banner
 
  Home >> Blogs

this user is offline now  exile
Send message

Subscribe
Gender: Male
Status:
Age: 76 Years

City:
State:
Country: United States


Signup Date: 12/01/2008

Categories:
  Religion & Philosophy
  Jobs, Work, Careers
  Life
  Movies, TV, Celebrities
  News & Politics

Archive:
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002

Who Gives Kudos:





 

10:08 AM   [30 May 2009 | Saturday]

Letters to Jesus (Others and me) -7

7.

 

Dear Jesus,

Where there is love, there are no demands; for demands imply assertion of one’s will over another. You so loved us that even unto death You made no demands but allowed our wills to choose. The concept is inextricably linked to the notions of control, manipulation and hidden agendas. Where these exist, real love does not. Where love is pure there are no expectations. Anthony DeMello S.J. talks of love being a sensitivity and response to the reality of another, not making a "project" out of the loved one through expectations.

Love also cannot be predicated upon dependency. We, of course, will always rely on others for something. Where we cannot meet our own needs, others can - but this is all it is: reliance, trust, hope and even gratitude - but not love! While each of these dispose us toward love, love cannot be predicated upon demands, expectations, or dependency. How this all operates to purify the idea of love in my own life has a great deal to do with how I look at my love for others and how I look at my love for You. Putting it this way makes it sound like I have two kinds of love: human and divine. While we often speak of it this way, I’m not so sure that for us humans they don’t dovetail.

In regards to our love for others, and then our love for You, how do demands, expectations and dependency dovetail with DeMello’s notion that love is a sensitivity and response to the reality of the other? In this there seems to be the potential of making love a very cool and heady affair - a concept lacking heart and warmth. Yet, sensitivity and response belie this. Sensitivity and response are from the heart and are warm and human. Demands, expectations and dependency are calluses of the heart, speed bumps to response and drugs numbing our sensitivity. This goes for our relationships with You as well as others. To love You and love our neighbor are not far apart. Each manifests itself in the other. There is a contingency of one upon the other. In this sense, therefore, it may be said that they are one. When my notion of loving You depends on Your meeting my demands (prayers), or when my loving You depends on my expectation of "rewards" from You, it manifests itself in the same attitude toward others in my life. My love for them becomes dependent upon them meeting my demands and on what expectations from them I can count on.

Only dependency offers a distinction between my love for You and others. Because of who You are it just may be a quality of my love for You that I do totally depend on You - not in the sense that eradicates my will, but in the sense that I negate my "self" and place my being trustingly in Your hands. To do this with another is like putting him/her on the same level as You, and that may just be the point! To get to the reality, the essence, the pure being of another is to see that by which we, in common, love and are loved. The hard part is to sweep all else aside and focus on this reality, be sensitive to it, and respond.

Mood:
- 0 Comments - 0 Kudos - Add comment 

12:39 PM   [28 May 2009 | Thursday]

Letters to Jesus (Others and me)-6

6.

Dear Jesus,

How does one measure the capacities of love within one’s self? What on earth, in this life, defines the degree of my love for You? There is no other answer but the degree to which I love others. If I say it is You l love best, whom I do not see, then, in this life, how is that love actually reflected in those whom I love most and see daily?

It is in this regard that I tend to think that my wife, the one I love best in this world is the yardstick of the love I have for You. How often she, more than anyone else in the world, affords me the opportunity to grow more in love with her and, consequently with You. If I want a mirror of my love for You, all I have to do is look at my wife. Through her difficult times You have constantly opened doors for me to enter and grow more in love with her and, consequently, with You.

Marriage is taken more and more lightly in our society, but the true sacramental nature of marriage is most revelatory as two people bear with each others’ weaknesses and grow from each others’ strengths - forgiving failings and learning patience.

If my love for You is reflected best in my love for others, then most supremely it is reflected in my love for my wife. She, I don’t think, realizes the channel of love she is for me. For myself, it is through no other one person: beside her, with her and through her that love’s message is comprehensible. You indeed are the third element in this trinity - the invisible partner without whom love has no meaning.

