Newly added

GOODBYE

This is the final post for Value of Sparrows. Thank you for all your warmth, support, and enthusiasm. With all my love, [...]

Lenten prayers

  • Prayer For Lent by Peter David Gross
    From Wheatstone Ministries Hold me together, Jesus. Be my king and my first resort. Oh archetype, remake me after you. Set at peace the war-making parts of me. Forgive me, and spread balm on my injuries. Sharer of my death, share your life and light with me. Bring me home into your home, to your family. Purify, beautify me until I refract your light. Step into my pain. Touch my scars. Even now, [...]

Psalms

  • Connivance (Part 2) by C. S. Lewis
    From Reflections on the Psalms (Besides our Lord there would have been among their guests toadies and those who wanted to be “on the bandwagon”; people in fact like the young man I once knew.) He had been a strict socialist at Oxford.  Everything ought to be run by the State; private enterprise and independent professions were for him the great evil.  He then went away and became a schoolmaster.  After about ten years of that he came to see me.  He said his political views had been [...]

Lenten Devotions, morning

Forgotten God

  • What If God Doesn’t Come Through? by Francis Chan
    From: Forgotten God Before we delve further into this conversation about the Spirit, I believe some other fears need to be identified and dealt with.  One concern I’ve often heard (and felt) is, what if I pray for the Holy Spirit and nothing happens?  What if I ask for more of the Spirit’s fruit in my life and don’t see any apparent “results”?  It’s scary to pray boldly for change or freedom from sin, because if nothing happens, then doesn’t that mean God failed?  Doesn’t [...]

My writing

  • THE CHURCH: A Theology Of Disconnection
    The medieval mystic, Hildegard of Bingen began to have visions as a very young girl.  Her parents decided that it would be best for her to enter a monastery where she was educated by a fellow anchoress and the monks there.  As she grew into an adult she became oppressed by what she felt was the corruption of the priests and monks.  So she picked up her skirts, fled into the countryside, and established her own convent where she wrote down her visions and some very beautiful music. For me [...]

Lenten poetry

The Attentive Life

  • Love As Focused Attention by Leighton Ford
    From The Attentive Life What difference can Prime make as we begin and go through our days?  When Jesus spoke of abiding, it was all about loving obedience, being loved by him and loving others as he loved us.  We might describe love – whether the love is that of friendship or of lovers or of compassion – as focused attention. In friendship, out of a potential universe of candidates, we select (or have selected for us, as Augustine said, [...]

The Cost of Discipleship

  • The Call To Discipleship (Part 1) by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    From The Cost of Discipleship And as he passed by he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus, sitting at the place of toll, and he saith unto him, “Follow me.”  And he arose and followed him. (Mark 2:14) The call goes forth, and is at once followed by the response of obedience.  The response of the disciples is an act of obedience, not a confession of faith in Jesus.  How could the call immediately evoke obedience?  The story is a stumbling-block for the natural reason, and it is no wonder that [...]

Lenten Sermons

  • The Temptation In The Wilderness by George MacDonald
    Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. And when the tempter came to him, he said, if thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the [...]

Lenten Devotions, evening

  • The Fig Tree by Johann Ernst von Holst
    From The Crucified Is My Love In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry.  And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves.  And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!”  And the fig tree withered at once.  [...]

The Voice of Thomas Merton

Love That Forgets It Was Born in Sorrow

 

My soul is trying to awaken and discover again the beauty of penance. I am ashamed of having made so many confessions of my faults in the monastery with so little sorrow and so feeble a hope of doing better. I want to say, over and over again, that I am sorry. I do not know how I can go on living unless I convince you, Jesus, that I am really sorry. The psalms say this better than I ever could. I am sorry that it has taken me so long to begin to discover the psalms. I am sorry that I have not lived them.

 

I am sorry for having let myself become so stupid and so torpid, thinking more of myself than of what I owe to your Love – and I owe you everything. Forgive me for paying so little attention. Without compunction and deep sorrow, contemplation is likely to be nothing more than a kind of idolatry. How can I love you if I do not know who I am and who you are? And how can I know this without sorrow? Jesus, I no longer want to have anything to do with love that forgets that it was born in sorrow, and therefore forgets to be grateful. Otherwise I will only go on lying to you, and I want to be done with insincerity forever and forever.

March 14th

 

God did not give us a spirit of timidity but rather a Spirit of Power and of Love and of Wisdom. (2 Timothy 1:7)

 

REFLECTION: We sometimes think that the most Christian attitude is to keep quiet and avoid judgment of what others are doing. The temptation is to keep the peace at all cost.

 

There are times when we have to speak out in order to be faithful to what the Spirit calls us to be (as long as what we say or do is motivated by the true good of the other person).

 

PRAYER: Teach me when to speak out, Spirit of God, and when to keep silent.