Intertwined opposites

Unless it is the LORD who builds the house, the builders’ work is pointless. Unless it is the LORD who protects the city, the guard on duty is pointless. It is pointless that you get up early and stay up late, eating the bread of hard labor because God gives sleep to those he loves. ~Psalm 127:1-2 (CEB)

“This enlargement of the human person cannot be achieved solely by our own efforts. Under our own steam, we cannot contain and bear the deep coincidence of opposites that we are. But they are borne within us when we give ourselves to God. For Henri, the Eucharist is the inspiration and source of all self-giving. The Eucharist carries us into and beyond ourselves so that we can give happily and gratefully even when our egos press upon us to hold back. The Eucharist, he often said, means thanksgiving, and thanksgiving means celebration. Without the Eucharist, we are preoccupied with personal survival, categorizing our experience into pleasure and pain, and doing whatever we can to extend our life-spans, to maximize pleasure. The communal eating of bread and wine is a celebration in which we realize that life and death are intertwined, that ‘fear and love, joy and sorrow, tears and smiles exist together, Life and death kiss each other at every moment of our existence.” ~Robert A. Jonas from Henri Nouwen: Writings Selected with an Introduction by Robert A. Jonas

I love you, O Lord, my strength. You are my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer. You are my God whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Amen. (Psalm 18:1-2)

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