderful paradox of our universe, and our place in it. 

Chad Orzel gives us a simple list to describe Quantum Physics at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/chadorzel/2015/07/08/six-things-everyone-should-know-about-quantum-physics/#7d9994187d46

For a quick video lesson on quantum mechanics, and the double-slit experiment, click on the image above or visit: https://www.hidabroot.com/article/194842/Can-Quantum-Physics-Prove-G-d 

Or take the quantum mechanics quiz at:https://www.britannica.com/quiz/quantum-mechanics 

Other resources: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-baksa/who-is-god-can-he-be-expl_b_894003.html and http://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/galleries/how-quantum-physics-proves-gods-existence.aspx and http://discovermagazine.com/2011/mar/14-priest-physicist-would-marry-science-religion and https://www.gotquestions.org/God-and-quantum-physics.html

Enter the words God spots into the blog search bar and reflect on The Common Wonderful gift of the Spirit.

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Mark 7:36-37: Our WordsThe-Power-of-our-Words-Vision-Wall-Poster-copy

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

He’s done it all and done it well. He gives hearing to the deaf, speech to the speechless.

God has gifted us with the gift of words . . . today we reflect on the purpose of this gift . . . and the use of our own words in our daily lives.

“Watch your words diligently. Words have such great power to bless or to wound. When you speak carelessly or negatively, you damage others as well as yourself. This ability to verbalize is an awesome privilege, granted only to those I created in my image. You need help in wielding this mighty power responsibly.

“Though the world applauds quick-witted retorts, My instructions about communication are quite different: Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. Ask My Spirit to help you whenever you speak . . . If [people around you] are silent, pray before speaking to them. If they are talking, pray before responding. These are split-second prayers, but they put you in touch with My Presence. In this way, your speaking comes under the control of My Spirit. As positive speech patterns replace your negative ones, the increase in your joy will amaze you”. (Young 126)

jesus callingIn her wonderful devotional, JESUS CALLING, Sarah Young bases daily reflections on scripture. She brings us wisdom that we might want to use in a modern climate of insults and one-liner sound bites are meant for broadcast news. Jesus comes to as THE WORD of the loving presence that created us in an image of goodness and compassion. When we take in the words that flood around us it is so frequently difficult to distinguish truth from lie; but what is easier to distinguish is ego versus selflessness, greed versus generosity, false fruit versus abundant fruit. When we are confused about whose words we are to believe or reject, Young presents us with a distillation of God’s message: we must rely on the Spirit for guidance, we must depend on Jesus as an example, and we must trust in the Creator who has created us in God’s image in and for love alone.

Tomorrow, healing the paralyzed man.

Young, Sarah. Jesus Calling. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2004. Print.

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