If God indeed creates us in love, of love, and for love, then we are meant for a life of joy and freedom, not endless suffering and pain. But if God also creates us with an inborn longing for God, then human life is also meant to contain yearning, incompleteness, and lack of fulfillment. To live as a child of God is to live with love and hope and growth, but it is also to live with longing, with aching for a fullness of love that is never quite within our grasp. As attachments lighten and idols fall, we will enjoy increasing freedom. But at the same time our hearts will feel an even greater, purer, deeper ache. This particular pain is one that never leaves us. – Gerald May, Addiction and Grace
Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world.
We cannot cure the world of sorrows but we can choose to live in joy.
When we talk about settling the world’s problems, we’re barking up the wrong tree.
The world is perfect. It’s a mess. It has always been a mess.
We are not going to change it.
Our job is to straighten out our own lives.
– Joseph Campbell
A single sentence, a single word, a single awareness may turn life over, and while you may not yet be found, you are no longer lost. It is impossible to express. Your dream of the world is unmasked, creating an opening. The night, however dark, is not endless, because in that smallest opening you glimpsed light moving in the dark. It was the first real thing you have known. – Paula D’Arcy
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are.
“People would be surprised if they knew what the soul said to God sometimes.” – Brother Lawrence, a 17th century Carmelite friar
God does not flash into our lives to work a piece of magic upon us and then disappear. To do so would eradicate human dignity; it would prevent our participation. Instead, God’s grace is always present intimately within us, inviting and empowering us toward more full, more free exercise of will and responsibility. The more open and spacious our will and responsibility become, the more God and person commune in creative splendor.
Every liberation requires continued attention, every healing demands continued care, every deliverance demands follow-up and every conversion requires faithful deepening.
We are never simply visited with a healing or deliverance, which we can then safely forget. Grace is not a pill we are given or a method applied to us so that we can simply go on about our business. Grace always invites us forward. Every liberation requires continued attention, every healing demands continued care, every deliverance demands follow-up and every conversion requires faithful deepening. If we do not respond to these ongoing calls, if we deny our empowerments for continued growth in freedom and responsibility, our healings may well be stillborn. Then, as in Jesus’ words about evil spirits returning to a house swept clean, our last condition may turn out to be worse than our first.
Gerald May, Addiction and Grace
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.