Posts Tagged ‘waiting’


Sunday, October 11, 2020Habakkuk 2


I will stand at my guard post, and station myself upon the rampart, and keep watch to see what he will say to me, and what answer he will give to my complaint.

Habakkuk is a prophet who “questions the ways of God . . . and calls him to account for his government of the world”. (Senior 1150)  We too, might have reason to argue with God about his ways of governing; we too, might engage God in conversation and then await his reply.  Especially in this day at this time.

If it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late.  The rash man has no integrity; but the just man, because of his faith, shall live. 

In Chapter 2, Habakkuk describes for us the evil which will accompany greed, and excessive wealth and power.  Despoilers will eventually suffer the consequences they have inflicted on others.  Those who live by violence will be victims of violence themselves.  These words sound much like those of Christ . . . The measure that you measure with is measured out to you.  (Luke 6:38)

Bishop Robert F. Morneau tells us that we are identified by how we interact with others and with God; our very identity comes through our interactions which in turn bring clarity or self-knowledge.  He reminds us that “we are a mystery made in the image and likeness of God,” that “our identity comes in relationships,” and that “lack of self knowledge is fundamentally tragic” in that we miss a precious opportunity to know God and to know self when we refuse to ask tough questions of ourselves and when we neglect prayer and scripture for quick comfort and superficial connections.

Habakkuk did not have this problem.  He asked the creator the universal human question: Why do the evil flourish while the just suffer?  And then he stands at his guard post, stations himself on the rampart, and keeps watch.  In Chapter two of this prophecy we hear the answer Habakkuk receives: Woe to those who neglect themselves and the relationships they have with others.  Hearing this, Habakkuk calls us to seek God, and he calls us to search ourselves.

What is it that stops us from looking deep inside?  Perhaps we are afraid we might discover that we are the evil one from time to time.  Maybe we fear that we cannot meet our own expectations.  Yet all of this insecurity and all of this trembling are smoothed away in the mystery of God’s plan for there is one who walks among us to lay a restorative hand upon our shaky spirit.  This one, God’s Word, is an expression in human form of God’s love.  This one, the risen Christ, forgives, heals, blesses, and opens all the windows and doors we have carefully shut.  It is through this one, Jesus, that we realize our best and truest identity as the adopted children of God.

We can be certain that once we enter into an open relationship with God that, despite our inability to understand God’s plan, we will better understand who we are and what part we are to play in this mystery that unfolds before us daily.  If it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late.  The rash man has no integrity; but the just man, because of his faith, shall live. 

When we seek God, we also seek ourselves. 

When we question God, we also question ourselves. 

When we find God . . . we also find ourselves.

So, let us stand upon the rampart with Habakkuk; let us raise our questions to the creator; and let us welcome the gift of self-knowledge that comes from this intimacy with God.

Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990.1150. Print.

Morneau, Robert F.  REFLECTIONS FOR ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS: Waiting in Joyful Hope. January 2, 2010. Collegeville, Minnesota, Liturgical Press, 2009. 88-89. Print.

Adapted from a reflection written on January 2, 2010.

For more words of wisdom from this prophet, type the word Habakkuk into the blog search bar.

For an online study in giving thanks through troubled times, click on the image above or go to: http://deebrestin.com/2012/11/thanksgiving-in-troubled-times-two-week-study/

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Ezekiel 39:25-29: Restoration After Hiatus

Monday, October 21, 2019

Govert Flink: Issac Blessing Jacob

When we look at the life of Jacob we might be tempted to look at the story of his deeds or accomplishments: his early toying with deceit, his growing ability to focus persistently on a goal, his fathering of twelve sons who lead the Twelve Tribes of Israel.  When we look more closely we see that rather than a rising and falling arc of “doings” what we really find is a string of actions that are separated by pauses.  What Jacob has mastered is not so much the “doing” of life but the thoughtful hiatus.

In the story of Jacob we see that are many periods of hiatus in which he is separated from all he loves by either his own actions or the events that swirl around him.  When we reflect a bit more on Jacob, we might also see how and if and whether we experience hiatus in our own lives.  Today’s Noontime calls us to reflect on the goal we all have in mind when we are in a state of hiatus.  We yearn for the reunion, the curing, the re-construction, the bridging, the healing . . . the restoration.

We know that the lands and fortunes of the tribes of Jacob are indeed restored . . . and then lost again.  The people wander away from the lesson they thought they had learned during exile.  Their hubris and their lack of willingness to listen to and for the voice within gets in their way, they become easily distracted, and wander into the wilderness again to lose what they had regained.  Fortunately for humans, God forgives endlessly.  The prophet Ezekiel reminds us of this.

When we experience hiatus well we have the opportunity to learn much about ourselves.

We come to know that the Lord is our God, before whom no other god may stand.  These other gods may be our desire for wealth, looks, fashion, friends, prestige, life style, addiction – anything which separates us from God.

We experience the New Law of Love, the Law of the Beatitudes which Jesus brought us on the Mount (Matthew) and on the Plain (Luke).

We become people who do not fear poverty, illness or rejection suffered as the result of Kingdom Building and Kingdom Living.

