Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thoughts for the Triduum

Recently I was told by a professor that "the world doesn't stop just because its Holy Week". But why not? Why shouldn't we set aside everything, stop everything and focus on the greatest mystery of our faith?
Almighty God, creator of the universe, founder of all things, mover of all things in whom and with whom all things have their being, and without whom nothing would be, sent his one and only Son, into frail flesh! A great mystery in itself....but now, this week...God dies. The Father forsakes the Son, the Son descends to Hell. What great wonder! What amazing mystery! Should we not stop everything and think on this Holy wonder?
The Holy wonder of our sin, of our failure piercing the spotless lamb. Our neglect, our brokenness shattering the Holy Son. We all should say: "I nailed Christ to the cross! I was the one who betrayed him!" What wretches we all are! And yet God sent his one and only Son....Despite all our failures, despite all our bitter hatred of God, and all are wrathful vengeance upon the lamb; we are forgiven, we are redeemed by the blood that pours from the side that we pierced!
Glory be to the Father. Glory be to the Spirit. And Glory be to the most precious Son, who for our sake took on frail flesh, bore the weight of all our sin and died. These three most Holy Days let us in reverence and awe contemplate on this most amazing love, this most Holy Mystery, and let us sing with the whole universe throughout all time the most joyous songs to the risen King on Easter morn. Amen

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Why is it that we as a society cannot stand silence? Our lives are filled with the endless empty flood of noise, from stereos, to planes, to meaningless conversations; why can't we be silent?
Why is it that we as a society cannot be still? We move from sun up to sun down having everything to do and nothing to accomplish. We endlessly exhaust ourselves with work and play to the point that we can neither feel satisfied at work, or enjoy play. Why can't we be still?
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Ps 46:10
“But the Lord is in his Holy Temple, let all the earth keep silence before him.” Hab 2:20
I believe that why we cannot be still, and why we cannot be silent, is because satan is deceiving us. He does not tell us lies, instead he tells us half truths. “You should give to the poor”, but not at the cost of giving praise to God for our gifts. “You should pray for justice”, but not at the expense of forgetting God's mercy. “If your a Christian you should be doing good works”, but not without first dwelling in God. Satan challenges us to do good things, but he does so in order that we may neglect the better things. As Jesus says, “For you will always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me.”(Mat 26:11). Satan delights in twisting Christians into pretzels of always giving to the poor, but never receiving from God. How can we give if we do not first have? How can we serve unless we first let Christ serve us?
God desires us to dwell in him through his Word. So often we are busy with “The Lord's Work” that we forget the Lord. Let us be still and silent, dwelling in and on the Word of God daily, not prone to menial conversations, and the endless drone of media nothingness. Let us not be caught up in ceaseless work, and play, but let us take time to be still and silent, praying to God with praise and thanksgiving, resting in his Word. Christians are to be in the world, and not of the world, and this means that we are not to get caught up in the whims of the world, including those that sound good: justice, peace, and saving the environment. Let us first have God, dwelling in the Word, and resting in the care of the Holy Spirit, and then we can seek to love and serve the world. To God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be all the glory now and forevermore. Amen


I am haunted by the divine.....the hidden melody, the eternal harmony, it torments me. I only catch but glimpses, only hear but a chord and then it fades away. I do not belong, I am a sojurner lost in a wilderness of sorrow, lost in the brokeness of the day.

Every bush is afire with God, every sight, every smell, everything hints at the hidden glory, the immutable majesty. Why dont we see it? why do wander aimlessly about doing meaningless tasks ignoring the creeping divine, the omnipresent eternity?

Why do we live these miserable unfulfilled lives so blindly, never seeking more, never desiring the joy beyond the vale?

Oh most gracious loving God! For me to die is gain and to live is Christ! When will you return? when will you carry me from this land of sorrow and into the joy I so bitterly desire? Everywhere I look I see it, in every noise I hear it, everywhere I perceive it, and with such anguished longing I yearn. Oh God! I am faint with longing, burning with bitter passion! Satisfy your servant! release him from the bonds of diminished life and satisfy his all consumming hunger.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Love Thy Neighbor!

