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Posts Tagged ‘The Narrow Way’


Wisdom 6: Seek Wisdom

Friday, November 10, 2017

A Favorite from November 11, 2009.

My daughter and I are praying for a common cause these past few days and I just found this morning that we each picked up a Bible and turned to the same verse.  It spoke to each of us about the cause we hold between us.  We are praying for someone who “lords it over” others and on the same day at nearly the same hour we stumble upon the same verse.  We are all more connected in more ways than we know and understand.  We ought to try to be more aware of this . . . especially regarding those whom we perceive to be enemies.  We need to pray more for them, and we need to pray more for all of us.

Jesus tells us (John 15) that he is the vine and we are the branches, and he reminds us that we can do nothing in and of ourselves; we must rely totally on God.  He also tells us that we are so loved that we will be pruned and tended so that we will bear fruit to nourish the world.  This pruning will be painful but it is essential for our own transformation . . . and for the transformation of the world.  It is in our willingness to sacrifice ourselves for the good of others that we find our best selves, our true potential.  It is in this self-giving that we reach out and embrace Christ and the work he has in mind for us.  It is through this work – completed in love with the one who knows all suffering and all pain – it is through the Narrow Way and through This One that we find our own divinity.

Hear, therefore . . . hearken! 

Authority for this divine work comes from Christ himself.  God alone decides.  We cannot presume to understand the complexity of God’s plan; nor ought we decide what tasks are ours to take up or to put down.

The Lord shows no partiality nor does the Lord fear greatness.

When we allow our fear and anxiety to get in the way of our own conversion, we behave as though God cannot handle the difficulties in our path; yet we know that God is capable of all.  With God, all things are possible.

For the first step toward discipline is a very earnest desire for Wisdom.

We find strength to do what we must do when we sink into the comfort offered by the Holy Spirit.  With patience, with silence, and with waiting . . . Wisdom arrives to accompany her handmaidens whom she sends out into the world.

Hear, therefore . . . and hearken! 

And let us pray . . .

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Luke 12:33-48: Being Prepared

 Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Old wooden treasure chest with strong glow from inside.

Today’s Noontime begins and ends with two sayings or two mantras we might allow to hum within when we feel ourselves slipping onto a byway rather than the straight road to Christ.  Our treasure lies in what we store.  And those who have been given much have much to return.  Both of these refrains call us to think about what serve us well: relationships that have meaning and depth and significance . . . relationships that are eternal.

In this chapter of his story, Luke records many sayings and stories of Jesus that speak to us about the importance of being prepared for God’s arrival.  Jesus asks us to think about how we spend our time.  What do we labor to store up?  Goods?  Memories?  Works?  Fruit of our labor?  And once stored, what do we do with our treasure?  Keep it?  Divide it?  Dole it out?  Share it?

We are asked to prepare ourselves so that once we arrive at the feast we will not be escorted from the party as was the unprepared guest in Matthew 22 who had come to celebrate but was unprepared.  We are asked to be faithful, hopeful and loving.  We are asked to witness, to watch and to wait.  We are asked to be prepared, just as we are with our burglar alarms, our bank accounts and our degrees and awards.  We are asked to tend to the work that matters, the work of kingdom-building.

From last evening’s MAGNIFICAT prayer we might gain some insight and strength as we pray:

For those whose works of love meet opposition: protect them from discouragement and harm.

For those whose fidelity is assailed by criticism: defend them from the temptation to abandon their commitment to the Gospel.

For those who have died at the hands of persecutors: raise them up in joy. 

We do well to help one another in the pilgrimage we make together.

We do well to lay up stores of good works for the treasure house.

We do well to share the gifts we are freely given because . . . where our treasure lies, that is where we spend eternity . . . what we have, we are given to share . . . and once shared, this rich abundance goes out to return a hundred fold.  We do well to be prepared. 

Adapted from a reflection written on May 25, 2009.

Cameron, Peter John. “Prayer for the Evening.” MAGNIFICAT. 25.5 (2009). Print.  

