Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Photo: Ignatius of La Storta (Worcester Art Museum)


Prayer: Ephrem of Syria

O Lord, master of my life, grant that I may not be infected with the spirit of slothfulness and inquisitiveness, with the spirit of ambition and vain taking. Grant instead to me the spirit of purity and humility, the spirit of patience and neighborly love. O Lord and King, grant me the grace of being aware of my sins and of not thinking evil of those of my brethren. For you are blessed, now and forever.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Photo: The Peaceable Kingdom


Prayer: Vincent de Paul

We should strive to keep our hearts open to the sufferings and wretchedness of other people, and pray continually that God may grant us that spirit of compassion that is truly the Spirit of God.



Sunday, May 28, 2017

Photo: Old Joe and his Boy


Spirituality: Augustine: Sermon for the Lord's Ascension

Today our Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven; let our hearts ascend with him. Listen to the words of the Apostle: “If you have risen with Christ, set your hearts on the things that are above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God; seek the things that are above, not the things that are on earth.” For just as he remained with us even after his ascension, so we too are already in heaven with him, even though what is promised us has not yet been fulfilled in our bodies.

...We cannot be in heaven, as he is on earth, by divinity, but in him, we can be there by love.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Photo: Purple Blush


Spirituality: Richard Rohr

All the great religions of the world talk a lot about death, so there must be an essential lesson to be learned here. But throughout much of religious history our emphasis has been on killing the wrong thing and avoiding the truth: it’s you who has to die, or rather, who you think you are—your false self. It's never someone else!

Historically we moved from human sacrifice to animal sacrifice to various modes of seeming self-sacrifice, usually involving the body. For many religions, including immature Christianity, God was distant and scary, an angry deity who must be placated. God was not someone with whom you fell in love or with whom you could imagine sharing intimacy or tenderness.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Photo: Orange


Spirituality: Richard Rohr

If your ego is still in charge, you will find a “disposable” person or group on which to project your problems. People who haven’t come to at least a minimal awareness of their own dark side will always find someone else to hate or fear. Hatred holds a group together much more quickly and easily than love and inclusivity, I am sorry to say. Something has to be sacrificed. Blood has to be shed. Someone has to be blamed, attacked, tortured, imprisoned, or killed. Sacrificial systems create religions and governments of exclusion and violence. Yet Jesus taught and modeled inclusivity and forgiveness!

Sadly, the history of violence and the history of religion are almost the same history. When religion remains at the immature level, it tends to create very violent people who ensconce themselves on the side of the good, the worthy, the pure, the saved. They project all their evil somewhere else and attack it over there. At this level, they export the natural death instinct onto others, as though it’s someone else who has to die.

As long as you can deal with evil by some means other than forgiveness, you will never experience the real meaning of evil and sin. You will keep projecting, fearing, and attacking it over there, instead of “gazing” on it within and “weeping” over it within yourself and all of us. The longer you gaze, the more you will see your own complicity in and profitability from the sin of others, even if it is the satisfaction of feeling you are on higher moral ground. Forgiveness demands three new simultaneous “seeings”: I must see God in the other; I must access God in myself; and I must experience God in a new way that is larger than an “Enforcer.”