Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Readings for today; court at 2:30EST

God is good.

Is 50:4-9a

The Lord GOD has given me
a well-trained tongue,
That I might know how to speak to the weary
a word that will rouse them.
Morning after morning
he opens my ear that I may hear;
And I have not rebelled,
have not turned back.
I gave my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;
My face I did not shield
from buffets and spitting.

The Lord GOD is my help,
therefore I am not disgraced;
I have set my face like flint,
knowing that I shall not be put to shame.
He is near who upholds my right;
if anyone wishes to oppose me,
let us appear together.
Who disputes my right?
Let him confront me.
See, the Lord GOD is my help;
who will prove me wrong?

Responsorial Psalm
69:8-10, 21-22, 31 and 33-34

R. (14c) Lord, in your great love, answer me.
For your sake I bear insult,
and shame covers my face.
I have become an outcast to my brothers,
a stranger to my mother’s sons,
because zeal for your house consumes me,
and the insults of those who blaspheme you fall upon me.
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.
Insult has broken my heart, and I am weak,
I looked for sympathy, but there was none;
for consolers, not one could I find.
Rather they put gall in my food,
and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.
I will praise the name of God in song,
and I will glorify him with thanksgiving:
“See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the LORD hears the poor,
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not.”
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.

Heb 12:1-3

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us
while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. For the sake of the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God. Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners, in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart.

Mt 26:14-25
One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot,
went to the chief priests and said,
“What are you willing to give me
if I hand him over to you?”
They paid him thirty pieces of silver,
and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
the disciples approached Jesus and said,
“Where do you want us to prepare
for you to eat the Passover?”
He said,
“Go into the city to a certain man and tell him,
‘The teacher says, My appointed time draws near;
in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples.”‘“
The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered,
and prepared the Passover.

When it was evening,
he reclined at table with the Twelve.
And while they were eating, he said,
“Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
Deeply distressed at this,
they began to say to him one after another,
“Surely it is not I, Lord?”
He said in reply,
“He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me
is the one who will betray me.
The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him,
but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.
It would be better for that man if he had never been born.”
Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply,
“Surely it is not I, Rabbi?”
He answered, “You have said so.”

The suffering servant

This week's OT readings center around Isaiah's suffering servant passages. On Sunday the Psalm was 22, which opens "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?"

Matthew's passion narrative includes this phrase (in 27:46), when Jesus cries it out at about the ninth hour.

The phrase bothered me coming from His mouth. How could God abandon Him?

He couldn't.

First off, God is love, and He is Jesus' Father. He would never forsake Him. He never abandons us, let alone His own son. We only think He does, and Jesus would never be so lacking in understanding and trust.

But more importantly, God -couldn't- abandon Jesus, because Jesus -IS- God.

It would not be possible for God to abandon Himself. When one person of the Trinity is there, all three are present.

So the concept of abandonment was not possible, nor logical, nor explicable. And yet there Jesus is saying it, in black and white.

But a few years ago I found the explanation.

In Jesus' day, the psalms were sung by good Jewish families, and Psalms were referred to by stating their first line. So when Jesus hung on the cross and and said "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?" He was not asking the Father a question. He was reminding those on the ground below Him of Psalm 22.

Psalm 22 is a prophecy of His death. But it ends exultant in the triumph of His ultimate victory.

He was telling those who loved Him that that the scriptures were being fulfilled, but that Easter was coming and not to be afraid.

The explanation made sense. I was happy.

And then a few days ago, as I thought further about this around the supper table, it occurred to me that Jesus doesn't use the word God when communicating to the other persons of the Trinity. He refers to the Father, and to the Spirit, but not to "God".

So that further cemented it for me.

It is good when confusing things get cleared up...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thank you mother

Thinking about Mary's relationships to the Trinity last night made me consider the power of her intercession in a new way. She not only asks her Son to do what she asks (ala the wedding at Cana), she also asks her husband, and her Father.

That's pretty powerful stuff.

Monday, March 29, 2010

For the record

One piece of ugliness in recent days was connected to this blog, and the fact that I write under a nom de coeur.

Eva David is a name I chose to use here because of other mission work that God had me doing at the time I began the blog.

So for the record, my real name is not Eva.

But all you read here is me. The real me. Regardless of name.

Those who know me by another name but never recognized the soul of Eva in my eyes and voice and heart, were not really interested in seeing.

And those of you who do see won't care much about the name.

Cover your ears young man

I am blessed during this season to be in a home in which dinner table discussion often centers around the readings of the day, or a mystery of the faith. Part of tonight's conversation was about the wedding at Cana. DiDi wondered what Mary's conversation with God must have been like.

How strange it would be to be Mary.

How strange her relationship with the Trinity. If it weren't for the reality of the three persons, it would seem nearly incestuous.

Three persons, one God.

The concept of three persons helps explain the mystery, but barely. To one person, the Father, she is daughter. To one person, the Spirit, she is spouse. To one person, Jesus Christ, she is mother.

How then would a conversation take place during her prayers?

Did she speak to one and ask Him to fill the others in?

How did the Father or the Spirit guide her as she considered urging Jesus to turn the water into wine?

Was the Son listening?

Did she do what we mothers do when something comes on TV that we don't want our kids to see; ask them to cover their eyes? Could she have asked Him to cover His divine ears to her prayers?

Holy week 2010

It has been over two weeks since I have been here. In that time, life has taken an unexpected turn, both ugly and beautiful.

