Holy Rule for Oct. 5
Prayers for the eternal rest of Liz, who died quite unexpectedly after lying down to take a nap. Prayers, too, for her very large family who is in shock, especially the Randalls.
Prayers, please, for Carlos who is relocating almost a thousand miles away to take over the family business. He is a faithful Christian who has requested prayers for his safe travel, the good health of his family and blessings upon the business.
Please Pray for Ruth, going to travel to have pacemaker put in. She needs it desperately.
Lord, help us all as You know and will. God's will is best. All is mercy and
grace. God is never absent, praise Him! Thanks so much. JL
February 4, June 5, October 5
Chapter 7: On Humility
The seventh degree of humility
is that he consider himself lower and of less account
than anyone else,
and this not only in verbal protestation
but also with the most heartfelt inner conviction,
humbling himself and saying with the Prophet,
"But I am a worm and no man,
the scorn of men and the outcast of the people" (Ps. 21:7).
"After being exalted, I have been humbled
and covered with confusion" (Ps. 87:16).
"It is good for me that You have humbled me,
that I may learn Your commandments" (Ps. 118:71).
No one need worry whether or not the blue jay population of our
forest will make it through the winter! The blue jays bully and terrorize
all the other birds at the feeder-
including members of their own species lower in the pecking order.
And it is LITERALLY a pecking order! While they are pretty birds,
once in action their belligerent personalities will dispel many a
Contrast the cardinals and chickadees, both far lovelier to look at,
and both well aware that they need to stay out of the jays' way! One
imagines that the cardinals, strikingly red, might be as numerous as
their blue cousins if they were anywhere near as combative. Below
even these in the hierarchy are the slate juncos. None too eye-
catching, a rather sooty gray, and spending almost all of their time
gleaning on the ground, not at the feeder. It is a niche they seem
not to mind at all. Their attraction is not in plumage, but in the
humility of their dispositions.
Of course, I watch all this and am amused.
These scrappy jays are fighting over a front yard that they don't
own. They are battling for food that is always there and will be
there in plenty. And hey, they are BIRDS, right? What's all this
idiocy about who's-better-than-who? It's like watching a lot of
Lilliputians in hand-to-hand, mortal combat. It's so silly that it is
laughable. This is my front yard, guys, not yours!
Whoops! Just fell into the same stupid snare as the birds....
One of the beautiful things the late Israeli astronaut on the
Columbia, Ilan Ramon, said about the view from space was that the
earth was just one beautiful blue ball, no boundaries, no borders,
all one. Surely that is a glimpse of how God sees it. Therein lies
the secret of humility: to see things as God sees them, because that
is how things truly are! That means seeing things like neither the
scrappy blue jay, nor the monk inside who just as foolishly thinks
something is his to control, that he has a privilege others do not,
that his hegemony must be protected at any cost!
Of course, it is all too easy to see things in an nation state way,
especially these days. One nation hates another or hates their
agenda. Ah, but that is how it has worked out! How it started was no
doubt one incident, lost in the mists of time, forgotten except for
the rivalry it engendered, which took on a life of its own. Perhaps
the progenitors of two warring Mideast nations of today met once at the same
oasis with their flocks. Maybe one decided it was hers, maybe both
did. At any rate, the fallout was terrible for centuries.
Each of us faces a desert oasis with others. How little we reflect
that our actions there could change history. We will never know until
heaven how our choices to assert or defer literally change the
history of the cosmos, however slightly. All things start out small,
but then they grow! Which outcome do you wish to nourish with your
life? What we do with our hearts affects the whole universe.
Love and prayers,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Prayers for George, needs a heart valve replacement, but is too weak for the surgery. Prayers that he can have the surgery or, should God call him now, for his happy death.