Saturday, December 26, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
To predispose our mind to welcome the Lord who, as we say in the Creed, one day will come to judge the living and the dead, we must learn to recognize him as present in the events of daily life. Therefore, Advent is, so to speak, an intense training that directs us decisively toward him who already came, who will come, and who comes continuously.
- Pope John Paul II
Thursday, December 24, 2009
N. T. Wright
"The Most Dangerous Baby" from Christianity Today
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I find it interesting that the meanest life, the poorest existence, is attributed to God's will, but as human beings become more affluent, as their living standard and style begin to ascend the material scale, God descends the scale of responsibility at commensurate speed.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Commitment is healthiest when it is not without doubt, but in spite of doubt. To believe fully and at the same moment to have doubts is not at all a contradiction: [rather] it presupposes a greater respect for truth, an awareness that truth always goes beyond anything that can be said or done at any given moment…”
Rollo May, in The Courage to Create
Saturday, December 19, 2009
- Wendell Berry, from his essay Christianity and the Survival of Creation
Thursday, December 17, 2009
- Barbara Brown Taylor, from her book Bread of Angels
I haven't read this book by Taylor, but her more autobiographical one, Leaving Church, has some very good things in it. This quote is similar to the one I've put on another blog today.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
"Consenting to Consciousness" in Zealous Love
May I be careful to have my mind in order when I take upon myself the honour to speak to the sovereign Lord of the universe, remembering that upon the temper of my soul depends, in very great measure, my success.
- Susanna Wesley, mother of John and Charles Wesley, the founders of Methodism (1669-1742)
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
“… It is the societal map of greed, lust, arrogance, fear, racism, domination, oppression, revenge, and injustice that [Jesus] wants to redraw. He wants his disciples to move mountains of injustice and make new rivers of creativity and compassion flow. He wants them to uproot the fruitless fig tree of dual-narrative religion and plant in its place a spiritual vineyard of joy and transformation. He wants his followers to do the impossible: to label as unacceptable, unnatural, and changeable a world where homeless children beg outside the sprawling estates of the super-rich … a world that could tithe its weapons budget and so feed, clothe, and shelter the poor…. Faith brings God’s creative power into our global crises, so the impossible first becomes possible and then inevitable for those who believe.”
McLaren, Everything Must Change, 300-301
The ache for friends is the one ache that did not come from sin.... God made us in such a way that we cannot experience paradise without friends.
"Spiritual Friendship" from Redeemer Presbyterian Church
The link above leads to a page where you can listen to the mp3 of this sermon.
Sunday, December 06, 2009
St. John of the Cross, Spanish mystic, friar, and priest (1542-1591)
Friday, December 04, 2009
Alan Roxburgh, in a blog post, 29.11.09 on the Roxburgh Missional Network.
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), Seek That Which Is Above,1986
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
I am somehow less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops.
This is an interesting quote from Gould, who is perhaps better known for being his promotion of evolution in biology.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
You become what you do. We are shaped from the outside in ... So we do the Works of Mercy, we bend and we kneel, even when our head is clouded and our spirit is grudging. We cross ourselves even as our faith fails. We light candles and sing "O Radiant Light, O Sun Divine," even when the world seems dark.
- Mary Margaret Nussbaum, from her essay "Hope Is Our Means"
Even in the midst of great pain, Lord,
I praise you for that which is.
I will not refuse this grief
Or close myself to this anguish.
Let shallow men pray for ease:
"Comfort us; shield us from sorrow."
I pray for whatever you send me,
and I ask to receive it as your gift.
You have put a joy in my heart
greater than all the world’s riches.
I lie down trusting the darkness,
for I know that even now you are here.
Psalm 4, adapted from the Hebrew by Stephen Mitchell
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Although it is not always socially acceptable, not always popular, we are called to the ministry of reconciliation. We have been entrusted with a specific message -- that Jesus Christ died to reconcile us to God and to each other. The two things were accomplished at the same time, in the same act of salvation ... This is our story, and we have a mandate to tell it.
- Brenda Salter McNeil, from her book A Credible Witness
Friday, November 20, 2009
Genuine Christian love is forged against the anvil of our selfishness and possessiveness.
... It is important to remember that love is more than a feeling. It is active and transitive. The real test of my loving is not that I feel loving, but that the other person feels loved by me. Love is what I do to create this sense of feeling cared for.
- Morton T. Kelsey, from his book Companions on the Inner Way
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
from: Glimpses of Grace
Monday, November 16, 2009
from a sermon by Kim Fabricius, at least part of which is online in a post on Richard Hall's Connexions blog.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
- Macrina Wiederkehr, from her book A Tree Full of Angels
Friday, November 13, 2009
The Christian faith for most people is not communicated by doctrinal pronouncements ... but by what goes on in the church in its most local setting. It is here, in the church down the street, that people are caught up in the Gospel promise -- or are turned away.
- James C. Fenhagen, from his book Mutual Ministry
Thursday, November 12, 2009
James K.A. Smith
Who's Afraid of Postmodernism?
I have often maintained that the best poet is ... the baker who ... does [the] majestic and unpretentious work of kneading the dough, consigning it to the oven, baking it in golden colours and handing us our daily bread as a duty of fellowship.
- Pablo Neruda, Chilean poet and 1971 Nobel Laureate in Literature (1904-1973)
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
- Nancy Mairs, from her essay "Here: Grace"
Saturday, November 07, 2009
In a religion centered on what is in Christian convention termed a "living Word," even our ridiculously fallible language becomes a lesson in how God's grace works despite and even through our human frailty. We will never get the words exactly right. There will always be room for imperfection, for struggle, growth, and change. And this is as it should be.
See a review of Norris' more recent book, Acedia and Me, here.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
- His All Holiness Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of the Orthodox Christian World
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
James K.A. Smith
Desiring the Kingdom
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
We begin, sometimes without realizing it, to worship things, to relate to them as persons. And in the process, we inevitably relate to other persons as if they were things.
- Edward J. Farrell, from his book Gathering the Fragments
Saturday, October 31, 2009
I found this poem on Bart Campolo's blog.
When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn,
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
To buy me, and snaps the purse shut,
when death comes
like the measle-pox
When death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
And I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,
And each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth
When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it is over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.
From New and Selected Poems by Mary Oliver (Beacon Press, 25 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02108-2892, ISBN 0 870 6819 5).
So here's today's entry.
We declare how we value God as much by our actions, by the way we treat other people, by the manner in which we do our work, as by anything we say. If my actions are wrong or wrongly motivated prayer cannot make them right. If however, despite my failures and inconsistencies, I do on the whole want to put God above all things then prayer will help to purify my motives and clarify my judgement.
Christopher Bryant, from his book The River Within: the search for God in the depth
published Darton, Longman and Todd, 1979
Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
- Hebrews 12:14