I have never used this blog to work through the details of my family life, and this new shift will be handled no differently. God is carrying me more generously than I could ever have imagined, and while the pains are sharper, His confirmation that I am walking as He would have me walk is plentiful.

I hope to be back on later this evening to share some of the things He has been whispering despite (and through) the roaring storm.

Thank you for your prayers. I pray that your Holy Week will be a profound experience of Him for each of you.


Friday, March 12, 2010

Alone and yet not alone

It has been a long time since I went to Him in the waterfall, which is stupid, given how much I need to hear from Him, and to get His direction and counsel.

I thought about this this morning, and imagined Him waiting there alone. Imagined Him exposed in the Blessed Sacrament, alone on the altar. I thought about the intense wrongness of such an abandonment.

And I apologized, not that it makes it any better.

In His love, He whispered that it was all right. That others visit Him there.

How beautiful a thought; that in and out of centuries, people meet Him there in meditation. They go to him in the place that I thought was mine, even though He was the one who wove it as I opened my mind to receive Him.

Others also go to Him there.

Imagine that.

I appear once in a while and He greets me as if He has waited solely for me, all His days. In a way, He has. But...

Imagine a monk from 1,106AD coming in humility each day, to rest in His presence.

Imagine a Celtic warrior princess visiting to request help with battle strategy.

Imagine a little child from 278AD Galilee climbing on His knee to be cuddled.

Imagine the mantra of a Hindu guru carrying him there, to this place of divine union.

How interesting that this place He created for me, He also created for others, and that even when I am there with Him alone, it is filled with the presence of His beloved ones, time out of time.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Proverbs 4:23

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sojourner Reports

Beloved reader,

In support of what I hope will be a new ministry, I have begun a new blog which you can find here:

You are invited to follow it if you would like. Debate about potentially polemical issues are welcomed.

Peace be with you,


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Knowing and being fully known

Regarding the previous post, I suppose that Augustine/Aquinas must have been talking about 1 Corinthians 13:12:

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

In Your Eyes

I heard an interview this morning from one of the Twisted Mystics, talking about the song In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel. The guest referred to a concept put forward by either St. Augustine or Thomas Aquinas, about the desire to see the beloved, and to be seen. Unfortunately I can't find the actual quote! If I do come up with it, I'll post it separately.

In the meantime, here are the lyrics.

In Your Eyes

Love I get so lost, sometimes
Days pass and this emptiness fills my heart
When I want to run away
I drive off in my car
But whichever way I go
I come back to the place you are

All my instincts, they return
And the grand facade, so soon will burn
Without a noise, without my pride
I reach out from the inside

In your eyes
The light the heat
In your eyes
I am complete
In your eyes
I see the doorway to a thousand churches
In your eyes
The resolution of all the fruitless searches
In your eyes
I see the light and the heat
In your eyes
Oh, I want to be that complete
I want to touch the light
The heat I see in your eyes

Love, I don't like to see so much pain
So much wasted and this moment keeps slipping away
I get so tired of working so hard for our survival
I look to the time with you to keep me awake and alive

And all my instincts, they return
And the grand facade, so soon will burn
Without a noise, without my pride
I reach out from the inside

In your eyes
The light the heat
In your eyes
I am complete
In your eyes
I see the doorway to a thousand churches
In your eyes
The resolution of all the fruitless searches
In your eyes
I see the light and the heat
In your eyes
Oh, I want to be that complete
I want to touch the light,
The heat I see in your eyes
In your eyes in your eyes
In your eyes in your eyes
In your eyes in your eyes

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Blessed Mother, pray for me

Relationship struggles have intensified over the past few weeks and I have been torn about God's will for me. He has me in a holding pattern, suspended in distance and anger. I keep lifting my heart to ask if I am to revert to my normal response (compassion, mercy, kindness). But I keep hearing "Wait".

It is bizarre.

I see how He is using it to do His work, but it is still bizarre and counter to what He normally asks.

So I wait for further instructions, and pray that I will hear Him when He speaks.

My prayer continues to be that I do His will. That I am open to it. That I am like clay rather than marble.

I will obedience.

But my heart sings another song.

My heart hurts. It is tired. Worn out. Wrung out. Broken and glued together into disfigurement.

It hurts.

I was thinking about all of this while praying this morning.

My prayer to the Father is always that I be strengthened to do His will. No matter what.

I want that prayer. Truly.

But this morning I was given a gift. I was shown that I can pray to my mother, His mother, another way.

With her I can pour out my heart, and ask for her help. I don't have to be careful to pray for the right things the way I usually do. She is Mother. She is woman. She understands that while I long for obedience, I also long for peace and comfort and a simple life of quiet joy. She knows that I won't be rash or headstrong, but that I do need to be able to ask for things that I want. I even need to vent.

For some reason, it is hard to ask the Father. For Him I want only to be holy. With her, I can admit to wanting to be happy.

She is mother.

Blessed Mother; pray for me.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Prayer of Abandonment

I abandon myself into your hands;
do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me,
and in all your creatures.
I wish no more than this, O Lord.

Into your hands I commend my spirit;
I offer it to you
with all the love of my heart.
For I love you, Lord,
and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands
without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father.

--Brother Charles de Foucald

Speak Lord, for your servant is listening

I think our Lord is about to launch me into a new ministry. Please pray for me in this.