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Posts Tagged ‘Maurice Zundel’


Acts 24: Listening to the Voice Within

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Paul Before Felix

Do we unite? Do we divide?  Do we disrupt?  Do we bring peace?  Do we shun and set aside?  Do we call together and make room?  Do we take?  Do we share?  Do we hide?  Do we reveal?  Do we tear down?  Do we make new?

When we hear Jesus speak about division rather than peace in Luke 12 and Matthew 10 we think at first that we have misunderstood his words but no . . . this is what he says:  I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!  But I have a baptism  to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed!  Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.  From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three.  They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.  (Matthew 12:49-53Jesus tells us that there will be times when we will put ourselves in danger and that when we do he will accompany us to guide us.  We will have to listen for his voice within.

Paul finds himself up against great odds; he faces the lies of false accusers.  How does he react?  How does he go on?  He relies on God, he looks to the risen Christ, and he allows the Spirit to speak through him.

When we find ourselves in dark places with people we thought we knew but whom we now see as strangers, we too will need to know how to react.  We will need to know what to do.  And so we must also listen to God within and allow the Spirit to speak through us.

We continue with more thoughts from Fr. Zundel’s meditation from yesterdayHence [we have] the image of greatness that can only express itself by dominating others, using dependence as a pedestal.  Our natural desire to be great, contaminated by  this image, inevitably develops in this direction as a craving for power, of which Jesus alone has radically cured us be revealing that God’s inner life is an eternal communion of love . . . A totally new notion of greatness comes to light in this infinite giving, which is God himself, something we are meant to imitate in ourselves by interacting with him . . . it is these moments of self-liberation that we best know God and experience him most strongly as the supreme and innermost reality within ourselves. 

St. Paul found that voice within . . . and he allowed it to speak in and through his own words and actions.  We see him converting others to The Way from his prison cell even as his own life dwindles in its years here on earth.  He does not seek greatness or power.  He seeks to do God’s will, and in this act . . . he has greatness.  A greatness far beyond any mortal fame or supremacy.  When I find myself up against power which wishes to control, or power which acts in passive aggression, I am frightened and anxious.  It is in these moments that I remember stories like today’s from Acts 24 . . . and I always ask myself:  What do I fear?  And as I sort through my confusion and alarm . . . knowing that I must unscramble myself in order to do God’s will . . . I become still as something wells up inside of me and whispers in my innermost ear: You know what to do, listen to the Voice Within.


A re-post from May 3, 2012.

Image from: http://tyotb.blogspot.com/2012/03/pauls-trial-before-felix-acts-25.html

For more on Paul’s trial before Felix click on the image above or go to: http://tyotb.blogspot.com/2012/03/pauls-trial-before-felix-acts-25.html

Cameron, Peter John, Rev., ed. “Meditation of the Day.” MAGNIFICAT. 28 February 2008: 396-397. Print.

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Acts 24: Listening to the Voice Within

Friday, May 17, 2019

Paul Before Felix

As we journey with Paul we find that he overcomes huge obstacles by relying on God.  Today and tomorrow we spend some time reflecting on what we might learn about ourselves when we quiet our minds and hearts to listen to God’s voice within.  Written on February 28, 2008 and posted today as a Favorite . . .

The charges against Paul are connived and false.  The people who hate him collude to find a means to his end.  They want to silence him.  They want him to go away.  The best charge which they can hang on him is like the one which spelled Jesus’ doom: the charge of treason against Caesar, the charge that he is trying to establish another kingdom . . . and in this his accusers are correct. This is the paradox of the Gospel and Letters.  This is the redeeming grace of the New Testament story.  We are saved by Jesus and these early apostles and disciples, men and women who saw, understood, and would not be swayed.  They stood up to power, to structure, to corruption, to anything that was anti-Jesus.  They were affirmed in these convictions by the Resurrected Christ, and so are we today.

