He follows us into our own darkness

232d18bcad3b096f6645381dd2c797ceAnother 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.)

“He is looking for us”

A meditation from August of last year that I dog-eared in my Magnificat relates to today’s Gospel:

JesusSheepAnother 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.)

(For a beautiful card of the Good Shepherd, see the one designed by Jeanne Stephenson at her website.)