“Dear Lord, help me to remember that you gave me life. Teach me to slow down, to be still and enjoy the pleasures You created for me–to be aware of the beauty that surrounds me: the marvel of mountains, the calmness of lakes, the fragility of a flower petal. I need to remember all these things come from You. ”
Nelson Mandela described the African term “ubuntu,” referring to the fact that everyone, no matter their color, religion, or even their status as a friend or enemy, is tied to everyone else. “The question is,” says Mandela, “are you going to enable the community around you to be able to improve?” Forgiveness is about enabling our communities to improve. From William A Barry, “Changed Heart, Changed World”
“What is important for me is not if our civilization will survive or not but if we can continue to live with hope, and I really think we can because our Lord has given us his promise that he will stay with us at all times. He is the God of the living. He has overcome evil and death and his love is stronger than any form of death and destruction. That is why I feel that we should continually avoid the temptation of despair and deepen our awareness that God is present in the midst of all the chaos that surrounds us and that that presence allows us to live joyfully and peacefully in a world so filled with sorrow and conflict.” Henri Nouwen
What the Apostle Paul wrote nearly two thousand years ago still resonates is our lives today:
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12
“What is important for me is not if our civilization will survive or not but if we can continue to live with hope, and I really think we can because our Lord has given us his promise that he will stay with us at all times. He is the God of the living. He has overcome evil and death and his love is stronger than any form of death and destruction. That is why I feel that we should continually avoid the temptation of despair and deepen our awareness that God is present in the midst of all the chaos that surrounds us and that that presence allows us to live joyfully and peacefully in a world so filled with sorrow and conflict” Henri Nouwen
The Comet NEOWISE has certainly lifted our eyes and our spirits. I have been out twice so far to see it. I am profoundly stirred as I think of how it moves in our solar system, amidst the vast dimensions and silence of space, known only–and filled–by Creator God.
(PS I took this image with my iPhone 11Pro, half firmly against the roof of my car for four second, looking towards Mt Emily in the Grande Ronde Valley.)
“Peace is the pervasive sense of contentment that comes from being rooted in God while being fully aware of one’s own nothingness. It is a state the endures beyond the ups and downs of life, beyond the emotions of joy and sorrow. At the deepest level one knows that all is well, that everything is all right despite all appearances to the contrary.” Fr. Thomas Keating
Every year as I read through my chronological Bible, something new jumps out at me. Psalm 43:3 did that to me recently. I realized how deeply I need God’s light and faithful care–and that ultimately, God within me, is leading me to His Holy Place where I will live and be sustained forever.
Recently, a New York Times writer interviewed Bob Dylan about his latest album and his life and career. He offered this telling insight of Little Richard and why our society did not appreciate his talent as a Gospel singer:
“Probably because gospel music is the music of good news and in these days there just isn’t any. Good news in today’s world is like a fugitive, treated like a hoodlum and put on the run. Castigated. All we see is good-for-nothing news. And we have to thank the media industry for that. It stirs people up. Gossip and dirty laundry. Dark news that depresses and horrifies you.
“On the other hand, gospel news is exemplary. It can give you courage. You can pace your life accordingly, or try to, anyway. And you can do it with honor and principles. There are theories of truth in gospel but to most people it’s unimportant. Their lives are lived out too fast. Too many bad influences. Sex and politics and murder is the way to go if you want to get people’s attention. It excites us, that’s our problem.” Bob Dylan