From My Reading – July

‘The Devil can cite Scripture for his purpose,’ says Shakespeare, and you can just see him standing up there with his paunch and his black robe citing it. As somebody once said, comparing the church to Noah’s ark, if it weren’t for the storm without, you could never stand the stench within” (Frederick Buechner).

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“Something is authentic when whatever claims it makes for itself are consistent with its own interior reality.  Songs are authentic when they express something their writer actually feels. Mexican food is authentic when the ingredients and recipes used to make it really do come from Mexico. People are authentic when their hidden motivations match the things they actually say and do . . . . For the disciple of Jesus, authenticity is not so much a buzzword – it is a destiny” (Carolyn Arends, Renovare Weekly Digest, February 10 – 14, 2020).

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“When I bring myself into the presence of God, I imagine him in many ways: as a loving father, a supporting sister, a caring mother, a severe teacher, an honest judge, a fellow traveler, an intimate friend, a gentle healer, a challenging leader, a demanding taskmaster. All these “personalities” create images in my mind that affect not only what I think, but also what I actually experience myself. I believe that true prayer makes us into what we imagine. To pray to God leads to becoming like God. . . .” (Henri Nouwen).

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“Difficult times have helped me understand better than before how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever”( Isak Dinesen).

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The word change normally refers to new beginnings. But the mystery of transformation more often happens not when something new begins, but when something old falls apart. The pain of something old falling apart—chaos—invites the soul to listen at a deeper level, and sometimes forces the soul to go to a new place. Most of us would never go to new places in any other way. The mystics use many words to describe this chaos: fire, dark night, death, emptiness, abandonment, trial, the Evil One. Whatever it is, it does not feel good and it does not feel like God.  We will normally do anything to keep the old thing from falling apart, yet this is when we need patience and guidance, and the freedom to let go instead of tightening our controls and certitudes” (Richard Rohr, Daily Meditations, July 5, 2020).

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1 Response to From My Reading – July

  1. Coral Swieringa says:

    Amen to all of those quotes

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