A friend reached out this a.m. after reading St Therese’s prayer. She has lost both her parents in the last few months. We chatted a bit about grief and asking for strength. She commented she wasn’t sure who she was talking to in her head, but that traditional beliefs did not have a presence in her life right now.
Completely understandable, we don’t feel very spirited in the wilderness.
It got me to thinking…
Faith. Does it matter what you are having faith in, or just that you are choosing to believe?
And which feels better right now– to project hope into a future positive possibility or to fear the worst?
Faith is seeing possibilities, not just problems. (What is a problem solver anyway? I think it’s just someone that believes in possible solutions.)
who’s the ass?
“Keep a clear eye toward life’s end. Do not forget your purpose and destiny as God’s creature. What you are in his sight is what you are and nothing more. Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take nothing that you have received…but only what you have given; a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice, and courage.”
― St. Francis of Assisi
Every heard of a Jerusalem donkey? That’s the one with the cross on his back. Legend has it he was devoted and dismayed he could not carry the cross for his beloved Lord. He turned away from the scene on Calgary Hill in horror, and the shadow of the cross fell upon his back.
In biblical times, the donkey was a symbol of peace, due to its stoic and steady nature, and for being tremendously affectionate. Donkeys are now reputed to be stubborn or dumb, but in truth they have an excellent capacity to learn and good memories. Their sense of self preservation is highly developed, so when they detect danger they stand firmly against it.
Go figure the Prince of Peace rode into Jerusalem on a donkey’s back, rather than an easily spooked horse, who in those times symbolized war and dominance.
Ever stop and think about the donkey’s role in the Easter story? It’s pretty profound. It always helps to shift the lens we are looking through and let go of assumptions, especially with bible stories as we translate our interpretations into God’s word. An old adage from high school- “when you assume you make an ass out of you and me.” Translation: never assume you know the whole story.
“ Love is not about concepts; love is about action. Love in action can only produce happiness. Fear in action can only produce suffering.
The only way to master love is to practice love. You don’t need to justify your love, you don’t need to explain your love; you just need to practice your love. Practice creates the master. “
~ Don Miguel Ruiz, The Mastery of Love
“I hope you recognize love as the most powerful force for personal change and for changing the world around us. Yes we live in scary times. Yes, people are hurting. Yes, people are hurting one another. But anger is not the key; revenge is not the answer. The way of love- the love and power of God- is the key to our hope and our future.
The message of God is very simple. Love one another. Take care of one another. Take care of creation. And while you’re at it, love me- love God. Do that and you will find your way.”
~ Bishop Michael Curry, The Power of Love
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