Morning by Morning

"The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward." Isaiah 50:4-5

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Is This the Sound of Singing That I Hear?

An Alfred Montrose Sonnet from the Mother and Alfred Stories on  When we pray for those whom we love it is sometimes so very difficult to wait patiently for the work of the Spirit of Grace, to speak only when we should, and equally important to wait patiently while He is at work.  Sometimes we are called only to say a simple word and to wait for a long time for that seed to bear fruit. The great temptation is to attempt to do for Him that which He alone can do.  

Is This the Sound of Singing that I Hear?

Is this the sound of singing that I hear?
A sweet melody lights upon my ear;
Melodious notes floating in the air,
Oh sweet joy now joyous beyond compare.
How I tremble lest I should dissemble
And by too ready hope disassemble
Pulling petals from the rose ere it may bloom
In my eagerness to try its sweet perfume.
How patiently we must meekly stand and wait
While grace alone determines another’s fate.
To surrender even now my own true hope
And not intrude beyond my proper scope.
For my eager heart might too rashly act,
And kill the blossom by a lack of tact.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Attack

Would that all spiritual attacks were obvious; that would be easy for us to cope with, but no fun for the devils.  They do their best work when we are miserable and unaware of their presence.  They are opportunists and leap to take advantage of any opportunity that we provide for them.  Yes, that’s right, we provide the opportunity.  They have no power to create, not even the power to create misery ex nihilo, out of nothing. 

Temptation arises when we are lured and enticed by our own desires (see James 1:14).  We are capable of being misled, led by the nose, by the evil ones.  That is part of their skill packet.  We have been misled to think that temptation is only, or at least primarily, related to the various lusts of the body. 

There is some perverse logic to that for there is often a fine line between legitimate desire and illegitimate desire.  The Psalmist says, “every desire of mine is before you” (Psalm 38:9 St. Benedict).  Every desire, good and bad alike!  There are good and acceptable desires and a whole realm of more subtle illegitimate desires that arise from the soul and not the body.  Foremost of these is our sense of entitlement. 

We forget that in Eve we ate the apple and still are glad to do so.  We are no longer entitled to all the blessings of Paradise; but rather to those entitlements that come from eating the apple.  Oh, yes, I know that through Christ we are forgiven and accepted, but I have no intention of mistaking this place of testing for the Paradise of Heaven.

The tender mercy of God is that we don't receive that which we actually deserve, but as a loving Father he gives us many blessings because he loves us and wishes us well.  We shouldn't misunderstand the nature of these blessings.  They are pure gift, not that to which we are entitled.