Lectio Divina, 20/07/17

In you alone lord I find rest. I labour under guilt of my many sins and offences. Fears fill my heart of time gone bye. Enemies I did not seek, oppress and torment me. By day they harass me and bring to naught my efforts at being myself and your son. I seek only to do your will, yet evil prevails and turns my acts to dust. By night I toss in the mire of my imaginations. Demons seek to destroy me. In my agony I cry, “Lord. I am overburdened.”

One thought only sustains me – “Help me Jesus or I sink”. What is my Yoke, Lord, that I should complain? You took on your shoulders the burden of our sins. For our sins you suffered dearly and died a criminal’s death to save me. Who am I to complain? From you have I received great gifts and wonders. In your presence I have seen miracles and acts that would transform sinners. I am blessed not to deny your wonders. Because I believe you give me rest and lead me to still waters to refresh my soul. Glory be to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

How easy my burden Lord when I link it to your yoke. Teach me Lord to be meek and to accept all that comes as a blessing of your loving Father. Let me drink of my cup in sacred memory of the cup you so lovingly and happily drank. May my last words only be, “It is accomplished.” Then would I have completed the job for which I am created – to live in your joy and Happiness for ever.

About Truth

“Truth? What is Truth, said Jesting Pilate and would not wait for an answer.” (Francis Bacon is acknowledged). One sees Pilate’s dilemma: the elders of the Temple stated the truth as they saw it. Before him stood one who was truth itself (though unrecognised by Pilate). He, himself, did not know which side he was on. One thing was certain, it was that his master resided in Rome, and he would do all that was necessary to please him. That was form of truth to him.

In contemplation, one seeks union with the ultimate truth. In the emptiness of space and time one enters into dialogue with the superior being. The exchanges, not always verbal, come as intimations and spontaneous  awakenings, confirming or denying one’s comprehension of unasked questions. In this the seeking has thoughts ratified by the One who is at once the centre of the universe  and also the sum total of all truth. Faith provides conviction enough.

This is not enough for members living for and through others  in a social environment. Where, interdependence means more than the sharing of physical and social needs, a personal desire for self-worth makes the justification of abstract ideas and opinions compelling.  Ratification by peers and respected groups generates satisfaction. To standardise  acceptability tools have been developed to empirically establish the truth of any proposition, theory or inherent material properties of anything. The truth about anything is established only when it registers on one or any of the senses – or the mechanical extensions of the same. This technological group can be as “fundamentalist”, as those on the Faith end of the spectrum. Both are necessary to complete the beauty and rainbow of human sensibilities, progress – evolution.

The Beatitudes & Gleanings on my Timeline

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

      The poor in spirit are detached from this world’s attachments (wealth, power, means and resources). Being detached from this world they concentrate on things that matter – things of the spirit. People cannot serve two masters: being attached to one they despise the other. Therefore, once they leave this world attachments lead them either to the kingdom of heaven, or, to the other place.

    One does not need to be in a state of “poverty”to realise the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of heaven lies in the doing of God’s will and seeking the perfection Christ directed us to. It does not matter how rich or poor one may be, its the attachment to things created that draws people away from God and God’s will. Therefore, happy the person that sees things of the world as objects of love and respect, only in so much that they provide the means and disposition for a greater love – the source and object of all our love.  

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

    “Comfort thyself! What comfort is in me? I have lived my life and that which I have done may He within Himself make pure.” Through Arthur, Tennyson expresses the wisdom of The Beatitudes.

    We are exhorted to love and pray for the poor. It is no fault of their’s that they are born into the condition where they mourn each day of hunger, disease, squaller, lack of shelter and security. Christ accepts that we will always have the poor with us. It tests those that mourn and us too. In whatever condition we find ourselves, we must strive to be perfect. Christ came among the poor, and felt compassion for those that mourned; performing great miracles to provide comfort and relief. It is a lesson for us that we remember that we are here only for a short while. What we suffer is only temporary, compared to the eternal reward that awaits us if we dedicate ourselves to doing God’s will here on earth. The thought provides hope for those who believe – a comfort in itself to otherwise hopeless sufferers. 

