Saturday, January 31, 2009

Body and blood reunited

I was thinking about Christ on the cross, the paschal lamb, the perfect sacrifice; how his body and blood were separated just as it is when kosher meats are prepared.

And I realized that when we receive the Eucharist, his body and blood are joined back together, reunited, made one, as we become one with him.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Biblical passages on desire

Just stumbled across a worksheet for a class presented by Randy Alcorn of Eternal Perspectives Ministries (EPM) which I'm going to check out. It contains a list of Bible passages on the idea of desire. (Ed. Note: I don't know anything about EPM, and haven't checked out the site other than this worksheet, and I am therefore not endorsing the author, the organization, or the site.)

Here is part of the introductory text of the document:

"The purpose of this assignment is to see in overview what the Bible says about desire... I've selected passages containing English words such as desire, long, want, wish, yearn, thirst, tempt and crave. There are nearly a thousand such passages, translating dozens of Hebrew and Greek words. This list is only a sampling, perhaps 20% of the passages which could be included."

1Corinthians 12:31; 14:1
2Corinthians 5:1-4
2Corinthians 7:7
2Corinthians 8:10
2Corinthians 8:13
Galatians 1:10
Galatians 5:16-26 (esp. vv. 16-17, 24)
Galatians 5:17
Galatians 5:24
Ephesians 2:1-10 (esp. v. 3)
Ephesians 4:22
Philippians 1:23
Philippians 3:6-14
Colossians 3:5-10 (esp. v.5)
1 Thessalonians 2:17-20
1 Timothy 2:4
1 Timothy 3:1
1 Timothy 5:11-12
1 Timothy 6:9
2 Timothy 2:22
2 Timothy 3:12
2 Timothy 4:3
Titus 2:11-14
Titus 3:3-5
Hebrews 2:17-18
Hebrews 4:14-16
Hebrews 10:5, 8
Hebrews 11:13-16
Hebrews 13:18
James 1:13-15
James 1:20
James 4:1-4
1Peter 1:11-12
1Peter 1:13-14
1Peter 2:2-3
1Peter 2:11
1Peter 4:2-5
2Peter 1:4
2Peter 2:18-19
2Peter 3:3
1John 2:16-17
Revelation 21:1-6
Revelation 22:1-4
Revelation 22:17

by Randy Alcorn, Eternal Perspective Ministries, 39085 Pioneer Blvd., Suite 206, Sandy, OR 97055, 503-668-5200, www.epm.org, www.randyalcorn.blogspot.com

Thursday, January 29, 2009

You made us for yourself

"The thought of you stirs him so deeply that he cannot be content unless he praises you, because you made us for yourself and our hearts find no peace until they rest in you"

--St. Augustine

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

An inconvenient hotel

The most miserable earthly life, seen from the perspective of heaven, looks like one night in an inconvenient hotel.

--Teresa of Avila

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The world is a great inn

The world rings changes, it is never constant but in its disappointments. The world is but a great inn, where we are to stay a night or two, and be gone; what madness is it so to set our heart upon our inn, as to forget our home?

-- Thomas Watson

Monday, January 26, 2009

How beautiful the leaves

How beautiful the leaves grow old,
how full of light and color are their last days.

--John Burroughs

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Prayer to a Shepherd King

I thought I had posted this several months ago, but did not.

Prayer to a Shepherd King

(Fr. Robert Dalgleish)

Your eyes find me
know me
search me
reveal me
disarm me
unclothe me
love me
delight in me
cherish me
comfort me
calm me.

Call me
draw me
entice me closer to you
my beloved Shepherd
my sovereign King!

How do I remember you?
How do I not forget about you
in the busyness of my life?
Ah; To listen for your whisperings,
to look for your revealings
to sense your appearings.

O Lord, forgive me.
I am so slow of mind and hard of heart.

Renew my mind
renew my heart
draw me anew to you
awaken my love for you
so that my very heart's yearnings
will awaken me to your callings.

O Lord, may this New Year
be one in which I look for
and find you
again and again
every day.

Amen

Friday, January 23, 2009

April

From The Wasteland:

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

--T.S. Eliot

Thursday, January 22, 2009

There is no other stream

From The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis:

“If you’re thirsty, you may drink.”

For a second she stared here and there, wondering who had spoken. Then the voice said again, “If you are thirsty, come and drink,” and of course she remembered what Scrubb had said about animals talking in that other world, and realized that it was the lion speaking. Anyway, she had seen its lips move this time and the voice was not like a man’s. It was deeper, wilder, and stronger; a sort of heavy, golden voice. It did not make her any less frightened than she had been before, but it made her frightened in rather a different way.

