Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hidden meanings

Artist: Henri Rousseau
Image from Wikimedia Commons

Today I offer you the following. Make of it what you will!
"Everything in this world has a hidden meaning. . . Men, animals, trees, stars, these are all hieroglyphics. . . When you see them, you do not understand them. You think they are really men, animals, trees, stars. It is only years later, that you understand."
— Nikos Kazantskis in Zorba the Greek

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Our challenge

Artist: Ludwig Rösch 
Image from Wikimedia Commons 

I first discovered the recorded talks by John Main back in the early 90s. He was very much a forerunner in the re-discovery, really, of meditative practices in the Christian tradition.
"Our challenge as Christians is not to try to convert people around us to our way of belief but to love them, to be ourselves living incarnations of what we believe, to live what we believe and to love what we believe." 
-- Fr. John Main 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Learning to see the face of Jesus

Artist: Alexander Beridze
(Image from Wikimedia Commons)

I read on another blog today, the story of someone doing a pastoral internship who was very frustrated by the need to have patience with a mentally handicapped man who liked to hang around the church. Finally the intern asked the supervising priest how he managed so well.
"Well," [the priest] said, "he’s Jesus." 

Before [the intern] could fall into a deep hole of guilt and pointless shame, [the supervisor] added this... The secret to a successful Christian life, he said, is seeing the face of Jesus in others and also knowing that you are Jesus’ face to someone else.  
I was taught this many, many years ago when I was child. I'm not very good at it at all. And, yet, knowing that this is what it's all about brings me great consolation.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Being itself

12th Century icon 
Image from Wikimedia Commons 

Here's something very, very refreshing by Richard Rohr:
It seems to me that we have made God a being instead of Being itself. Both John Duns Scotus and Thomas Aquinas said “Deus est Ens,” or “God is existence itself.” That is the first name of God in the Book of Exodus (3:14), which could rightly be translated “I am Am-ness,” or perhaps as Acts of the Apostles puts it: “God is the one in whom we live, and move, and have our being”
God is not A being alongside other beings. To believe that, to assert that, is actually to limit God when you think about it.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Knowing when we have fallen

Artist: Pieter Bruegel the Elder 
Image from Wikimedia Commons 

Oh, I think this is so very, very true. And, if we let it, this realization can help us cultivate compassion for those who have no idea at all that they are in spiritual darkness:
We stumble and fall constantly even when we are most enlightened. But when we are in true spiritual darkness, we do not even know that we have fallen.
-- Thomas Merton