Ps 103:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12
Lk 15:1-3, 11-32
OF GOD –
Dear Father, help me to realize oneness with You and Your Son;
without You I am nothing, and with You everything is possible (Jn
17:22 and Jn 15:5).
Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Jesus (Mt 16:24).
today’s gospel reminds us again how foundational humility is to a
life with God. Wait a minute, you might say, the parable of the
prodigal son is about a forgiving Father that has a love for us
beyond our comprehension. And of course your are right, but it also
denounces what we might call “religious materialism” (considering
one’s self more holy than another) and that’s what we will meditate
today’s parable as well as that of the tax collector (Lk 18:9-14)
show how those who are humbled before God and realize they’ve got it
wrong are far better off than those who think they’ve got it right,
and are therefore somehow superior to others (think of the oldest son
as well as the tax collector). Jesus illustrates time and time again
how God’s kingdom works and, more often than not, it is contrary to
how we usually think. Our fundamental misconception stems from our
perspective that we “think” we are separate from God, and separate
from our brothers and sisters too for that matter (this is the false
or imaginary self - this is the self we must deny). It’s this
separateness that results in transactional thinking; a gain for me is
a loss for you (e.g., I don’t drink or smoke so I’m holier than her).
When we really see that we are all part of the same vine our
perspectives will fundamentally change forever (Jn 15:5).
is at the core of each of us, including those we may consider the
least of our brothers and sisters. Without God we are nothing and
until we realize God we’ll feel incomplete. To quote Julian of
I am essentially united with God I can never have full rest or real
happiness. God is nearer to us than we are to our own spirit.
we are so preciously loved by God that we cannot even comprehend it.
No created being can ever know how much and how sweetly and tenderly
God loves them. It is only with the help of grace that we are able to
persevere in spiritual contemplation with endless wonder at God’s
high surpassing immeasurable love, which our Lord in such goodness
has for us.
is the ground, the substance, the teaching, the teacher, the purpose,
and the reward for which every soul labors. Our savior is our true
mother in whom we are endlessly born and out of whom we shall never
come. See that I am God. See that I am in everything. See that I do
everything. See that I have never stopped ordering my works, nor ever
shall eternally. See that I lead everything onto the conclusion I
ordained for it before time began by the same power wisdom and love
for which I made it. How can anything be amiss? The fullness of joy
is to behold God in everything.”
SILENT PRAYER PRACTICE AND COLLOQUY
provided us with a powerful tool for realizing this oneness, when he
told us to go to our inner-room and pray to God in secret (Mt 6:6).
If you are finding this type of prayer difficult, let us turn once
again to Julian’s council, “Pray inwardly, even if you do not enjoy
it. It does good, though you feel nothing.”
in whatever manner of silent prayer has most appealed to you during
this challenge. Don’t forget to humble yourself and let God know you
can’t do this without Him. Ask to feel His love, and for the grace to
realize who you truly are. When you stumble, apologize and ask again
for His help. Carry on.