It is also true that my wife, as the premier balance-point in my life, reflects in my love for her, my love for other people. All the flaws in my own character and in my love surface first in my relationship with my wife. She is an unwitting master teacher of wisdom, patience, and perseverance in Your hands. I have written before about the many channels through which You speak to me. There is none more personal than my wife. While there may be those who can perfect their love for You through the channels of many other people, I am the dull plodder who may take a lifetime just to perfect it in one other person. Yet, for this one other person, I am most grateful. She is, for me, another person of You.

Mood:
- 0 Comments - 0 Kudos - Add comment 

8:55 AM   [26 May 2009 | Tuesday]

Letters to Jesus (Others and me) - 5

5.

Dear Jesus,

I think it was DeMello who wrote: "Reality is not problematic; take away all humans and problems dissolve." Well, the problem is you can’t take humans away. The ground of all reality as we perceive it is inextricably bound up with life and death and everything that comes in between - but, of course, that’s reality as we perceive it. When Pascal points out that our wretchedness and our greatness cannot exist one without the other he affirms the human problem with reality. The reality being that our nature has fallen from what it was meant to be and we yet strive mightily to recapture it. That reality which once was ours is now shrouded in a mist - an incomprehensible cloud. It seems to follow that there is something else to our reality than life and death. But it is our loss which has removed the certainty about this "something" and replaced it with a commerce in speculation; and that is, at best, as far as we can get. So, while this commerce in speculation is fueled by our "problems" with other humans, it is by no means certain that taking away all humans will dissolve our problems with reality. Actually, it would make things much more difficult.

What we do know of the unknowable reality is through other humans - remove them and it’s like turning all the lights out. Even in a cloister where pedestrian daily intercourse is marginalized, the writings of others are read and digested. You shine through to others through the illumination that our lives give to each other.

Therefore, if our problems with other humans are a puzzle to our perception of what is real or to clearing aside the clutter that’s strewn along the way, think of how we might perceive reality without them. We are made in such a way that we can’t do this. This may be what we mean by our "fallen nature". This may be what we lost in Eden.

Even if we were the purist of hermits we could not so eliminate Your words and the context of the people who surrounded You. We could not eliminate what others have written or said. In other words, we cannot get to that dim part of reality beyond life and death without others, nor they without us.

I am tempted to think that, hypothetically, one might arrive at the reality beyond without the "problems" of other humans, but am brought up short by the "necessities" of evangelization, love, and service to others You gave us. It is clear, in this, that we are being told we cannot arrive at reality except through others.

Mood:
- 0 Comments - 0 Kudos - Add comment 

12:04 PM   [24 May 2009 | Sunday]

Letters to Jesus (Others and me) - 4

 

4.

Dear Jesus,

You know how things I read influence me. I’m reading an autobiography of a priest who traces his spirituality and growth from boyhood through the seminary and into his ongoing struggles with the institutional church. It’s fascinating because it’s something with which I can so easily identify. He describes himself as a "square peg" as well as a "Don Quixote". While his non-conformity and idealism rub some the wrong way, it seems delightful and refreshing in many ways to me. I can identify with his "square-pegness" and Don Quixoteism. He and I, to a large extent, are spiritual loners. That loneliness makes the journey more difficult because you love so much and there are so many terrific people you want to take with you who are "unwilling" to go. These are the people you love the most but who often seem to understand you least and, consequently, put the most pressure on you to make choices that please them. These are not the choices you would necessarily make for yourself or the course you would follow.

Does love of You really demand that out of love for others we do things that we would not choose to do if those others were not involved in our lives? I think so!

Mood:
- 0 Comments - 0 Kudos - Add comment 

12:34 PM   [22 May 2009 | Friday]

Letters to Jesus (Others and me)-2

2.

 

Dear Jesus,

The spiritual zenith of love seems to be to love You and others gratis. In essence all love that is genuine is spiritual no matter the loved one. Yet, there persists a conflict between the genuine article and what I, because of outside influences, perceive to be love. The difference hinges upon the word gratis which means "no strings attached" - unconditional!

Why do I love anyone? The word "goodness" comes to mind before all others - or, at least, the observable potential for goodness. This "potential" is the primary reason an individual can love himself. How much greater, then, is actual goodness like Yours? This should clearly make it easier for me to love You than to love myself. But it’s not so.

