Posts Tagged ‘God’s gifts’

1 John 1: The Duality of Joy

Fifth Sunday of Easter, April 29, 2018

Once we are able to experience the duality of God’s ways, God’s justice, mercy, and love, we will want to share the joy that overtakes us.

Our motive for writing is simply this: We want you to enjoy this, too. Your joy will double our joy!

Our capacity to live in both this world and the next determines our capacity for joy in God’s duality. Richard Rohr, OFM, writes: Only the non-dual, contemplative mind can hold everything in its wholeness, including both death and resurrection. Rohr further explains that once we can step away from the them-us, black-white, either-or stance, we can better see that God and all of  God’s creation has a yes-and rather than a yes-but essence. In his excellent collection of meditations entitled, Rohr points out to us in daily reflections that: Life is hard AND “my yoke is easy,” you are not that important AND “your name is written in heaven,” your life is not about you AND you are about life, you can let go of control AND you can let God’s life flow in you, and you are going to die AND life never ends. Rohr gathers this wonderful collection of introspective considerations under the title of The Common Wonderful. To spend time with these reflections is to invite each of us into God’s wonderful duality in which “death and life are in an eternal embrace”. (Rohr 131-137)

National Catholic Reporter: Vigil after the Las Vegas, USA shooting – The Dos and Don’ts of Handling Compassion Fatigue

Our modern world brings us far too much information to process. We suffer from crisis fatigue and we struggle to sort our emotions as we interact with family, friends, colleagues and strangers. Our world seems smaller and the climate more erratic. Unless we grapple with God’s duality and come to terms with the demands our citizenship in God’s kingdom make on us, we will never fully accept the many gifts of joy God gives us.

We saw it, we heard it, and now we’re telling you so you can experience it along with us, this experience of communion with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ.

Today we reflect on the duality of God’s joy, we take in the wonder and mystery of this message, and we turn to one another as we witness to this most wonderful of God’s gifts.

When we compare other translations with The Message version of these verses, we begin to experience the overwhelming joy of God’s duality, and we will want to share this Easter joy with others.

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

Click on the image of the child to learn about finding paths to happiness, or visit: https://innerself.com/content/personal/happiness-and-self-help/self-help/9471-the-paths-to-joy-experiencing-more-joy-in-your-life.html 

Visit the Center for Contemplation and Action bookstore for more information about Rohr’s work. A SPRING WITH US and YES, AND are excellent resources. http://store.cac.org/ Also see, EVERYTHING BELONGS. 

See this article in THE NATIONAL CATHOLIC REPORTER on the dos and don’ts as we struggle with compassion fatigue: https://www.ncronline.org/news/environment/feeling-crisis-fatigue-here-are-3-dos-and-3-donts

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Isaiah 43:20-25: Already Given

Friday, May 27, 2016gift

We ask for good health, security, predictability, fidelity. We look for mercy, wisdom, hope and love. We anticipate salvation, healing, transformation and resurrection. But these gifts we believe we need to acquire have already been generously given.

The beasts of the field will glorify me, the jackals and the ostriches, because I have given waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people.

When we feel as though the world has let us down, we come to understand that all that we need . . . we already hold.

The people whom I formed for myself will declare my praise.

All that is required of us is that we remain faithful in our gratitude.

I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.

All that we need remember is that God wants to forgive and heal. All that is confusion and mystery becomes peace-filled and comforting. All that we seek we already have in abundance. So let us give thanks, for once we begin to practice thankfulness, we also begin to fully experience what the Lord has freely and wonderfully already given.

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Luke 15:11-32: Squandering Our Inheritance

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo: Return of the Prodigal Son - National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo: Return of the Prodigal Son – National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

There is a portion of Isaiah’s prophecy (Isaiah 10: 20-27) which speaks to us about holding on to the tiniest thread of hope even when everyone else has walked away, has given up and given in. When all is dark and seems lost forever to the dark ways, somewhere deep, and often hidden, there is a tiny grain of hope. And these tiny grains of hope are Christ who is in each one of us, and in every part of creation.  This Christ is hope.

In the image of the The Return of the Prodigal Son by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo we see the return of the errant son, and the darkness on the face of the envious son who remains. We also see abundant joy on the face of the father who has persisted in remnant hope and love.

This story is familiar to us and yet we benefit from reflecting with the words and the image.

Both sons of this loving father struggle – whether or not they physically or spiritually separate from him.  Both want to inherit the Father’s gifts, both want to experience life and its joys . . . yet are they willing to be remnant? And are we?

Today we reflect on the meaning of remaining, the meaning of hope, and how we too often squander both of these gifts in our own lives.

Do we remain?  Do we abide?  Are we faithful?  Do we offer God our constancy?  Do we embody hope? Do we examine our motives and our conscience?  Do we seek enablers in our lives or do we gather honest, authentic friends around us who love us enough to be careful mirrors?  

We are imperfect creatures, framed by time and space.  Our souls either languish or flourish. They rely on the food and drink we bring them.  They burgeon with prayer.  They wither when they lack Eucharist, Scripture and dialog with Christ.

Our innermost heart is our core which either collapses with neglect or flowers with grace.  Our minds are fed by the images and words we select as most worthy of holding and remembering.  Our bodies weary from their world journey, yet hum with joy when we nourish them well.

Being remnant is a difficult task.  It makes the decision to return after waywardness.  It makes the decision to strengthen its bonds even if it has remained.

Being remnant is an arduous task.  It calls for holding on in the face of impossibility.  It requires that we turn away from the hectic social demands on our time and space.

Being remnant is a beautiful gift. It demands that we make a refuge each moment of every day  to reconnect with God. And it obliges us to look at Murillo’s painting to ask and answer the questions: Who am I?  One of the Sons?  The Forgiving Parent?  The Obliging Servant?  Am I Remnant?  Am I Hope?

Adapted from a Favorite written on June 7, 2008.

We remember our Lenten practice. Rather than thinking: “Let us make three tents to contain the joy of God’s wisdom,” let us think instead, “Let us share the joy of God’s great gift of love”.

Some ancient manuscripts contain verse 44 while others lack it. For commentary on this verse and parable, visit: http://biblehub.com/commentaries/matthew/21-44.htm

Tomorrow, the Samaritan woman. 


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