Tuesday, March 18

Long walks in the desert

Yup....been a long time.  Been doing a lot of walking, talking, living and sharing.  One of the purposes of Lent is a transformative season - when the contemplative seeds of winter are planted and, with the warming and lengthening rays of spring, sprout forth, giving way to the active growth which leads us into the fire of Pentacost.

Two readings from the Gospels today.  The first is from Mat. 23

“The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger. ....But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ."

The second is from Mark.

And He called them to Himself and began speaking to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand."....Then His mother and His brothers arrived, and standing outside they sent word to Him and called Him. A crowd was sitting around Him, and they said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are outside looking for You.” Answering them, He said, “Who are My mother and My brothers?” Looking about at those who were sitting around Him, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.”

Two, seeming disparate messages dropped in my lap, yet I see connections.  Connections I don't know how comfortable I am with just yet.  It appears I need to find a bodhi tree in this wasteland and consider things some more.

May the lengthening of days bring you the transformative power of G-d, may your heart be open to accepting and may you follow no matter where the Voice within may lead you.

Thursday, December 5

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

I realise I have been silent for a long time, but I feel compelled to comment upon the passing of one of the finest human beings to trod this earth in many years.  After 95 years and a path which has gone from prison to presidential palace, Dr. Nelson Mandela will walk a bit further to another set of gates, these being pearly.

Over all the years, Mandela showed us a better, kinder and more Christ-like way in which the world could be made.  A world based on mutual respect, investment in our youth and meaningful dialogue.  It is in our hands now to carry the work on that he began.

"There is no passion in playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living."
 - Nelson Mandela

Thursday, August 1

Faith, Bambi-style

When you see God, you will.....
For those of you who do not know, I work near the center of a large town (approximately 100,000) with a state university.  Earlier this week, I went outside for a break and, looking across the 4-lane street, I observed a full-grown doe in the front yard area of another business carefully browsing on the shrubbery in the cool shade of a tree.  Looking about, there were cars and some pedestrians going by, but nobody seemed to notice this pastoral scene played out in the middle of town.  I briefly acknowledged her, to which I got a quick gaze and ear-twitch, then the hind returned to her late-afternoon snack.  Later, as I was leaving for the day, I looked over to see that our forest friend had decided to bed down under the tree, both unobserved and unconcerned.

This whole interplay makes me think of the Divine and Faith.  If Faith is our reaction to an encounter with the Divine (a working definition which encompasses Trueblood, Aquinas and Lonergan), it requires a few things which I believe explains some people and their lack of Faith.  There is a good body of evidence (and a lot of common wisdom) which says that when things are suitably outside of our expectations, humans have the tendency to edit it out of what we perceive unless it is specifically highlighted for us.  Thus, someone in a pink elephant costume can walk down the street and at least half the passers-by would not 'see' the pachyderm unless at least one person in the crowd has a suitably large and demonstrative reaction.

Where is God in this?   She's right there, nibbling on the leaves within arms reach.  Didn't you see Him?