We become light and salt and yeast to the world.  We are to be brothers and sisters together shouting with joy that God is good.

We become to be harvesters who go forth weeping to return singing.

We become people who are Jesus in a world which is not.

We become people who wait for, and hope for, and work for Restoration.

And this is the Restoration which awaited the tribes of Jacob.  It is the same restoration which comes to all those who wait actively, seek patiently, and witness persistently.

This is a Way worth following.  It is a Life worth living.


To explore how hiatus figures in Jacob’s life and in our own, go to the A Journey Hiatus in the Journeys of Transformation page on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/a-journey-of-transformation/a-journey-hiatus/

Image from: https://www.thinkingfaith.org/articles/jesus-who-do-you-think-you-are-1-abraham-isaac-and-jacob

First written on October 6, 2008.  Re-written and posted today as a Favorite.

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2 Samuel 13Seeking Intimacy

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Desire, love, lust.  Lashing back in hurt and surprise, angry retaliation, calculated revenge.  Family relations churn and twist as we read this story which is similar and yet different from the stories of Bathsheba and Dinah, as the HARPER COLLINS COMMENTARY points out.  Family values and family sickness shatter human lives as these people roil in deceit and turmoil.  David, the father, king and leader, does nothing . . . can do nothing . . . but watch as his family self destructs – for he himself is culpable.  As the commentary states: David’s hands are tied because his sons are merely mimicking his own sick behavior.  These people seek intimacy with one another and with God . . . and do not find it . . . because they look in the wrong place.  True intimacy lies in the process, in the journey, in the progress of the soul.

From today’s MAGNIFICAT:

There are two messages today: first, we have to hold on to absolute responsibility for real order and commitment to the Lord God.  Second, the fundamental character of life is a true waiting, hard for Occidentals to comprehend, especially for modern people.  Life means waiting, not Faust-like grasping, but waiting and being ready.  We are waiting for the terror of the night, and waiting for the day when this terror will have passed.  “The people will languish from fearful expectation”.  Anyone who remains stuck, waiting in fearful expectation just to see whether or not he will survive, has not yet laid bare the innermost strata.  For the fearful expectation was sent to us in order to remove our false sense of security and behind it is this other metaphysical waiting that is part of existence.  Man is always in danger of rooting himself, of running aground.  Over and over again, life will shake anyone who waits in that way, in order to make him hurry out to meet what is coming.  Then what vitality he has been given will come to life.  Then he will feel that life goes above and beyond individual lives.  Only in this way will he be truly human, by living above and beyond himself, waiting for the final reality.  That is the reason for this striving and seeking further and knowing it will one day come: to wait until the lights flare up. 

We have more expectation than earth can grant, because what we encounter in only a piece of reality, a piece of creation.  We are waiting for the fulfillment of a promise: You will one day possess all this because God, as God, is himself reality, realness, and intimacy.

Father Alfred Delp, S.J.  – condemned to death in Germany in 1945

If we might only think about the dual choice that faces us daily – complaining or rejoicing.

If we might only seek what is best for us today – our singular selves or our unity with God.

If we might only become one with God today . . . and all days . . . how much better we might see God’s creation and our place in it.

For some beautiful images of God’s creation in the Canadian Rockies visit Patrick Latter’s Photography blog at: http://hikingphoto.com/ or click on the image above.

Cameron, Peter John, Rev., ed. “Meditation for the Day.” MAGNIFICAT. 1 July 2008. Print.

Mays, James L., ed.  HARPERCOLLINS BIBLE COMMENTARY. New York, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1988. 270-271. Print.

Image from: http://hikingphoto.com/

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Habakkuk 1:2-4The Prophet’s Complaint

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The Prophet Habakkuk

We visited with the prophet Habakkuk twice last year and today we open again to . . .

How long, O Lord?  I cry for help but you do not listen!

Prophets are not a happy people.  They see and foresee.  They remember and they know.  They remind us and for the most part we do not listen.

Prophets are about waiting, listening and witnessing.  They hear, they taste, and they feel.  They bring God’s word to us and for the most part we do not want to hear.

Prophets are blessed.  They have an intimate relationship with God.  God trusts them with his word.  Prophets know that they have no choice but to speak the word they hear for if they do not, they perish eternally.

Prophets are among us today just as vibrantly and as importantly as they were when Israel suffered through her separation and exile.  We cannot exist without them although many times we think we might like to silence them.

What part of my life do I live as a prophet?  Do I speak what God wants me to speak or is it my ego which speaks?

Do I shun the prophet within me?  Do I shun the prophet I see in the face of a friend?

Unless I want to live by a code of perverted justice, I must let the prophets around me speak to me and I must listen.

Unless I want to live a life with no fire, I must listen to the prophet within.

Habakkuk’s Canticle at the end of Chapter 3 tells us how to live in right relationship with God . . . and we might use these words as a daily prayer.

For though the fig tree blossom not nor fruit be on the vines, thought the yield of the olive fail and the terraces produce no nourishment, though the flocks disperse from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet will I rejoice in the Lord and exult in my saving God.  God, my strength, he makes my feet swift as those of hinds and enables me to go sit upon the heights.


