Friday, October 30, 2015

What wondrous love is this?

It’s impossible for God to not love us!  And this is our safeguard. I can refuse that love, I can refuse just like the Good Thief did, until the end of his life.  But that love was waiting for him there. The most wicked and the most blasphemous person is loved by God with the tenderness of a father.  And just as Paul said, as the Gospel said, as Jesus said: "Like a hen with her brood."  And God the all-powerful, the Creator can do everything: God weeps!  All of God’s love is contained in this weeping by Jesus over Jerusalem and in those tears.  God weeps for me when I move away from him: God weeps for each one of us: God weeps for the evil people who do so many bad things, cause so much harm to mankind… He is waiting, he is not condemning (us) and he is weeping.  Why?  Because he loves (us)!  ~Pope Francis, 10/29/15 

Dear Jesus, crucified for love of me,
let me never refuse the love You offer me!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

30th Sunday of Ordinary Time

“Master, I want to see.”  ~Mark 10:51

“The commandment of the Lord shines clearly, enlightening the eyes.” Receive Christ, receive power to see, receive your light, “that you may plainly recognize both God and man.”

“More delightful than gold and precious stones, more desirable than honey and the honeycomb,” is the Word that has enlightened us.

How could he not be desirable, he who illumined minds buried in darkness, and endowed with clear vision “the light-bringing eyes” of the soul?

“Despite the other stars, without the sun the whole world would be plunged in darkness.” So likewise we ourselves, had we not known the Word and been enlightened by him, should have been no better off than plump poultry fattened in the dark, simply reared for death.

Let us open ourselves to the light, then, and so to God. Let us open ourselves to the light, and become disciples of the Lord. For he promised his Father: “I will make known your name to my brothers and sisters, and praise you where they are assembled.”

Sing his praises, then, Lord, and make known to me your Father, who is God. Your words will save me, your song instruct me. Hitherto I have gone astray in my search for God; but now that you light my path, Lord, and I find God through you, and receive the Father from you, I become co-heir with you, since you were not ashamed to own me as your brother.

Let us, then, shake off forgetfulness of truth, shake off the mist of ignorance and darkness that dims our eyes, and contemplate the true God, after first raising this song of praise to him: “All hail, O Light!”

For upon us, buried in darkness, imprisoned in the shadow of death, a heavenly light has shone, a light of a clarity surpassing the sun’s, and of a sweetness exceeding any this earthly life can offer. That light is eternal life, and those who receive it live.

Night, on the other hand, is afraid of the light, and melting away in terror gives place to the day of the Lord. Unfailing light has penetrated everywhere, and sunset has turned into dawn.

This is the meaning of the new creation; for the Sun of Righteousness, pursuing his course through the universe, visits all alike, in imitation of his Father, “who makes his sun rise upon all,” and bedews everyone with his truth.

He it is who has changed sunset into dawn and death into life by his crucifixion; he it is who has snatched the human race from perdition and exalted it to the skies.

Transplanting what was corruptible to make it incorruptible, transforming earth into heaven, he, God’s gardener, points the way to prosperity, prompts his people to good works, “reminds them how to live” according to the truth, and bestows on us the truly great and divine heritage of the Father, which cannot be taken away from us.

He deifies us by his heavenly teaching, instilling his laws into our minds, and writing them on our hearts. What are the laws he prescribes? That all, be they of high estate or low, shall know God. “And I will be merciful to them,” God says, “and I will remember their sin no more.”

Let us accept the laws of life, let us obey God’s promptings. Let us learn to know him, so that he may be merciful to us. Although he stands in no need of it, let us pay God our debt of gratitude in willing obedience as a rent, so to speak, which we owe him for our lodging here below.

~St. Clement of Alexandria, c. 150-215

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Deliver us, O Lord!

