God Desires that We Be Free from Fear

Sunday’s first reading is from chapter 23 of the Prophet Jeremiah. We are again reminded that God desires for us to be safe and free from fear. We can be free from fear and anxiety when we rest in God’s love and desire for us.

I myself will gather the remnant of my flock from all the lands to which I have driven them
and bring them back to their meadow; there they shall increase and multiply.
I will appoint shepherds for them who will shepherd them so that they need no longer fear and tremble;
and none shall be missing, says the LORD.

There they shall increase and multiply . . . no longer fear and tremble.

How Will You Choose to Live?

Everything is a miracle

There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.

– Albert Einstein

How will you choose to live?

Wise Words from Annie Dillard

The creation is not a study, a roughed-in sketch; it is supremely, meticulously created, created abundantly, extravagantly, and in fine….Even on the perfectly ordinary and clearly visible level, creation carries on with an intricacy unfathomable and apparently uncalled for.

– Annie Dillard
Pilgrim at Tinker’s Creek

The unfathomable intricacy of the black-eyed susan

Wise Words from Helen Keller

So much has been given to me; I have no time to ponder over that which has been denied.
– Helen Keller

Would that we could all put this into practice.

What a world of wonder has been given to us!

Wise Words from Aristotle

It is no wonder that Aristotle was a source of inspiration to Saint Thomas Aquinas. This is a truth that transcends all time and all faiths.

In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.
– Aristotle

Something of the Marvelous in Arches National Park, Utah

Sometimes Photography is Preaching . . . revisited

Tuesday’s Responsorial Psalm is from Psalm 48, and today’s photo is from the Counterpoint Images of Sister Adele Rowland, OP, who definitely believed that her photography was a means of preaching. It especially displayed the beauty and glory of God’s creation. Sister Adele created her photo montages well before PhotoShop was created or dreamed. She worked with slides and negatives in a darkroom.

Blue Guilin by Sister Adele Rowland, OP

Great is the LORD and wholly to be praised
in the city of our God.
His holy mountain, fairest of heights,
is the joy of all the earth.

Does the Future Look Dark to You, then . . .

  • We survey the events in the world . . . the horror, the violence, the greed, the devastation that is happening to our planet . . . and we would like to throw up our hands.
  • We believe that we are, in our time, uniquely rushing off a precipice. And we are so overwhelmed, we don’t know what to do.
  • We forget that others in earlier times and different places also experienced this.

Hildegard of Bingen lived in the 11th century, born close to the time of another millennium when people thought the world would end.  It was a time of great change and turmoil. Hildegard, Benedictine nun, abbess, and mystic, wrote:

Even in a world that’s being shipwrecked, remain brave and strong.

Her words ring as clear and true today as they did nearly one thousand years ago.

God Calls the Most Unlikely Among Us

Yesterday we read about the call of the Prophet Isaiah. In Sunday’s first reading from Amos 7:12-15, we see that, no matter how unlikely we might think we are as God’s choice for some special work, God just doesn’t see it that way. All throughout Scripture, and all through our lives we discover that God overlooks education, status, gender, training, and economics and calls us to as poet, prophet, and preacher . . . to be holy, to help, and to heal.

Amos answered Amaziah, “I was no prophet,
nor have I belonged to a company of prophets;
I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores.
The LORD took me from following the flock, and said to me,
Go, prophesy to my people Israel.”

We find signs in the most unlikely of places, and God calls the most unlikely of people

Here I Am, Send Me

The first reading on Saturday is Isaiah 6:1-8 – a dramatic story of God calling the prophet. Though we may not see visions, doesn’t it always feel a bit dramatic to experience a sense of call . . . to get a glimpse of the Holy . . . to be grasped by Something bigger than ourselves?

It may even give us the courage to say, “Here I am, send me.”

In the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, with the train of his garment filling the temple.
Seraphim were stationed above; each of them had six wings: with two they veiled their faces, with two they veiled their feet, and with two they hovered aloft.

They cried one to the other, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts!
All the earth is filled with his glory!”
At the sound of that cry, the frame of the door shook and the house was filled with smoke.

Then I said, “Woe is me, I am doomed!
For I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, holding an ember that he had taken with tongs from the altar.

He touched my mouth with it and said, 
“See, now that this has touched your lips, your wickedness is removed, your sin purged.”

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?”
“Here I am,” I said; “send me!”

Can we find the courage to say, “yes’, even when we discover that the way involves a cross?

Trusting that our God Walks with Us

We trust that our God walks with us on the path even when the way is not clear

Friday’s reading is from the 14th chapter of the Prophet Hosea.

Let the one who is wise understand these things;
let the one who is prudent know them.
Straight are the paths of the LORD,
in them the just walk,
but sinners stumble in them.