A re-post from January 22, 2012.

Image from: http://frbenedict.blogspot.com/2010/12/holy-prophet-habakkuk.html

For more on the prophet Habakkuk click the image above or go to:  http://frbenedict.blogspot.com/2010/12/holy-prophet-habakkuk.html

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St. Gertrude the Great 1256-1302

1 Maccabees 16: Seek Kindness

Monday, November 27, 2017

Adapted from a reflection written on November 15, 2009. In memoria for my mother who always preached Killing with Kindness

The name Maccabees means the hammer and as we read through these books in scripture we experience a great deal of violence in the name of God.  These books are stories about “the attempted suppression of Judaism in Palestine in the second century B.C.  . . . [The author’s] purpose in writing is to record the salvation of Israel which God worked through the family of Matthias . . . Implicitly the writer compares their virtues and their exploits with those of the ancient heroes, the Judges, Samuel, and David”.  (Senior 550)  Portions of this book may be used when dedicating an altar . . . or when praying for persecuted Christians.  The lesson here is that living the life of an apostle of Christ will inevitably include bloodshed – whether it be spiritual, mental or physical.  Each time I pray to my Mother for a special intercession, I find myself in this story.  She, the gentlest of shepherds, realized real battles in her life.  Her slogan was: Kill them with kindness. 

St. Gertrude of Nivelles (626-659)

There is no avoiding the central message of Jesus’ life: When in doubt, exercise kindness and compassion . . . and listen for the word of God to tell us which way to turn, when to pause, when to proceed.  Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St. Gertrude.  My mother and my sister – both deceased – are named for this saint.  Both of these women had a plodding, patient persistence when confronted with evil, and they were formidable and unmoved when it came to right and wrong.  The Morning Prayer for tomorrow begins with a verse from Isaiah (30:15): By waiting and by calm you shall be saved, in quiet and in trust your strength lies.  I reflect on the betrayal and carnage we witness when we read Maccabees.  The deception of the son of Abubus who gives the faithful a deceitful welcome shakes me to the core.  There is nothing more wicked than luring in the innocent to later spring up, weapons in hand, to rush upon the loyal servant of God – thus repaying good with evil.

What do we do when we are witness to this?  We are utterly astounded as is John in today’s reading.  We go to God who tells us to shake the dust of the unfaithful from our feet and move on.  And we do as my mother always recommended: Kill them with kindness.

Gertrude the Great was a German Benedictine mystic with a special dedication to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. A number of her writings are still in publication today. Gertrude of Nivelles founded an abbey with her mother, Itta, in present day Belgium. She is the patron saint of gardens and cats. 

Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990.550. Print.   

Cameron, Peter John. “Prayer for the Morning.” MAGNIFICAT. 16.11 (2009). Print.  

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Zephaniah 1: De-Creation – Part VII

Holy Saturday, April 15, 2017

At that time I will explore Jerusalem with lamps . . .

From Richard Rohr’s A SPRING WITHIN US, we find a challenge that we might explore on this day when we await a loving God who has descended into hell for each of us.

“The Path of Descent could be called the metanarrative of the Bible. It is so obvious and so consistent and so constant that it’s hidden in plain sight . . . God isn’t really the great theme of the Bible. God isn’t really taught in the Bible; God is assumed. There’s never any question that there is a Transcendent Other. The problem is whether this God is good and trustworthy and how to remain in contact with this subtle Transcendence. The path agreed upon by all the monks, hermits, mystics, and serious seekers was a path of descent and an almost-complete rejection of the ego’s desire for achievement, performance, success, power, status, war, and money. The emptiness, waiting, needing, and expecting of the path of descent created a space within where God could show Godself as good, as loving, and faithful”. (Rohr’s italics. Rohr 112-113)

Rohr reminds us that God uses unlikely figures to lead. This new kind of power has no power. Rohr reminds us that we must stumble and fall before we stand and succeed. Loss and mourning teach us humility and grace. Rohr explains that the ego does not like to bear crosses or to suffer; yet these burdens bring us to a new place of self-discovery and sharing. Flawed and wounded women and men teach us more than the famous or wealthy. Rohr reminds us that the Messiah came to us as a defenseless child, dependent on others, a member of a marginalized and oppressed people.

Rohr urges us to discover how we might stumble so that we might grow, how we might lose and still remain faithful despite our doubts and fears. He urges us to discover, and to follow, the path of descent. He asks us to remain in this Messiah who descends into hell so that we might live. He asks us to allow ourselves to be de-created in Christ so that we might then be renewed in Christ.

On this Holy Saturday, let us be Remnant for God. 

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

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Holy Saturday, April 19, 2014


John 7:37-39


Yesterday we reflected on God’ invitation to us that we enter into an intimate relationship with the Word. Today as we rest in the promise that Christ returns in a way we cannot understand, we discover how or if, when or why we thirst to know more about God. If you did not listen to the long version of the Avivah Zornberg interview with Krista Tippett yesterday . . . take the time today. Record questions. Initiate discussions. And in this Holy Week that begins today, share the story of your personal exodus, transformation and redemption.


laying jesus in the tomb

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