The Wandering Desert Monk

The Wandering Desert Monk

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

O! What pain

O! What pain

What pain arises in my heart
Brought by my disobedience
That sets my being apart
Wounded by absence.

What brokenness! What despair!
Can release come about?
Where is the repair
Beyond all doubt?

My heart cries for healing:
Come, Balm of Gilead
Pour your salvation
Renew me inward

Come, Friend of sinners
My wandered spirit
Welcome to your dinner
Fill with your Spirit.

Ron Friesen © 2012

Loving Wounds

Loving Wounds

“This hurts me more than you,” says the Father, as he lays out his punishment.
“Stop it!”cries my heart, as the toll of brokenness piles up around me.

“These are wounds of love,” says the Father, his voice filled with tenderness.
“How can this be?” screams my heart, as the pain deepens inside of me.

“Your brokenness will be healed as these open wounds receive my loving correction,” whispers the Father.
“This will kill me!” protests my heart, as the wounds fester blood and water from my tears.

“Yes, it will kill you. Your will must die for life to be born out of these wounds,” breathes the Father.
“I don’t want to die,” argues my heart, as the wounds struggle in agony.

“There is no life without death, unless the seed die, “reminds the Father.
“Why do I have to die?” contends my heart, as the pain throbs.

“Your must die to your will. You must give up your rights,” proclaims the Father.
“In your hands I commit my will,” responds my heart., my brokenness is made whole.

Ron Friesen © 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Hypothetical Questions....

Hypothetical Questions
by Richard Rohr, OFM

As I write a book on "the Resurrection and the True Self", I am researching a lot of Scripture, solidly for three weeks now.  One of many patterns that is becoming clear is that Jesus almost always refused to answer hypothetical questions.  He must have known the distinction Parker Palmer makes between honest and dishonest questions.  The only honest questions, Palmer says, are those that you do not already have an answer for.  Hypothetical questions are almost always meant to trap the other in an either-or dilemma, and to force the individual to reveal his or her group loyalties through stating this or that position.  They usually state the question on a highly theoretical level, where you can force a show-down.  Too often, they are not concerned about helping anybody in particular but making points with the crowd.

Check out these hypothetical questions:  Is it permissible to pay taxes to Caesar or not? (Matthew 22:17)  Is divorce OK or not? (Matthew 19:3) Do you have authority or not? (Matthew 21:23)  Which is the greatest commandment? (Matthew 22:35) By whom do you cast out devils? (Luke 11:16)  Are you for or against this adulterous woman? (John 8:6)  Who sinned, this man or his parents? (John 9:2)  Is the kingdom here or is it there, now or then? (Luke 17:20). These are the ones I noticed.  Jesus' answer in every case, refuses to let hypothetical questions impale him on the horns of theoretical dilemmas. In many cases, Jesus moves it to a specific example (which in the seminary we disparagingly called "situation ethics", and where everything was also discussed theoretically!).

Hypothetical questions have been a high percentage of questions I have been asked from the crowd for over 40 years on the road.  I wish I had learned from Jesus earlier, because such questions are usually not a sincere search for truth or for God.

-Richard Rohr

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Obama-Catholic debate

I have been asked what I think about the Obama/Catholic debt. Here are my thoughts.
I used to work for Catholic Charities who were in the same health care plan which covered all employees of the Diocese of Phoenix.
I have mixed feelings on this debate because like me most of CC staff were not Catholics. Same is true in most Catholic hospitals and colleges in the US. I guess if Catholic institutions want to turn down all government contracts and funds (inc. Medicaid, student loans, etc) and to hire only Catholic employees then they would be free to argue to uphold their view on contraception.
One of the ironies of this discussion is that I am hearing that about 96% of all Catholic women have used birth control pills.
The Amish would be a good example of a group who has been able to make their case that they are free of government interference because they don't accept any direct government aid. They do pay taxes which cover the services they receive like roads. These are my thoughts today.