If You Wish to See the Top of Mt. Carmel

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think about this:

We are called not merely to forgive those people who feel that it is their right to jump ahead in line; who pull amazing traffic stunts like turning in front of you in order to get the parking space you waited ten minutes for; who practically shove you out of the way to get to the melon (pair of shoes; bargain book; last copy of Richard of St. Victor; fit it to your own nightmare scenario) that you had your eyes on. No, we don't merely forgive them by strength of will, but if we are truly detached, we don't even notice the intrusion, or if noticed, we welcome it as a blessing from God to remind us of our place in the world.

Oh, I'm not there yet--but I've see the landscape mapped out by those who went before me, and sometimes I'm not so keen to get there. But then I remember the God who loves me, and what would I not do for the God I love. So, I'm willing when He wants me to do so. I know the trail is long and winding. But I also know that He doesn't call us simply to say--"Not good enough." He calls us because we are His children and as with any good father, he wants us to sit for a while on His knee and just be hugged and know we are loved. And He wants us to return that love.

So, I'm willing. But I'm not there yet. And no, I didn't get Richard of St. Victor, but I'm not as royally ticked as I might normally be. It is after all all in God's will.

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Today in the security line to board a plane to Florida, the guy behind me was mouthing off, loudly and often, about the guards letting people cut up in line (they were actually sending the folks to other security areas, but to him they were "cutting in"). At first I ridiculed him in my thoughts - "Loser!". Then, I could tell he was getting more anxious (probably unnecessarily so), so I turned to him and said, with Christian thought and not in a smarmy way, "You're more than welcome to go in front of me." At first he turned me down, then, seeing that I meant it sincerely, he accepted it in the spirit in which it was given, and he probably gained a few minutes. But he felt better, and so did I.

i'm gonna quit reading your posts until wednesday.

That is very cool, Barrister!

I was recently almost run over by a car; the driver went thru a stop light. He gave me the finger -- as if he'd done nothing wrong! The finger, not the mistake was what was supremely irritating. I white-knuckled the forgiveness, more intellectual than from the heart.

This post got me thinking about my boys. They are sensitive to, and quick to notice, when someone is being rude. Rudeness is very high up on their list of no-nos. They get upset about it because rudeness shows disrespect, and doggone-it everyone deserves respect! But I can see that attachment to indignation developing already. They must be picking that up from kids at school ;)

I believe that if we can raise our children well, then that heads-off a lot of problems and psychologist bills down the road. The advice in your post is very good - and I am wondering how to reformulate that into something that makes sense to and is taken to heart by kids.

Maybe they're too young, maybe not. But I feel that it's something good to ponder for a while...

A beautiful way of reaching higher in virtue, and therefore, perhaps, reaching higher in prayer.

Thanks. Good writing.

TS--that was a true ACT OF FAITH. Not an act of your fleshly nature, but an act of sheer Christian will-- mercy wrenched from the bowels of justice!

Dear T.S.,

Remarkable, truly remarkable. And a moment to reflect on how you were sustained by grace. It may have taken hard-headed intellectual intrusion, but when filled with grace all of the faculties operate in accordance. What a wonderful opportunity to praise and thank the Lord. And what a shining example of His love you have shared with us.


Yes, I've already tried to get through Samuel's head that we "bless those that curse you." It is ingrained in original sin and hard to teach--but Samuel is a pretty easy-going little guy, so I think we will do exceptionally well.



Forgot to thank you for your intercessory prayers - my nephew Aaron was born today, some 9 weeks early and only 4lbs 4ounces, but healthy. Deo gratias!



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on February 22, 2004 7:55 PM.

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