March 12, 2010

Quotes Happened Across & Random Thoughts

I was online searching a psychological biography of St. Ignatius, trying to find the context of his quote: "'Do not form a friendship with anyone, unless you know him thoroughly." Instead I found: "It is said in Scripture that 'obedience is better than sacrifice' [1 Sam 15:22]. For according to St. Gregory, 'In victims the flesh of another is slain, but in obedience our own will is sacrificed.'"

Which I thought: wow. That really dovetails with today's readings, for example the gospel from Mark: "And to love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

The Word Among Us meditation comments:
As we begin to see the external practices of our faith for what they are meant to be—manifestations of our love for God and his grace at work in us—everything we do appears in a different light. We are not just going to Mass; we are offering ourselves in love to God and in service to others. We are not simply giving money to the poor or praying for the needy; we are loving Christ. We are not merely fasting; we are denying ourselves so that our love will be purified. It’s the fulfillment of the spirit of the Law that frees us to love in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Then the homilist at today's Mass said it's not a competition between love of God and love of neighbor; he said that others are proxies for Jesus, such that when we do something for somebody it's not like we're doing it for Jesus, it is.
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It seems a partial palliative to suffering to know that even if we were innocent, which we are not, we still would be only approximating what God already did for us, which was to suffer despite innocence.
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Yesterday's moment of Lichtenstein (as I call moments of light) was a powerful way of looking at the Eucharist, in looking at it from the point of view of willingness to serve rather than sit back and be served. It's easy to go from one extreme to the other - from doing everything Pelegian-style to doing nothing and expecting God to provide.
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So sad about the Internet Monk blogger, who is dying of cancer. His wife says his mood and disposition is great which seems miraculous. "All will be well," comes to mind given his journey. May God give him and his family many graces.

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