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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

What god is like our God?

My soul, give thanks to the Lord all my being, bless his holy name.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord and never forget all his blessings.

It is he who forgives all your guilt,
who heals every one of your ills,
who redeems your life from the grave,
who crowns you with love and compassion,
who fills your life with good things,
renewing your youth like an eagle’s.

Psalm 102 (103)

It's not about the power to dominate kingdoms or in spectacular signs and wonders, but the power to redeem, heal, and renew to perfection. Down the centuries we've come to understand the heights of our achievements and the depths of depravity, so we understand that there is a difference. Jesus Christ remains entirely about empowering us to the fullness of human potential, beyond anything we can achieve without his help. The battle is and has always been in the human heart, in the core of our being, where Love - Caritas - makes us live a truly and perfectly human life.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Get-Pell: when journalist are no longer interested in the truth

In a few generations, people will think back to this one and marvel at the utter disregard for the truth - all for the sake of sensational news, fame, wealth, power. Whatever the motivation, it is no longer about serving the truth, nor serving anyone, for that matter. It is the greatest irony that these so-called journalists would employ deceptive reporting to cover this royal commission, a massive undertaking to discover the truth and, based on truth, apply justice for all concerned. Deceptive, lazy journalism is deeply unjust since the journalists claim to serve the lofty ideal of truth while employing half- and omitted truths in order to serve up nothing less than untruths.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Looking on him whom we have pierced

Spiritual Canticle of St John of the Cross:

Would that men might come at last to see that it is quite impossible to reach the thicket of the riches and wisdom of God except by first entering the thicket of much suffering, in such a way that the soul finds there its consolation and desire. The soul that longs for divine wisdom chooses first, and in truth, to enter the thicket of the cross.

  Saint Paul therefore urges the Ephesians "not to grow weary in the midst of tribulations, but to be steadfast and rooted and grounded in love, so that they may know with all the saints the breadth, the length, the height and the depth – to know what is beyond knowledge, the love of Christ, so as to be filled with all the fullness of God."

On one hand, how many Christians are led away from the cross with the error of looking for a utopian life here, finally rejecting their faith when it cannot be found nor established? On the other hand, how close is the Lord or God to the humblest of people whose lot in life is to learn to bear a cross everyday, but that they should remain steadfast therefore.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

What god is like our God?

Q: What is the measure of God's power?
A: Love

Isaiah 40:25-31
‘To whom could you liken me and who could be my equal?’ says the Holy One. Lift your eyes and look. Who made these stars if not he who drills them like an army, calling each one by name? So mighty is his power, so great his strength, that not one fails to answer. How can you say, Jacob, how can you insist, Israel, ‘My destiny is hidden from the Lord, my rights are ignored by my God’? Did you not know? Had you not heard? The Lord is an everlasting God, he created the boundaries of the earth. He does not grow tired or weary, his understanding is beyond fathoming. He gives strength to the wearied, he strengthens the powerless. Young men may grow tired and weary, youths may stumble, but those who hope in the Lord renew their strength, they put out wings like eagles. They run and do not grow weary, walk and never tire.

Matthew 11:28-30
Jesus exclaimed, ‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.’

I may be frequently troubled by daily burdens, but worse are the burdens that aren't even mine, which I nevertheless take on and worry about: politics in places far away, the mysteries of next year or further off, the far-fetched what-ifs. Most of that, I may relinquish, there being trouble enough with today and what is proximate. Only one thing seems to be paramount: Charity.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

A treatise on the value of patience, by St Cyprian

Patience is a precept for salvation given us by our Lord our teacher: Whoever endures to the end will be saved. And again: If you persevere in my word, you will truly be my disciples; you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Dear brethren, we must endure and persevere if we are to attain the truth and freedom we have been allowed to hope for; faith and hope are the very meaning of our being Christians, but if faith and hope are to bear their fruit, patience is necessary. We do not seek glory now, in the present, but we look for future glory, as Saint Paul instructs us when he says: By hope we were saved. Now hope which is seen is not hope; how can a man hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it in patience. Patient waiting is necessary if we are to be perfected in what we have begun to be, and if we are to receive from God what we hope for and believe.
In another place the same Apostle instructs and teaches the just, and those active in good works, and those who store up for themselves treasures in heaven through the reward God gives them. They are to be patient also, for he says: Therefore while we have time, let us do good to all, but especially to those who are of the household of the faith. But let us not grow weary in doing good, for we shall reap our reward in due season. Paul warns us not to grow weary in good works through impatience, not to be distracted or overcome by temptations and so give up in the midst of our pilgrimage of praise and glory, and allow our past good deeds to count for nothing because what was begun falls short of completion.
Finally the Apostle, speaking of charity, unites it with endurance and patience. Charity, he says, is always patient and kind; it is not jealous, is not boastful, is not given to anger, does not think evil, loves all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. He shows that charity can be steadfast and persevering because it has learned how to endure all things. And in another place he says: Bear with one another lovingly, striving to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. He shows that neither unity nor peace can be maintained unless the brethren cherish each other with mutual forbearance and preserve the bond of harmony by means of patience.

(From today's Office of Readings, except from Universalis.com)