April 19, 2010

This and That

The readings from Revelations this time of year are both daunting and humbling in that they, in true Holy Spirit fashion, both "cause our soul to fear and our fears relieve." Matthew Henry writes that fear of the Lord is the Christian's best friend in that it helps keep us from stumbling.

From today's Office of Readings:
In the unity of the person of the Word, his human nature was the instrument of our salvation. Thus in Christ there has come to be the perfect atonement that reconciles us with God, and we have been given the power to offer the fullness of divine worship.
So it's also because Christ is exalted that, paradoxically, we are given power to offer the fullness of divine worship, that we are counted as worthy, that we are sons of God.

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Caught a bit of a YouTube interview with Fr. Richard Neuhaus, and he explained how love after 40 years of marriage is different from married love early in a marriage. In the beginning there is still anxiety and "what ifs" while at the end there's more a sense of thankfulness and appreciation. He said that couples come to the conclusion that the love of God can be trusted - a money quote if ever I heard one: "...the discovery that love, which is ultimately the love of God, can be trusted - and that's the discovery they've made..."

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Read the verse in Acts how the apostles after being flogged "rejoiced that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name."  That mindset never fails to startle me and is profoundly humbling.  But I can tell that I have hope by the fact that I have breath within me. "Tomorrow is another day," is a famous line from "Gone With the Wind" but today is another day too, this very moment another "day".

The other moment of Lichtenstein was a small revelation of the mercy of God spoken by the priest in the Communion Antiphon: "...and He rose again to make us worthy of life."  I've tended to think of Christ's resurrection solely as proof of the Father's approbation, but it as, like Christ's death, also for us. 

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Julian of Norwich quote:
God showed two manners of sickness that we have; the one is impatience or sloth, for we bear our travail and our pains heavily. The other is despair or doubtful dread...And these two are they that most travail and trouble us, as by that which Our Lord shewed me...It is God's will that they be known, for then we shall refuse them as we do other sins.

And for help against this, full meekly Our Lord showed the patience that he had in his hard Passion; and also the joy and the liking that he hat of that Passion, for love. And this he shewed in example, that we should gladly and easily bear our pains, for that is great pleasing to him and endless profit to us. And the cause why we are travailed with them is for unknowing of love.

For some of us believe that God is All Mighty, and may do all, and that he is All-Wisdom, and can do all; but that he is All-Love and will do all, there we fail. And this unknowing it is, that most [hinders] God's lovers, as to my sight.

2 comments:

MaryH said...

Hey Tom, Just stopped in to say hello and to wish you a blessed Easter! I love Julian of Norwich. Reading her writing is like reading poetry.... you kinda understand what she means but the words draw you in to think deeper because you know she's saying something you haven't quite thought about before. I suppose that's the gift of a mystic. Very nice - thanks

TS said...

Julian is cryptic due to that middle English thing going on and I had to ask Dylan of "dark harp" what "letteth" meant in that last line. It means to hinder, thus my editorial insertion! A very blessed Easter to you and yours as well.