The illusion of our own power
We cannot find Him Who is Almighty unless we are taken entirely out of our own weakness. But we must first find out our own nothingness before we can pass beyond it: and this is impossible as long as we believe in the illusion of our own power.Thomas Merton, No man is an island
Woe to those
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;Isaiah 5:20-21
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
And prudent in their own sight!
The call of wisdom
Wisdom calls aloud outside; She raises her voice in the open squares. She cries out in the chief concourses, At the openings of the gates in the city She speaks her words: "How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, And fools hate knowledge. Turn at my rebuke; Surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, Because you disdained all my counsel, And would have none of my rebuke, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, When your terror comes like a storm, And your destruction comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD, They would have none of my counsel And despised my every rebuke. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, And be filled to the full with their own fancies. For the turning away of the simple will slay them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them; But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, And will be secure, without fear of evil.
That they should believe the lie
As the covid psyop stubbornly rolls on and the media continues to submerge world events within a heavy tide of deception and falsehood, I return time and again to this short passage from 2 Thessalonians. It continues to strike me as a key to understanding the dynamic that is shaking up our nations. As a reminder of who is in charge, it also brings me a sense of stability. Thank God, God will win.
"The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness." 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
Blessed be Your name
CHRIST: My child, let My will be your guide. I know what is best for you. Your understanding is human and your judgement is affected by your personal concerns.
DISCIPLE: Lord, what You say is true. Your concern will order my life better than I can myself. Those who do not place their anxiety on You will be very insecure. Lord, keep my will steadfast and true to You. Do with me whatever you please, for everything is good which comes to me through Your will. If you want me to be in darkness, blessed be your name. If it is light, blessed be your name. If You grant me comfort, blessed be Your name. If You wish to test me, blessed be your name forever.
Thomas à Kempis - The Imitation of Christ
House of cards
God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn’t. In this trial he makes us occupy the dock, the witness box and the bench all at once. He always knew that my temple was a house of cards. His only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down.C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God! Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men. For they speak against You wickedly; Your enemies take Your name in vain. Do I not hate them, O LORD, who hate You? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:19-24
The original serenity prayer
God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, Courage to change the things which should be changed, and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other. Living one day at a time, Enjoying one moment at a time, Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace, Taking, as Jesus did, This sinful world as it is, Not as I would have it, Trusting that You will make all things right, If I surrender to Your will, So that I may be reasonably happy in this life, And supremely happy with You forever in the next. Amen. Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) - unabridged, original version.
Only the man who has had to face despair is really convinced that he needs mercy. Those who do not want mercy never seek it. It is better to find God on the threshold of despair than to risk our lives in a complacency that has never felt the need of forgiveness. A life that is without problems may literally be more hopeless than one that always verges on despair.Thomas Merton, No Man Is An Island