"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Early Morning Note to a Friend

Grateful for these times here early in the morning before my open window:
the waning moon peeking in and making company:
a tinge of pink in the approaching east:
a small chorus of my feathered friends taking stride along with me.
     I think they are singing joy today.
It's the In Between time when the veil is thin and God is near.
And it's important in our day, both yours and mine, that we stop and take notice ... and align our internal frame of reference.
     For love flows from the inside out, not the other way around.

Ah, my first guest has arrived. A cardinal. I must go. Know how much I love you.

Just an ordinary moment...

Friday, March 25, 2016

One Thing We Must Not Bypass

The words were weighty this morning as I read the verses assigned to today's calendar. I began with the Isaiah passage that speaks of the suffering servant. A lamb led to slaughter and a sheep before shearers are just a couple of the images the prophet portrays. We also read words like despised, stricken, wounded, crushed, bruised, oppressed and afflicted. And that was just the prelude to the second reading: John 18-19.  The betrayal, the arrest, the kangaroo courts, the denial, the mockings, the flogging, the nailing .... the death of our Lord Jesus and His burial. Weighty, weighty words that are hard to read ... even harder to comprehend. For a period, all I could do was just sit and let the heaviness have its way.

It is not uncommon to hear people say, "We celebrated Christmas early this year," and I understand what they mean. But when I heard someone say it recently about Easter, it jolted me. How does one celebrate Easter early?

How easy it would be if we could just bypass this day of crucifixion. This "good" Friday. If we could just wave palm branches and shout Hosanna! on one Sunday and sing "Christ the Lord is Risen Today" on the next. If we could bypass the blood and go right to the resurrection. Forego the messy and move to the magnificent. Forget the suffering servant and rejoice in the risen King. Wouldn't that be more ... what shall I say ... comfortable?

But the truth is there would be no salvation without a sacrifice. No empty tomb without an occupied cross. No forgiveness without blood. No Easter without a Friday. No King without a cross.

Feel the weight of that ... and remember this truly IS a Good Friday.


Am I a stone, and not a sheep,
     That I can stand, O Christ, beneath Thy cross,
     To number drop by drop Thy Blood's slow loss,
And yet not weep?

Not so those women loved
     Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee;
     Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly;
Not so the thief was moved;

Not so the Sun and Moon
     Which hid their faces in a starless sky.
     A horror of great darkness at broad noon --
I, only I.

Yet give not o'er
     But seek Thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock;
     Greater than Moses, turn and look once more
And smite a rock.
                                             -- Christina Rossetti

Yes, Lord, let it be.

Just an ordinary moment...