Sunday, September 7, 2014

Hope and Expanding the Soul

Mary, Mother of God
Mother of Sorrows, Ora Pro Nobis!

They say that suffering expands the soul to receive God. I found that hard to take. 

 Suffering by itself can drown the soul, deep into bitterness and spoil clear light of idealism into the vinegar of cynicism. We are fallen and half-blind; which is worse than complete blindness. The blind man believed the Messiah in faith; the rich young man, half seeing, not perceiving left his Lord and walked away sad. 

Maybe if he had known that his soul's sorrow came not from the bitter choice but from leaving the Beloved; he might have tarried. Perhaps.

Aye, a little knowledge and an ill-instructed spirituality is a dangerous thing.

But this post is about hope. The strength to believe against all disbelief and unbelief.

What does Mary tell us  about the night of  her soul? That it's hope that expands the soul to grow big enough to carry the Cross and not lose sight of eternity.

Suffering without hope is a withered tree in the desert; hope without suffering is a cloud grasped in the fist of one's hand.

As Mary believed, so Mary hoped.

A mustard seed of Faith. A little phial of Hope. That is enough.

I like to contemplate her sorrows not through a dark well of tears but rather through her resilience to hope against all hope hopen.

At the prophesy of Simeon, she hoped.

During her harried journey into Egypt, she hoped.

At the loss of her child, through each excruciating day, she hoped.

Under the excruciating weight of the Cross, she hoped.

At the foot of the Cross, she hoped.

As she looked upon the face of her cold still child, she hoped.

When they took him away for the last time...she still hoped.

And Hope did not fail.

Mary, Mother of Sorrows
Mary, Mother of Hope. Ora Pro Nobis

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Forgiving... God

Forgiveness...a state of letting go.

Forgiving God.
What about forgiving, God?

The Lord confronted me with this challenge and I found it hard to accept. He showed me the story of Martha, Mary and Lazarus.

When word was sent to Jesus, friend and wonder-worker to come quickly, for the 'one he loved' was sick. He delayed, so long that the 'one he loved' was dead three days.

What could possibly have gone through the hearts and spirits of the bereaved sisters? Anger. Disappointment. Abandonment...

'If you were here, Lord, my brother would not have died'

Accusation.

You said you loved him, but came not when we called.

You said call to me and I will hear you in heaven...but answered not.  For days. Weeks. Months. Years.

I will protect you, you said but here I am still broken by life...

The same refrain and sorrow.

When Martha met the Lord, she was in need of forgiving the Lord. It was the only way she could have received the Lord's blessings and allowed his power to raise Lazarus.

Is it possible to forgive God? Can a good, merciful, gracious God have erred us so bad to be needing forgiveness.

No. But in our minute humanity and brokenness, we need to forgive God and let go of our bitterness to allow him to make a miracle out of our dead hopes.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Do you love the Desert?

I think not...

I hate the loneliness, emptied out all that good and meaningful. I hate the sad melancholy of world that takes all but gives no solace. I hate the waiting...

I remember during my painful desert experience during Nov-Dec last year, how I rued my my prayer- try me, Lord and make me more like you. Give me a more giving heart like yours. Tear down the stone walls around my heart and teach me to love like you.

O boy, he did answer that prayer...

The thawing of a frozen heart requires the furnace of love. Tough love. The dross of doubt, fear and complacency all rise to the surface during this purification of the soul. It's excruciating and there is no respite.

When there is a cross, there follows also the joy of the resurrection. A new life.

The month following the breakthrough was a time of keeping low. A time of recovering and restoration. Our Father is a God of Love. He is a pursuant lover and he never gives up (1 Cor 13:7).

The breakthrough was a time where he taught me the meaning of faith without sight, hope without proof and even patience in the midst of clamour. It all rests on the bedrock of a single truth- God is Love.

40 years in the desert to learn one truth. God is faithful.

The desert, the cross, the sorrow- and then the revelation. My Almighty Father loves me. 

It's seems like a paradox but the Lord never forgets his own. The Songs proclaim- Who is this coming up from the desert leaning on her Beloved?
courtesy: christinecouncil

It is I...

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Prayer & Solace

I have been having some wonderful time with the Lord and in a completely new dimensions.

Has my work life suddenly sorted itself out aka work ends at 6 PM, Life starts at 6:01 PM?

Nope...

Did I suddenly discover my truests, deepest calling for the Kingdom?

Nah... The Lord still like me to turn a bend before he gives me a new assignment.

Is He patient? Is He Still forgiving? Does He still love me to bits?

Yes... and that's the breakthrough.

The faithfulness of God can only be counted when you look back on the mountains you've traversed and seen how high you have flown. 

Walking with the Lord builds Character. He helps you see beyond the visible mayhem around you and into deeper realities that may be.

He taught me that the only thing worth defending is his Peace. The battle is always of the mind and the Enemy seeks to plunder you of your peace. So, raise a standard of praise against him. Sing of the glory of God. 

Let our Lady, Star of the Sea help you. She is the one person God has not permitted the Enemy to malign. She will counsel you.

Forget not the Counselor. He is gentle and humble. Will he not speak words of wisdom and direction into your ear? 

