September 25, 2009

Greek Christian Poetry for $200 Alex

Liked this first reading from Mass yesterday:
"So now, the Lord of Hosts says this:

'Reflect carefully how things have gone for you. You have sown much and harvested little; you eat but never have enough, drink but never have your fill, put on clothes but do not feel warm. The wage earner gets his wages only to put them in a purse riddled with holes. So go to the hill country, fetch wood, and rebuild the House: I shall then take pleasure in it, and be glorified there, says the Lord.'"
Liked the witty truth of "wages put in a purse riddled with holes". Especially easy to see now that we know all our currencies are as substantial as flim-flam.

But the real beauty is "Go to the hill country..." for that is what Mary did just after conceiving Jesus, and she did begin to rebuild His House and indeed the Father took pleasure and was gloried in the Son, and indeed in the Old Testament there was much sowing but little harvesting and drinking but not having a feeling of fullness, for in the OT you could not yet see and taste God.
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Our cheery Dominican substitute friar today read Matthew 16 about building the Church on Peter the rock, a special reading due to commemorating 150+ years since the original dedication of the church. I thought of the many generations and how even though so much of the interior has changed over the years, I wanted to know that the altar was in the same place, that that was and is holy ground, and that this was a place of refuge for so many before me such that might help put into perspective our gnat-length'd lives. And when the priest used the following analogy (the one I'd thought I'd come up), I smiled; he spoke about the saints on the sidelines and in the grandstands rooting us on here on earth. I couldn't help but think they were cheering him on right now, thanking him for his cheerful giving and urging the rest of us to do the same.
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Speaking of giving, I was inspired by Betty Duffy's latest. Nobody does it better though sometimes I wish I would. I found myself thinking that Betty was right (especially after perusing this) and that she shouldn't go over and "enable" her friend's lazy behavior (pot, kettle, I know), but then that could be because I'm not as good a Christian.
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I did not know that the great theologian St. Gregory of Nazianzus had written poetry or that he had struggled with great physical and spiritual ills, or that he was of a "highly sensitive temperament...liable to despondency and irritability, constitutionally timid, and somewhat deficient, as it seemed, both in decision of character and in self-control." Capax Dei!

1 comment:

Roz said...

I'm a big fan of the Cloud/Townsend book on Boundaries. I learned a lot about being a good steward of the resources God's given me. There's a time and a place for charity, but it's hard to know when God's inspiring you to charity when your default setting is to leap to everyone's rescue all the time.

Maybe the question is: "Can I do this with my whole heart?" Or maybe, "If I do this, does it cooperate with what God is doing in my life and theirs?"