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It is my sincere hope that I will be able to return to Flos Carmeli and post more on matters spiritual during this season.
The rolling phrases of Pope St. Clement I
from The Letter to the Corinthians
Pope St. Clement I
Helper of those in peril, Savior of those in despair, you created and still kepp watch over all that draws breath. You cause the peoples on Earth to multiply, and from them all choose those who love you through Jesus Christ, your beloved Son. Through Him you have instructed us, sanctified us, honored us.
I think in reading this of the threefold mission--priest, prophet, and king that was announced as of His Baptism. I don't know why, perhaps it is simply the way things are phrased and particularly the trifold "instructed us, sanctified us, honored us."
The rhythm of this thought and its delicacy are pursued until the end of the passage and we culminate with being honored by God. I have to wonder how many have thought of it in that way--being honored by Him. Too often we are busy being cowed or bowed or cozzened or otherwise perturbed in our path. but no--instructed, sanctified, and honored. Honored as children, honored as sons and daughters.
From Present Moment, Wonderful Moment
Thich Nhat Hanh
Sometimes when we are on the computer, it is as if we have turned off our mind and are absorbed into the computer for hours. Mind is consciousness. The two aspects of consciousness, subject and object, depend on each other in order to exist. When our mind is conscious of something, we are that thing. When we contemplate a snow-covered mountain, we are that mountain. When we watch a noisy film, we are that noisy film. And when we turn on the blue light of the computer, we become that computer.
I tend to read such things in a very metaphorical sense, and I must preface any further comments by saying that it may not be the intent of the author to be metaphorical. There may be some elusive sense in which he is being quite literal. Not being Buddhist, and reading this passage from a strictly Catholic point of view, I see exposed (metaphorically) a fundamental truth. Neuroscience has pretty clearly demonstrated that so called multitasking is no more multitasking than it was (or perhaps still is) on previous generations of Pentium chips. It simply isn't biologically possible to truly multitask--take the incidence of traffic accidents while using cell phones as an exemplar.
We become, not physically, but in some sense mentally, what we engage with. When we shoose to be a part of something, we give a part of ourselves to that something. This is a difficult truth and it is the truth that lay behind custody of the sense. When we give ourselves over to indulgence in the sense, we cannot rise above them and we find ourselves driven by them. This can be an ugly and fearsome thing. Thus, the investment of energy is a profound investment of a part of ourselves. In investing that energy, we become in some sense part of what we are investing in. We betray ourselves when the object is not worth the investment.
To paraphrase George Harrison, "You know that what you do, you are." And this is true in a very substantial way--do worthy and worthwhile things, you tend toward doing more of the same. Do less worthy things, the tendency towards less worthy becomes more pronounced.
From a Sermon by St. Bernard, Abbot
Because this coming [the second of three] lies between the other two, it is like a road on which we travel from the first coming to the last. In the first Christ was our redemption; in the last, he will appear as our life; in this middle coming he is our rest and consolation.
. . . Where is God's word to be kept? Obviously in the heart as the prophet says: I have hidden your words in my heart, so that I may not sin against you.
Keep God's word in this way. Let it enter into your very being, let it take possession of your desires and your whole way of life. Feed on goodness, and your soul will delight in its richness. Remember to eat your bread, or your heart will wither away. Fill your soul with richness and strength.
What calls to me here is the image of the last line of paragraph 1--"he is our rest and consolation"--a wayside respite--a momentary taste of being fromt he Well amid the waste. How complex and full THAT poetic, echoic image. Our rest and our consolation--our Well amid the waste.
"Keep the faculty of effort alive in you by a little gratuitous exercise every day. That is, be systematically heroic in little unnecessary points, do every day or two something for no other reason than its difficulty, so that, when the hour of dire need draws nigh, it may find you not unnerved and untrained to stand the test. "
Read the full post at The Maverick Philosopher.
I've found myself reading a lot of Timothy Keller recently, and if the books I have read so far are any indication, it is entirely like that I shall be reading more in the near future.
from Counterfeit Gods Timothy Keller
Why did we completely lose sight of what is right? The Bible's answer is that the human heart is an "idol factory."
When most people think of "idols" they have in mind literal statues--or the next pop star anointed by Simon Cowell. Yet while traditional idol worship still occurs in many places of the world, internal idol worship, within the heart, is universal. In Ezekiel 14:3, God says about elders of Israel, "These men have set up idols in their hearts. Like us, the elders must have responded to this charge, "Idols? What Idols? I don't see any idols." God was saying that the human heart takes good things like a successful career, love, material possessions, even family, and turns them into ultimate things. Our hearts deify them as the center of our lives, because we think they can give us significance and security, safety and fulfillment, if we attain them.
And who can deny it. It's like a playdough factory, we no sooner press out and reshape one idol than another one, one that we never suspected lurked within, takes its place.