Sunday, November 30, 2008

Lectio Divina - Fifteen

Henri Nouwen, With Open Hands (Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, IN 1972), 56.

Deep silence leads us to suspect that, in the first place, prayer is acceptance. A man who prays is a man standing with his hands open to the world. He knows that God will show himself in the nature which surrounds him, in the people he meets, in the situations he runs into. He trusts that the world holds God’s secret within it, and he expects that secret to be shown to him. Prayer creates that openness where God can give himself to man. Indeed, God wants to give himself; he wants to surrender himself to the man he has created, he even begs to be admitted into the human heart.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Lectio Divina - Fourteen

Matthew 6:25-34, from the NRSV translation of the Bible

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you--you of little faith?Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Lectio Divina - Thirteen

From Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light - The Private Writings of the “Saint of Calcutta” Brian Kolodiejchuk, ed. (New York: Doubleday, 2007) 186-7

In the darkness . . .

Lord, my God, who am I that You should forsake me? The child of your love -- and now become as the most hated one--the one You have thrown away as unwanted--unloved. I call, I cling, I want--and there is no One to answer--no One on Whom I can cling--no, No One.-- Alone. The darkness is so dark--and I am alone.--Unwanted, forsaken.--The loneliness of the heart that wants love is unbearable.--Where is my faith?--even deep down, right in, there is nothing but emptiness & darkness.--My God--how painful is this unknown pain. It pains without ceasing.--I have no faith.--I dare not utter the words & thoughts that crowd in my heart--& make me suffer untold agony. So many unanswered questions live within me--I am afraid to uncover them--because of the blasphemy--If there be God,--please forgive me.--trust that all will end in Heaven with Jesus.--When I try to raise my thoughts to Heaven--there is such emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives & hurt my very soul.--Love--the word--it brings nothing.--I am told God loves me--and yet the reality of darkness & coldness & emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Lectio Divina - Twelve

Jeremiah 1:4-10, from the NRSV translation of the bible

Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.” But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a boy’; for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD.” Then the LORD put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the LORD said to me, “Now I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Lectio Divina - Eleven

Roberta Bondi, Memories of God. Abingdon Press: Nashville, 1995.

Humility for the ancient teachers meant accepting ourselves and others
just as we are, limitations, vulnerabilities, and major imperfections
included, as already equally valuable and beloved of God without our having
to prove our worth by what we accomplish, what we own, what we do right, or
by our status in society and in the church. This meant that humility was
about slipping underneath the whole hierarchical social web of judgments by
which we limit ourselves and one another in order to love and act fearlessly
with power and authority.