PARADOXICAL

The faith chronicles

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

 

Effortless in excellence


Stars do not struggle to shine; rivers do not struggle to flow.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

 

Txt msgs


It is only in the silence of prayer that we experience a God who is with us and a God who is beyond us.

Man is born broken. He lives by mending. The grace of God is glue. -Eugene O'Neill

Who is free? The man who is God's slave! All other freedoms is bondage. -from the novel St. Francis

Sacrifice is the boundless resolve, no longer limitable in any direction, to achieve one's purest possibility. - Rainier Maria Rilke


Come to the water... if we thirst for God, it's because He has first thirsted for us.-St Clare on prayer


Monday, August 18, 2008

 

The Christian as a prophet


Last Saturday, Bishop David said that the Christian is messianic in that he is not merely saved, but saving. In proclaiming oneself saved, he implied, the Christian stops at himself; to bea saving individual, there is a need to involve oneself in a larget community.

**

From HJMN's With Open Hands (pp. 108-109):

"Who are these revolutionaries? Critical prophets are people who attract others by their inner power. Those who meet them are fascinated by them and want to know more. All who come in contact with them get the irresistible impression that they derive their strength from a hidden source [that] is strong and rich. An inner freedom flows out from them, giving them an independence [that] is neither haughty nor aloof, but which enables them to stand above immediate needs and most pressing necessities."

"These critical prophets are moved by what happens around them but don't let it oppress or shatter them. They listen attentively, speak with a self-possessed authority but don't easily get rushed or excited. In everything they say or do, it seems as though there is a lively vision before them which those who hear them can intimate, but not see. This vision guides their lives. They are obedient to it. Through it they know how to distinguish what is important from what is not. Many things which seem of gripping immediacy scarcely stirs them, and they attach great importance to some things [that] others simply let pass."


 

More paradoxes, etc.


But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, 1 Cor 1:27 - St. Paul (as reported by St. Luke.)

To love is always an act of humility. God loves not in order to be completed but to complete, not to be fulfilled but to fulfill.

You have seduced me Yahweh, and I have let myself be seduced." -Jer. 20:7

It is our emptiness and lowliness that God needs and not our plenitude. Speak as little as possible of oneself. Pass over the mistake of others. Accept insults and injuries. Accept being slighted, forgotten, and disliked. Choose always the hardest. -Mother Teresa

Power and weakness. Our deepest need, our weakness, when expressed in humble and persevering prayer, moves our powerful God to answer us. Our weakest point turns to be our strength. And it seems God's power becomes His weakness, because He can'thelp but to love.

For it is your special privilege to take Christ's part, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for him.

Jesus leads us to littleness. It is the place where misery and mercy meet. It is the place where we encounter God. -HJMN

Let us unlearn our wisdom of the world. Let us lie low in the Lord's power, and learn that truth alone makes rich and great. Ralph Waldo Emerson

One day the villagers decided to pray for rain. One the day of prayer everyone gathered and only one girl came with an umbrella. That's confidence. When you throw a one-year old baby in the air, he laughs because he knows you will catch him. That's trust. Every night we go to bed, we're not sure that we'll get up the next day, but still we make plans for the coming day. That's hope. Have cofidence, trust in God, and never lose hope.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

 

The bamboo and the fern


(Slightly edited version)

One day I decided to quit...
I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality. .. I wanted to quit my life.
I went to the woods to have one last talk with God.

"God", I asked, "Can you give me one good reason not to quit?"
His answer surprised me...
"Look around", He said. "Do you see the fern and the bamboo?"

"Yes", I replied.
"When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them.

I gave them light.

I gave them water.

The fern quickly grew from the earth.

Its brilliant green covered the floor.

Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo.
In the second year the Fern grew more vibrant and plentiful.
And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo. He said.
"In year three there was still nothing from the bamboo seed.

But I would not quit.
In year four, again, there was nothing from the bamboo seed. I would
not quit." He said.
"Then in the fifth year a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared
to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant. ..But just 6
months later the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall.
It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive.
I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle."
He asked me. "Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots".

"I would not quit on the bamboo.

I will never quit on you."
"Don't compare yourself to others."

He said.

"The bamboo had a different Purpose than the fern.

Yet they both make the forest beautiful."
"Your time will come", God said to me.

"You will rise high"
"How high should I rise?"

