The back of the line

You were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only don’t let this freedom be an opportunity to indulge your selfish impulses, but serve each other through love. All the Law has been fulfilled in a single statement: Love your neighbor as yourself,  But if you bite and devour each other, be careful that you don’t get eaten up by each other!

Two different ways of living

I say be guided by the Spirit and you won’t carry out your selfish desires. A person’s selfish desires are set against the Spirit, and the Spirit is set against one’s selfish desires. They are opposed to each other, so you shouldn’t do whatever you want to do. But if you are being led by the Spirit, you aren’t under the Law. The actions that are produced by selfish motives are obvious, since they include sexual immorality, moral corruption, doing whatever feels good, idolatry, drug use and casting spells, hate, fighting, obsession, losing your temper, competitive opposition, conflict, selfishness, group rivalry, ~Galatians 5:13-20 (CEB)

“Unfortunately, our error is ‘to want to do it our way,’ ‘to feel ourselves to be somebody,’ ‘to trust in our own plans,’ ‘not to give due weight to the Father’s plan.’ It is frightening, my sister, the extent to which hidden pride burns the soul and dries up everything. And pride is all the greater in spiritual people: in us. I can understand why Jesus took a bitter line when dealing with us (the professionally religious): sinners and prostitutes will take their place ahead of us.

It’s because we don’t want to be little! On the excuse that the religious life is a great, very great thing, we no longer dream of becoming nothing, nothing, nothing.” ~From Letters to Dolcidia: 1954-1983 by Carlo Carretto

Lord, help me this day to not stray from Your path. Help me to not seek my own desires or follow my own pride. Help me to be led by Your Spirit and not by selfish desires this day. Amen.

 

To be fully immersed

If we were united together in a death like his, we will also be united together in a resurrection like his. This is what we know: the person that we used to be was crucified with him in order to get rid of the corpse that had been controlled by sin. That way we wouldn’t be slaves to sin anymore, because a person who has died has been freed from sin’s power. But if we died with Christ, we have faith that we will also live with him. We know that Christ has been raised from the dead and he will never die again. Death no longer has power over him. He died to sin once and for all with his death, but he lives for God with his life.  In the same way, you also should consider yourselves dead to sin but alive for God in Christ Jesus. ~Romans 6:5-11 (CEB)

Fully immersed in this world, Christians belong to no world. Instead, while teased by each hope and every vision, they know them to be only hints of the new heaven and the new earth rooted in divine promises. And our yearning to become lost in God only intensifies our tears over the thought of leaving this life. Christian existence is a joyful nonsense. In a culture of self-realization, the Christian’s call is to renounce self; in the face of noise, silence is the preference; in a world of competition, the Christian’s declaration is that the winners will be losers and the losers winners; in a culture whose economy is intent on consumption, the Christian insists on simplicity; in a culture structured by possessions, the Christian insists upon a high standard of life; and at every point, the Christian exposes the emptiness of fullness for the sake of the gospel’s fullness of emptiness. ~From The Art of Spiritual Direction by W. Paul Jones

In the noise and the chaos of life help me this day O Lord to exist in joyful nonsense. In this day to day culture of noise and self-centeredness help me to live simply. May I get lost in Your presence fully immersed in Your love. Amen.

Simplicity

They asked him, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You don’t know me and you don’t know my Father. If you knew me, you would also know my Father.” He spoke these words while he was teaching in the temple area known as the treasury. No one arrested him, because his time hadn’t yet come. ~John 8:12-20 (CEB)

“Simplicity and regularity are the best guides in finding our way. They allow us to make the discipline of solitude as much a part of our daily lives as eating and sleeping. When that happens, our noisy worries will slowly lose their power over us and the renewing activities of God’s Spirit will slowly make its presence known.

Although the discipline of solitude asks us to set aside time and space, what finally matters is that our hearts becomes like quiet cells where God can dwell, wherever we go and whatever we do.” ~From Making All Things New by Henri J.M. Nouwen.

The simplest truths can be the hardest to put into practice. Discipline helps to keep the worries at bay. Fears still lurk outside but making time for God helps to keep the stress at bay. The more I try to put into practice the things that the Bible tells me to do the more I realize I am finding myself.

Thank You Heavenly Father for sending Your son into the world so that we might get a glimpse at You. Thank You for choosing to dwell in my heart. Thank You for guiding my steps so that I could begin to realize who I really am, the daughter of a King. Amen.