The heart is the center of the human being. The heart is where we are most fully human. The Psalmist says, “If today you hear God’s voice, harden not your hearts.” Jeremiah (17:5-10) compares trust in human beings with trust in God. When we place our hopes and trust in human beings, we ultimately end up in an arid desert, a lava waste. There is no real life to sustain us. When we trust in God, we become like a tree by a stream. We are nurtured and we bear fruit. We seek security and freedom but our only true security and freedom comes for trust in God. Continue reading
Ezekiel seems to be saying that what goes around comes around. It is karma all over again as Yogi Berra might say. When we engage in evil, we are embracing death. When we do good, we are participating in life. God does not derive pleasure from the sins and death of the wicked, the unjust. God wants the wicked to turn to godly ways and to live life fully. The psalmist reminds us that God is forgiving. Continue reading
In Lv. 19:1-2, 11-18, Yahweh gives his people their marching orders. Everything is based on the fact that God is God and that the people are to fear God—tremble before the glory and power of God. [I use Yahweh advisedly because that is the name God gave and the circumlocution—Lord—according to Fr. Roger Karban, a scripture scholar, was the word for Ba’al. I am afraid that Rome did not do its homework on the injunction regarding the use of this word.] Leviticus is enunciating the law which Jesus came to fulfill. Continue reading
Richard Rohr has introduced me to Joanna Macy and her concept of deep time. Today, liturgically we celebrate deep time. We feel our connection with the holy ones—named and unnamed—who have gone before. We are in thin places (My Celtic forebears understood that there is a very thin place between us and those who have gone before.) where we are one in the communion of saints. Rohr says our concept of the communion of saints is our rendition of reincarnation. We look to the past and remember. We live in the present and understand relationships and connectedness. We gaze toward the future with hope for the full coming of the Kin-dom. This is the big picture.
Thomas Merton described it in this way:
The contemplative life must provide an area, a space of liberty, of silence, in which possibilities are allowed to surface and new choices—beyond routine choice—become manifest. It should create a new experience of time, not as stopgap, stillness, but as temps vierge—virginal time—not a blank to be filled or an untouched space to be conquered and violated, but a space which can enjoy its own potentiality and hope—its own presence to itself. One’s own time. But not dominated by one’s own ego and its demands. Hence, open to others—compassionate time, rooted in the sense of common illusion and in criticism of it. (A Year with Thomas Merton, 562) Continue reading
In the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. Then Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Continue reading