Praying for strength

O God, by whom the meek are guided in judgment, and light rises up in
darkness for the godly: Grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties,
the grace to ask what you would have us do, that the Spirit of wisdom
may save us from all false choices, and that in your light we may see
light, and in our path may not stumble; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

How fitting.

I swear, at times Forward Day By Day is eerily on target.

Mark 14:43-65. Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; and with him there
was a crowd with swords and clubs… He went up to Jesus at once and
said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him.

My hunch is that somewhere along the way there have been episodes in
the lives of all of us which can be described as a moral collapse.
Being betrayed by someone we love, however, seems the worst cut of
all, does it not? Few will have experienced betrayal so cruel as
Judas's, though that knowledge does not lesson the pain we feel. Nor
will any of us have forfeited their life through such an action,
though we feel dead inside.

Lest we too much here identify ourselves as the victim in such
betrayal, we should consider those times we have betrayed others–with
gossip, innuendo, invective, lies, and other uncharitable acts that
have diminished the very life of another or others. Somewhere in our
spiritual biographies there is likely to be a memory of having failed
a friend in some important way, or of even having failed ourselves. In
other words, enough evidence to help us seek reconciliation for the
pain of a bruised conscience.

How important then to remember that confession and repentance marks
the beginning of a new life in him who was betrayed and died for us.
Thanks be to God for new beginnings however and whenever they may
happen, by the grace of God.

Ps 25; 2 Chronicles 6:32—7:7; James 2:1-13

Fitting because last night's upsetness has led to a dialogue of
reconciliation with someone I hurt once. Granted, he and I reconciled
a long time ago, and not to the outcome I would have then preferred,
but it's interesting to see with hindsight, and also, how what you
sow, you later reap. At the same time, it may be that by considering a
time when I have hurt someone else, I have sown something else that
brings me right back to that place of pain. Is it guilt for my own
past sins that haunts me, rather than an imagined present threat?

Disquiet

Why is it that I know the truth, and I pray for peace, and yet I still
feel so shaken?

The evening service at church is participatory, and the metaphor we
explored was standing on holy ground, as Moses did when he faced the
burning bush. I shared my story of standing on that outcropping and
feeling myself thrown back to the fires of creation. I was shaking,
and B. said later that she thought it was the recall of the moment
that caused me to be jittery, but honestly, it was my paralyzing fear
of speaking in front of a group. When I watch Father Jim talk, I'm
always amazed, because he stands up there with no fear. The look of
serenity on his face is something I find comforting. When I watch
Mother Jackie, I'm reminded of the mothers in my family. Mom, aunts,
grandmothers, great aunts: I'm so dazzled by the idea of myself
helping others find strength, grace and wisdom, and yet I lack the
cool confidence I see in her.

And then I come home and have an unflinchingly human response to
something stressful. I can still feel it today, anxiety's press even
though I have every reassurance that the world is not about to end,
both from the human party in question and in the divine space that I
know will lift me up should I fall.

How on earth can I make my spiritual quest more fulfilling, how indeed
can I share it with others, if I can't get beyond petty things like jealousy
and stage fright?

And now, a word from our sunlight…


Taken August 6, at Frying Pan Park, Chantilly, VA.

You know what's good?

Fresh-baked brownies from scratch topped with Denali ice cream (that is, vanilla ice cream with peanut-butter cups and fudge).

Strangeness

I kinda miss Rob from Phillygoth right now.

Thanks to Kat

…for posting this, the latest marketing poster for recruiting Catholic priests:

There can be only….

My highly ironic question, of course, is where Trinity fits into this picture.