The readings today for Morning Prayer and Mass are about our human tendency to be stiff-necked and thick-brained.  How can we say we are for Jesus when we act against him?  The readings are also about knowing how to live . . . by listening to the Voice Within.

This is the nation that does not listen to the voice of the Lord, its God.  (The Prophet Jeremiah in Chapter 7)

If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.  (The Holy Spirit in Psalm 95)

Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.  (Jesus in Matthew Chapter 11)

Children stop their ears to keep from hearing bad news: an angry parent, an unwelcome order, an unpleasant prohibition.  As adults, we sometimes stop the ears of our heart to keep from hearing God’s voice, lest there too we hear bad news, only to discover that we have shut out the good news of his incredible love for us.  (MAGNIFICAT, Feb 2008, page 390.)

The mystery of God’s voice is that we hear and understand God best through the diverse voices of Yahweh’s people.  When we are open to the diverse others whom God created, we develop our capacity to hear the inner voice, the Voice Within.

How good and pleasant it is when brothers live in unity!  (Psalm 133:1)  Unity is the work of God, wrought in Jesus Christ.  Division is the work of evil.  During Lent, let us examine our own contributions to the unity that gives peace or the division that sows suffering in the world around us.  (MAGNIFICAT, page 397.)

The temptation to turn ourselves into gods . . . presupposes that we perceive God essentially as a power capable of coercing us by crushing our autonomy.  (Fr. Maurice Zundel, MAGNIFICAT Feb 2008 Meditation, page 396.)

Today we read about Paul and Felix, two players in God’s plan as the church of Christ beings to flourish.  We see power that wishes to crush.  We also see power that hesitates . . . because hearts are softened when they listen to the Voice Within.  In today’s reading, we also see opportunities seized . . . and opportunities left to drift in passive aggression.  We see captivity.  We see freedom.  As we read this story today, we might well find our own place in the drama.  Are we Paul?  Are we Felix?  Are we Ananais?  Are we Drusilla?  Are we Porcius Festus?  Do we go to God in union with others?  Do we create division either by an overt act of commission . . . or a covert act of omission?  Do we join?  Do we bridge?  Do we unite?  Do we give?  Do we love?

Let us spend a bit time this evening to reflect on these questions . . . and to listen for the Voice Within.


A re-post from May 2, 2012.

Image from: http://crystalmarylindsey.blogspot.com/2011/12/do-you-see-world-with-eye-blinders.html

Cameron, Peter John, Rev., ed. “Meditation of the Day.” MAGNIFICAT. 28 February 2008: 396-397. Print.

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Luke 8:1-3: Ministering Women – Part II

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Bernardino Luini:The Conversion of the Magdalene

Bernardino Luini:The Conversion of the Magdalene

A Favorite from September 6, 2008.

As the sparrow finds a home and the swallow a nest to settle her young, my home is by your altars, Lord of hosts, my king and my God.  Psalm 84:4

From a MAGNIFICAT Meditation (September 22, 2007) by Father Maurice Zundel, a Swiss mystic, poet, philosopher, liturgist and author who writes about the present Messianic age, the age of Mary: The new vision of woman, that Mary inspires by her presence in our history, constitutes a vital opportunity to establish a truly free world . . . Woman, fashioned after this model, transcending the species and attracting man by the light of her inner life, might suggest a real answer to the condition of contemporary humanity.  She can reveal to man the highest spheres of her own being by embodying the perpetual need to surpass himself.

Does the world of men feel this surpassing and so strive to control it?  Does the world of women feel overwhelmed by this challenge and seek to become like men rather than bloom into full femininity?

Father Zundel continues: We cannot hope to find a human solution to all the problems facing us as long as we fail to recognize our capacity for the infinite, a capacity that unhinges us when it cannot be actualized in a field of expansion as vast as its potential.

