“God looks with greater love at a soul which returns to him through humility than at a faithful soul which is well pleased in its virtues.” (St. Mary of Crucified Jesus)
None of us are excluded from God’s gift of Himself.
Creation is shot through with the self-gift of God . . . Grace is the initiative of God, his self-offer that is prior to any kind of movement towards him by the creature. It is sheer gift, bestowed wherever human beings do not finally close themselves against him and refuse his love.
The gift of God is for the poor, the needy, the empty. It is for those who are too poor to recognize or identify their need. It is for those who do know their need, and hunger and thirst for him. It is for those who do not even suspect the depth of tenderness with which they are loved, yet are potentially open. God is most known as God when he gives to the undeserving, when he fills the hungry with good things, lifts up the downtrodden, transforms hopeless situations and brings life out of death. His gift is most typically not the crowning of our achievements, but wealth for the bankrupt and power at the service of the weak. (Maria Boulding)
” . . . we are used to seeing ourselves as the world sees us–broken, struggling, failing, and frustrated. But when God looks at you, an eternal and boundless love wells up inside him and he sees past every doubt, every fear, everything you think is shameful or broken about you. When God looks at you, he sees something more beautiful, remarkable, and amazing than you could ever even wrap your head around. In the words of St. John Paul the Great, ‘We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures; we are the sum of the Father’s love for us and our real capacity to become the image of his Son’ (Pope John Paul II, 2002).”
(Gregory K. Popcak, Broken Gods)
One of the most powerful verses in Scripture.
For the days and times when we so experience our woundedness and faults and wonder how God can still love us:
God likes me covered with my creaturehood
and with my limits spread across His face.
He likes to see me lifting to His eyes
even the wretchedness that dropped His grace.
~Jessica Powers (from “Creature of God”)
Today we feel the wind beneath our wings
Today the hidden fountain flows and plays
Today the church draws breath at last and sings
As every flame becomes a Tongue of praise.
This is the feast of fire,air, and water
Poured out and breathed and kindled into earth.
The earth herself awakens to her maker
And is translated out of death to birth.
The right words come today in their right order
And every word spells freedom and release
Today the gospel crosses every border
All tongues are loosened by the Prince of Peace
Today the lost are found in His translation.
Whose mother-tongue is Love, in every nation.
Another picture that our Lord loves to use is that of the shepherd who goes out to look for the sheep that is lost. So long as we imagine that it is we who look for God, then we must often lose heart. But it is the other way about: he is looking for us. And so we can afford to recognize that very often we are not looking for God; far from it, we are in full flight from him, in high rebellion against him. And he knows that and has taken it into account. He has followed us into our own darkness; there where we thought finally to escape from him, we run straight into his arms.
So we do not have to erect a false piety for ourselves, to give us hope of salvation. Our hope is in his determination to save us. And he will not give in!
This should free us from that crippling anxiety which prevents any real growth, giving us room to do whatever we can do, to accept the small but genuine responsibilities that we do have. Our part is not to shoulder the whole burden of salvation, the initiative and the program are not in our hands: our part is to consent, to learn how to love him in return whose love came to us so freely while we were quite uninterested in him. (Simon Tugwell, O.P.)
Sometimes we just get fixated on the wrong things during Lent. Or perhaps a better way to say it is: distracted by things different than God wants us to focus on. Or we just get discouraged. I found this advice by Marge Fenelon to be excellent and very helpful for me. Hopefully for you as well.
Relaxing into Lent
As a little girl, I was extremely melancholic, to the point of finding myself every so often sinking into bouts of sadness or loneliness. Sometimes, I’d just feel “lost” for seemingly no reason at all. Nothing was ever truly wrong but at the same time, nothing was ever truly right, either.
Sure, there were things that could have had me down – my dad’s heart condition, the occasions of family discord, or the solitariness of being the youngest child who trails her siblings by several years. Our house certainly could get quiet and lonely at times. Yet, there was never anything I could directly relate it to. In fact, all these years later, I still can’t figure out the cause of those sensations. They were sudden, and they were strong. That’s all I know.
Read the rest here.
Written for a Jewish wedding, but still true for every one of us.
Sung at a Jewish wedding, this song is not a typical wedding song. It gives you a new perspective on the holiness of marriage according to Judaism. Jewish tradition teaches that when a man and a woman unite in matrimony, G-d Himself joins them and that the union is holy. The words to this song, a bit melancholy for a joyous Jewish wedding, are truly meaningful and embody the soul of a Jewish marriage – faith.
“..Even on the days when I “forgot” you You were always in my life In all the ways that I went You have been a guiding light. I was blind. I could not see beyond what my eyes were focused on
Chorus: King, the King of all Kings – Thank you for life For happiness for tears and Laughter
Even when it’s hard sometimes, even then, you are my G-d.
You are never far.”