I asked.
"How high will the bamboo rise?" He asked in return.
"As high as it can?" I questioned.
"Yes." He said, "Give me glory by rising as high as you can."
I left the forest and brought back this story.

**

(Optional ending)

I hope these words can help you see that God will never give up on you.
Never, Never, Never Give up.
For the Christian Prayer is not an option but an opportunity.
Don't tell the Lord how big the problem is,
tell the problem how Great the Lord is!


 

The third fall


A man woke up early in order to have his morning devotion (prayer) in the
Lord's house (church). He got dressed, set on his way to the Lord's house. On
his way to the church, the man fell and his clothes got dirty. He got up,
brushed himself up, and headed home.

At home, he changed his clothes, and was, again, on his way to the Lord's
house. On his way to the church, he fell
again and at the same spot! He, again, got up, brushed himself off and
headed home. At home he, once again, changed his clothes and was on his way to
the Lord's house.

On his way to the church, he met a man holding a lamp. He asked the man of his
identity and the man replied 'I saw you fall twice on your way to the church, so I brought a lamp so I can light your way. The first man thanked him profusely and the two went on their way to the church. Once at the church, the first man asked the man with the lamp to come in and pray with him. The second man refused. The first man asked him a couple more times and, again, the answer was the same. The first man asked him why he did not wish to come in and pray.

The man replied, 'I am Satan'. The man was shocked at this reply.
Satan went on to explain, 'I saw you on your way to the Church and it was
I who made you fall. When you went home, cleaned yourself and went back on our
way to the church, God forgave all of your sins. I made you fall a second time,
and even that did not encourage you to stay home, but rather, you went back on
your way to Church. Because of that, God forgave all the sins of the people of
your household. I was afraid if I made you fall one more time, then God will
forgive the sins of the people of your village, so I made sure that you reached
the house of God (Church) safely.'

Do not put off the good you intended to do as you never know how much reward
you might receive from the hardships you encounter while trying to achieve that
good. For your righteousness can save your family and nation at large.


 

The Oyster


There once was an oyster
Whose story I tell,
Who found that some sand
Had gotten into his shell.
It was only a grain,
But it gave him great pain,
For oysters have feelings
Although they're so plain.

Now, did he berate
The harsh workings of fate
That had brought him
To such a deplorable state?
Did he curse at the government,
Cry for election,
And claim that the sea should
Have given him protection?

"No," he said to himself
As he lay on a shell,
Since I cannot remove it,
I shall try to improve it.
Now the years have rolled around,
As the years always do,
And he came to his ultimate destiny ...
Stew!

And the small grain of sand
That had bothered him so
Was a beautiful pearl
All richly aglow.

Now the tale has a moral:
For isn't it grand
What an oyster can do
With a morsel of sand?

What couldn't we do
If we'd only begin
With some of the things
That get under our skin.

~ Author Unknown ~


 

Space


People need space. Some recognize it but only a few dare to fill it. We make choices only to realize in the end that it doesn't fit at times. But the best part is we tried and we learn.


 

The sand


The sand taught me one thing: You can't hold too many things, no matter what you do to make them stay, so learn to let go and choose carefully which you must in every way. - Caretto?


 

Txt msgs


“If your everyday life seems poor, don't blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is no poverty and no indifferent place.” Rainer Maria Rilke

Above all the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved is that of overcoming self.” St. Francis of Assisi

Holiness is a gift from God, not something we can ever claim as a result of our own doing. Life is humbling, very humbling. We need a lot of humiliation for a little bit of humility.-HJMN

The heart knows so much more than the mind.

We are called not just to serve the poor, but to be poor. HJMN

People need space. Some recognize it but only a few dare to fill it. We make choices only to realize in the end that it doesn't fit at times. But the best part is we tried and we learn.

Even if we're not wealthy, God has called us to radical generosity. We can share what we do have and be rich in good deeds. If we have a generous attitude about money, we are much more likely to be generous in other matters concerning God' people and His work.

The worst regret we can have in life is not for the wrong things we did, but for the right things we could have done but never did.

Those who think they have arrived have lost their way. HJMN

God will use my weakness for the accomplishment of His work, since the God of might loves to show His power by making use of nothingness. -St Therese

The sand taught me one thing: You can't hold too many things, no matter what you do to make them stay, so learn to let go and choose carefully which you must in every way.


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