From My Reading

“How do we remain alert for the signs of God’s entrance into our lives and the life of our time?  What can keep us awake in the drowsy atmosphere of habit that cozily blankets our days? According to Paul, the answer is gratitude. To the Colossians he writes, “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving” (Col. 4:2). Paul is here pointing to the profound relation between spiritual alertness and the act of offering thanks. Gratitude gathers us into that double helix of grace descending and praise ascending that forms the basic design of life with God. Gratitude is the gesture of a heart opened to receive God, a heart acquainted with the shape of things to come, a heart alert to the tremors of a new creation in the birthing” (by John S. Mogabgab in “Editor’s Introduction,” Weavings (November/December 1992). 

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“Fifty years after [Martin Luther King’s assassination, with so much unchanged, Donald Trump has ripped off the scab of the nation’s racial politics, emboldening a kind of overt racism that many convinced themselves had been banished. Hate crimes are rising.  Supporters of white supremacists have found jobs in the highest level of government. . . . For white America to confront the reality of what is happening in the shadows and segregated spaces of this country requires a kind of maturity and honesty that would shatter the national myth that equality has been a shared goal” (Eddie S. Glaude Jr. in Time, April 9, 2018).

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” We are not called to save the world, solve all problems, and help all people. But we each have our own unique call, in our families, in our work, in our world. We have to keep asking God to help us see clearly what our call is and to give us the strength to live out that call with trust. Then we will discover that our faithfulness to a small task is the most healing response to the illnesses of our time” (Henri Nouwen in Bread for the Journey).

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‘The New Testament,” writes Emilie Griffin, ‘is full of [the need to keep the crucifixion and resurrection in balance]: the self that must be unmade before the real life can take hold, the death that must be died, in faith, before resurrection can begin.” This is what Jesus offers us, a way of living that doesn’t do everything it can to avoid pain or run from death. No, His way reclaims them, transcends them, and finally transforms them. We must learn to live in this dying and rising rhythm. Crucifixion is only half the story. “It is in dying,” wrote Francis of Assisi “that we are born to eternal life'” (Jon Bailey in jonathanrbailey.com).

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“We all are bruised reeds, whether our bruises are visible or not. The compassionate life is the life in which we believe that strength is hidden in weakness and that true community is a fellowship of the weak” (Henri Nouwen in Bread for the Journey).

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