Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Desiring God

Probably the main thing Carey Walsh stresses in her book about the Song of Songs is that it is about desiring the loved one.  This desire is based on the lovers' previous experience of one another.  It helps me think about how, once I get a glimpse of God in the world around me, I want more. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Humble Exalted

Tiniest toad I've ever seen.
Finally a commentary that makes spiritual sense of taking the highest and lowest places at the banquet (Luke 14:7-11.)  Michael F. Patella in the New Collegeville Bible Commentary on Luke's Gospel says that taking the highest place is like thinking we can get into the Kingdom without any help from God.  Those who take the lowest place "know their unworthiness and depend on God's love and grace for everything."  True humility recognizes how utterly dependent we are on God to draw us into an ever deeper relationship with the Divine.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Meet in Heaven

Since the Vatican Council opened the door to better relations with other great world religions we have come to see their intrinsic spiritual and salvific value.  They have something positive to teach us, not only about themselves and their own non-Christian beliefs, but also about God and about life and how to live it.  In these days we are challenged to better understand Jews and Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists and to love them with the love of Christ and to know that we will meet them in heaven.

Friday, August 19, 2016

For All

"God our Savior wants everyone to be saved
and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 
For there is only one God,
and there is only one mediator
between God and humanity,
himself a human being, Christ Jesus." 
(1 Timothy 2:4-5)

"We have put our trust in the living God
and he is the Savior of the whole human race
but particularly of all believers.
(1 Timothy 4:10)

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Let Them Come

From new moon to new moon,
from Sabbath to Sabbath,
let everything that breathes
come to worship Me.
      ---says the Lord.

In Isaiah 66:18 God says, "I am coming to gather every nation and every language."  There follows hopeful verses that promise universal salvation -- until we come to verse 24 which sounds a terrible note of warning.  Rather than end Isaiah on such a dire note, it was the custom in the synagogue to back up and repeat verse 23 quoted above.  I love the custom!  God wants to gather into his warm embrace "everything that breathes."

Friday, August 12, 2016

Nothing Mundane

You have ravished my heart
with a glance of your eyes.
      (Song of Songs 4:9)

How beautiful are your feet in sandals!

My relationship with God was fed so well by Carey Walsh in her very accessible book, Chasing Mystery, that I decided to read Exquisite Desire, which she wrote 12 years earlier on the Old Testament book, Song of Songs.  She is very insistent that this short book is a poem spoken by two human lovers.  We must take it seriously as a poem of human desire before we use it as a metaphor for our relationship with God.
With that caution, I used some verses this morning for my scripture meditation.  The two verses above helped me to appreciate that I am undone by the simplest ways that God reveals Godself to me.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Fleeting Feelings

A colorful sunset.  I ran outside and took several pictures.  Not until I transferred them to my computer did I notice the face.  I'm not one for seeing omens in the sky, but it did come at a time of intense prayer. 
No feeling is your permanent reality,
no matter how intense it is.
    --Flannery O'Connor

Quote is from the calendar published by The Ministry of the Arts