Friday, September 18, 2009

Celebrating Roy with molasses!

Today we celebrated the life of a friend. Roy! And as we did a story was told of Roy seeking a taste of molasses. His great uncle kept a barrel in his store. One day Roy and a cousin when to the store to help themselves to some of the molasses. They removed the plug and had a good taste of the sweet and heavy molasses. But they could not get the plug to hold in place and the molasses was running on the floor. Roy's uncle kept his rubber boots in the store — and they were filled in an attempt to save some of the precious sweet molasses.

It's easy to point out another's mistakes — but when did you get it all right?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Meditation and the purpose that springs from the resolution

Last night, being Holy Cross Day, I lead the congregation in a meditation of Numbers 21. The following is a quote from Fr David Jenks about the purpose of a resolution in our meditations.

There is more than one purpose in the resolution, and the practice of it ought not to he neglected. It is only needful here to mark that it is a good application of the truth that a meditation is not an end, but a means to an end; meditation is to affect life. When we feel very dissatisfied with our meditations, it is something to know that at least they give us a daily resolution which is to be kept; when we are growing dangerously pleased with ourselves about them, it is a reminder to us of the practical character of the devotion, and a warning not to rely upon our pleasurable experiences.

In small group sharing, be it in Cursillo or a cell group, one of the purposes is to share our struggles and our successes. And in that to share our resolve in faith, whether that be of personal study and prayer, or of some action of faith that one has yet to accomplish.
In prayer and meditation it is vital to resolve to adoration, action, or acts of charity.

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to . . . .
James 1.27

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Jenks - FACE - The Sigh of Jesus

The Sigh of Jesus

“He sighed.”—S. Mark vii. 34.

Picture: Jesus Christ in a Gentile district, sighing over this man whose ailment was typical.

Resolve: to share with him this sigh of being in an alien land.
  1. He sighed.

    1. He never lost the power of sympathy through familiarity with physical suffering. He entered into it, bore its sadness, relieved it where he could. It is indifference which deadens the heart to the pathos of familiar sights.

    2. He sighed now over a sick case which was typical of the spiritual state of the district: they had charity to bring this man to him to be healed, but were unconscious of the spiritual healing which they needed from him.
      Decapolis lay near to Judaea, but felt no need of its religion. Nothing about the world is sadder than its vicinity to the Church, and its natural kindness, together with its ignorance of its real needs.

    3. He sighed too as he foresaw the crowds which would gather from the disregard of his order of silence (vers. 36, 37; S. Matt. xv. 30, 31). Yet he submitted himself into their hands, healed their sick, preached to the crowds, fed four thousand of them. How contrary to this is the spirit of many of his servants, who are offended because the world is not conscious of thirsting for the sacraments! Should we not rather share his sigh, and then do what we can?

  2. He sighed for the man himself.

    1. His sickness was typical of his spiritual condition: deaf to the voice of God, stammering in speech to him. The impediment in the world’s speech with God is unrecognized and so unconfessed sin. It has not heard the voice of God walking in the garden of life, saying, “Where art thou?”

    2. He sighed over the coming disregard of his commands. He put a charge of silence on him for his own good, lest the fruits of his healing should be dissipated before they produced eternal benefits. Here too the man is typical of the modern Decapolis, whick looks for revival excitements and religious advertisement, rather than for the deep things of God.

    3. There was no impatience in the sigh. The man disobeyed, but his diseases did not return to him. The life-long deafness and impediment may be cured, and the man who has found healing in him may yet be very inattentive to his words. Surely the sigh says much to us of God’s patience with ourselves, who often come rather to be healed of the diseases which trouble us than to do his will.
  3. He sighs.

    1. The incarnate God by a human sigh can express to us the mind of God. Study to see the revelation of God in human expression: “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” Not only for the world but for the Church also must God, in the language of our meditation, sigh.

    2. There is often a weight of depression over his disciples from the sense of impotence. He sighs with us in this, in sympathy with our depression who live in Decapolis; for us also, because we so often bear our depression alone, and forget his sigh. For us, too, because, conscious of our impotence, we do not remember his power. His Church, which “with Babylon must cope,” also sighs: she must represent his mind.

    3. Let it be an ambition of Christian life to have fellowship with him in his sigh; to be unselfish, to have the mind of Christ. How can we be indifferent to the joys which the world is just missing? or to the contentment with which many Christians rest in their first healing? or to being ourselves strangers to the experiences of the sacred Heart?