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Ezekiel 13False Prophets

Tuesday, May 31, 2016wolf_in_sheeps_clothing

Say to those who prophesy their own thought: hear the word of the Lord . . . I am coming to you, says the Lord God. 

Yesterday we reflected on evil leaders.  Today we spend time praying and thinking about false prophets.  Who are they in our lives?  How have we been false prophets ourselves?

Say to those who prophesy their own thought: hear the word of the Lord . . . I am coming to you, says the Lord God. 

Yesterday we reflected on how evil leaders operate, how they appear to working for good and may even use the vocabulary we come to expect from those who walk in the light.  Today we meditate on how we might be lured into following the broad road rather than the narrow path.

Say to those who prophesy their own thought: hear the word of the Lord . . . I am coming to you, says the Lord God. 

Yesterday we reflected on those who surround evil leaders to enable them in their dark work.  Today we think and pray about those whose gestures and actions appear to have divine inspiration but do not.

Say to those who prophesy their own thought: hear the word of the Lord . . . I am coming to you, says the Lord God. 

We notice that God does not remain silent when evil operates.  We see that God speaks to darkness.  We understand that even the dark ones are offered the opportunity to allow their pain to transform them.

Say to those who prophesy their own thought: hear the word of the Lord . . . I am coming to you, says the Lord God. 

When we are doubtful about false and true leaders and prophets, we might remember that our courage, strength and perseverance lie in and with God.  When we read scripture, when we join in liturgy, when we try to do as Jesus does, when we open ourselves to the Holy Spirit . . . this is how we will know what to think, what to say, and how to act.  And so we pray.

When silence is more attractive than fidelity to the truth: Our God, remember us.

When approval is more desirable than perseverance in good: Our strength, abide with us.

When safety is more appealing than suffering for righteousness’ sake: Our Lord, transform and heal us. 

When we celebrate and commemorate the gift of the Holy Spirit, we remember that it is impossible for us to discern  false and true leaders and prophets on our own.  We can only maneuver life’s treacherous waters when we rely on the Spirit who will tell us where to go and what to say.  If we want to live with less fear, if we want to transform the lives of our enemies and even our own lives, we might remember: Say to those who prophesy their own thought: hear the word of the Lord . . . I am coming to you, says the Lord God. 

This is a promise worth remembering.

Adapted from a favorite written on May 31, 2009.

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Lord by wisdom founded the earth . . .

The Lord by wisdom founded the earth . . .

Proverbs 3:19-35

Adornment

The Lord by wisdom founded the earth, established the heavens by understanding; by God’s knowledge the depths break open, and the clouds drop down dew.  My child, let not these counsels slip out of your sight: keep advice and counsel in view; so will they be life to your soul, and an adornment for your neck.  Then you may securely go your way; your foot never stumble; when you lie down, you need not be afraid; when you rest, your sleep will be sweet.  Honor is the possession of wise ones, but fools inherit shame.

We purchase and wear jewelry.  We match the perfect tie with the shirt and suit.  We drive automobiles that bespeak our status.  We live in neighborhoods that reflect our values.  What sort of wisdom adorns our necks?  With what activity do we nurture our souls?  Where do we store God’s counsel and advice?  Nearby . . . or well out of view?

God says: The advice I lend to you ought not weigh you down; my counsel is meant to lift you from your troubles.  My knowledge out not burden you; my understanding is meant to open doors for you.  My words ought not frighten or alienate you: My Word comes to rescue you and to make you secure.  My Wisdom keeps your foot from stumbling along The Narrow Way.  Friendship with me brings you honor.  Shame does not touch those who remain faithful to me.  Wear me in a place where you can touch me often.  Carry me with you everywhere and at all times.  Hold me close to you . . . for I hold you ever close to me.   Sleep well this night and all nights . . . for I am with you.

Enter the word fools in the blog search bar and ponder the value of adorning ourselves with God’s Wisdom.

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