Friday: from the archives

An encouraging meditation from Amy Carmichael:

Luke 4:40 He laid His hands on every one of them, and healed them.

This verse took life for me one day lately.  I was reading in the Revised Version and looked up the Authorized, to see if I was reading something new, for it felt new.  But no, I must have read it hundreds of times before.
On every one of them.  It comforted me to know that He does not look upon us as a mass, but as separate needy souls.  I remembered the terrific attack that is always on the love that should hold us together, and I read over and over again John 15.9-17.  I know well that the devil hates and fears strong love.  If he can weaken us there, all goes.  For us, to weaken means to perish.  I found rest in remembering the hands laid on every one of us, not one of us overlooked, and the hands laid upon us are wounded hands.

He heals the lame

Friday: from the archives

Something from Amy Carmichael:

1 John 4:18  There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.  For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love.

Let us take time today to consider the love of God.

Some of us are tempted to fear about ourselves.  What about tomorrow?  Shall we be able to go on?  Perfect love casts out fear.  Love God and there will be no room for fear, for to love is to trust and if we trust we do not fear.

Some of us are tempted to fear the future.  There again perfect love casts out fear.  He who has led will lead.  It quickens love and encourages faith to think of all that God has done.  He has not brought us so far, to leave us now.

So let us open all our windows and our doors to the great love of God.  Love is like light.  It will flood our rooms if only we open to it.  Let us take time today to open more fully than ever before to the blessed love of God.

 

Friday: from the archives

A bit of a balm for those who are fearful:

Jer 39.17: But I will deliver you on that day, says the Lord, and you shall not be given into the hand of the men of whom you are afraid.

What is the thing you most fear and most earnestly pray about, the thing that you most dread?  If you love your Lord and yet know your own weakness, it is that something may happen to sweep you off your feet, or that your strength may be drained and you may yield and fall, and fail Him at the end.  The lives of many are shadowed by this fear.

But take comfort.  The God who knew the heart of His servant Ebed-melech knows our heart too.  He knows who the men are (what the forces of trial are) of whom we are afraid.  And He assures us and reassures us.  The Bible is full of “Fear nots.”  You shall not be given into the hand of the men of whom you are afraid.  (Amy Carmichael)

Friday: from the archives

A bit of a balm for those who are fearful:

Jer 39.17: But I will deliver you on that day, says the Lord, and you shall not be given into the hand of the men of whom you are afraid.

What is the thing you most fear and most earnestly pray about, the thing that you most dread?  If you love your Lord and yet know your own weakness, it is that something may happen to sweep you off your feet, or that your strength may be drained and you may yield and fall, and fail Him at the end.  The lives of many are shadowed by this fear.

But take comfort.  The God who knew the heart of His servant Ebed-melech knows our heart too.  He knows who the men are (what the forces of trial are) of whom we are afraid.  And He assures us and reassures us.  The Bible is full of “Fear nots.”  You shall not be given into the hand of the men of whom you are afraid.  (Amy Carmichael)

Friday: from the archives

An Advent homily by Fr. Pat McNulty from Madonna House:

Faith: A Subjunctive Mood

It was about 3 a.m. when I pulled my car into the checkpoint at Canadian Customs and Immigration. Though there were trucks in their own lane, mine was the only car around.

The middle-aged man in the booth requested my ID and then asked, “Where are you going?”

“To Madonna House, a Roman Catholic community in Combermere, Ontario.”

“What’s the purpose of your visit?”

“I’m a priest and I’m going there for a retreat.”

“Odd day-um qui lay-tiff-i-cot,” he said.

“I beg your pardon.”

Ad deum qui laetificat…”

“Oh, ahhhh… Juventutem meum,” I answered.

The man smiled, gave me back my ID and said, “Better brush up on your Latin, Father. Welcome to Canada. Have a nice day.”

That was, of course, a long time ago, back when every Catholic boy who had ever served at Mass knew that Latin phrase. Those were the first words out of his mouth after Mass began at the foot of the altar.

You can read the rest here.

Friday: from the archives

Good Samaritan

This picture can be found on the cover of Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis’ commentary on St. Matthew’s Gospel.  (See Books tab above.)  This is how the back of the book describes this picture:

The book’s cover portrays Christ as the Good Samaritan in an illumination taken from the mid sixth-century Syrian Codex Rossanensis. The fire of God’s mercy, poured out without reserve by the Father into the Heart of his incarnate Word, impels the Son’s eager gaze earthwards.  Christ Jesus, Son of God and Son of Mary, the living ‘image of the invisible God’ in whom ‘the whole fullness of divinity dwells bodily’ (Colossians 1:15, 2:9), bends down his sun-like nimbus—the very splendor of his glory, inscribed with the cross of his suffering—in a full ninety-degree angle, to show the perfection of His descent among us.  The eternal Lord of the ages thus moves into position to nurse with divine tenderness the green body of decaying humanity, prostrate with festering wounds: ‘Through the tender mercy of our God, the Dawn from on high has visited us, to give knowledge of salvation to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death’ (Luke 2:78f).  For his part, the dazzling angel has found a new mode of praise: to stand by his Master, marveling and ministering as he holds the gold bowl of grace and compassion, awestruck at the depth of the Word’s condescension.  What even angelic hands cannot touch unveiled, that Christ lavishes with open gesture upon the flesh and soul of his beloved brother, sin-wounded man.

Sometimes I just sit and meditate on how I am that green man lying in the road and try to imagine Christ standing over me pouring out His mercy–that even the angels cannot touch–upon me.  Peguy says: “It was because a man lay on the road that  a Samaritan picked him up.  It is because we lay on the road that Christ picks us up . . .

Friday: from the archives

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov wrote this:

Know this: You should judge every person by his merits.  Even someone who seems to be completely wicked, you must search and find that little speck of good, for in that place, he is not wicked.  By this you will raise him up, and help him return to G-d.  And you must also do this for yourself, finding your own good points, one after the other, and raising yourself up.  This is how melodies are made, note after note.