We cannot expect to find unity among us if we step back from the challenge given us – this challenge of being infinite – of unifying in the divine corpus of Christ.  If we fail to recognize the pitfall of concentrating on all that divides us, of focusing on our lack rather than on our potential, we cannot live up to this potential.  If we believe that this expansion of which Father Zundel writes is impossible, we fail God.  We lack faith in God’s ability to make all things happen.  We fall into the darkness of doubt, of leaving-well-enough-alone, of despair, of anxiety.

We cannot become frightened of the challenges God gives us.  Rather we must be encouraged by the confidence he places in us.  We must rise to the hope and the potential placed in us.  For in this hope lies the rescue of the world.  In this hope lies our true union with God – our infiniteness.

The potential that God places in each of us is what Jesus saw in the women and men who accompanied him to Jerusalem.  The Hope of God was placed in us – men and women – at birth.  The Spirit of God is nurtured in each of us as God’s children – female and male.

Tomorrow, Jerusalem, the cross and the grave.

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Seventh Sunday of Easter, June 1, 2014

1 John 3

presence ofholinessA Prayer for True Children

The Apostle John repeatedly and earnestly calls us to be true children of God. John, the Beloved Apostle who writes a soaring Gospel of hope and light, brings us the constant message that we can do nothing to earn God’s grace – it is a gift already given. John, one who walked and talked and ate with Jesus, reminds us that as true children of God we have the privilege, and the responsibility, to allow our holiness to take us over . . . and to call forth in others that same holiness in God.

From the July 20, 2010 MAGNIFICAT Sunday Day by Day reflection by Fr. Maurice Zundel: “Holiness is you who have become the Kingdom of God, it is you divinized by the gift of yourself. Precisely, if we see that this [divine life] is about a Presence, about a person-to-person exchange, if we see that each gesture allows us to be in communion with divine life, we will understand that the eternal is now . . . That is exactly what we must do. There is no question for us waiting until the afternoon. It is now, here . . . That is where God is waiting for you. There lies your eternity, your infinite communion, because each human act, if it is a gift of ourselves, is an act creating eternity. There is nothing else to expect. If you die tonight and your day has been full of God, you will be in eternity because you yourselves will have become eternity . . . God is not someone we speak about, he is someone we breathe, whom we communicate through the atmosphere emanating from ourselves. People around you will feel if you are in constant communion with God. There is not a religious action: it is the whole of life that is religious, the whole life or nothing, I repeat, the whole life or nothing”.  

And so in the presence of God’s holiness we pray for holiness as true children of God.

Holiness is you who have become the Kingdom of God, it is you divinized by the gift of yourself . . . and as children of God this is the kingdom we receive as inheritance.

The eternal is now . . . it is here . . . and as children of God we are presently and will always be integral building blocks in the infinite now.

Each human act, if it is a gift of ourselves, is an act creating eternity . . . and as children of God we are bound eternally to the Father.

God is someone we breathe . . . and as children of God we cannot help but inhale and exhale his love for all creation.

It is the whole of life or nothing . . . and as children of God we are content with living out God through the whole of life, through every moment of life . . . or we are content with nothing.

This relationship is a present reality and also part of the life to come . . . and as children of God we are both gifted and gift.

Holiness is you who have become the Kingdom of God, it is you divinized by the gift of yourself . . . and as true children of God this is the inheritance for which we give praise and thanksgiving to God.  This is the inheritance we pass along to others. Amen.

Adapted from a reflection first written on July 20, 2010.

Cameron, Peter John. “Meditation of the Day.” MAGNIFICAT. 20.7 (2010): 33. Print.  

For a look inside the theology of Fr. Maurice Zundel, go to: http://books.google.com/books?id=YX5wW8upXgYC&pg=PA7&lpg=PA7&dq=fr+maurice+zundel&source=bl&ots=NfkHQyaeJ-&sig=hoEa1zPgRflfHY6pQOtB6GM1V0k&hl=en&sa=X&ei=leOBU7SuFYnMsQT8_YLAAg&ved=0CDUQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=fr%20maurice%20zundel&f=false

 

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