Posts Tagged ‘God’s time and plan’

Monday, March 1, 2021

1-Timothy-1-5-1024x819[1]1 Timothy 1:3-11

Our Interior Law

Part V

We can sometimes trick ourselves into believing that we act in accordance with God’s plan when all the while it is our own plan that subtly moves and guides us. It takes a great deal of honesty to plumb our own motivations.

God says: You and I have been thinking about the law that lives within you and how it governs your life. Do not be afraid to open your heart to a quiet self-inspection so that you might discover if you serve the interior law I have planted within you . . . or if you follow some law you have placed in your own heart. You will know if you act for and in me when you see that your work bears fruit through time. Paul tells you today about my instruction coming from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith. These are the signs that you live in me and that you are guided by my interior law . . . rather than by some futile or temporal law.

A pure heart – a willingness to intervene with God on behalf of our enemies rather than seek revenge.

A good conscience – a willingness to hope eternally in the goodness of God’s plan rather than our own.

A sincere faith – a willingness to live eternally in God’s time rather than our own.

Let us spend a few minutes with these verses today to reflect on how we bring God’s interior law into our exterior life.

Image from: http://www.closerdaybyday.info/2011/09/1-timothy-1/

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Monday, February 15, 2021

rock[1]Jeremiah 31:33

God’s Love Letter Part III

I will place my law within them, and write upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they will be my people.

We have the choice to move into union with God or to remain apart. God unfailingly offers an open, standing invitation to become one with all of creation. God asks that we allow our hearts of stone to bear fruit in God’s time and plan.

God says: I tell you endlessly how much I love you and yet you allow your fear to take you over. I tell you constantly that I will never leave you and yet you doubt. I tell you honestly that I forgive you and yet you hesitate. In every moment of your existence I am with you. This is my promise. This is my message. This is your portion as my most beloved one. This is my letter of love to you. 

imagesCABFE3IBSaint Paul reminds the Corinthians and he reminds us that because Christ lives in each one of us we have the power to bring God’s love to the world: You show that you are Christ’s letter, delivered by us. You weren’t written with ink but with the Spirit of the living God. You weren’t written on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. (2 Corinthians 3:2-3)

As we reflect on God’s letter to us, let us offer our hearts of stone to God so that they might become hearts that bear fruit.  And let us also consider how we might act in response to God’s Call to Love.

Images from: http://interiordesignideas-albert.blogspot.com/2009/11/top-picks-haute-heart-shapes-in-nature.html and http://girltomom.com/page/53

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Esther 6: Reward

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Rembrandt: Ahauserus and Haman at Esther’s Feast

We cannot determine God’s timeline and when we watch how his plans unfold in our space and time we see that God has refined the shepherding of billions of souls to a mysterious art.  And it is something that he practices well.  Life is complicated.  God knows that rewarding one creature stirs envy in another.  This is the story of Satan and the fallen angels who succumb to their jealousy.  God knows that giving his creatures the choice to opt for darkness or light means that some of them will fall; but God also knows that his loving compassion leaves many opportunities for reform and changes in outlooks, and so he leaves his plans open . . . in order to work with the creations he so loves.

God is fully aware that his show of mercy stirs jealousy in the hearts of others, and so he prepares plans for these contingences.  We have seen and we have been told and we have experienced the fact that God will always turn harm to good.  The extremity or numbers or layers in any given situation are never too much for God to handle.  He is more than up to the challenge . . . for he is the creator of all we see and experience.

Today’s reading – another of my favorites – takes us to the beginning of another story of how a woman saves a nation.  It takes us to the place in the narrative where we see how the seed of envy blooms into a fully-blown narcissistic tantrum which in the end brings down the initiator rather than the intended victim.  Mordecai, a Jewish man living in the Persian court of King Xerxes (or Ahauserus), and his niece Esther, who is married to this King, have submitted their plea for justice.  The King has responded and now we await the sentence he will deliver.  As the king struggles with the plots that surround him and the information which has been brought to him, he goes back to a former event – a time when Mordecai saved his life by warning him of an assassination plot.  When we read today, we see how the evil plotted against goodness has a way – in God’s plan and in God’s timeline – of returning to visit itself upon the perpetrator.  What happens next to Haman is the very consequence he had wished to deliver to Mordecai and Esther – it is a punishment born out of the darkness of envy, and it goes home to exterminate its originator.

If you have time today, read this story through.  Different Bibles have different methods of presenting the material that was later inserted to flesh out the story but it is worth the trouble of sorting through all of this.  The story of Esther who would rather hide than confront evil with goodness and truth is its own reward.  Today’s lesson that we cannot understand how things will unravel around us is a story to carry in our hearts.  It both cautions us against entertaining ideas of revenge and it bolsters us in our hope that ultimately the light will overcome the darkness.  All is revealed.  All accounts are paid.  In full.  And this is what we have the opportunity to ponder today.

Reward often carries with it the fact that some human beings will covet the good fortune of others.  Some human beings will wish destruction for those who receive gifts from the king.  It remains with us to wait patiently for the ultimate outcome which the just king always delivers.  Those who plot in the darkness are done in by the very mechanism they set into motion.  This is divine justice at its best.  It is for the follower of Christ to discern his or her place in God’s plan, to be patient as events unfold, and to pray for the redemption of those who delight in the darkness.

Written on June 4, 2009 and re-posted today.

Image from: http://www.artbible.info/art/large/94.html

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Luke 12:25: Our Span of Life

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Let go of control AND let God’s life flow. (Rohr 134)

A number of times, we have reflected at noon that when we make certain to devote a portion of each day to time with God, we find that we have more of this precious gift of seconds, minutes, and even hours. Now that I have aged, I smile each time I hear my ego-self say, “I don’t have time to reflect and write today, I have too much to do”. Now that I am wiser, I know from experience that on the days I spend time with scripture, more time appears for me. This is unfailing. Just when I think I can better spend my summer morning in attending Morning Prayer or Mass, I remember the days that magically lengthened when I spent time dedicated to listening for and to God alone. This happens without exception.

