rock stars, potters, and foxes

Stunning                                                           Photographs                                                           That Will                                                           Leave You in                                                           AweIt has been a hectic week already! Coming up for air.  Returned from Manresa recently and have been working through the Examen daily with renewed vigor.  It was particularly powerful this morning as I rounded my way about the edges of the airport with Duchess (not sure that is the approved Jesuit format, running shoes, sweating, and physically moving).  Three thoughts, as has become customary, on this Wednesday afternoon.

1.  I finished Bonhoeffer's Life Together, as well as Metaxas's Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.  Both were powerful.  I was especially moved by Bonhoeffer's description of the special time that exists in the early hours of the morning.  I'd read about the significance of the rising sun before (hard to conceive of the wonder of light coming into darkness when we are now so accustomed to artificial light), but it was presented in Life Together  very movingly.  I am always astounded at anything I read about Bonhoeffer's life.  I described him to someone the other day as a rock star.  What strikes us as a compelling personality changes.  I was powerfully reminded that our journey deeper into faith is not about escape.  I have without question viewed it that way.  I see that now.  Rather, it is about being fully engaged in the life that we live, with the grace of God being ever increasingly at the center of our awareness and consciousness.

2.  One of the graces I took away from Manresa was a timely reminder that we are constantly being made.  I always think of the potter.  I sometimes allow that truth to slip from my mind.  I feel fortunate enough to be plagued with enough defects to have no real risk of indulging in too much spiritual pride. Perhaps my Lord knows it must be that way for this man.  I was also reminded that being part of family is a vocation.

3.  Worked through chapter 16 in Luke today with my Lectionary group.  I remain utterly puzzled by verse 9, but I am somewhat convinced that we are being challenged to be shrewd in our faith.  So often we are described as sheep in the scriptures.  And yet it seems that Christ liked to turn things on their heads.  So what does a shrewd, "fox like" faith look like?  I think it's more complicated than I can imagine.

I'll leave you with a short piece from Merton's chapter on vocation in No Man Is An Island:

Each one of us has some kind of vocation.  We are all called by God to share in His life and in His kingdom. Each one of us is called to a special place in the Kingdom.  If we find that place we will be happy.  If we do not find it, we can never be completely happy.

Our vocation is not a sphinx's riddle, which we must solve in one guess or else perish.  Some people find, in the end, that they have made many wrong guesses and that their paradoxical vocation is to go through life guessing wrong.

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