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September 4

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  • russophile2002
    +PAX Prayers, please, for Sr. Lany Jo and her Mom, still near death. Prayers, too for Casimir Pieczarka, who died yesterday, and his family, especially his
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 4, 2003
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for Sr. Lany Jo and her Mom, still near death.
      Prayers, too for Casimir Pieczarka, who died yesterday, and his
      family, especially his nephew, Richard. Prayers for Jerry, who has
      died, and for his family, also for Linda's Mom, who died, and for her
      family. Prayers, too, for Fran, in ICU, and for Mary Ann, her
      daughter-in-law at her bedside. God's will is best! All is mercy and
      grace. Thanks. NRN JL

      January 4, May 5, September 4
      Prologue

      Having our loins girded, therefore,
      with faith and the performance of good works (Eph. 6:14),
      let us walk in His paths
      by the guidance of the Gospel,
      that we may deserve to see Him
      who has called us to His kingdom (1 Thess. 2:12).

      For if we wish to dwell in the tent of that kingdom,
      we must run to it by good deeds
      or we shall never reach it.

      But let us ask the Lord, with the Prophet,
      "Lord, who shall dwell in Your tent,
      or who shall rest upon Your holy mountain" (Ps. 14:1)?

      After this question,
      let us listen to the Lord
      as He answers and shows us the way to that tent, saying,
      "The one Who walks without stain and practices justice;
      who speaks truth from his heart;
      who has not used his tongue for deceit;
      who has done no evil to his neighbor;
      who has given no place to slander against his neighbor."

      This is the one who,
      under any temptation from the malicious devil,
      has brought him to naught (Ps. 14:4)
      by casting him and his temptation from the sight of his heart;
      and who has laid hold of his thoughts
      while they were still young
      and dashed them against Christ (Ps. 136:9).

      It is they who,
      fearing the Lord (Ps. 14:4),
      do not pride themselves on their good observance;
      but,
      convinced that the good which is in them
      cannot come from themselves and must be from the Lord,
      glorify the Lord's work in them (Ps. 14:4),
      using the words of the Prophet,
      "Not to us, O Lord, not to us,
      but to Your name give the glory" (Ps. 113, 2nd part:1).
      Thus also the Apostle Paul
      attributed nothing of the success of his preaching to himself,
      but said,
      "By the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10).
      And again he says,
      "He who glories, let him glory in the Lord" (2 Cor. 10:17).

      REFLECTION

      Ever have that funny feeling of surprise that the world and time and
      life and events go resolutely on, even when you are stalled in
      heartbreak? It is a strange egocentricity that allows us to feel
      that. I remember clearly such a feeling when my father died. I was
      not quite eleven. My world was shattered, everything had stopped or
      changed or been put on hold.

      Child that I was, it stunned me slightly to notice from the car
      window on the way to the cemetery that it was just another sunny day
      for everyone else. People were working, shopping, going to school.
      The world WAS going on, nothing had changed for them. It made me feel
      strangely even more alone in my pain: he wasn't as important to the
      rest of the world as he was to me.

      We can still have these feelings as adults, but hopefully we are at
      least more used to them and less inclined to think the world really
      DOES stop when we think it should. Tough though they can still be,
      they are reality and reality is truth and truth, after all, is not
      only humility but what also Jesus called Himself.

      What does all this have to do with the Prologue? The same sort of
      really unfortunate egocentricity can let us think that we are the
      center of the known universe in other ways, can allow us to foolishly
      think that our gifts or the tiny packets of virtues we have stashed
      here and there are our own. No way, folks! It is grace, it is gift,
      ALL is gift, beginning with our very existence!

      If a city has clean, wondrous, spring water, no one in their right
      mind praises the pipes. No, one praises the purity of the Source. So
      it is with us, m'dears, pipes one and all, nothing more or less. God
      is the Source, God's mercy and love and grace and gift are the purest
      of waters. We are His conduits and we dare not glory, except in the
      Lord!

      There is an excellent theology of works and faith here, one which
      both Lutherans and Roman Catholics should love, with things each side
      needs badly to hear. We need on the Catholic side to recognize that
      there is no good in our works that is not of God, of the saving act
      of Jesus, and on the Lutheran side to hear that works are important
      as the way to the dwelling place to which we are called. Both sides
      need faith and no one is anything at all in terms of good without
      God, without Christ's perfect sacrifice.

      So yes, we must do good works, but, "Not to us, O Lord, but to Your
      name give the glory!" Works and faith are not the Western thought
      dichotomy of "yes and no" of "either or," but the Zen mind of "yes
      AND no." Without God, neither works nor ourselves have any meaning at
      all. With God, both are enriched, but only because of Him.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome,OSB
      http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
      jeromeleo@...
      Petersham, MA
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