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Lovely photo: Stolen from Collin
“[We] in modern technological society [have] begun to be callous and disillusioned. [We have] learned to suspect what claims to be new, to doubt all the’”latest’ in everything. [We are] drawn instinctively to the new, and yet [we see] in it nothing but the same old sham. The specious glitter of newness, the pretended creativity of a society in which youthfulness is commercialized and the young are old before they are twenty, fills some hearts with utter despair. There seems to be no way to find any real change. ‘The more things change,’ says a French proverb, ‘the more they are the same.’
Yet in the deepest ground of our being we still hear the insistent voice which tells us: ‘You must be born again.’
There is in us an instinct for newness, for renewal, for a liberation of creative power. We seek to awaken in ourselves a force which really changes our lives from within. And yet the same instinct tells us that this change is a recovery of that which is deepest, most original, most personal in ourselves. To be born again is not to become somebody else, but to become ourselves.
The deepest spiritual instinct of [human beings] is that urge of inner truth which demands that [we] be faithful to [ourselves]: to [our] deepest and most original potentialities. Yet at the same time, in order to become yourself, one must die. That is to say, in order to become one’s true self, the false self must die. In order for the inner self to appear, the outer self must disappear: or at least become secondary, unimportant.”
Thomas Merton. Love and Living. Naomi Burton Stone and Brother Patrick Hart, editors. New York, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1979: 176-177.
McCain wants to postpone the VPs debate.
McCain stands up Letterman.
But Letterman survives.
Hat tip: Collin Kelley
Bailout has not passed.
And not only will he debate, he has already won a debate that hasn’t yet taken place.
Hat Tip: Jana Allard
My mother bore me in the southern wild,
And I am black, but oh my soul is white!
White as an angel is the English child,
But I am black, as if bereaved of light.
My mother taught me underneath a tree,
And, sitting down before the heat of day,
She took me on her lap and kissed me,
And, pointed to the east, began to say:
“Look on the rising sun: there God does live,
And gives His light, and gives His heat away,
And flowers and trees and beasts and men receive
Comfort in morning, joy in the noonday.
“And we are put on earth a little space,
That we may learn to bear the beams of love
And these black bodies and this sunburnt face
Is but a cloud, and like a shady grove.
“For when our souls have learn’d the heat to bear,
The cloud will vanish, we shall hear His voice,
Saying, ‘Come out from the grove, my love and care
And round my golden tent like lambs rejoice’,”
Thus did my mother say, and kissed me;
And thus I say to little English boy.
When I from black and he from white cloud free,
And round the tent of God like lambs we joy
I’ll shade him from the heat till he can bear
To lean in joy upon our Father’s knee;
And then I’ll stand and stroke his silver hair,
And be like him, and he will then love me.
Question: Do you see racism in this poem? If so, explain briefly.
BTW, William Blake, an English pre-Romantic, is one of my favorite poets.
How do we live in creation? Do we relate to it as a place full of “things” we can use for whatever need we want to fulfill and whatever goal we wish to accomplish? Or do we see creation first of all as a sacramental reality, a sacred space where God reveals to us the immense beauty of the Divine?
As long as we only use creation, we cannot recognise its sacredness because we are approaching it as if we are its owners. But when we relate to all that surrounds us as created by the same God who created us and as the place where God appears to us and calls us to worship and adoration, then we are able to recognise the sacred quality of all God’s handiwork.
I just read a beautiful, healing poem on Autumnrose’s blog.
Then I saw Karen’s rainbow pictures.
The Created Order as Sacrament by Henri Nouwen
“When God took on flesh in Jesus Christ, the uncreated and the created, the eternal and the temporal, the divine and the human became united. This unity meant that all that is mortal now points to the immortal, all that is finite now points to the infinite. In and through Jesus all creation has become like a splendid veil, through which the face of God is revealed to us.
This is called the sacramental quality of the created order. All that is is sacred because all that is speaks of God’s redeeming love. Seas and winds, mountains and trees, sun, moon, and stars, and all the animals and people have become sacred windows offering us glimpses of God.”
Thoughts from Thomas Merton
“Do you want to know God? Then learn to understand the weaknesses and imperfections of [others]. But how can you understand the weaknesses of others unless you understand your own? And how can you see the meaning of your own limitations until you have received mercy from God, by which you know yourself and Him? It is not sufficient to forgive others: we must forgive them with humility and compassion. If we forgive them without humility, our forgiveness is a mockery: it presupposes that we are better than they.
We overcome the evil in the world by the charity and compassion of God, and in so doing we drive all evil out of our own hearts.“
Thomas Merton. No Man Is An Island. New York: Doubleday and Company, 1955: 163.
I did not ask
to know what I know,
to stand before God
Spirit-filled to the brim—
a prophetic, new voice
within me. Why am I
chosen as speaker,
whose variant words
questioned? It would be
easier to believe as
others believe, to label
what I didn’t seek
but often say,
call it false tidings
not ones of racial salvation.
It is easier to argue
than to listen, easier to
hear the roar of a preacher
than an out-of-place lion,
easier to look for
revelation only from
John. It is easier still
to walk on the white,
stone path toward a country
church or store-front church
than it is to chop one’s
way through the hot, humid
jungles of Azania—
the continent from which
native churches now send
missionaries to America,
so Americans, too, can find
their way toward the Truth,
and the Light, Who is both
dark-skinned and Jesus.
It is a beautiful day, the day the Lord has made. Be glad today.
It’s all about the ordinary, the unspectacular, isn’t it? That’s where you always find wonder. Melissa tagged me, so I will do it.
Here are six unspectacular things about me:
1. My middle name is Rae, after my Dad, whose middle name was Ray.
2. I love the soft texture of apricots.
3. I have never lived alone.
4. Eggs are about the only food I will not eat. Ever.
5. In the 39 years since Bill and I got married, I’ve had four cats but no dogs.
6. I don’t have a favorite color.
Meme terms & conditions
1. link the person who tagged you
2. mention the rules on your blog
3. list 6 unspectacular things about you
4. tag 6 other bloggers by linking them