Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Some Things on My Mind

Tuesday, January 13, 2009
What is religion? Is it really the only conduit to God and his light? What is prayer? Is it really an event? An activity? Or is it a state of mind? A way of being? Contemplation? Why do so many think of prayer as a call-in show with God, where He's at the other end, listening, taking notes, and moving the pieces on his giant chess board appropriately? From where does suffering emanate? How can we blame God for the state of things when we have this thing called free will? How can we surrender the surrender of forgiveness?

What we need is to love without exhausting ourselves. How does a lamp burn? By the consumption of steadily dripping drops of oil. What are the drops of oil in our own lamps? The little things in daily life: faithfulness, a friendly word, a kind thought for others . . . Do not search for Jesus far from you. He is not somewhere else. He is in you. Keep your lamp burning and you will recognize Him.

~Mother Teresa, No Greater Love

Love is the eye with which we see God; love itself is understanding. But love is not to be confused with mere feelings. Feelings burn out too easily; they can be manipulated or seduced. The love by which we see God must be an act of the will rather than a passing affection of the heart.

~William of St. Thierry

"I once picked up a woman from a garbage dump and she was burning with fever; she was in her last days and her only lament was: ‘My son did this to me.’ I begged her: You must forgive your son. In a moment of madness, when he was not himself, he did a thing he regrets. Be a mother to him, forgive him. It took me a long time to make her say: ‘I forgive my son.’ Just before she died in my arms, she was able to say that with a real forgiveness. She was not concerned that she was dying. The breaking of the heart was that her son did not want her. This is something you and I can understand."

~Mother Theresa

The more you have, the more you are occupied, the less you give. But the less you have the more free you are. Poverty for us is a freedom. It is not mortification, a penance. It is joyful freedom. There is no television here, no this, no that. But we are perfectly happy.

When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.

You and I, we are the Church, no? We have to share with our people. Suffering today is because people are hoarding, not giving, not sharing. Jesus made it very clear. Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do it to me. Give a glass of water, you give it to me. Receive a little child, you receive me.

Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of peace of the world.

If we really want to love we must learn how to forgive.

~Mother Theresa

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