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

    The meek? The gentle, quiet, submissive; those easily imposed upon. Jesus shows the qualities even though he was divine. He showed all these qualities. Still, his enemies persecuted him.It shows that meekness is not a sign of weakness , but is engendered with qualities that challenge the values of the world. Jesus did not claim greatness, nor, equality with God. He submitted to live as a servant and to die the death of a criminal rather than please those in power (and went against the will of God). 

    He submitted to the baptism of John so that righteousness could be served. Yet. His power was there for all to see. The lame walked, people born blind received sight, paralytics moved freed through the Lord’s intercession. He even raised the dead. Still people would not believe. But rather, treated him unfairly and put him to death as a criminal. Even at the penultimate moment he called to the Father,” Not my will, but yours be done”. A lesson in submission and obedience to the will of God. 

    He taught simple fishermen to become fishers of men. In spreading the simple message of Jesus his disciples brought others into the kingdom of God – thus inheriting the world. A world that is opposed the devil; his pomp and trumpeted vanities. It might seem a parallel world (one that does not appeal to many), but it outlasts vanities and is the corner stone to the new Jerusalem: the fulfilment of all desires.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be filled.

     We receive the charism of the Holy Spirit at Baptism. For most it is washed away by life’s trials and vanities. For others it lands on fertile soil, and the infant voice is nourished till it matures into a hunger and thirst for righteousness. One cannot rest until one rests again in the bosom of the Lord our Creator. Life becomes a desert land, a journey through anguish and aridity. It means forsaking the pleasures and allurements of this world and denying one’s self relief or shelter – only the oasis of living waters satisfies this thirst. These are consolations handed down by God Himself along the way. Unlike the manna that came down during the Exodus, this nourishment satisfies both body and soul. Jesus said that man does not live by bread alone; he needs the word of God to nourish him. In a real way, Jesus does not offer words alone, but offers his own body and blood to nourish us as we walk our way through life.

  

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.

     “Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy”, are words we pronounce so often, especially before the Blessed Sacrament. These and other words we say, seem to come from deep within us. But, how often do we utter them “meaningfully”? We demand of the Lord so many things as though we are entitled to them – no strings attached. True. God’s mercy is full of unconditional love – it is like His rain that falls on the just and sinners alike. But, this generation of quick fixes and immediate satisfaction, is like a child that constantly cries, “I want”, and expects the parents to accede to the whim promptly. We seem to forget that love is a two way road. God loves us, but He wants us also to love Him in return. He created all things with no other consideration than Love. The greatest way to glorify Him is to love Him and His creation in return. 

    This love that we receive unconditionally should flow to other creatures in order to glorify the Creator. How can we say we love the creator without showing similar love for the objects of His love and creation? “Love one another”, says the Lord. And. the greatest expression of love is through mercy. We want God’s mercy; we must show an equal measure of mercy to our neighbours and indeed to all creation – a moral justification and expectation for God’s mercy. We can expect, as the Gospel tells us, that God will return the mercy with equal generosity; cup full for a cup full, according to the period belief in reward and punishment. But, Jesus has always taught to go beyond legal prescriptions – to love unconditionally and express that love wholeheartedly and beyond bounds.  

 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God

         I take exception to the current use of the word “ Gay” because it distorts and corrupts a word that signified innocence and joy. Reminded me of cherub faces and damsels dancing on a bright summer’s day. It will never be the same again. Now, for me, it represents narcissism, self-aggrandisement, and corruption of the flesh. Sure, hubris is as old as humanity itself. Those of means have been the worst offenders because they could be more inventive in challenging the establishment and the status quo – indeed they have taken pride in the ability to influence and change what’s fashionable. Brings to mind the rich man whose table crumbs were food for poor Lazarus.

    Children are the purest. Therefore, Jesus asked us to be innocent and guileless like little ones. In their innocence they are able to see and also receive wisdom not given to the mature and worldly wise. They represent the pristine bliss enjoyed by Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. They do as they are told, enjoy simple things and do not care if they wander among strangers without their clothes on. Withdrawn from the world, they experience God within their own cocoons. Indeed, ignorance is bliss when it’s folly to be wise.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.

