Friday, October 29, 2010
All idolatry springs from a desire for order. We want to be neat, like the animals. We mark out our territories with musk and faeces. We make hierarchies like the bees and ethics like the ants. And we choose gods to set the stamp of approval on our creations. What we cannot cope with is the untidiness of the universe, the lunatic aspect of a cosmos with no known beginning, no visible end and no apparent meaning to all its bustling dynamics. We cannot tolerate its monstrous indifference in the face of all our fears and agonies. The prophets offer us hope; but only the man-god can make the paradox tolerable. This is why the coming of Jesus is a healing and a saving event. He is not what we should have created for ourselves. He is truly the sign of peace because He is the sign of contradiction. His career is a brief tragic failure. He dies in dishonour; but then most strangely, He lives. He is not only yesterday. He is today and tomorrow. He is available to the humblest as to the highest.
But look what we humans have done with Him. We have bloated His simple talk into a babble of philosophies. We have inflated the family of His believers into an imperial bureaucracy, justified only because it exists and cannot be dismantled without a cataclysm. The man who claims to be the custodian of His truth lives in a vast palace, surrounded by celibate males who have never earned a crust by the labour of their hands, never dried a woman's tears or sat with a sick child until sunrise.
The Clowns of God by Morris West, pg 258
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Thomas Torrance, The Christian Doctrine of God, 15-16.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
It is not that some are all right and others are all wrong: all are bound to seek in honest perplexity. Everybody is an unbeliever more or less! Only when this fact is fully experienced, accepted, and lived with, does one become fit to hear the simple message of the Gospel - or of any other religious teaching.Thomas Merton
Faith and Violence
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Poor people are forced to pay more for less. Living in conditions day in and day out where the whole area is constantly drained without being replenished. It becomes a kind of domestic colony. And the tragedy is so often -- these forty million people are invisible because America is so affluent, so rich; because our expressways carry us away from the ghetto, we don’t see the poor.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution” in A Testament of Hope
Monday, October 18, 2010
It is curious that people who are filled with horrified indignation whenever a cat kills a sparrow can hear that story of the killing of God told Sunday after Sunday and not experience any shock at all.
Dorothy L. Sayers
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Mark Hamilton, discussing Psalm 24
It seems clear, from reading the daily news if nothing else, that there will always be some in this world who want their holy wars, who will discriminate, vilify, and even kill in the name of God. They have narrowed down the concept of neighbor to include only those like themselves, in terms of creed, caste, race, sex, or sexual orientation. But there is also much evidence that there are many who know that a neighbor might be anyone at all, and are willing to act on that assumption.Kathleen Norris
Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
We need enormous pockets, pockets big enough for our families and our friends, and even the people who aren't on our lists, people we've never met but still want to protect. We need pockets for boroughs and for cities, a pocket that could hold the universe.Jonathan Safran Foer
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Monday, October 11, 2010
These are devastating times: 175 billion people are desperately poor, one billion are hungry. Lonely hearts indwell our neighborhoods and attend our schools. In the midst of it all, here we stand, you, me, and our one-of-a-kind lives. We are given a choice... an opportunity to make a big difference during difficult time. What if we did? What if we rocked the world with hope?
Outlive Your Life
Thursday, October 07, 2010
“Benedict called for prayer at regular intervals of each day, right in the middle of apparently urgent and important work. The message is unequivocal. Let no one forget what they are really about. Let now one forget the purpose of life. Let no one forget to remember. Ever.
“To pray in the midst of the mundane is simply and strongly to assert that this dull and tiring day is holy and its simple labors are the stuff of God’s saving presence for me now…
“To pray when we cannot, on the other hand, is simply to let God be our prayer.
Joan Chittister, quoted by Len Hjalmarson in his blog. Source not listed.
Questions of belief aside, no one could be less interesting than the Jesus of the Gnostic gospels.
Alan Jacobs - two consecutive tweets on Twitter, 6th Oct.10
Because they spurn riches as ashes that are dead because of avarice, none of them has anything according to his own will. Whatever each has through the gift of God, let her possess with God. She says that nothing is hers by her own strength, but all is from God who gives all good things to the good. And what are these? Truth and justice, which interweave with all good things.
Hildegard of Bingen, Book of Life’s Merits
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Sunday, October 03, 2010
William Barclay, The Daily Study Bible: the letters to Timothy, Titus and Philemon, pge 263. [Revised edition 1984]