There is a Light
There is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness may encounter. We sometimes lose sight of this force when there is suffering, too much pain. then suddenly the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways.
Mothers of God
We are all meant to be mothers of God. What good is it to me if this eternal birth of the divine Son takes place unceasingly but does not take place within myself? And, what good is it to me if Mary is full of grace if I am not also full of grace? What good is it to me for the Creator to give birth to his Son if I do not also give birth to him in my time and my culture?
Meister Eckhart, 14th century
“Advent is a winter training camp for those who desire peace.”
Edward Hays, A Pilgrim’s Almanac
Waiting is essential to the spiritual life. But waiting as a disciple of Jesus is not an empty waiting. It is a waiting with a promise in our hearts that makes already present what we are waiting for. We wait during Advent for the birth of Jesus. We wait after Easter for the coming of the Spirit, and after the ascension of Jesus we wait for his coming again in glory. We are always waiting, but it is a waiting in the conviction that we have already seen God’s footsteps.
Waiting for God is an active, alert – yes, joyful – waiting. As we wait we remember him for whom we are waiting, and as we remember him we create a community ready to welcome him when he comes.
- Henri J. M. Nouwen
The Poor House
Hope went by and Peace went by
And would not enter in;
Youth went by and Health went by
And Love that is their kin.
Those within the house shed tears
On their bitter bread;
Some were old and some were mad,
And some were sick a-bed.
Gray Death saw the wretched house
And even he passed by—
“They have never lived,” he said
“They can wait to die.”
Source: Rivers to the Sea
The Newborn Church
The newborn Church, as vulnerable as any human child, having neither money, influence nor power in the ordinary sense, is setting forth joyfully and courageously to win the world for God through Christ. The young Church, like all young creatures, is appealing in its simplicity and single-heartedness. Here we see the Church in its first youth, valiant and unspoiled—a body of ordinary men and women joined in an unconquerable fellowship never before seen on this earth. This surely is the Church as it was meant to be. It is vigorous and flexible, for these are the days before it ever became fat and short of breath through prosperity, or muscle-bound by over-organization…. But if they were uncomplicated and naïve by modern standards, we have ruefully to admit that they were open on the God-ward side in a way that is almost unknown today.
J. B. Phillips
Source: The Young Church in Action
voice of the day
Not everyone can wait: neither the sated nor the satisfied nor those without respect can wait. The only ones who can wait are people who carry restlessness around with them.
prayer of the day
God, we are restless for your justice, your presence, your shalom. We wait with great expectation for the coming of your son. Do not let us become satisfied with partial solutions, but rather let us continue to hope for a redeemed creation. Amen.
Important thought at the beginning of Advent as we wait for the Light of God to come. ~ Pastor Susan
The Country of Shadows
The country of shadows exists within every individual as well as within every community and every nation…. This dark power can and must be redeemed and changed into new creativity, lest mankind destroy itself in revolutions and wars. These dark powers turn out to be creative forces in disguise; they can be redeemed by endurance, understanding and love.
Source: Creation Continues
In the ideal
it is a harvesting,
this work we do—
a reaping of crops grown
from ancestral seeds,
a gathering of first fruit
from vines that trace their sources
beyond the bleach
and black of skin
and root themselves in watery grace,
in knowledge that nurtures us all.
In the ideal
our classrooms fill, like cornucopia,
overflowing with the bounty of our grange.
Life stories, heaped among the texts,
spill into hallways of our schools,
crowd the sidewalks or the subways
or ride yellow buses home,
altering the form of knowing,
Bettye T. Spinner
Source: Teaching With Fire edited by Intrator and Scribner
Food is not merely something we eat. It is a ceaseless reminder that we are mortal, earthbound, hungry and in need. We are bound by a biological imperative that forever keeps us returning to the soil, plants, animals and running waters for replenishment. Eating is life. Each time we eat, the soul continues its earthly journey. With every morsel of food swallowed a voice says, “I choose life. I choose to eat, for I yearn for something more.”
Source: A Grateful Heart
Our Only Hope
“Our only hope lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism.”
Martin Luther King Jr., 20th century
What does non-violence look like for us? It is certainly not the passivity of the victim. It entails resisting rather than colluding with abusive power. It does mean, however, accepting suffering rather than passing it on. It refuses to shame, blame, threaten or demonize. In fact, non-violence requires that we befriend our own darkness and brokenness rather than projecting it onto another. This, in turn, connects us with our fundamental oneness with each other, even in conflict.
Pat Farrell OSF
Source: 2012 LCWR Assembly Address
As life becomes harder and more threatening, it also becomes richer, because the fewer expectations we have, the more the good things of life become unexpected gifts which we accept with gratitude.
Source: An Interrupted Life
Let Us Try Understanding
We cannot require people to love one another, and trying to coerce them to act as if they did does not work satisfactorily, for it seems to breed the very hostilities it sets out to contain. We have resorted to exhortation, persuasion, enticement, encouragement. But these methods have not been very successful, either. So let us try understanding. Perhaps if we can clearly grasp with our intelligent consciousness what kind of being we profoundly are and something of what we may become, we will be able to experience that miraculous shift, that metanoia, that turns the world inside out.
Source: The Grand Option
In anticipation of election day our church sign reads:
We Don’t do:
God Bless America
We Do: VOTE!
America, Bless God!
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