“God is moving among the pots and pans” by Lorraine E. Espenhain in Seton Magazine

Teresa of Avila reminds us that God visits us even among the pots and pans and so we can easily dedicate each moment of work and play as an opportunity to experience God through our work and interactions. Once we master the art of giving and doing all for and in God, we will find ourselves praying non-stop, giving our worries over to God, thanking Christ for accompanying us, asking the Spirit to breath patience, prudence and endurance into our minds and hearts.

This paradox may be difficult to believe and so Richard Rohr, OFM reminds us that . . .

“Only when you give up your preoccupation with control will you be able to move with the Divine Flow. Without all the inner voices of resistance and control, it is amazing how much you can get done and not get tired . . . Giving up control is a school of union, compassion, and understanding. It is also a school for the final letting go that we call death. If you practice giving up control early in life, you will be much happier and much closer to the truth, to the moment, and to God – none of which can be experienced if you are doing all the engineering and steering”. (Rohr 135)

We may wish we had learned this lesson earlier in life; but no matter the age of our understanding, the lesson never leaves us once learned. Our scholarship is well worth the effort.

For all your worrying, you cannot add a single moment to your span of life. (NAB)

This message is so difficult.

Can any of you live a bit longer by worrying? (GNT)

This message is so direct.

Can any of you by worrying add an hour to his life? (CJB)

This message is so simple.

And which of you, by taking thought, can add to his stature one cubit? (DRA)

This message is so wonderful.

Has anyone by fussing before the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? If fussing can’t even do that, why fuss at all? (MSG)

This message is so full of promise.

Today we practice the art of letting go so that God might flow within us. When we fully realize that we cannot make events happen that must happen, or prevent circumstance that must occur, we begin to experience the common wonderful gift of living in God’s time rather than our own. And we begin to recognize and appreciate our place in God’s creation.

God’s actions are not measured by time . . . to better understand this concept opened for us by Teresa of Avila, read God is moving among the pots and pans by Lorraine E. Espenhain iSeton Magazine at: http://www.setonmagazine.com/homeschool/general-homeschooling/god-is-moving-among-the-pots-and-pans 

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

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 in our letting go . . . so that we might enter into God’s Common Wonderful.


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Psalm 20: Prayer in Time of War

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Psalm 20 tells us the words we all want to hear: The Lord answer you in time of distress; the name of the God of Jacob defend you!

We do not have to rely on our own resources when we find ourselves in distress.  We only need to rely on God; but this is usually easier said than done.  Sometimes we are called to learn new behaviors.  We are called to move out of comfort zones; but when we do, we take the temple with us for we are temples of God.

May God send you help from the temple, from Zion be your support.

So often we think that no one understands the sacrifices we make in life.  We may feel that no one can empathize with our particular situation.  Sometimes we feel alone and when we do, we now that it is time to take our suffering to God for we can be assured that God understands.  God knows how our sacrifice takes its toll on us.

May God remember your every offering, graciously accept your holocaust.

We make plans every day.  We talk about these plans with others and with God.  And when we do, we must plumb the depths of our heart to find the genesis of these plans.  Do they flow from God?  Do they reflect the Gospel?  Do we knock at heaven’s door with our hearts open and vulnerable to God?  When we ask in Jesus’ name, we receive but always in God’s plan and in God’s time.

Grant what is in your heart, fulfill your every plan.

When we pray to saints, to the Blessed Mother, to our deceased loved ones and to God, we need to present the most difficult problems for resolution.  We need to take our hopes and our dreams to the ones who intervene on our behalf, who nurture us as we grow, the ones who know us so well, the one who created us.

The Lord grant your every prayer!

May we remember in times of goodness and in times of turmoil to turn to God.

The Lord grant your every prayer!

In this Lenten season, may we remember that God forgives.

The Lord grant your every prayer!

As we near the Eastertide, may we ask for an Easter wish . . . and may it be granted!

The Lord answer you in time of distress; the name of the God of Jacob defend you!

The Lord grant your every prayer!


A reflection from March 7, 2008.

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Matthew 7:6: Casting Pearlsoyster-pearl-100903-02

May 4, 2015

Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.

This verse may be deeply meaningful for us when we consider just how precious and rare a genuine pearl is. Produced by layers of nacre, or mother-of-pearl, around a grain of sand, pearls begin as a nuisance and result as an object to be prized. Mollusks lay down deposits once they sense an intrusion in their otherwise placid lives. They transform an obstacle into an object to be admired. If we are pearls of great price, we began as these small irritants . . . and we too, are transformed into beautiful objects to be treasured.

We are holy people. We are temples in which the Holy Spirit abides. We are children of God. We are body, soul, mind and heart. And all of this is a gift from God to be treasured and never taken lightly.

In Song of Songs 3:4 we remember our relationship with God who loves us abundantly.  If we continue to 3:5 we also remember that our lives move best when they move in God’s plan rather than our own. All things, even love, arrive in God’s time, not ours.

Let us recall how loved we are, and determine to return that love to God.

Let us remember how beautiful we are, and decide to live up to that beauty.

Let us recall how priceless we are, and choose to act as though we believe our own good fortune.

For another Noontime reflection on this verse, visit the November 19, 2011 post, Pearls of Great Price at: https://thenoontimes.com/2013/11/19/pearls-of-great-price/

To learn more about how pearls form, click on the image above or visit: http://www.livescience.com/32289-how-do-oysters-make-pearls.html 


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