Saturday, February 13, 2016
a sentence fragment worth pondering
"pretty sad, wouldn't you say?" he said
Friday, February 12, 2016
the house of being speaks us through its door
If in the beginning was the word, was with God, and was God, thereupon word became flesh, then, there’s an integrity of word and silence (which is the nature of God) that announces itself with no duality or objectification.
Thursday, February 11, 2016
Something about Francis of Assisi
Francis, seeing the beginnings of the propertied leisure class, told us to work for our pay; and if work was not available, we were to humbly beg, just as the Buddha advised his monks. Francis recognized that his society was becoming a structured system of protected and unequal social relationships. He knew the violence, mistrust, ambition, and pride which that worldview would engender. So he insisted on what he called equal power relationships in religious communities. He rejected all titles like Superior or Abbot. Francis did not want anyone to act as if he was higher than anyone else. Even those who led the community were to be called friars or brothers, and they only held the office for a short term and then returned to the equality of brotherhood. No one should stay at the top for very long; and when they were there, they were to be servant leaders or "guardians" of the mission and message of the friars.
In Francis we see the emergence of a very different worldview, a worldview that is not based on climbing, achieving, possessing, performing, or any idealization of order, but a life that enjoys and finds deep satisfaction on the level of naked being itself--much more than doing or having. He learned this from Jesus. It seems to me the Franciscan worldview is now desperately important if the 7.4 billion of us are going to exist happily together on this one limited planet. Voluntary simplicity is now essential for social survival. Francis warned us where we were headed eight hundred years ago.
Wood from barn placed in woodstove -- silence before dawn.
Francis understood the deep implications of the Incarnation and took Incarnation to its logical conclusions: Real Presence is everywhere--in the neighbor, in the other, in nature, in animals, in Brother Sun and Sister Moon, in sinner and enemies, in the collective Body of Christ, and yes, in distilled form in the bread and in the wine, just as it was distilled and focused in the person of Jesus. The principle is this: we must struggle with the truth in one concrete place--and then universalize from there. This has sometimes been called the first philosophical problem of "the one and the many."
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man's gift and that man's scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the aged eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?
(--from poem, Ash Wednesday, by T.S. Eliot)
I add wood to ember'd Irish woodstove resting from night's work.
Tuesday, February 09, 2016
Monday, February 08, 2016
Sunday, February 07, 2016
Pray always means feel always
and then, nothing
In her early years, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, the foundress of the Missionaries of Charity, enjoyed several mystical experiences of intense closeness with God. She also experienced that rarest of spiritual graces, a locution; she actually heard God’s voice. And then—nothing. For the last 50 or so years of her life, until her death, she felt a sense of emptiness in her prayer. At one point, she wrote to her confessor, “In my soul I feel just that terrible pain of loss—of God not wanting me—of God not being God—of God not really existing.”
When her journals and letters were published not long after her death in the book Come, Be My Light, some readers were shocked by these sentiments, finding it difficult to understand how she could continue as a believer and indeed flourish as a religious leader. But Mother Teresa was expressing some very human feelings of abandonment and speaking of what spiritual writers call the “dark night.” This state of emotion moves close to, but does not accept, despair.
(-- James Martin sj) http://americamagazine.org/issue/my-god-my-god