Saturday, December 29, 2012

Luke 24:35

I Kings 19

Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword.  Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life like the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.”  Then he was afraid; he got up and fled for his life[1][1], and came to Beer-sheba, which belongs to Judah; he left his servant there.

But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a solitary broom tree.  He asked that he might die:[2][2] “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors.”  Then he lay down under the broom tree and fell asleep.  Suddenly an angel touched him and said to him, “Get up and eat.”[3][3]  He looked, and there at his head was a cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water.  He ate and drank, and lay down again.  The angel of the Lord came a second time, touched him, and said, “Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.”[4][4]  He got up, and ate and drank; then he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God.  At that place he came to a cave, and spent the night there. 

And here follows the well-known story of the earthquake, the fire, then the STILL SMALL VOICE.  How many times have I read that story since I have been reading the Bible through since high school?  How many times have I read it aloud or heard it read at Sunday Eucharist or retreats?  Dozens!  Yet, until now, I have missed that the STILL SMALL VOICE story is preceded by a nourishing meal provided by the angel of God.  I am posting this entry to memorialize that profound revelation.  It has been there all along, but this is one of those instances where I am tempted to say, “Was that in the Bible the last time I read it?”

[1][1] A very reasonable fear.
[2][2] How many times in the past year+ have I asked this?  The intensity of God’s work in my life felt unbearable and the feeling returns again and again.
[3][3] Get up and feed on the food provided by God’s angel and don’t try to tough it out on your own.
[4][4] A reminder to remain in good nutrition from that angel food.  One meal will not suffice.  Maintain, maintain, maintain.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Evelyn Underhill - Mysticism 29

Chapter Three – Purification

p. 137: “’God is the only reality,’ says Patmore, ‘and we are real only as far as we are in His order and He is in us.’”

Is this Keating’s “false self?”

p. 138: “To the true lover of the Absolute, Purgation no less than Illumination is a privilege, a dreadful joy.”

Hmm, I’m not feeling a sense of privilege or joy, although I get what is being said here.

16 Then someone came to him and said, ‘Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?’ 17And he said to him, ‘Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.’ 18He said to him, ‘Which ones?’ And Jesus said, ‘You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; 19Honour your father and mother; also, You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ 20The young man said to him, ‘I have kept all these;* what do I still lack?’ 21Jesus said to him, ‘If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money* to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’  22When the young man heard this word, he went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Evelyn Underhill - Mysticism 28

"That in the winter, seeing a tree stripped of its leaves, and considering that within a little time the leaves would be renewed, and after that the flowers and fruit appear, he received a high view of the Providence and Power of God, which has never since been effaced from his soul.  That this view had set him perfectly loose from the world and kindled in him such a love for God that he could not tell whether it had increased in above forty years that he had lived since."  M. Beaufort, relating Brother Lawrence's mystical experience.

"...rapture or fluid splendor, and crystallize into a willed response to the Reality perceived..."  // "...from the emotional to the volitional stage."

Here is where I fall short.  I had such an experience, related in the walk around Lake Davis at the beginning of my Stephen Ministry training.  I have fallen short so many times in living the Reality I met there.  That is, perhaps, why Incarnation is such a key inspiration for me.  It is what I need to work on most.

28 ‘What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, “Son, go and work in the vineyard today.” 29He answered, “I will not”; but later he changed his mind and went. 30The father* went to the second and said the same; and he answered, “I go, sir”; but he did not go. 31Which of the two did the will of his father?’ They said, ‘The first.’