Today’s mountain

By Frank S De Hass, [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Frank S De Hass, [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

It is a sluggish journey up today’s mountain of pain. Snow is coming again and once it starts, the pain will probably lessen. I hope.

It isn’t exactly hope that keeps me following the Lord up this mountain. It’s more an unwillingness—today—to give up. I’m doing my best to make this climb an opportunity  to practice patience and compassion and to put my trust in Jesus.

Maybe it is hope. I keep climbing in the hope of being led to a place of transfiguration, a place of perfect peace, acceptance, and wholeness.

Jesus took Peter, James, and John
and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. Mark 9:2

 

Cancer and compassion

cancer_bookOut of the wisdom of the experience of having lived with cancer, my friend Colleen has written a gentle, compassionate book of suggestions for those who have a friend or family member with cancer.

This well-written book is a valuable resource for those who want to be a caring presence for someone who lives with the reality of a cancer diagnosis.

 

 

Driven

Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoi (1837-1887) Le Christ dans le désert, 1872 Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoi [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoi (1837-1887)
Le Christ dans le désert, 1872
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

God’s Holy Spirit points, pushes, drives us where we need to go.

Listen deeply. Be empty of pre-conceived notions. Let go of resistance.

Trust the movement of the Spirit.

The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert,
and he remained in the desert for forty days,
tempted by Satan. Mark 1:12

Made clean

James Tissot (1836-1902) Guérison des lépreux à Capernaum, between 1886 and 1894 Brooklyn Museum

James Tissot (1836-1902)
Guérison des lépreux à Capernaum, between 1886 and 1894
Brooklyn Museum

When I feel out of step with the ways of the world, when I feel like an outsider or an interloper or just a plain oddball, I can re-root myself in the presence of Jesus and be made clean.

Clean of arrogance. Clean of isolation. Clean of comparisons. Clean of judgment. Clean of the need to conform. Clean of the fear of speaking my truth.

Being made clean by the Lord gives me the right to take my place—just as I am—in any company, any society, any situation.

A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said,
“If you wish, you can make me clean.” Mark 1:40

Sense out of nonsense

Sunset at Capernaum By Abraham (Own work) [<a href="http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/deed.e

Sunset at Capernaum
By Abraham (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

The human condition means that some of us  spend our life struggling with physical, mental, or emotional illness. Illness is not our fault; it’s not God punishing us or expecting us to make reparation for transgressions. It’s our DNA.

Jesus, the Compassion of God, understands our human suffering. Let go of the struggle; bring the illness, the exhaustion, the depletion to him. He is the one who makes sense out of nonsense.

When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to [Jesus] all who were ill or possessed by demons. Mark 1:32

World Day of the Sick 2015

Originally posted on Project Reach Out - Promising Practices:

Prayer for Sick EnglishReach out on the World Day of the Sick, February 11. Join people around the world who will stop at 1:00 p.m. to offer a prayer for all those who suffer from illness, and their caregivers.

Resources:
Pope Francesco’s message for the 23rd World Day of the Sick
Prayer cards in English and Spanish

View original

Say no to demons

Jesus heals the possessed

Christ heals the possessed. Jan Luyken. In the Bowyer Bible in Bolton Museum, England. Print 4234. From “An Illustrated Commentary on the Gospel of Mark” by Phillip Medhurst. Section D. Jesus confronts uncleanness. By Phillip Vere [FAL], via Wikimedia Commons

They’re always attacking, subtle or not.

Demons of pain, fatigue, and self-doubt. Demons of resentment, disdain, and indifference. Demons of envy, dissatisfaction, and hopelessness.

Say no, in the name of Jesus. Demons have no power in the light and presence of the Compassion of God.

Jesus rebuked [the unclean spirit] and said,
“Quiet! Come out of him!” Mark 1:25