Let not the flood sweep over me,
or the deep swallow me up...
~Psalm 69:15

Friday, October 23, 2015


Conversion is a duty.
Pope Francis, 10/22/15 Homily

From me is thy fruit found.
Hosea 14:8

Thursday, October 22, 2015

"Love is such a priceless treasure..."

Go, and fear not. Be not bitter against anyone. Be not angry if you are wronged. Forgive. Be reconciled with everyone you know. If you are penitent, you love. And if you love, you are of God. All things are atoned for, all things are saved by love. Love is such a priceless treasure that you can redeem the whole world by it, and expiate not only your own sins but the sins of others.  ~Fyodor Dostoyevsky in The Brothers Karamazov
And above all these things put on love,
which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
~Colossians 3:14

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Autumn Joys

You crown the year with Your bounty.  ~Psalm 65:11

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

"How can I keep from singing?"

Ah, he has loved me!  I say he has loved even me, even me myself, I say, such as I am, and has delivered himself to his passion for me....  Ah, what was I when I was not?  What was I, who even now when I am something am still only a mere, pitiful worm of the earth?  Yet from the depths of his eternity  God thought thoughts of benediction in my behalf.  He meditated and planned, yes, determined to know the hour of my birth, of my baptism, of all the inspirations he would give me, and in sum, of all the benefits he would do me and offer to me.  Ah, is there kindness like to such kindness?  ~St. Francis de Sales, Treatise on the Love of God, Book 12, Chapter 12
I will sing of thy steadfast love, O Lord, for ever.  ~Psalm 89(88):1 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

"the power to descend"

Valley of Baca (valley of weeping or vale of tears) in Israel
"We have all had times on the mount, when we have seen things from God’s standpoint and have wanted to stay there; but God will never allow us to stay there. The test of our spiritual life is the power to descend; if we have power to rise only, something is wrong. It is a great thing to be on the mount with God, but a man only gets there in order that afterwards he may get down among the devil-possessed and lift them up. We are not built for the mountains and the dawns and aesthetic affinities, those are for moments of inspiration, that is all. We are built for the valley, for the ordinary stuff we are in, and that is where we have to prove our mettle. Spiritual selfishness always wants repeated moments on the mount. We feel we could talk like angels and live like angels, if only we could stay on the mount. The times of exaltation are exceptional, they have their meaning in our life with God, but we must beware lest our spiritual selfishness wants to make them the only time."  ~Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest
"As they go through the valley of Baca*
they make it a place of springs."
~Psalm 84(83):6 

Friday, October 16, 2015

"One sets out from God to go to God..."

Photography by Ann L. Krumrein
The Spanish sailors who accompanied Christopher Columbus mutinied several times, going so far as to threaten him with death if he did not issue the order to turn back, long before they had reached the vicinity of San Salvador.  Nothing less was needed for America to be discovered than the marvelous trust in God of this incomparable man, who said to the incredulous: "Give me three more days and I will give you a world."

But America was not the Absolute.  It was a point of arrival where it would be possible to catch your breath, and from which in the end you would come back.  The Absolute, on the contrary, is without return journeys.  One does not come back from it because it is a journey without end.

The mystery is that the Absolute is not only an abyss opening on Eternity, but that it is at the same time the one and only point of departure, the starting place.  One sets out from God to go to God, and this is the only shift in place which has any appreciable meaning, any usefulness.  Everything else, that is, any journey in which one thinks one is going somewhere, is literally stupid, and the faster one goes, the more idiotic it is.

But once again, the Absolute is a journey without homecomings, and that is why those who start on it have so few companions. Think of it! Always to want the same thing, always to go in the same direction, to walk night and day, without even veering to right or to left, and – were it only for an instant – to conceive the whole of life, all thoughts, all feelings, all acts down to the last heartbeat, as the perpetual working out of an initial decree of the all-powerful Will.

~Leon Bloy, in Pilgrim of the Absolute

"I am Alpha and Omega;
the beginning and the end.
To him that thirsts,
I will give of the fountain of the water of life, freely."
~Revelation 21:6