Friday, September 28, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
I am trying to hash out how I will do this thing, so really this post is essentially to ask for suggestions. So please, comment with your thoughts about what this could/should look like. Basically, what would you do if you wanted to study the highest revelation of God (Jesus Christ) over a long period of time with a group of people that love the subject.
In the meantime, here's a great quote from Pere Jacques, a Jesus fanatic:
We cannot see Christ and remain as we are. We cannot exchange a look with Christ and not be overcome with a total conversion.
This is what I would like to help you to do: to lead you to Christ so that you might, in the silence of retreat, exchange that glance with Christ; a true, living, and real contact that is not the fruit of the imagination, but rather reaches the heart of things as they are. Christ is a living being who is here, there, and everywhere. To see Christ, we must become poor. Riches drag down the soul. One has to become small in stature, that is, detached from the goods of this world, for such riches foster earthly desires. As you are well aware, Saint john of the Cross warns: "Whether one is attached to earth by a silken thread or a old cable, the result is the same: one cannot soar to the heights." One attachment, however small, that violates obedience, poverty, or chastity, and draws us away from God, may be nothing by worldly standards. Nonetheless, that attachment comes between God and ourselves and impedes our ascent toward sanctity.
Christ is all in all. Through him, all is made; through him all comes to us. Therefore, we must see Christ. I stress this point; we must truly see Christ. I sometimes think that we should define the term Christian as "Someone who has seen Christ." There are only a few genuine Christians, because only a few souls have seen Christ. Countless baptized persons, including even ordained priests and professed religious, remain lukewarm in spirit. Such tepid souls do not pulsate with life nor are they enthusiastic enough to give their life for Christ. They have never seen Christ. Their knowledge of the Lord is verbal, not vital. However, we must strive to love Christ passionately and prepare to see him face to face when we die. The soul that neither misses Christ now nor longs to see him at life's end does not honestly love him. To make such a claim would be a lie. When we love someone, we long to see that person, even at the risk of death. All the more so, given him limitless love, we want to long to see Christ face to face.
Let us now turn our attention to Saint John of the Cross. In his splendid writings, he explains how the person who loves God gradually pierces the veil that keeps us from seeing the Lord. Eventually, the moment comes, when that veil is totally sundered and the person goes forth to our beloved God. When I speak of seeing Christ, I mean the mysterious, misty vision of faith, which is the fruit of the prayer of simple regard and not the result of any activity on our part. I mean the experience of being "Swept up" by Christ himself. When we have diligently devoted ourselves to charity, obedience, service, and self-control, and when Christ has seen the constancy of our commitment, then he himself comes to us. On that day, we become enveloped in the divine being and ecstatically discover the presence of God himself. We know that the Lord is there. He speaks to us, but not in words. The human heart communicates directly with the heart of Christ in the blissful adoration of simple regard. This eartfelt vision of Christ compels the soul so to love Christ and so to make him loved that nothing else on earth can inspire greater love than the Lord. Wealth then is as nothing and poverty is prized precisely because is allows us greater intimacy with Christ. NO other comfort, no other countenance and no other solace suffices. Christ alone provides satisfaction.
How glorious is this intimacy with Christ!
Friday, August 31, 2007
"The testimony of heaven is that Christ is worthy of all glory, honor, and affection. This truth concerning the One that sets the angels aflame stands at the center of night and day prayer and all expressions of love for Him. The beauty of His mercy and majesty begets love in our soul, and we are compelled to abandon ourselves to radical selflessness in order that He might be adored incessantly. We must find our strength and resolve outside of ourselves and within the consuming beauty of Jesus Christ - He is our portion and reward. (Numbers 18:20) All that is lovely and comely originates in Him, the perfection and consummation of all beauty. When His ineffable worth strikes us, no sacrifice seems unreasonable.
"Such vehement love appears to be a waste to others only because they cannot perceive His beauty. In stark contrast to the awe-struck angels and enraptured saints in the cloud of witnesses, on the earth Christ is largely forgotten, mocked, ignored, and despised. When He is revealed and all eyes see His splendor, the wisdom of devotion will be vindicated. Yet now, in this age of waiting, to throw our lives into expressions of love that cause us natural loss appear absurd on the surface...
"As we give ourselves to this occupation [night and day prayer], there are no eyes watching our act of service and no one to applaud our devotion. It is in relative silence and hiddenness that we spend our strength in groaning and tears, loving One we cannot see and pleading to Him on behalf of those we will never know and who will never repay us. As in the story of Jesus' anointing [by Mary of Bethany], the Church looks upon the offering of love in night and day worship and views it as a misuse of time, money, and resource. The day will come when tens of thousands will be gathered to Kansas City and the cities of the earth and many will be indignant because all of those people could be sharing the gospel, feeding the poor, or training other believers...
"As stated above, the testimony of heaven is that God is worthy of incessant adoration and ceaseless praise. Night and day prayer is inevitable when the saints on the earth acquire a living, consuming conviction of His immeasurable worth."
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
I got a sweet ride today--a blue moped! It has a totally rad name. Prepare yourself for... the Coolster F5 *flash!*
With the gas prices the way they are and my budget the way it is, I have been looking to get a moped for some time now. The past two weeks have been more of a intentional effort than usual though, with the start of my rigorous school schedule and all that entails, so I've become well acquainted with eBay and Craig's List. After much searching and a little heart ache with deals that fell through, I finally got the seemingly perfect one.
This great bike is produced by the ChuanL Motorcycle Company in China, which produces over 300,000 motorbikes a year, and is a very reliable form of everyday transportation with very low maintenance costs. Oil changes are more frequent in these bikes than the family car. And the drive belt may wear out after a few thousand miles of use. But compared to the cost of driving a car, these bikes are very cheap to own and operate. The Coolster is a large moped/motor scooter at 71 inches, which compares against many mopeds at just 48-53 inches. A trunk kit is included with the Coolster F5 as well, which is a $59-99 option on many brands. This little moped gets anywhere from 70-100 mpg, and it's only a 50cc, which means I don't have to have a license or insurance to ride it around Missouri. It goes up to 50 mph (that's really fast for a 50cc), so it's perfect for my life within the context of IHOP.
From now on I'll be zipping around with my awesome Chinese scooter, so watch out!