Tag Archives: Catholic

Quiet amid the frenzy

[Jesus said,] “When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified.” Luke 21:9a

I believe there is a force in the world that is set on insinuating terror into our hearts and minds. The media with its constant assaultive images of war, destruction, and human cruelty is an instrument of this force.

People who are afraid find it difficult to think clearly and are more easily controlled.

Today I refuse to be manipulated. I choose to avoid the frenzy of the media and instead opt to spend quiet time with the Lord. I trust that God will show me how to be of service to my neighbors in this time of injustice, violence, and grief.

Alive

God Is Love
SashaLee19 [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

[Jesus said,] “He is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” Luke 20:38

My small understanding of what it means to be alive is usually limited to mental, physical, and emotional sensations. My thoughts race, flow, go in circles, stagnate. In this body, I experience pain, energy, fatigue, hunger, thirst, cold, heat. As I go through a day, I feel joy, love, peace, sorrow, resentment, fear, confusion.

I must also be aware of the vast, silent, still, unending presence of God, the Mystery who transcends my best definition of “alive.”

 

 

 

Perspective

James Tissot (1836-1902)
Zachée sur le sycomore attendant le passage de Jésus
opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, between 1886 and 1894
Brooklyn Museum

Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. Luke 19:2-3

I seek to know Jesus, but cannot see clearly because I am crowded by chores, tasks, commitments, fatigue, pain, and discouragement.

Today I will take time to climb out of the swirl of demands on my frail energy to get a glimpse of the peace, love, and welcome of the Lord.

 

 

 

Who am I

John Everett Millais (1829-1896)
The Pharisee and the Publican, 1864
The Tate

Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else.

What a hook! I want to find out if I am one of those to whom Jesus is addressing this parable.

And yes: often I am the self-righteous one who compares myself favorably to others and wonders why others don’t act, think, and speak as I do.

But now and again I become aware of my arrogance and face my failures, weaknesses, and woundedness. In these moments of truth, I dare to ask God’s mercy so that I may instead act, think, and speak with the mind and heart of Jesus Christ.

Instruments of justice

John Everett Millais (1829-1896)
The Unjust Judge and
the Importunate Widow
Wood engraving; proof on India paper, 1864
Metropolitan Museum of Art

[Jesus said,] “I tell you, God will see to it that justice is done.” Luke 18:8a

Years ago, I had the experience of being treated unjustly at a job. I demanded my rights to the point of exhaustion and illness. It took months of persistence — as well as support and advice from wiser and more knowledgeable people than I — to get an outcome that served me. A year later, I heard that a number of other women at that workplace had resigned because of being treated similarly. Only then was the true problem addressed.

It is not easy to be the one to challenge injustice, but here we are: God’s instruments of justice in a world that is heavy with injustice. We must not be indifferent to the oppression, discrimination, and suffering in our world, but instead ask God for the courage to promote change.

Thank you

James Tissot (1836-1902)
Guérison de dix lépreux
opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper
between 1886 and 1894
Brooklyn Museum

He fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. Luke 11:16a

Sometimes I just have to fall on my knees and say thank you to the Lord—for getting me through another day, for friends who encourage me, for family that rallies round in hard times, for unexpected kindness from strangers, for a beautiful day.

It is God’s grace that blesses me with such abundance, and God’s grace that prompts my gratitude. May I listen to the Spirit’s call to give thanks in all ways and at all times.

 

Vision of love and unity

Sheila Sund
Mustard Seeds

For the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint; if it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late. Habakkuk 2:3

Despite the grief of living in a world where injustice, indifference, and greed seem to hold sway, our efforts to treat others with respect, share our resources, and speak out against prejudice and cruelty help to build God’s vision of love and unity among all people everywhere.

With just the tiniest bit of faith that the God of Love and Compassion is present and accessible in every moment — guiding us, encouraging us — we continue to play an active role as a part of the vision.