Forget not the promises of God, for he is faithful.

"I have called you by name, you are mine"

Monday, December 23, 2013

A X'mas Rhyme

THE HOUSE OF CHRISTMAS 
By G.K. Chesterton

There fared a mother driven forth
Out of an inn to roam;
In the place where she was homeless
All men are at home.
The crazy stable close at hand,
With shaking timber and shifting sand,
Grew a stronger thing to abide and stand
Than the square stones of Rome.

For men are homesick in their homes,
And strangers under the sun,
And they lay on their heads in a foreign land
Whenever the day is done.
Here we have battle and blazing eyes,
And chance and honour and high surprise,
But our homes are under miraculous skies
Where the yule tale was begun.

A Child in a foul stable,
Where the beasts feed and foam;
Only where He was homeless
Are you and I at home;
We have hands that fashion and heads that know,
But our hearts we lost - how long ago!
In a place no chart nor ship can show
Under the sky's dome.

This world is wild as an old wives' tale,
And strange the plain things are,
The earth is enough and the air is enough
For our wonder and our war;
But our rest is as far as the fire-drake swings
And our peace is put in impossible things
Where clashed and thundered unthinkable wings
Round an incredible star.

To an open house in the evening
Home shall men come,
To an older place than Eden
And a taller town than Rome.
To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all men are at home




Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Pearl of Great Value

 Suffering...

That dreaded season. Why does the Lord keep bringing the same bitter cup to my lips, to be drunk to the very dregs?

There are a lot of analogies for suffering- gold being purified, clay being molded, vines being pruned... but though they made a lot of sense intellectually, to my spirit it brought no solace.

But the beauty of the Lord is this, He is Truth and Truth is manifested in so many ways, in so many forms and so in many of us. As much as we try to classify people, we still are so unique and varied. He likes that, I think. So he speaks to our spirits in ways that only we, as individuals can understand. And so he spoke to me...

Today, was one of those vicious days where nothing went right, no task was getting ticked as 'done', no comfort, so peace... and a sleep-deprived headache. Heaven was quiet and I knew I was nearing melting point.

I was walking to a nearby cafe to grab some lunch, when I had a 'moment of meeting' with the Lord. I was upset, tired, disgruntled and very unhappy but in spite of all that, I did not put the Lord to the test. I just humbled myself in my heart and said, 'Lord! LORD!' He didn't saying anything but his presence remained like a lingering fragrance. I had my lunch and that moment passed...

Then all of a sudden the Holy Spirit brought it to me, that it was the first time that I did not question (in doubt) the hand of the Lord in my present. I saw this vision of the good thief and the bad thief on either sides of the cross. Both were in need to help and liberation. One chose to challenge, the other chose to let go and let be lead, in faith. 


I understood... I had moved and in my suffering, made pure. My suffering took me to a higher ground; not to whinge and challenge but to trust and be made small.

And this is wisdom, when you understand divine truths in the light of who you are and how you are tuned. 

I understood, that sufferings is needed because it helps you find gold in the sludge. Mining gold is a dirty, backbreaking, messy process. If you watch any of the videos on youtube on gold mining, you'll understand what I mean.  Find that one piece of precious metal and it will suffice for all your labours.  

Suffering helps dredge virtue from the sludge. It scrapes away all your masks, washes off your self-pretense and disperses all forms of factitious spirituality, till you find that one virtue that your previously felt you had but never knew it's true worth. 

Suffering makes your treasures worthwhile. If it was as simple as breathing to mine gold and diamond, do you think we would treasure the metal and the rock so well? Similarly, suffering contributes great value to your virtue, even in God's eyes.

And when you know what they are truly worth because of the price you've paid in pain and tears, then your heart will be   even greatly captivated by the Lord who is the source and summit of all virtue and grace. And where your treasure lies , there will your heart lie... utterly. With God.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Remembrance

God in the Old Testament was one who constantly commiserated his people to Remember.

'Tell it to your children and do not forget how the Lord delivered you from the Egyptians...'

'Remember the Lord's commands that I entrust to you today...

'Remember when your fathers forgot me in the dessert...'

Remember... Remember... Remember...

When one goes through the Night of the Senses, memories of the Lord's faithfulness and mercy can give hope even in the darkest night.

'I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.'

It is the confidence of one who has tasted the Lord and found him true. 

Then there is another kind of reminiscence and it has nothing to do with one's memories or experience. It is a remembrance of the nature of God, who he is and how faithful he yet remains in the face of man's faithlessness. 

There is a brokenness that comes with this remembrance. Like Mary at the foot of the cross. A place of 'hoping against hope' in a God who remains silent. Nothing made sense during that dark night of her soul. There was no silver lining on Golgotha, no comfort in her loneliness. I doubt if she remembered the words of her Son about his death and resurrection; and even if she did, I wonder if it brought her any comfort while watching her firstborn torn on the cross.


And Christ, ripped from his Father's bosom, bereft of all imaginable hope and yet he said ...

'Father, into your hands I commend my spirit'

Faith shines through.

This faith is born of hope. 

'Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see'

Sometimes, I do believe it translates into- Faith is being sure of Who we hope in and certain of Him who we do not see.