Lessons from History

Parliamentary government was breaking down at a moment when the economic crisis made strong government imperative… Hitler realised that his own opportunity had come sooner than he expected. The hard-pressed people were demanding a way out of their sorry predicament… To all the millions of discontented, Hitler, in a whirlwind campaign, offered what seemed to them in their misery some measure of hope. He would make Germany strong again…

William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

There are many places around the world that seem to echo the Germany of the early 1930s. A perceived lack – be it of food, of uncorrupted leadership, of employment, of morals, of religious observance, of effective criminal law – creates a vacuum. A vacuum creates tension. Tension leads to conflict. I pray we can work together for good, in humility, for Christ’s sake.

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples – if you have love for one another. “

John 13:35 (NRSVA)

EMDR: Enough

‘It is enough to know that it is He, the all powerful God, who has performed the work… It comes from God alone…’

Teresa of Ávila, The Interior Castle

EMDR again tomorrow. Feel a bit like a WWI soldier sitting in a trench waiting for the call to go ‘over the top’, Dulce et decorum est and all that. And yet I still have to be Mummy. What a peculiar juxtaposition. No wonder my therapist said I’d be glad when the 18 EMDR sessions are over. It’s like intentionally climbing into a car you know is going to crash at 100mph. It’s crazy. But it does work. That I do know. So I won’t give up.

‘Three times I begged the Lord for [the suffering] to leave me, but his reply has been, “My grace is enough for you: for where there is weakness, my power is shown the more completely.” Therefore, I have cheerfully made up my mind to be proud of my weaknesses, because they mean a deeper experience of the power of Christ. I can even enjoy weaknesses, suffering, privations, persecutions and difficulties for Christ’s sake. For my very weakness makes me strong in him.’

2 Corinthians 12:9,10 (Phillips)

Amen, I say. Amen! I pray that God will use all of it for His glory and I thank Him for His provision, everlasting gentleness and the gift of hope. I thank Him for the gift of my patient husband and for my boisterous children, who always make me smile. God is good.

Lent: Being

God formed Man out of dirt from the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life. The Man came alive—a living soul!

Genesis 2:7 (The Message)

Spring is in the air, like God breathed and the whole world burst into life. Garden daffodils wave their bonny heads. The wood pigeon coos from the branch of a still-bare silver birch. The sky is blue, well there are at least blue patches amidst the grey (in England the sky is more often grey than blue). Tiny green buds have appeared on the baby cherry tree that Frank planted last year. For the first time this year I have hung washing on the line. I love the way the wind moves through the trees and idly spins the rotary airer. The clothes almost take on a life and energy of their own.

I suppose we’re a bit like that. It is God’s breath that makes us move, and His spirit that makes us move with purpose. Sometimes when I think of the Holy Spirit I hear a soft wind blowing. In the God-breathed blowing there is life – life in all its fullness. God is around us and in us, just as the air is around us and in us. I am not the air and the air is not me. I am not God and God is not me; but God is part of me and I am part of Him.

“…God who made the world and all that is in it, being Lord of both Heaven and earth… has created every race of men to live over the face of the whole earth. He has determined the times of their existence and the limits of their habitation, so that they might search for God, in the hope that they might feel for him and find him—yes, even though he is not far from any one of us. Indeed, it is in him that we live and move and have our being…”

Acts 17:28

‘And the Word was God’

‘[Christ’s] words are solemn

but not sombre
for they

raise us up

when we have

fallen

and

support us

as we follow Him.’

From The Little Way of Lent
by Fr. Gary Caster

 

Language is powerful. It can build up and tear down civilizations. It is one of the things that makes us human, and it is one of the things that defines us as ‘made in His image’. First comes the breath, then comes the life. First the word, then the act. Language itself is a miracle. We must choose our words with care.

Lord, may my words be always pleasing to you. May I never use them to dictate, or to deceive, or to puff myself up with pride. May my voice always reflect your voice. 

Amen