24 March 2014

In A "Bright Darkness"

When mystery hides Thee from the sight of faith and hope: 
when pain turns even love to dust: 
when life is bitter to the taste and our song of joy dies down to silence, then Father, do for us that which is past our power to do for ourselves. 
Break through our darkness with Your light. 
Show us Thyself through Jesus suffering on the tree, rising from the grave, and reigning from the throne, all with power and love for us unchanging. 
So shall our fear be gone and our feet set on a radiant path.

~ Alistair MacLean , Hebridean Altars

21 March 2014

Love is Demanding

Would you rather have loving friends or kind acquaintances? This city is full of kind strangers: but I miss my friends. 

My friends tell me when food is stuck in my teeth while dining; my acquaintances do not. 

It’s easier and complicated to be kind than to be loving.  Kindness delivers an immediate gratification and, it is usually beneficial to our society. So, yes, it’s good-- but it's not love. 

Love is demanding of us.  And, love is a good deal more complicated than kindness--it cherishes forgiveness and mercy while it despises dishonesty and deceit.

“Kindness, as such, cares not whether its object becomes good or bad, provided only that it escapes suffering…” 
“Love may forgive all infirmities [weaknesses] and love still in spite of them: but Love cannot cease to will [to desire] their removal.
Love is more sensitive than hatred to every blemish in the beloved…Of all powers [love] forgives most, but [love] condones least: love is pleased with [a] little, but demands all.”

— C.S. Lewis from The Problem of Pain

11 February 2014

Union is Redemptive...and all that Other Stuff

"Redemption is participatory, not imitative.
It is grounded on grace appropriated through faith, not merely on obedience. Spiritual life flows out of union with Christ not merely imitation of Christ."
- Richard F Lovelace in Dynamics of Spiritual Life
See Ephesians

09 January 2014

Spa Time – Why I pray and meditate every day

The soul that hath a Guest
doth seldom go abroad-
Diviner crowd at home
obliterate the need 
and courtesy forbid 
a host’s departure when
upon himself be visiting
The Emperor of Men. 
    ∞Emily Dickinson

Every day I spent a lot of time on prayer and meditation. Why? Some reasons & some benefits:

◊ in a 24-hour period, demands and decision-making is out of my hands and 
◊ I can give and receive decisions and demands to the living Christ. 
◊ my earthbound worries, anxieties and problems are replaced where they ought to be buried in the tapestry of God working His will in my life, in the world, in of human existence.

As a result: 
◊ the world looks needy, and not hostile 
◊ I no longer feel like a lost and frightened child, rather beloved. 
◊ I am not purposeless, nor merely repeating yesterday, 
◊ rather, my acts (and words) daily move me towards the greater purposes He has in mind. 
◊ What was large becomes small, and 
◊ was small or lost becomes CORE. 
◊ Christ living through and in my life helps me to live more truthfully, justly and lovingly. 
◊ If it all ends today, all will be well, for I will be with Him forever.

01 January 2014

New Year's Request 2014

“Out with the old year” and “in with the new”
I ask for
Days of beauty, whether work or rest;
And to love someone—
After all, no one mourns a textbook:
 our lean souls feed
on the beauty of love.
-Charity Johnson