Devotional Thought of the Day:
“O LORD God of our ancestors, you rule in heaven over all the nations of the world. You are powerful and mighty, and no one can oppose you. 7† You are our God. When your people Israel moved into this land, you drove out the people who were living here and gave the land to the descendants of Abraham, your friend, to be theirs forever. 8 They have lived here and have built a temple to honor you, knowing 9 that if any disaster struck them to punish them—a war,d an epidemic, or a famine—then they could come and stand in front of this Temple where you are worshiped. They could pray to you in their trouble, and you would hear them and rescue them. 2 Chron. 20:6-9
If I had to choose between a wounded Church that goes out onto the streets and a sick withdrawn Church, I would definitely choose the first.
Between a rugged Church coming out to the streets and a Church sick of self-referential narcissism, without doubt, I prefer the first.
When the Church does not walk, she falls apart like a sandcastle.
The Lord requires us to go to the end of our misery, our poverty, our sin when we are before the Most Blessed Sacrament. Being poor, this is our title of nobility.
Perfect Churches don’t need revival, so they do not see it happen. The same goes for people who have it all together, whose lives are not crushed by sin, who have no worry about death, who never had to deal with temptation, or struggle with demonic activity.
Of course, the only churches and eople that are that good are those who are already in the God’s presence.
The rest of our churches are wounded and broken. Their people are not prim and proper, but are worn down, and look and smell like they’ve just finished a 10 hike in the mountains and desperately need a bath, a showed, and manybe another bath.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but a church that is about to undergo revival, a person who about to experience God’s ability to transform them must be in the mdist of their misery, they must address their spiritual poverty. For there, they can cry out to God, in the place where He has set aside to remind them He is with them, they He is patient and desires to transform us.
For as we cry out, we begin to see the reality of His rescue, we being to see the salvation that He has promised is not far off, but that we are in the midst of it.
He will hear us.
For it is the Holy Spirit who moves us to call upon Him, to reach out, only to find He’s been there all the time.
And in awe at His work, His patience, His love, we find the life He has created us to live. A life that is not static, a life that findss meaning in revealing His love to others.
A life that llives for the moment when another person, or another community realizes that God is with them.
Lord, help us learn to stop hiding from our brokenness, but tather let you heal and restore us. AMEN!
Pope Francis. (2013). A Year with Pope Francis: Daily Reflections from His Writings. (A. Rossa, Ed.) (p. 185). New York; Mahwah, NJ; Toronto, ON: Paulist Press; Novalis.
Buttet, N. (2012). The Eucharist, Adoration and Healing. In A. Reid (Ed.), From Eucharistic Adoration to Evangelization (p. 123). London; New York: Burns & Oates.
Devotional Thought of the Day:
28 “And why worry about clothes? Look how the wild flowers grow: they do not work or make clothes for themselves. 29 But I tell you that not even King Solomon with all his wealth had clothes as beautiful as one of these flowers. 30 It is God who clothes the wild grass—grass that is here today and gone tomorrow, burned up in the oven. Won’t he be all the more sure to clothe you? What little faith you have! Matthew 6:28-30 (TEV)
13 You created every part of me; you put me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because you are to be feared; all you do is strange and wonderful. I know it with all my heart. 15 When my bones were being formed, carefully put together in my mother’s womb, when I was growing there in secret, you knew that I was there— 16 you saw me before I was born. The days allotted to me had all been recorded in your book, before any of them ever began. 17 O God, how difficult I find your thoughts; how many of them there are! 18 If I counted them, they would be more than the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you! Psalm 139:13-18 (TEV)
54 You enjoy an interior happiness and peace that you would not exchange for anything in the world. God is here. There is no better way than telling him our woes for them to cease being such. (1)
This is a hard blog to write, but perhaps it will make a difference.
Sunday, I was watching a new television show I’ve waited a while to see. It was pretty good, if a bit over the top at times.
But there was a scene that resonated to much with me. Like a crystal goblet resonating with a soprano’s high tone, it shook me a little to much. I’m still not sure if it shattered me, but it did come pretty close. It kept me awake most of Sunday night, and haunted me a bit since. it brought back memories from some of my darker days, days when I wasn’t sure who I was, or whether I fit in this world. Even more,it made me wonder how I adapted and changed to survive. Is the adapted me, really me?
I’ve only been shaken that much a time or two in my life. My Cardiac Arrest didn’t shake me like this. My heart valve replacement surgery did, but only for an hour. This… struck deeper to home. I know the other times, but even thinking of them… yeah – can’t go there.
The only consolation is that I remembered before that point in my life, I always wanted to be a pastor, (well back then, a priest ) I wanted to teach people about God, I wanted to give them the the Eucharist, the sacrament where Jesus gives us His Body, His Blood.
This morning, stiff and sore from working out, I got to my office. Getting out of the car slowly, I spotted the rose pictured with this blog. I took a picture of it, tweeted it, thinking of the Psalm I quoted above. I thought of just quoting the 14th and 15th verse, and thinking of people who need to realize this. Then I saw the end of verse 18, and found myself. Or the me I need to know.
It resounded when I thought of the quote from St Matthew’s gospel, and then it slammed home when I read St. Josemaria’s words. Resounded enough to make me forget the other stuff, until I started righting this. And yet, like that rose, being right there, where I could focus on it while stretching after getting out the car, it took on a different tone.
God is here.
He made that rose, He listens to my cries. He cares for me, and each of us, far more than that incredibly beautiful rose.
it doesn’t matter whether I am an extrovert or an introvert. Whether I am understood by the world or not. Whether my thoughts, outside of those sharing Christ, are understood,
What matters is I am His people. All who trust in Him are, and He is calling out to all of you who aren’t, yet.
And knowing this, giving our Heavenly and PRESENT father, that brings the peace and joy we need, even when we are shaken, broken, and shattered….
We are His people, He is our God!
It is more than enough. It defines us better than anything else we could ever know.
God, ever present, ever loving, is here with us.
Be at peace, drop all the other stuff aside, and know He is here!
Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 420-422). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.