Advent Day 20 – Good News for December 17

17 12 2010

The Daily Path: Today’s reflection is from Richard Rohr’s Preparing for Christmas.

First World cultures tend to think that more is better.  I am told that busyness is actually a status symbol for us!  It is strange that when people have so much, they are so anxious about not having enough—to do, to see, to own, to fix, to control, to change.

What decreases in a culture of affluence is precisely and strangely time(in spite of our many “time-saving” devices)—along with wisdom and friendship.  These are the very things that the human heart was created for, that the human heart feeds on and lives for.  No wonder we are producing so many depressed, unhealthy and even violent people, while leaving a huge carbon footprint on this poor planet for the following generations.

Ain’t it the truth?!

Slow down today. Give up some control. Let it go. And when you do, look for God in that moment.





Seeing – Good News for August 24

24 08 2010

John 1:45-51

Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law, and also the prophets, Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.” But Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”

Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him.” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.”

And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

The Daily Path: An excerpt from Fr. Richard Rohr’s Daily Reflections…

In paradoxical language, if you try to rest on one side and forget the other, you lose the truth.  The whole is always both-and.

We’ve seen some Christian cultures that are entirely centered on the Cross and they lose the resurrection.  In wealthy countries like our own we create the “prosperity gospel,” as it is called—all resurrection and almost no reference to the pain and suffering of the world.

We lose the full mystery of God, and the mystery of our own transformation, when we stand on one side and refuse to hold the creative tension that Jesus held.  It is the horizontal line of two nailed hands, between the good and the bad thief, that crucifies Jesus and that liberates us.






Seeking Praise – Good News for March 18

18 03 2010

John 5:31-47

Jesus said to the Jews, “If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true. But there is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true. You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth. I do not accept human testimony, but I say this so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light. But I have testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father gave me to accomplish, these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf.

But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form, and you do not have his word remaining in you, because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent. You search the Scriptures, because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf. But you do not want to come to me to have life.

“I do not accept human praise; moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I came in the name of my Father, but you do not accept me; yet if another comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?

Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father: the one who will accuse you is Moses, in whom you have placed your hope.
For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me, because he wrote about me. But if you do not believe his writings,
how will you believe my words?”

The Daily Path: “How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?”

Driven. Relentless pursuit of success. Stature. Acceptance. These are a few of the things that come to mind when I read this passage from today’s Gospel. I know them because they have been a part of my being. For most of my life, going back to a very early age, I have yearned for the acceptance of others. In that pursuit I have led a very shallow life. I gladly accept praise from my brothers and sisters in an attempt to heal what Fr. Richard Rohr would call my “woundedness”, but only now do I see the false self behind this.

In recent times I have come to know the road that so many millions travel each day. Need, anxiety, and despair fill the vast majority of lives on earth, but they have never been part of my experience. In my life I have never known real worry. I have never truly held the hands that reached out to me in deepest despair. But now God has given me the chance to walk in the shoes of my brothers and sisters. And in doing so, He has begun to remove the false self that has prevented me from embracing the leper.

But why has He done this?

I can’t completely answer that. I’m still in the midst of it and have little perspective to analyze the situation – See? I’m still analyzing instead of trusting His plan! – But since I am an imperfect being, I will indulge my imperfection and offer this analysis: Perhaps God is taking me down this road to activate the radical grace within me, so that I will finally stop pursuing the acceptance of others (in all its forms) and start pursuing the only acceptance that matters… the praise of my Father in heaven.

Room to Chat: Father, you are allowing me to touch the wounds of your Son, the Christ. In doing so you have given me the ability to believe in You as never before. Continue to give me, and all who travel down this road, the courage and resolve to continue onward. Keep us in your light so that we may always see the way to You.





OJT – Good News for January 24

24 01 2010

Luke 4:14-21

Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news of him spread throughout the whole region. He taught in their synagogues and was praised by all.

He came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day. He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.

Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. He said to them, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”

The Daily Path: I’d like to share an excerpt from Fr. Richard Rohr’s works on St. Paul: Great Themes of Paul – Life As Participation…

“God calls whom God calls, it seems, and the preparation comes afterwards when we actually do the task!  This is the paradigmatic pattern for all faith journeys.”

As I reflect on what Rohr states, it seems that there is a lot of on-the-job training that occurs following conversion, re-conversion, epiphany, revelation, or whatever you want to name God’s call. In my case, God found a most unworthy candidate for enlistment. I often feel like the kid who climbs off the bus at Army boot camp. You barely know enough to respond when the drill sergeant lines you up and takes roll call.

There are many of us who have been called by God. Some have joined the formal ranks and will go through basic training to serve as a religious. Others will be called to work formally bringing glad tidings to the poor of body and spirit. Then there are those of us who will do their best to stay on the journey. To follow the path with our eyes and ears open, hopefully learning each step of the way. Perhaps inspiring others to join us on the road.





Master of Light – Good News for November 7

7 11 2009

Luke 16:9-15

Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones. If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust you with true wealth? If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another, who will give you what is yours?

No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all these things and sneered at him. And he said to them, “You justify yourselves in the sight of others, but God knows your hearts; for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God.”

The Daily Path: Here is a reflection that I’d like to share from Fr. Richard Rohr’s book Hope Against Darkness.

“There is a darkness that we are all led into by our own stupidity, by our own selfishness, blindness, or by just living out of the false self. And there is a darkness that I believe God leads us through for our own enlightenment. In both cases, we have to walk through these dark periods by brutal honesty, confessions, surrenders, letting go, forgiveness, and often by some necessary restitution, apology or healing ritual. I still hear of Vietnam vets who feel they must go back to Vietnam and help some Vietnamese children to be healed.

Different vocabularies would have called these acts of repentance, penance, mortification, dying to self, or ego stripping. By any account it is major surgery and surely feels like dying (although it also feels like immense liberation). We need help and comfort during these times. We must let ourselves be led by God and also by others. But how can we know the light if we’ve never walked through the darkness?”

My Horn of Plenty: Having a plateful of anxiety isn’t something that I would have thought to include on my list of bountiful gifts, but perhaps it should be. As Richard Rohr shares, how can I ever know the true light without experiencing the darkness. Perhaps seeing this side of my abundance is another step towards emerging on the other side of darkness, cleansed in the light.

Room to Chat: Merciful Father, lead me through the darkness to Your light.

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