You know that my love of You is mirrored by my love for others. You also know that my love for others often has many "strings" attached. I say I love someone but how often, in fact, is that love predicated on what the loved one can do for me. Somehow it seems purer to love in gratitude than to love in hope. Somehow it seems better to love not for what another can or will do, but for what has been done already. There is more love in thankfulness than in supplication.

To totally eradicate even the slightest selfish influence of love is difficult. But that is what is needed. The epitome would, therefore, seem to be one’s ability to love another for no other reason than the goodness of the loved one. The free giving of such love, based on gratitude and looking toward union is, I think, what it means to love God gratis. It is true that what is human in us, constantly dictates how we love God. Thus we are at constant war with our "selves" every time we try to embrace the loved one gratis. We keep crashing into the stone wall of "what’s in it for me?" Maybe if I love God I’ll get to heaven, or I’ll be a better person, or others will admire me, or I’ll grow to new spiritual heights. While each of these may be desirable, even good, they nonetheless are "strings" attached - conditions. To truly cut all such "strings" is monumentally difficult by ourselves. Yet to arrive somehow at the ability to do so is genuinely loving gratis.

Because of Your many "abstract" qualities You are, in many ways, easier to love than the people dwelling in the concrete reality of our daily lives. So often their love for us comes with many "strings" attached. This is not true of Your love for us. It is that kind of love which is our goal.

Mood:
- 0 Comments - 0 Kudos - Add comment 

12:31 PM   [22 May 2009 | Friday]

Letters to Jesus (Others and me) -3

3.

 

Dear Jesus,

I wish I could discover why, when I’m away from my home, I have the warmest good thoughts about the happiness of being there, and when I’m there, petty turmoil and discord make me wish I was somewhere else. When I’m away from home I picture the beautiful faces of my wonderful family. I imagine each of them in their own way with their own particular expressions and personality traits that make each of them so unique - and I love them because they are my life. The images glow with warmth and I long to be with them because they are so good and so loveable. It was for this that You sent me into the world.

But at home so many extraneous distractions conflict with the pure images I am able to conjure away from home that I long to seize only those images again which, of course, may mean going away from any arguing, bickering, teasing, hollering, boasting, crankiness, etc., that are not a part of my pristine images. Yes, I want all of us to be saints and I try to shut out anything that negates that desire, but I know we’re not saints because saints don’t run from life.

Mood:
- 0 Comments - 0 Kudos - Add comment 

9:37 AM   [18 May 2009 | Monday]

Letters to Jesus (Others and me) - 1

 

1.

 

Dear Jesus,

I was sitting in church recently, basking in the silence and stillness of a late afternoon week day, and I was thinking about writing to You about my problems with trusting and letting go. But You did it again! You decided that You had something else to tell me that day. I love the way You surprise me in subtle ways.

This time it was through the medium of a fat, bald, dumpy-looking man, probably in his mid-sixties, who walked into church while I was in the wings. He shuffled slowly to the front of the church, kneeled down, and visited with You. I don’t think there had ever been a time up to then that I so powerfully experienced the clout of the second part of "love Me and love your neighbor". I have been in churches, temples and mosques dedicated to God all over the world. I have seen the magnificent art work and statuary, and the elevated architecture they all embody in His honor. I’ve seen literally hundreds, even thousands of people at a time assume an unaccustomed air of solemnity, respect and piety in the presence of such awesome surroundings. I have seen men, women and children deify by their demeanor the plaster images, crucifixes, paintings and buildings dedicated to God and those who served Him - but none of that can better mediate my love for You than that fat, bald, dumpy-looking man in his mid-sixties. Nothing is more important than loving You, and there is nothing more critical to loving You than loving others.

Mood:
- 0 Comments - 0 Kudos - Add comment 

12:52 PM   [16 May 2009 | Saturday]

Letters to Jesus (I and me)-35

35.

 

Dear Jesus,

At this point in my journey, I would strongly defend solitude, silence, diminishing of self and openness to the Spirit as the paths most to be followed. Yet pursuing these is not without some puzzling predicaments. For example, to say we should not hide our light under a bushel basket but should let it shine, and, at the same time, our right hand should not know what our left hand is doing, to me, presents a contradiction - but maybe not.

