Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The experts in the law and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat. Therefore pay attention to what they tell you and do it. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they teach. They tie up heavy loads, hard to carry, and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing even to lift a finger to move them.
— Matt 23: 1-4
The fierce words of Jesus addressed to the Pharisees of His day stretch across the bands of time. Today they are directed not only to fallen televangelists but to each of us. We miss Jesus’ point entirely when we use His words as weapons against others. They are to be taken personally by each of us. This is the form and shape of Christian Pharisaism in our time. Hypocrisy is not the prerogative of people in high places. The most impoverished among us is capable of it. Hypocrisy is the natural expression of what is meanest in us all. Continue reading “Desert Day 44: Like The Pharisee …”
I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.
— Albert Schweitzer from Returning: A Spiritual Journey
Even the best of human love is filled with self-seeking. To work to increase our love for God and for our fellow man (and the two must go hand in hand) – this is a lifetime job. We are never going to be finished. Love and ever more love is the only solution to every problem that comes up. Continue reading “Desert Day 39: Love and Even More Love …”
People’s willingness to find God in their own struggle with life – and let it change them – is their deepest and truest obedience to God’s eternal will. We must admit this is what all of us do anyway, as ‘God comes to us disguised as our life’! Remember, always, remember, that the heartfelt desire to do the will of God is, in fact, the truest will of God. Continue reading “Desert Day 07: Human Suffering …”
Even the best of human love is filled with self-seeking. To work to increase our love for God and for our fellow man (and the two must go hand in hand) – this is a lifetime job. We are never going to be finished. Love and ever more love is the only solution to every problem that comes up. If we love each other enough, we will bear with each other’s faults and burdens. If we love enough, we are going to light that fire in the hearts of others. And it is love that will burn out the sins and hatreds that sadden us. It is love that will make us want to do great things for each other. No sacrifice and no suffering will then seem too much. Continue reading “The Most Necessary Work Is Always Love …”
My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people. Continue reading “We Were Made For These Times …”
One candle is a small thing. But one candle can light another. And see how its own light increases as the candle gives its flame to another. You are such light. Continue reading “The Eternal Light of the Servant Candle …”
Let the rain come and wash away
the ancient grudges, the bitter hatreds
held and nurtured over generations.
Let the rain wash away the memory
of the hurt, the neglect. Continue reading “A Prayer for the World …”
How you have lived the essence of what we are will be different from how I have lived it. You may see it in the consistent thread of desire in your choices to add beauty to the world through art or science, to be kind, to include those who are at times excluded, to work for justice or fairness, to lighten hearts with humor, to care for family or friends. Continue reading “Infinite Ways To Hold And Love The World …”
… every moment is a new beginning, every handshake a promise. I know that every quest implicates the other, just as every word can become prayer. If life is not a celebration, why remember it? Continue reading “New Year’s Meditation: Every Moment Is A New Beginning …”