Tag Archives: Jews

Sins Run Out

leaking_bucket_RBK01026_edited-1A brother in Scetis committed a fault. A council was called to which Abba Moses was invited, but he refused to go to it. Then the priest sent someone to him, saying, “Come, for everyone is waiting for you”. So he got up and went. He took a leaking jug and filled it with water and carried it with him. The others came out to meet him and said, “what is this, father?” The old man said to them, “My sins run out behind me, and I do not see them, and today I am coming to judge the errors of another.” When they heard that, they said no more to the brother but forgave him. 

—-sayings of the desert

I do not believe that comments are necessary on this story. Let me offer this prayer.

Lord help me to understand the nature of the grace that you offer to me. May I not waste my time trying to figure out other people’s sin and faults but know that their forgiveness is already been secured. Let me offer my forgiveness in the same manner as You.  Amen

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Filed under Desert Fathers, Judgment

Practicing the Ripening

I share this article from The Center for Contemplation and Action.

A ripening mind and heart might simply be described as a capacity for non-dual consciousness and contemplation. Many might just call it growth in compassion, but surely no growth in compassion is likely unless one learns how to forgive as a very way of life, and to let go of almost everything as we first imagined it had to

English: Blackberries in a range of ripeness, ...

be. This is possible as we grow in the Jewish, Islamic, and Christian notion of faith, where not-knowing (the apophatic way) must be carefully paired with knowing (the kataphatic way). The Judeo-Christian tradition balances our so-called knowing with trust, patience, allowing, waiting, humility, love, and forgiveness, which is very nearly the entire message and surely the core message necessary for any possibility of actual ripening. Otherwise, we all close down, and history freezes up with all of its hurts, memories, and resentments intact. A non-dual way of knowing in the moment gives us a life process and not simply momentary dualistic answers, which always grow old because they are never totally true.

My guidance is a simple reminder and recall to what we will be forced to learn by necessity and under pressure anyway—the open-ended way of allowing and the deep meaning that some of us call faith. To live in trustful faith is to ripen, it is almost that simple. Let’s start practicing now, early in our life, so we do not have to take a crash course in our final years, weeks, days, and minutes of our lives. The best ripening happens over time, lots of time.

—-Richard Rhor

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Filed under Christian Living, Devotional, Richard Rhor

Re-channel Your Love

Corrie ten Boom

Years ago Corrie Ten Boom was engaged to be married to a young man who suddenly broke off the engagement and married her best friend. She was devastated. She came home crushed, lonely and isolated. She asked her father, “What do I do with a blocked love?”

He said, “Whenever you have a blocked love, re-channel it.” There are thousands of people in the world who need your love, and you can re-channel it.

What a fascinating concept it is to re-channel love. All over the world the love of good people is rejected. In most cases callous rejection of our deepest feelings, as it was with Corrie Ten Boom, brings on a period of desolation of the spirit that can lead to bitterness and anger. Probably the toughest trail that anyone can face is to have genuine love blocked. Such an experience can drive us to all kinds of abusive behaviors, drinking, drugs, suicidal thoughts, and many actions that bring ruin to our souls. The simple suggestion of taking the rejection of the greatest gift we have to offer and giving it to someone or something else has profound implications. Our world would be a dramatically different place if we could master the art of re-channeling love.

I don’t know if I have ever had the level of rejection that Corrie Ten Boom was feeling, but I can identify with her pain. At such a time, the easiest thing for anyone to do is to turn inward and live a life of anger and isolation. When Jesus says to turn the other cheek, to forgive seven times seventy, He is saying to us that love is never ending. Love is not suddenly spent and never to return when we experience loss and disappointment. We all face times when we must re-channel our love.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

—-Jesus

Perhaps the burden is rejected love. He knows about rejected love, and He re-channels it to you and me.

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Filed under Christian Journey, Christian Living, Holocaust

If I Bend That Far, I’ll Break

Fiddler on the Roof (film)

Tevye, the Jewish dairy farmer in the musical Fiddler on the Roof, lives with his wife and five daughters in czarist Russia. Change is taking place all around him, and the new patterns are nowhere more obvious to Tevye than in the relationship between the sexes. First, one of his daughters announces that she and a young tailor have pledged themselves to each other, even though Tevye had already promised her to the village butcher, a widower. Initially, Tevye will not hear of his daughter’s plans, but he finally has an argument with himself and decides to give in to the young lovers’ wishes. A second daughter also chooses the man she wants to marry. He is a revolutionary. Tevye is rather fond of him, and after another argument with himself he again concedes to the changing times.

Some time later Tevye’s third daughter wants to marry. She has fallen in love with a young Gentile. This violates Tevye’s deepest religious convictions, and it is unthinkable that one of his daughters would marry outside the faith. Once again, he has an argument with himself. He knows that his daughter is deeply in love, and he does not want her to be unhappy. Still, he cannot deny his convictions. “How can I turn my back on my faith, my people? If I try and bend that far, I’ll break!” Tevye pauses and says,”On the other hand…” He pauses again, and then he shouts very loudly. “No! There is no other hand!”

We all face times that if we bend anymore we will break. Breaking times need to be times of prayer and introspection. Answers to difficult questions should be considered and reconsidered many times before we decide there is no “other hand.” Far too many decisions are taken too lightly in this post-modern society. The monastics teach us to go into our “cells” and seek God with all our hearts.” When I have a truly difficult decision to make (or a problem), I often fast for a day, and occasionally even a few days.”(Thomas Merton) Remember, we must bend but God never asks us to break, only the world makes that demand.

 

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Filed under Decisions, Thomas Merton