Keep your eyes open!...

Tribulation Times

Subscribe                     Unsubscribe                     View Archives


July 7, 2015  

(Amo 3:6-8) Shall the trumpet sound in a city, and the people not be afraid? Shall there be evil in a city, which the Lord hath not done? For the Lord God doth nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets. The lion shall roar, who will not fear? The Lord God hath spoken, who shall not prophesy?


MARK MALLETT: The Hour of Lawlessness
MYSTICS OF THE CHURCH: The Great Storm Is Coming Upon Us
BLOG: Those who live in the Spirit will never be at home in the world, and indeed the world will hate them

PROPHETIC NOVENA FOR OUR TIMES: O Jesus I Surrender Myself to You


It’s not easy to be centred, rooted, secure in who we are, able to give the world our best. More commonly, we find ourselves adrift, unsure of ourselves, with most of what’s best in us still frustrated, buried, waiting for a better day. Too many things, it seems, conspire against us living out what’s truest and best inside us.

We’d like to be grounded, be ourselves, have a clear direction in life, be free of compulsions, and live out more our dignity, goodness, and creativity; but too many things push us the opposite way. Ideology, anger, bitterness, envy, restlessness, confusion, moral compromise, and the simple need to get by, all pull us down and we end up giving into various compensations (as substitutes for what we really want) and thus quietly despair of ever carrying our dignity, talents, and solitude at any high level.

Why does it happen? The fault is with prayer, or lack of it. We cannot stay steady in a churning sea without a good anchor, cannot avoid giving into compensation unless what’s highest in us is given enough expression, and cannot deal with the issues of finitude unless we have some transcendent focus. Unless we are anchored in something beyond the here and now there is a good chance that we will drown in the present moment.

Jesus models the kind of prayer we need to cope with a world that goes mad at times and with a heart prone to drink in that madness. The gospels describe Jesus praying in different ways, but sometimes they simply say: “He turned his eyes towards heaven!” The same expression is used of other great faith-figures – Stephen, Paul, the early martyrs – and it’s used of them at those times when the forces of madness are precisely threatening to kill them. When the world around them is going mad, they “turn their eyes towards heaven.” The phrase hasn’t been lost on artists.

Virtually every painting of someone being martyred has this motif, the martyr has his or her eyes lifted up towards heaven, in contrast to the eyes of the executioners and onlookers which are cast downwards in hatred, envy, and group-think or in the blank stare of mindlessness.

Jesus lifted his eyes towards heaven and that freed him of hatred, envy, group-think, and mindlessness. What does this mean? How did he turn his eyes towards heaven?

What made Jesus different (and what makes any prayerful person different) is not intellectual insight, superior willpower, less fiery emotions, or monastic withdrawal from the temptations of the world.

Prayer is not a question of insight, of being smarter than anyone else; nor of will, of being stronger than anyone else; nor of emotional restraint or sexual aloofness, of being less passionate than anyone else; nor of withdrawal, of being less exposed to temptation than anyone else. Prayer is a question of unity and surrender, of uniting one’s will with someone else and surrendering one’s will to that other. Prayer is the desire to be in union with someone, especially in union with that other’s will.

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Humility

18. Poemen said, 'Moses asked the monk Zacharias, who was dying, 'What can you see?" He said, "Nothing better than being silent, abba." Moses said, "Indeed, my son, keep silent.  At the moment of his death Isidore looked up to heaven, and said, "Rejoice, my son Zacharias, for the gates of the kingdom of heaven are opened to you."'

Prayer request?  Send an email to: [email protected]

This month's archive can be found at: