Saturday, April 11, 2020

No Retribution

The resurrection of Jesus is a victory both of life over death and of forgiveness over the power of sin and retribution. It is a victory of love. And in this victory is a call to union in the life and the mercy proclaimed through the risen Christ.

On a very practical note, without the resurrection the disciples of Jesus would not have fully grasped their own forgiveness. With the resurrection, however, the despondent and probably guilt-ridden friends of Jesus begin to learn something new: they learn that the forgiveness Jesus has been preaching is an energy that changes lives, including their own. ...

Retribution would be a natural human response to being unjustly arrested, abandoned by friends, tortured, and executed, once one had returned in a body freed from earthly limitations. Instead the friends of Jesus experience that there is no vindictiveness in him, which means that there is none in God. In spite of any appearances to the contrary, love and goodness have triumphed. God is in control of the universe, and they themselves are forgiven.

[For more, see That God May Be All in All: Christian Life and Sacred Paradox, Chapter IV.] 


The photograph for today has little obvious relation to the reflection above, but I took it early last evening (Holy Saturday), and it delighted me. We don't ordinarily see rabbits in our courtyard, but here was one (an Easter bunny?) nestled in the grass, seemingly unafraid of the two of us who were there. He (or she) just wiggled its nose at us, followed us with eyes and a gentle shift of the head, but made no move to run off.  This morning she was gone.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

That God May Be All in All

That God May Be All in All: Christian Life and Sacred Paradox is the title of my new book, recently published.

But what does it mean for God to be all in all? Is this mysterious promise only for the end of time, or does it contain a call to us now?

How are we to let ourselves be transformed in the God who is Unknown, yet at the same time is our most intimate Knowing? And what about the wondrous mystery that the God who is supremely Other longs for us to share the divine life in Christ?

I invite you to take a look on, which will let you view samples of the book.  Just click on the picture of the cover, and you will be taken there.

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Small Gifts

[Used with permission from "Caught Up in God."]

If you are like me, there are some days when, without intending to, you move through the day in a whirl, or in a stupor, or dragging in sadness, or simply preoccupied. On those days we may miss the small but precious gifts we are given.

One afternoon, distracted and a bit discouraged, I went outside and walked around the courtyard behind our house. As I walked I saw, floating through the air, a small seed surrounded by tendrils. I don’t know what kind of seed it was, but it was beautiful, and I reached out my hand toward it.

What amazed me was that it stayed with me. Perhaps there was a very fine tendril clinging to my finger.

 But it even changed hands at one point.

Taking photos was not easy. I had my cell phone with me, but getting a picture meant holding the phone in only one hand, tapping, adjusting, and snapping the camera with the same hand,  all the while not disturbing the beautiful seed hovering at my other hand.

After a while I blew on it gently and off it flew, only to settle gently toward the ground behind the nearby bushes.

The presence of the seed felt like a gift, just when I needed one. I wonder sometimes if it has sprouted.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Prayer of Jesus

What we call the "Lord's Prayer" is the prayer Jesus taught to his disciples.
If we can't pray it sincerely ourselves, we can ask Jesus to pray the prayer in us.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Dawn into Flame

Bernardo Olivera, speaking of the great 12th-century mystics, uses a dramatic but very beautiful image to describe this journey of the Christian life.
Thus, mysticism is the reality of grace accompanying the whole life of the believer, transforming him or her from dawn into midday and from an individual burning coal into an all-consuming fire.
The Sun at Midnight (Cistercian Publications)
Through the abundant grace of God, may we too be transformed from dimness into an all-consuming blaze of love in God.

(For more, see "The Mystic as Flame" on "Caught Up in God.")

Fire photo with fractal by Faylei (Rose Hoover, rc)
(Fractal created in Apophysis)

Monday, January 26, 2015

In Deep Waters

Mysterious Swamp

Save me, O God,
    for the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in deep mire,
    where there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters,
    and the flood sweeps over me.
I am weary with my crying;
    my throat is parched.
My eyes grow dim
    with waiting for my God.
. . . . .
But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord.
    At an acceptable time, O God,
    in the abundance of your steadfast love, answer me.
(Psalm 69:1-3, 13)

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Golden Sunset

Golden Sunset

(Click to view full size.)

Sunsets in Chicago can be spectacular. (One theory is that the air pollution enhances the colors.) This one was indeed beautiful, but I confess that I have edited it and intensified it somewhat with Photoshop.