My thoughts are collections of other people’s thoughts. There is no need for me to rewrite the story. They are good as they are. The following writings are thoughts from ordinary people who do extraordinary work that help shape my faith. The photos are mine.
Passion is a kind of waiting – waiting for what other people are going to do. Jesus went to Jerusalem to announce the good news to the people of that city. And Jesus knew that he was going to put a choice before them: Will you be my disciple, or will you be my executioner? There is no middle ground here. Jesus went to Jerusalem to put people in a situation where they had to say “Yes” or “No”. That is the great drama of Jesus’ passion: he had to wait for their response. What would they do? Betray him or follow him?
In a way, his agony is not simply the agony of approaching death. It is also the agony of being out of control and of having to wait. It is the agony of a God who depends on us to decide how to live out the divine presence among us. It is the agony of the God who, in a very mysterious way, allows us to decide how God will be God. Here we glimpse the mystery of God’s incarnation. God became human not only to act among us but also to be the recipient of our responses. ~ Henri Nouwen
The intention to be in the presence of God and attention on our prayer leads to awareness, conscious awareness of our true self. A preoccupation with the material world has clouded our perception: we are what we are aware of. To be able to ‘know’ God presupposes a deep connection between humanity and the Divine. We can only truly ‘know’ something, when we have something in common. The beauty is that this commonality does not depend on belief, it can be experienced. Through meditation we become aware of our Divine connection and hence our essential goodness, which changes our whole perception of ourselves and others, and thus our life. That is why John Main saw meditation as “a process of liberation, we must set these truths free in our lives.” ~ Brother Lawrence Freeman
We pray… when in the very ‘chamber’ of our soul we harbour just one thought and ‘with sighs too deep for words’ invoke the Father, who is already present while we are still speaking. ~ Clement of Alexandria
So welcome mystical experience when/if it comes, but don’t measure your life by it, judging yourself neither as a spiritual hero nor loser. What matters is letting the awareness of your inherent union with God flow into every part of your life. The only way to do this is to die to self, as Jesus did, though for us it happens slowly, steadily, day-by-day through contemplation and letting go. ~ Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation
“There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.” Why didn’t Glinda tell Dorothy that at the very beginning? Of course, if Glinda did there would be no story, no journey – and the journey is the very point of the story. At the beginning of the story Dorothy is not ready to move into the next stage of her life until she has discovered that she already has the virtues her three companions on the journey seem to lack: courage, intelligence, and love. The journey becomes the venue to reveal to herself that she is ready for what lays ahead. It is only possible because she took the long way home.
Dorothy discovered that the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche got at least one thing right: that which does not kill us makes us stronger. She had lots of setbacks, any one of which might have led her to toss in the towel. I think each one of us can take a longer perspective on our lives and recount the setbacks: the loves lost, that-thing-we-wish-we-hadn’t-said, the road we should have taken, the moment that passed by, the days, the nights, all stirred together in the cauldron called life. And yet like Dorothy we found a reason to continue on, even if it was simply the momentum of the moment. The older I become, the more I appreciate the struggles, failures, successes, and all that lays between the milestones on the long journey of this life. ~ Fr. George Corrigan, OFM