“His master answered, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things.” Mat 25:23

Recently Shane Claiborne came to campus and spoke. To paraphrase one of the things he said: we are all ready to save the starving children in Africa, but no one wants to do the dishes. And how right he is! How often do we ignore our next door neighbor when they are struggling? How often do we walk by a friend who is struggling and not care at all how they are feeling?
How can we hope to help people half way around the world when we can't even help our friends? How can we expect to promote world justice when we aren't even just to the person who sits next to us in class? You may think I am being harsh, you may think I am wrong, but I cant tell you how many students have told me at one point or another that they feel ignored, unloved. I am not speaking in theory, I am speaking from experience doing ministry on campus.
I pray that the Holy Spirit may burn within us that we may learn to love our immediate neighbor as ourselves, that we may treat one another justly. Let us be faithful in little, even just recognizing that others on campus exist, to just say “hi how are you?” and really mean it. How can we expect to make any impact on world justice if we don't even truly care for our friends?
Lord, we are all miserable sinners who cannot even love our friends. May you so move in us and grant us grace that we can not only love our friends but also the others who we do not see daily. Grant us a spirit of humble love and grace that we may serve you without grumbling. To God be the Glory forever and ever! Amen!

Eph 2:1-11

Eph 2:11-22

So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called ‘the uncircumcision’ by those who are called ‘the circumcision’—a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands— remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, so that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling-place for God.

L: Peace be with you
And also with you.

Peace? Peace! What is this peace you so readily speak of?
Where is this peace, for that matter, where is Christ's love?

L: Lord have mercy.

Where is the mercy when by violence brothers die?

L: Christ have mercy.

Where is the mercy when churches schism and lie?

L: Lord have mercy.

Where is the mercy, when the lonely depress'd sigh?

L: In peace let us pray to the Lord.

Once again with peace!
In peace let us pray
when we act like beasts,
and our sisters we slay.

Strife, bitterness, and violence throughout,
and not even leaving the chapel doors,
we start decades long bitter wars.

L: United with Christ in the waters of baptism we confess our faith....

United? Ha! A funny joke,
as if I am some dumb blind bloke.
I know the rules and laws,
all the bitterness that forms our vicious claws,
to rend and tear one another,
killing sister, mother, brother.
we are not united

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Creator of heaven and earth,

God you are creator, ruler, king!
Yet you let your church dissolve,
and in hidden resentment sing,
until wicked hatred evolve,
and rather than joyous eternal harmony,
in church only strife anger and discord,
unending resentment rather than amnesty,
Oh have mercy Lord!

I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.

He descended into hell.

The third day He arose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

Band(?): We are One in The Spirit,
We are One in The Lord.
We are One in The Spirit,
We are One in The Lord.
And we pray that our unity may one day be restored.

And they'll know we are Christians by our love,
By our Love,
Yes they'll know we are Christians by our love.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.


L: In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling-place for are built. Not yet, but already. United in Christ, yet violently disjointed. Condemned sinners, yet Blessed Saints praising God in eternity. Forever united in the mystery of the cross.

The Word of the Lord
Thanks Be to God


The other day I was driving in my car and there was a song by Ozzy Osbourne on the radio, and I heard a phrase which I thought was “You pray tomorrow, but you're living today.” Now upon looking it up online, I found out I had heard incorrectly but it got me thinking. How often do we 'pray tomorrow', how many of our prayers live in the future and not today? We pray about what we'll be doing after college, we pray that justice may fill the world, we pray that all sorts of things will happen in the future. But the fact is we live today, and that we are to live as though there is no tomorrow.
In the Sermon on the mount Christ says: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”(Mat 6:34) We live today, not tomorrow, and while it is important to plan ahead somewhat, it is ridiculous and wrong for us to get to caught up in the worry about tomorrow. So rather than praying for a better tomorrow, let us live today in a way that is line with the will of God, and tomorrow will take care of ourselves. God has not called us to live our lives worrying how to save the world of tomorrow, he has called us to live our lives of humble service and love today, and to leave tomorrow, and the big picture up to him. To God be the Glory forever and ever! Amen.

Joyful Prayer

1 Thess 5:16-22 Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put out the Spirit's fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.
As Christians we are called to a unique and rather difficult life. We are to pray without ceasing, to be joyous in all circumstances, to give God praise even when the world is falling in around us. As we draw nearer to mid term stress levels begin to rise and more and more things demand our time and our energy, and we may not feel like praising God for three papers four midterms and a nice dose of homesickness, but that is what we are called to. To pray and give thanks.
We cannot do this work on our own. As sinful finite fallen humans we cannot help but despair at the dark times in our life, but it is through the Grace of God in the person of Jesus Christ that we can find hope in all situations and give God praise in everything. As an exercise and habit to help facilitate this joyful prayerful spirit try to think of ten things you are thankful for every night before you go to bed, and give thanks to God for them. Falling into a habit of daily thanksgiving, even if you dont feel like it, will help to bring about a spirit of thankfulness and contentment in all situations resting in the Grace of Jesus Christ.
Thanks be to the God who created us, redeemed us, and sustains us. Praise be the Holy Trinity now and forevermore! Amen