Whether we want to call it, two thousand and ten, or twenty ten, a new decade, and a new year, is here for both you, and I. We will make the choice, again and again, each day to live, to celebrate this new time given to us. We will make this new time, Kairos time. We will learn to live life , not just survive life. Pope John 23rd, once said "We are not on earth as museum keepers, but to cultivate a flourishing garden"
That which will help us cultivate a colorful, vibrant, vital, verdant
garden, is a positive response to the council of Henri Nouwen, that we claim this fact, again, again, and again, "I am the beloved". Yes, this very simple practice IS, life changing. Then in time, you will find yourself being led to the understanding, that love is not just, an idea, or concept, rather love becomes for us a 'lived experience'.
Nouwen prays as following, "O,Lord....We can only love each other because you have loved us first. Let us know that first love so we can see all human love as a reflection of a greater love, a love without condition or limitation." (Our first LOVE)
The great challenge for us then, is to love as we have been loved. IN this we always are coming up short, we are not divine, we are human, and by nature limited. To love as we have first been loved, we must be connected to that FIRST LOVE. That is why we have the sacraments of Word & Eucharist and Reconciliation.(Confession). These sacraments are offered to us, so we can have life, and have it to the fullest. When we either avoid, or deny ourselves this Source of Life we should not be surprised, when we find our lives empty, disconnected, and lifeless. We are now left to depend on second love, which by it's very nature cannot do what The First Love has already done.The memory of The First Love is always with us. It cannot be replaced, no matter how hard we may try. To expect that to happen, is, to court disaster. We all have gone down that path, and the result is addiction, alienation, discouragement, and entrance into many, many other places of darkness.
This can look and sound very bleak?? Yes!! It does. This is where the great gift of faith comes in. You see we have to learn, and what a difficult thing it is to learn, faith IS not faith until and unless it is the only thing we have to hang on to. This brings me to the opening prayer of this, the second week in Ordinary time. What great encouragement, what great hope, what great strength is offered to you and I, in these words.
'Almighty and ever present Father, your watchful care reaches from end to end and orders all things in such power that even the tensions the tragedies of sin CANNOT FRUSTRATE your loving plan. Help us to embrace your will, give us the strength to follow your call, so that YOUR truth may live in our hearts and reflect peace to those who believe in your love.'
The tragedy of Haiti is so present before us. These, our suffering sisters and brothers, must be uppermost in our thoughts, and in our prayers. We must also bring to prayer the parts of our world that have crumbled, or are beginning to crumble.
God does NNNOOOTTT intend this to happen. What will He do? He will take the rubble of our lives, and through His power, and our cooperation, give to us things we could never imagine. Okay, let us all say together,
I, BELIEVE LORD, HELP MY DISBELIEF.
The dreamer's journey continues....