Let there be light

At Easter, on the morning of the first day of the week, God said once again: “Let there be light”. The night on the Mount of Olives, the solar eclipse of Jesus’ passion and death, the night of the grave had all passed. Now it is the first day once again – creation is beginning anew. “Let there be light”, says God, “and there was light”: Jesus rises from the grave. Life is stronger than death. Good is stronger than evil. Love is stronger than hate. Truth is stronger than lies. The darkness of the previous days is driven away the moment Jesus rises from the grave and himself becomes God’s pure light. But this applies not only to him, not only to the darkness of those days. With the resurrection of Jesus, light itself is created anew. He draws all of us after him into the new light of the resurrection and he conquers all darkness. He is God’s new day, new for all of us.

~Pope Benedict XVI, Homily, Easter Vigil Mass 2012

Itching ears

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths. As for you, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry.

~Second Letter of St. Paul to St. Timothy 4:3-5

There is his work

Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. At the end all his disciples deserted him. On the Cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers. For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God. So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the thick of foes. There is his commission, there is his work.

~Dietrich Bonhoeffer, via OH……….. FRANCESCO

Do not think that

Do not think that
reading is sufficient without fervor,
reflection without devotion,
investigation without admiration,
observation without exultation,
industry without piety,
knowledge without charity,
intelligence without humility,
study without divine grace,
or the reflecting power of a soul without the inspiration of divine wisdom.

~St. Bonaventure, The Soul’s Journey into God, Prologue 4

He found himself wrestling with what it meant

Looking back on his experience of lifelong conversion and discernment, Francis recognized that he was not in control of his circumstances. He found himself wrestling with what it meant to live in a way pleasing to God, while at the service of others. It is at this nexus of evangelical life and humble service that Francis encountered his authentic self.

~Francis of Assisi and the Future of Faith by Daniel Horan OFM

The fruit of silence and solitude

In a country in which the vast majority of people believe in God, it amazes me how we have been so seduced by the power of entertainment that we no longer have the will to simply turn it off. Day in and day out we are drenched by a torrent of words. Words, words, words…but little silence for the Word to reside. We must be still in order to move into a greater union with Christ. We must give Christ our time regularly, day in, day out, coming before Him just as we are, wounded and weak. Without silence there is a deep level of our being which is not contributing to our wholeness. We are incomplete without the fruit of silence and solitude. But withdrawal from the endless possibilities for stimulation modern life offers is painful. It takes faith and hope to give God time.

Gerry Straub, “Glorifying Banality”, Gerry Straub’s Blog

Worshiping an entirely different Master

So it’s not a matter of being right on social justice and wrong on sex (nor of celibacy being a higher calling than marriage): it’s a matter of the ground of existence, whatever our station in life, being love. It’s a matter of worshiping an entirely different Master than the world, whose gods are security, comfort, efficiency, power, property, prestige and control. I wanted to say to my friend, Haven’t you ever wanted to bow your head in wonder? Haven’t you ever looked around for Someone to thank? In so many words I did say those things, and then I wrenched my hands, for I could feel her embarrassment for me and my “archaic” views, and stammered: “I actually believe it…I believe Christ is the Savior of the world”….

Heather King, Shirt of Flame, “Pope Francis”

Everything else thrown in

There are no real personalities apart from God. Until you have given up your self to Him you will not have a real self. Sameness is to be found most among the most ‘natural’ men, not among those who surrender to Christ. How monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerers have been; how gloriously different are the saints. But there must be a real giving up of the self. You must throw it away ‘blindly’ so to speak. Christ will indeed give you a real personality; but you must not go to Him for the sake of that. As long as your own personality is what you are bothering about you are not going to Him at all. The very first step is to try to forget about the self altogether. Your real, new self (which is Christ’s and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him…Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ, and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.

~C.S. Lewis via Little Portion Hermitage.

Each of these idols must be smashed

If we exalt money, status, or sex above the Word of God, we are living in idolatry. Every time we inwardly submit to the strongholds of fear, bitterness, and pride, we are bowing to the rulers of darkness. Each of these idols must be smashed, splintered, and obliterated from the landscape of our hearts.

~ Francis Frangipane via Flowing Faith