Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Lectio Divina One Hundred and Forty-Six

Martin Luther King, Jr., “Playboy Interview,” in A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr., ed. James M. Washington.  San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1991, p. 356.

It disturbed me when I first heard [myself described as an extremist.]  But when I began to consider the true meaning of the word, I decided that perhaps I would like to think of myself as an extremist – in the light of the spirit which made Jesus an extremist for love.  If it sounds as though I am comparing myself to the Savior, let me remind you that all who honor themselves with the claim of being “Christians” should compare themselves to Jesus.  Thus I consider myself an extremist for that brotherhood of man which Paul so nobly expressed: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”  Love is the only force on earth that can be dispensed or received in an extreme manner, without any qualifications, without any harm to the giver or receiver.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Lectio Divina One Hundred and Forty-Five

Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet. Stephen Mitchell, trans. New York: Vintage, 1986, p.88.

This is in the end the only kind of courage that is required of us: the courage to face the strangest, most unusual, most inexplicable experiences that can meet us. The fact that people have in this sense been cowardly has done infinite harm to life; the experiences that are called “apparitions,” the whole so-called “spirit world,” death, all these Things that are so closely related to us, have through our daily defensiveness been so entirely pushed out of life that the senses with which we might have been able to grasp them have atrophied. To say nothing of God. But the fear of the inexplicable has not only impoverished the reality of the individual; it has also narrowed the relationship between one human being and another, which has as it were been lifted out of the riverbed of infinite possibilities and set down in a fallow place on the bank, where nothing happens.