Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Unanswered Prayer

A few years ago, because of cutting, Indian Paintbrush almost disappeared from our neighborhood roadside.  It's persistence has paid off with some beautiful spreads this year. 
In Luke 11:1-13, Jesus encourages us to hang in there with our praying.  Torturing ourselves trying to figure out why Jesus is not answering our prayers distracts us from the sustained work of petition.  I often ask God specifically for what I want.  At the same time I pray, "I want to want what You want."

Monday, July 18, 2016

Persistent Prayer

Abraham's prayer for the citizens of Sodom (Genesis 18:20-32) is an amusing and encouraging example of persistence in prayer.  Jesus also encourages persistence in his story of a man who pesters his friend in the middle of the night for some bread (Luke 11:5-8.)  "Persistence," says Jesus, "will make him get up and give his friend all he wants."

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Suffusing Presence

Sunsets and sunrises are my most frequent experiences of Beauty whom I sometimes call God.  "Surrounding, gentle, suffusing presence" are words Carey Walsh uses to describe this kind of direct, all encompassing experience of God.  I'm going back through her valuable book Chasing Mystery.  She observes, "for the believer, an atheist is a pure curiosity, something like a fish who doesn't believe in water."

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Mystery Hidden From Ages

Another slow boat ride.  Click on picture to see the pretty sail boats in front of the "Yacht Club."
St. Paul (Colossians 1:24-28) says that "the mystery hidden from ages" is "Christ in you."  Paul and his fellow missionaries preach this Gospel so that they "may present everyone perfect in Christ."
Because we are in the Cosmic Christ, he must be in us.

Monday, July 11, 2016


Ten years ago when I told people I was retiring, many were concerned that my only plan for retirement was to do nothing.  I felt misunderstood and down.  I went for a walk in the garden of the monastery where I was making a retreat.  I was walking toward someone who I thought was the gardener.  When I got closer, I saw that it was one of the monks.  He asked me why I looked so glum.  I told him.  He replied, "Many people don't realize that being is more important than doing."

Friday, July 8, 2016

Cosmic Christ Reconciling

The ancient world at times saw the universe as out of balance.  The second part of the hymn (1:19-20) in Colossians praises Christ for his role in reconciling, not just human beings, but all things to God.   
By God's good pleasure
Christ encompasses
the full measure of power,
reconciling creation with its source
and making peace by the blood of the cross.

                                                                                         (1994 ICEL translation)

Thursday, July 7, 2016

,Cosmic Christ Creating

I thought maybe we were reading too much modern thinking into St. Paul's Letter to the Colossians, but, after reading several commentaries and meditating on the hymn (1:15-20,) I don't think it's too much at all.  The first part of the hymn praises Christ's role in creating:
Through Christ the universe was made....
Everything was created
through Christ and for Christ.
Before anything came to be, Christ was
and the universe is held together by Christ.  
                                                                                       (1994 ICEL translation)