your eyes open!...
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: http://www.oneyearbibleonline.com/july.asp?version=63&startmmdd=0101
July 24, 2014
THE TRIB TIMES WILL RETURN IN TWO
WEEKS, GOD WILLING (James 4:15).
(Php 1:3-6) I
give thanks to my God in every remembrance of you: Always in all my
prayers making supplication for you all with joy: For your
communication in the gospel of Christ, from the first day unto now.
Being confident of this very thing: that he who hath begun a good work
in you will perfect it unto the day of Christ Jesus.
ROMAN CATHOLIC SPIRITUAL DIRECTION: How do I get Rid of my “inner ugliness?”
RON ROLHEISER, OMI: Patience With God
There’s an adage that says that an atheist is simply someone who cannot
grasp metaphor. Thomas Halik, the Czech writer, would suggest rather
that an atheist is someone who cannot be patient enough with God.
There is a lot of truth in that. Patience with God is perhaps our
greatest faith-struggle. God, it would seem, is never in a hurry and
because of that we live with an impatience that can test the strongest
faith and the stoutest heart.
Life, as we can all attest to, is not without its bitter frustrations
and crushing heartaches. We all live with a lot of pain and unresolved
tensions. Who among us doesn’t experience regularly the pain of
sickness, various kinds of personal and professional failure, some kind
of humiliation, the inadequacy of self-expression, the soul-searing
losses of loved ones, every kind of frustrated longing, and the nagging
pain of life’s inadequacy? In this life, there’s no such a thing as a
clear-cut, pure joy; rather everything comes with shadow. We do in fact
live inside a certain valley of tears.
We are built for happiness, but pure happiness never quite finds us.
Neither, it would seem, does justice. Jesus promised that the
meek would inherit the earth, but mostly it doesn’t seem that way. The
arrogant among us often believe that. There’s an infamous Ziggy cartoon
which shows him praying to God in these words: I just want to let you
know that the meek are still getting clobbered down here! Often that
appears to be the case. So where is God? Where is the truth in Jesus’
promise about the meek inheriting the earth? In the face of
long-standing global injustice we either live in a long-suffering
patience with God or we come to believe that neither God’s promises nor
God’s existence hold true.
When Jesus was dying on the cross, some onlookers where taunting him
and challenging his message with the words: If you are the Son of God,
let him rescue you! In essence: If God is real and your message is
true, proof it right now! And God let Jesus die! The same held true for
Jesus himself in the face of the death of Lazarus. In essence, he was
being challenged: If you possess God’s power in this world and
you love this man, why don’t you save him for dying? Jesus let Lazarus
die! And the first community of disciples, immediately after the
Ascension, painfully struggled with the same question: Jesus is
God and he loves us – so why does he let us die?
Each of us asks that question in our own way because what we want is a
God who rescues us, who intervenes actively for justice and goodness in
this world, who acts visibly now in this life, and who doesn’t let us
get sick and die. None of us want a God who asks us to live in a
life-long patience, predicated on the promise that in the end, whenever
that will be, love and justice will prevail, all tears will be dried,
and all will finally be well. We want life, love, justice, and
consummation now, not in some distant future and only after a lifetime
of heartache. God, as an old Jewish axiom puts it, is never in a hurry!
And so we live with a lot of expressed and unexpressed impatience with
God. Atheists, it would seem, at a certain point just give up on
playing the game and, in essence, say the words: I’ve seen enough; I’ve
waited enough; and it’s not enough! I will no longer wait for God! But
if atheism is just another way of saying I will no longer wait for God
than the opposite is also true: Faith is just another way of saying: I
will wait for God. If atheism is impatience, faith is patience.
The Italian spiritual writer, Carlo Carretto, after spending more than
20 years in solitude as a monk in the Sahara desert, was asked what
single thing he felt that he heard God most say to him inside of the
long, deep silence. What, he was asked, do you hear God saying to the
world? His answer: God is asking us to wait, to be patient!
Why the need for such great patience? Does God want to test us?
Does God want to see if we indeed have a faith that is worthy of a
great reward? No. God has no need to play such a game, and neither do
we. It’s not that God wants to test our patience. The need for patience
arises out of the rhythms innate within life itself and within love
itself. They need to unfold, as do flowers and pregnancies, according
to their own innate rhythms and within their own good time. They cannot
be rushed, no matter how great our impatience or how great our
And neither can God be rushed because it is his timetable that protects
us from perpetually stunting life and love by drawing them through the
birth canal prematurely.
FATHER BLOOM'S BLOG: Ordinary in an Extraordinary Way!
Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Discretion
42. Isaiah questioned him about the same subject. Poemen said, 'Cloth,
if it is too long in a chest, becomes rotten. If our bodies do not
bring those thoughts into the daylight, then they will rot or be
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