All Our Strivings Cease

‘… spend the remainder of your life only in worshipping God. He requires no great matters of us; a little remembrance of Him from time to time, a little adoration. Sometimes to pray for His grace. Sometimes to offer Him your sufferings. And sometimes to return Him thanks for the favours He has given you, and still gives you in the midst of your troubles. Console yourself with Him the oftenest you can. Lift up your heart to Him at your meals and when you are in company. The least little remembrance will always be pleasing to Him.’

~ Brother Lawrence, extract from his seventh letter to a friend, from ‘The Practice of the Presence of God’

When I am weak, then I am strong’ wrote Paul.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matt.11:28-30 NRSVA

Stop trying so hard. Just fix your mind on Jesus. ‘Whoever has God lacks nothing’, Teresa of Avila wrote, so why do we always think we ‘ought’ to be more, do more? Do I think I can out-do God? Ridiculous! When my gaze is fixed on Him, all the rest follows as effortlessly – and as incomprehensibly – as day follows night.

Thank you, Lord, for Your abundant goodness; may I never forget that Your grace is always enough. Amen.

How Do I Love God? (or: How Do I Love, God?)

Our Lord asks but two things of us: Love for him

and for our neighbour.

These are what we must strive to obtain.

I think the most certain sign

that we keep these two commandments

is that we have a genuine love for others.

We cannot know whether we love God,

although there may be strong reasons for thinking so,

but there can be no doubt about whether we love our neighbour or no. 

~ St. Teresa of Avila, from ‘The Interior Castle’ ~

 

Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.

Philippians 4:5

Building Idols: Making Myself God

A very interesting post over at Rachel Held Evans’ website this evening discusses Jesus and His non-violent nature. It asks the question of whether we as His followers should also follow a non-violent ethic and how far we should take this.

I have made my own comment over there but this is what strikes me most (and this is something to which I have given a great deal of thought):

It is not violence itself which is the problem, but wielding power over another human being in an effort to dominate and control.

If we look at it like that, the hazy areas are a lot less hazy. If I wield power, whether violent or not, to dominate and control another human being, I position myself on a par with God.

I am not God. 

Isn’t the desire to be god-like exactly where sin began?

“…the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God…” 

Genesis 3:4-5 NRSVA

Perhaps this is why we are instructed to be gentle, and to prize humility?

Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.

Philippians 4:5

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Matthew 5:5

And if this only makes you sigh, then these words from Jesus are for you:

‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls…’

Matthew 11:28-29