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habakkuk2[1]

Sunday, October 11, 2020Habakkuk 2

Self-Knowledge

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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Psalm 130:5: Wait for God

Thursday, June 27, 2019

I wait for Yahweh, my soul waits for him, I rely on his promise, my soul relies on the Lord more than a watchman on the coming of dawn.

I imagine that a watchman feels great relief with the advent of the first rays of light.  The strain of peering through darkness, watching for an enemy that may or may not be present must be endured . . . else the entire city or camp is put in danger.  All of this readiness and waiting are sometimes too difficult to bear.

God says: I know that you seek me and this is good.  The more you seek, the more you realize my love for you.  I, too, yearn to have you secure with me.  Remember that I always keep my promises . . . and I have plans for your welfare, not your woe.  You cannot imagine the wonderful serenity and bliss I have in mind for you.  I love you still.  I love you always.  Wait for me.  Watch for me.  I am with you even now. 

May you fully know the intense love God has for you.  Trust in him alone.  He is the source of all that is good.


A re-post from June 13, 2012.

Image from: http://songsofmarkcote.blogspot.com/2010/09/new-dawn.html 

As you wait for God, look through some of the reflections in The Book of Our Life page on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/the-book-of-our-life/

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Ezekiel 48:35: The Lord is Here – Part I

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Michaelangelo: The Prophet Ezekiel (The Sistine Chapel, The Vatican)

Michelangelo: The Prophet Ezekiel (The Sistine Chapel, The Vatican)

We have looked at the book of Ezekiel perhaps a dozen times but today we focus on the last four words of this prophecy that describes the New Jerusalem in the New Kingdom:  The Lord is here.

Ezekiel’s prophecy tells us that there is hope after judgment.  The prophet, a priest who was carted away to Babylon with the early exiles, uses the sharp contrast between the destruction of the defiled earth-bound temple and the restoration of the purified divine temple – which we now understand through the New Testament story to be Jesus and then ultimately all of us as Jesus’ mystical body. Ezekiel also uses the beautiful imagery of the watchman calling in the darkness to announce the New Jerusalem, along with four visions and five parables.  His story is filled with symmetry, “hammering repetitions and . . . non-traditional prose”.  (ARCHEOLOGICAL STUDY BIBLE 1213) And all of this he does to get our attention, and to bring us to focus on the last words of his prophecy: The Lord is Here.  And we ask: where?

In the flurry of international, national and local news, we might well wonder, where is the Lord? In the rush of heavy schedules, hectic days and anxious nights, we might well ask, where is the Lord? In our private and public lives, in our bodies, hearts and minds, we feel the worries and hopes of a waiting world, and we might well voice the question, where is the Lord? And in each circumstance, in every life, Ezekiel reminds us with his compelling verses, the Lord is here.

When we spend time with this prophecy today, we have the opportunity to feel the presence of God as we remember and reflect . . . we are Easter People . . . and the Lord is among us.

Adapted from a Favorite written on September 15, 2007. 

ARCHAEOLOGICAL STUDY BIBLE (NIV). Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2005. 1312. Print.

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