It would, on the surface, seem that in order to let my light shine forth there is an ever-present struggle with silence, solitude, and diminishing of self. It even sounds like these things are the basket under which I should not hide my light. Yet, for my right hand not to be concerned with my left, self-diminishing, silence and, at least, inner peace seem to be pre-requisite. It is a quandary, but I think the key is in the word "light" and just what I consider to be my light.

Human accomplishments, skills, talents and obstacles overcome are often sources of inner pride. They are the things for which my human nature craves recognition - a pat on the back. They are not my light. These are things that, if my "left hand" is involved in them, my right hand should not even be concerned. These are the things of life that should just be allowed to "let be". Even though who I am would like to shine in these areas, this is not my "light". My light, without letting it become an inordinate source of pride is precisely the silence, solitude, self-diminishment and the ability to "let be" all those other human accomplishments that I erroneously believe to be the part of me I want to shine. What shines forth from them is pride, ego, and selfishness - not light - not that which my right hand or anybody else needs or wants to know.

The humility which puts these in their proper place and opens willingly to the Spirit’s gifts in silence, solitude and self-diminishing and grows and accepts them without fanfare - this is a "light" which cannot be hidden. It is humility! The bushel basket under which we must not put it is woven with the noise, self-centeredness, and selfishness of pride. Pride is the basket! Humility is the light and it will shine by itself! It will shine by itself because it is You in me - not me! All this has to do with diminishing one’s self so that You might increase and shine evermore through me as I grow.

 

Mood:
- 0 Comments - 0 Kudos - Add comment 

12:18 PM   [14 May 2009 | Thursday]

Letters to Jesus (I and me)-34

34.

 

Dear Jesus,

I always feel I come up far short regarding the amount of effort needed to grow spiritually. This takes a whole lot of interior cleaning and maintenance that must be sustained. Bouts of self-delusion and rationalization wrestle with perseveranãe and!eîdurance. Real effort is the gratitude we must show for Your gift. It is not a gift for which a "thank-you" and a closet are apropos. I’m not too bad at this in short spurts here and there but, at this point, what is needed is not only "deeper" efforts but most especially longer and more sustained ones that get to and emanate more from the core of who I am. It is a bumpy road with successes one day and setbacks the next salted with a few days of mindless forgetfulness in between. It is a real effort, but I am learning that the successes and setbacks - even the forgetfulness and laziness - are not as significant as the effort. Of course it all has to do with love, and true love takes effort - constantly rededicated effort in the face of setbacks, wounded pride and forgetfulness. Unconditional love is the only kind and there is great interior effort and great selflessness involved in unconditional love.

Among the things that help me most here, I have found silence. Silence is a great leveler of pride and, therefore, a great diminisher of self. Silence takes great effort and is fraught with discouragement. I’m finding that it does not only have to do with words, or holding one’s tongue (though that is most important) but also the silencing of certain actions that convey "body language". To lose oneself entirely in the object of love – is love! But it emanates from the effort to get there.

Merton distinguishes his own exterior humility from the deeper, more difficult interior humility that dwells courageously in the truth. Here again we’re talking huge effort ( and a lot of failure because we’re dealing with the self) but it’s the effort itself that’s important. It is You who sustain my efforts with oft-repeated "fear nots".

Mood:
- 0 Comments - 0 Kudos - Add comment 

12:47 PM   [12 May 2009 | Tuesday]

Letters to Jesus (I and me) -33

33.

 

Dear Jesus,

The idea that my self is valuable to others is not to be pushed by me but rather pulled by others. I must manage to displace my self with You. To do this I must abandon concerns for what others may think of me - especially in terms of value to them. It is something to be received unadorned and interiorly dismissed with indifference. In this humility becomes the realization that my being is a gift from You - I receive it; so others receive the gift of "me" in a natural and unobtrusive way. So often all I can think of is what I have to offer - what I have to give. The problem is the "I" - the self as "I" -instead of just simply the self as is. I do nothing for You, but my "being" magnifies You. That is my value.

Mood:
- 0 Comments - 0 Kudos - Add comment 
1 2
 
|
|
|
|
|
 
Copyright © 2009 - 2012 True2ourselves. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission is prohibited.