    The world is sorely in need for peacemakers. Some places are plagued by openly declared armed conflict. In some others there are covert acts of terrorism. In almost all parts of the world people live under the threat of violence. Politically motivated voices fill the air ( some in direct conflict with views held in another quarter). Sometimes I wonder if messages coming from the Vatican too are tinted and partisan. All wars are justified by the contestants. So, can there be peace in the world?

    The greatest pacifist and prince of peace was not recognised by this world. In fact the rulers and soldiers put him to death. Undaunted, from the cross, his near last words were, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”. He was the Son of God. For this he came into the world. He reminded us that to be his disciples we needed to follow his example through all that the world throws at us. In becoming perfect we reassume our heritage as sons (daughters) of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    Persecutions? Who has persecuted more righteous in the last 1000 years?  That said. Persecution has been the privilege of the  faithful. The Holy Father says to be evangelists is not easy; people persecute you and even the outcomes are uncertain. But, as heralds of the Kingdom of God, a place is reserved for them in heaven.  

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

    Those in power have always felt threatened by the good and the godly. How they persecuted our Lord, accusing him falsely and saying evil things against him! Princes and prelates have treated people like St Joan Of Arc and St Mary Mcallup disgracefully. Even now their opposition to the Holy Father is unbecoming. In no way is the behaviour different from that meted out to the prophets of old.

    But, according to the Lord the victims were vindicated. They rejoice for their reward comes from heaven.

To Change & How To Change

Let me play the fool, or a “prophet new inspired”, to a generation that has made sexuality its foremost concern. Thanks to Dr Freud, and some “revolutionary” intellectuals in the last century, our narcissistic bent is a buzz, like some conscience- bitten masturbator, eager to seek consolation, or, absolution. The Church, with its inflexible attitude to morality, seems a favourite whipping post. There are strong representations for it to spell out ( for the millionth time) its stand on this important and vexing issue.

I ask myself, why is it that believers in other faiths do not have such radical dissent with their avowed doctrines? I can not think any other religion that is more liberal and change-conscious than Christianity. We have had Reformations, counter-reformations, and several “Councils” to keep abreast of the ever evolving spiritual consciousness. In many cases the Church has held firm to its ground, against heavy odds, till the storm is passed. And, in its time, found a new and more balanced place that its people can be comfortable in. It is like our spiritual forefathers, who railed about their desire to appointing a king, because it was the fashion in that age and time. When they were given a king they seemed equally keen to rebel against their own anointed one. There were cries like, “Saul killed a thousand men; David has killed ten thousand men”.

Moral of the story, “Only fools rush in where angels fear to tread”.

The Journey of An Icicle

Startled little sparkle
Oozing in the morning sun,
Captivating clouds, cliffs and spotted green
you drop
Silently flop
Onto a heather-down of fresh winter snow.
You seep through moss and cobble slush to the brink.
Transformed, you slip into a sparking gush
of perfect clarity;
Down
down to a sun-filled valley,
Gurgling as you go
Leisurely reminiscing
familiar clouds, craggy cliffs and spotted canopy of green.

A Flinders Street Ditty

Propped up by Young and Jackson

sits, this denizen of Flinders Street,

Watching the passing parade of commutes

in ray-banned glasses and protective business suits;

Protected from the elements and chance infection.

In shaggy beard and knotted hair

he shrugs off dust and itching from his thread-bare gear.

Non-descript.

Arching an eye brow, with a twinkle of the eye,

He rummages for his ukulele,

And strums,

Strums to the filing parade;

“Yo-de-le-hihi, Yo-de-li-hi-e,

You, with the shaded glasses, what do you see?

Yo-de-le-hihi,

What do you feel through the armour of your suit?

Yo-de-le-hihi,

Is there any music from that din?

Yo-de-le-hihi;

I, I see a burst of colours this September Morn,

The warmth embraces my bare arms,

Hear too foraging pigeons that fly

from that tall spire.

Lord.

How great you are! How great you are.”