The Wandering Desert Monk

The Wandering Desert Monk

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Choose carefully!

"Wait a little while, my soul, await the promise of God, and you will have the fullness of all that is good in heaven. If you yearn inordinately for the good things of this life, you will lose those which are heavenly and eternal. Use temporal things properly, but always desire what is eternal. Temporal things can never fully satisfy you, for you were not created to enjoy them alone . . . for your blessedness and happiness lie only in God, who has made all things from nothing."
— Thomas a' Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, p. 133-34

Monday, February 27, 2017

How do you see God?

The operative image of God for most Christians (except for the mystics) is a powerful monarch, usually an old white man sitting on a throne. It’s no accident that the Latin word for God, Deus, came from the same root as Zeus. At the risk of shocking you, let me say that Christianity hasn’t moved much beyond the mythological image of Zeus. Yet this is not the image of God revealed to us by Jesus—a vulnerable baby born in an occupied and oppressed land; a refugee; a humble carpenter whose friends were fishermen, prostitutes, and tax-collectors; a political criminal executed on a cross. In other words, Jesus shows a vulnerable God much more than the almighty one Christians often assume. – Richard Rohr

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Is your God too small?

“I am impressed with the wonder of what God says, but He cannot expect me really to live it out in the details of my life!” When it comes to facing Jesus Christ on His own merits, our attitude is one of pious superiority – “Your ideals are high and they impress us, but in touch with actual things, it cannot be done.” Each of us thinks about Jesus in this way in some particular. These misgivings about Jesus start from the amused questions put to us when we talk of our transactions with God – “Where are you going to get your money from? How are you going to be looked after?” Or they start from ourselves when we tell Jesus that our case is a bit too hard for Him. “It is all very well to say ‘Trust in the Lord,’ but a man must live, and Jesus has nothing to draw with – nothing whereby to give us these things.” Beware of the pious fraud in you which says – “I have no misgivings about Jesus, only about myself.” None of us ever had misgivings about ourselves; we know exactly what we cannot do, but we do have misgivings about Jesus. We are rather hurt at the idea that He can do what we cannot.

My misgivings arise from the fact that I ransack my own person to find out how He will be able to do it. My questions spring from the depths of my own inferiority. If I detect these misgivings in myself, let me bring them to the light and confess them – “Lord, I have had misgivings about Thee, I have not believed in Thy wits apart from my own; I have not believed in Thine almighty power apart from my finite understanding of it.” – Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for his Highest. 2/16