Awaken Me (Easter Meditation) …

Risen One,
come, meet me
in the garden of my life.

Lure me into elation.
Revive my silent hope.
Coax my dormant dreams.
Raise up my neglected gratitude.
Entice my tired enthusiasm.
Give life to my faltering relationships.
Roll back the stone of my indifference.
Unwrap the deadness in my spiritual life.
Impart heartiness in my work. Continue reading “Awaken Me (Easter Meditation) …”

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Desert Day 45: The Opposite of Goodness …

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate before the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He Himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours alone, but also for the sins of the whole world. 

By this we can be sure that we have come to know Him: if we keep His commandments. If anyone says, “I know Him,” but does not keep His commandments, he is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone keeps His word, the love of God has been truly perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him: Whoever claims to abide in Him must walk as Jesus walked. Continue reading “Desert Day 45: The Opposite of Goodness …”

Desert Day 43: On Coming Home …

In the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), there are two sons: the younger son, who runs away from home to an alien country, and the older son, who stays home to do his duty.  The younger son dissipates himself with alcohol and sex; the older son alienates himself by working hard and dutifully fulfilling all his obligations.  Both are lost.  Their father grieves over both, because with neither of them does he experience the intimacy he desires.

Both lust and cold obedience can prevent us from being true children of God.  Whether we are like the younger son or the older son, we have to come home to the place where we can rest in the embrace of God’s unconditional love. Continue reading “Desert Day 43: On Coming Home …”

Desert Day 37: The Fruit of the Spirit …

How does the Spirit of God manifest itself through us? Often we think that to witness means to speak up in defense of God. This idea can make us very self-conscious. We wonder where and how we can make God the topic of our conversations and how to convince our families, friends, neighbors, and colleagues of God’s presence in their lives. But this explicit missionary endeavor often comes from an insecure heart and, therefore, easily creates divisions. Continue reading “Desert Day 37: The Fruit of the Spirit …”

Advent Day 18: Born In A Manger …

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!
— Dr. Seuss from How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Hidden and Revealed

Every year we hear the same stories. Mary, Joseph, shepherds, angels, foreigners – all on different journeys and all converging in Bethlehem. These stories, carols, church services, school plays: the same every  year but also different. Different because we are different every year. Every year we bring ourselves to these stories, and we’re alway changing. We’ve had different experiences, we’re asking different questions. We’ll see something new, hear a detail we never noticed. A word, a phrase, a meaning will come to our aid in a new way. Continue reading “Advent Day 18: Born In A Manger …”

Advent Day 17: Peace Be With You …

Peace is not the product of terror or fear.
Peace is not the silence of cemeteries.
Peace is not the silent result of violent repression.
Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution of all to the good of all.
Peace is dynamism. Peace is generosity.
It is right and it is duty.
— Oscar Romero from Peace Prayers

We often think of peace as the absence of war, that if the powerful countries would reduce their weapons’ arsenals, we could have peace. But if we look deeply into the weapons, we see our own minds — our prejudices, fears, and ignorance. Even if we transport all the bombs to the moon, the roots of war and the roots of the bombs are still here, in our hearts and minds, and sooner or later we will make new bombs. To work for peace is to uproot war from ourselves and from the hearts of men and women. Continue reading “Advent Day 17: Peace Be With You …”

The Goodness of God …

I’m not going to deny that there is something awesome and amazing and bigger-than-I-can-fathom about God. As someone once observed, if we could understand God, then what we are understanding would not be God. Yet, when I think about terms such as awesome and amazing in relation to the divine, I tend to assume that they apply to the aspects of God that are majestic and powerful. I need to remind myself that maybe the characteristics of God that are bigger than I can comprehend are also the softer, more comforting ones. I need to understand that God is fathomless depths, all right, but those depths are soothing ones too. Continue reading “The Goodness of God …”

Five Essential Questions In Life …

Late Fragment

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.
— Raymond Carver from
 A New Path to the Waterfall

Continue reading “Five Essential Questions In Life …”

God Is So Bent On Blessing, He Chases …

And I can feel it, how when a new week starts to run after me, the goodness and mercy of God isn’t just following after me placidly. The goodness and mercy of God pursues after me passionately. It’s what I keep thinking, picking up lost legos, errant books — like how my mama used to dash off the front porch and run down the lane after me, waving about whatever book I forgot for school — and who else is behind a forgetful, rat-race world but the chasing God? Continue reading “God Is So Bent On Blessing, He Chases …”