Something to remember today on 9/11:
“Contrary to the predisposition to believe more easily in evil than in good, Mary bore witness to the truth that God is the good Father in whom each one can put his trust.” (Simone Trois & Christiana Paccini from Chiara Corbella Petrillo, A Witness to Joy)
Just discovered this book, Run with the Horses (Eugene H. Peterson). Wow. You’re going to be reading some selections from it these next few posts. If you’re someone who battles with a bad father image. Here’s some ammunition.
Before Jeremiah knew God, God knew Jeremiah: “Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you.” This turns everything we ever thought about God around. We think that God is an object about which we have questions. We are curious about God. We make inquiries about God. We read books about God. We get into late-night bull sessions about God. We drop into church from time to time to see what is going on with God. We indulge in an occasional sunset or symphony to cultivate a feeling of reverence about God.
But that is not the reality of our lives with God. Long before we ever got around to asking questions about God, God had been questioning us. Long before we got interested in the subject of God, God subjected us to the most intensive and searching knowledge. Before it ever crossed our minds that God might be important, God singled us out as important. Before we were formed in the womb, God knew us. We are known before we know.
This realization has a practical result: no longer do we run here and there, panicked and anxious, searching for the answers to life. Our lives are not puzzles to be figured out. Rather, we come to God, who knows us and reveals to us the truth of our lives. The fundamental mistake is to begin with ourselves and not God. God is the center from which all life develops.
“It doesn’t matter really how great the pressure is; it only matters where the pressure lies. See that it never comes between you and the Lord–then, the greater the pressure, the more it presses you to His breast.” (Hudson Taylor)
“The highest form of prayer is to the goodness of God . . . . God only desires that our soul cling to him with all of its strength, in particular, that it clings to his goodness. For of all the things our minds can think about God, it is thinking upon his goodness that pleases him more and brings the most profit to our soul.” (Julian of Norwich)
“Live in peace and joy, my dear daughter. Our Lord looks at you and he looks at you with so much love and compassion; and the weaker you are, the more his love for you grows warm and tender. Never harbor thoughts which would go in reverse direction. If these thought come and pester you, pay no heed to them; turn your mind away from them and cling to God with a humility that is bold and courageous. Speak to him about his sacred and indescribable goodness which pours itself out on us, loving our small and week, poor and abject nature, despite all its infirmities.” (St. Francis de Sales)