“Are you not thirsty?” said the Lion. “I’m dying of thirst,” said Jill. “Then drink,” said the Lion. “May I -- could I-- would you mind going away while I do?” said Jill. The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience.

The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic. “Will you promise not to--do anything to me, if I do come?” said Jill. “I make no promise,” said the Lion. Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer. “Do you eat girls?” she said. “I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,” said the Lion. It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.

“I daren’t come and drink,” said Jill. “Then you will die of thirst,” said the Lion. “Oh dear!” said Jill, coming another step nearer. “I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.”

“There is no other stream,” said the Lion.

“It never occurred to Jill to disbelieve the Lion-- no one who had seen his stern face could do that--and her mind suddenly made itself up. It was the worst thing she had ever had to do, but she went forward to the stream, knelt down and began scooping up water in her hand. It was the coldest, most refreshing water she had ever tasted. You didn’t need to drink much of it, for it quenched your thirst at once. Before she tasted it she had been intending to make a dash away from the Lion the moment she had finished. Now, she realized that this would be on the whole the most dangerous thing of all.”

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Seeking rest in trivial things

This is the reason why we have no ease of heart or soul, for we are seeking our rest in trivial things that cannot satisfy, and not seeking to know God, almighty, all-wise, all good. He is true rest. It is his will that we should know him, and his pleasure that we should rest in him. Nothing less will satisfy us.

--Julian of Norwich

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A web of words

I want to spin a web of words
to draw you in
and wrap you in gauzy strands
a silvery cocoon of thought
not to eat you
but to keep you by my side
as I sit and weave.

--Chantelle Franc

Friday, January 16, 2009

Play is not enough

No one who really wants to count for God can afford to play at Christianity.

-- H. A. Ironside

Thursday, January 15, 2009

On Cabbages and Pigs

From The Baptism of Imagination: A conversation with Peter Kreeft:

"Well, the cabbages-and-pigs image recalls John Stuart Mill's statement. He said it is better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a pig satisfied. So, if you go to a counselor to overcome your dissatisfaction and exchange it for satisfaction, I think that can be very foolish. There's a good satisfaction and a bad satisfaction, a good dissatisfaction and a bad dissatisfaction. If you have a lover's quarrel with the world because you have been taught to expect happiness from this world yet you haven't found it and don't know why, that's a very good dissatisfaction. If a counselor throws cold water on the fire of that discontent, great harm is done. It's worth having the bad discontent in order to preserve the good discontent, which is the search for God. I think discontent is the second best thing in the world, because it brings us to God."
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"One of the reasons Christians are generally happier than nonbelievers is that they don't expect so much of the world. They look at the world as a gymnasium, or a training ground, or, if they are terribly pessimistic, as a prison. The world can be a wonderful barracks, a fantastic motel, but it's a lousy home."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My favorite drink

"What I like to drink most is wine that belongs to others."

--Diogenes

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

From The Baptism of Imagination: A conversation with Peter Kreeft:

"Faith and hope and love all have a moreness to them. Faith means I trust you more than I can prove, hope means I hope for more than I can attain and grasp, and love means there is more in you than I can possibly love worthily."

Choice

I'd always thought that "choice" was a rather cowardly way to refer to something as seismic as abortion, but recently realized that it's actually a very appropriate term. All of life's nobility and destruction hinge on choice.

Despite God's direction, we chose to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and continue to choose it today. The choice between self donation or self preservation is ever before us.

We are all called to choose, and the choices are very, very hard.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Birth pangs of God

I wonder what the birth pangs of God were like, when Jesus proceeded from him?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Blessed are women

Three of my friends are expecting, and so I've been thinking about babies and loving God.

We are so very blessed to be women. In bearing new life, we are given a very special way in which to contemplate love of God. We can ponder Mary holding her precious son, and put ourselves in her place, transferring the intensity of love we felt for our own new child to this one, who is Lord of All.

Women can explore love of Him in ways which men cannot.

It is a very great gift. We are so very blessed.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

On statements one should not believe

I wonder if the big bad wolf smiled down into that child's face and toothily whispered:

"Don't worry, I won't bite you."

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Presence of Love

The Presence of Love by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

And in Life's noisiest hour,
There whispers still the ceaseless Love of Thee,
The heart's Self-solace and soliloquy.

You mould my Hopes, you fashion me within;
And to the leading Love-throb in the Heart
Thro' all my Being, thro' my pulse's beat;
You lie in all my many Thoughts, like Light,
Like the fair light of Dawn, or summer Eve
On rippling Stream, or cloud-reflecting Lake.

And looking to the Heaven, that bends above you,
How oft! I bless the Lot that made me love you.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

May this year be one of wonder and expectation.

Amen.