Monday, February 22, 2010

Hope:the Best Gift we can Give to Those in Pain

It's not always easy to find time for a (hopefully) intelligent posting during extended business travel.
Today, I found the following from "Called to Question" by Joan Chittister ( Sheed & Ward)

It perked me up a bit. Maybe it will help you too, no matter your particular religioius faith! Searching for hope in times of adversity is a universal quest.

"I have discovered over time that the cross is supposed to take its toll on us. It forms us to find God in the shadows of life. Ironically enough, it is the cross that teaches us hope. When we have survived our own cross, risen alive from the grave of despair, we begin to know that we can survive again and again and again, whatever life sends us in the future. It is this hope that carries us from stage to stage in life, singing and dancing around dark corners.

But hope is not a private virtue. Hope makes us witness to the invincibility of the spirit. The hope we bring to others becomes the one sure gift we have to give to those in pain.

The God of the Dance beckons us out of the caves of the soul to faith and trust and new beginnings. It’s when we get trapped in the past — in its details, and its shame, and its narrow boxes and short leashes — that life stops for us. When life is defined for us by others, we limit our sense of ourselves. Then we dismiss the God of Possibility from our lives. We refuse to become the more that we are. We sit on the dung heap of our past and make it our present. We fail to believe that God is. That God is in us. That God is calling us out of the darkness into the light.

Darkness is one of the ways to God, provided we see it as leading to the light. Provided we don’t turn it into the death of our own soul."


Anonymous said...

I found your blog through another very good blog and have been reading you for the past few weeks, during which time I have definitely formed an opinion. You just informed us that you read Joan Chittister. Although, I am not surprised, you cannot read her and be an orthodox or even a conservative Catholic. You are definitely a casualty of LC malformation. May God be merciful to you.

Frank I said...

Dear Anonymous:

You say that Monk, in your estimation, cannot be an orthodox catholic for referencing Sr. Joan Chittester.

In his book Witness to Hope, George Weigel’s biography of Pope John Paul II, Weigel shares the story that while entering the papal conclave in which he was elected pope, JP II carried a book with him to read while passing time during the voting sessions. The book was written by a Marxist scholar. A fellow cardinal chided him for this, to which Cardinal Wojtyla responded "My conscience is clear."

Do you care to enlighten us as to your opinion of Pope John Paul’s orthodoxy?

In another example, perhaps you’ve heard of Dr. Scott Hahn. He’s the President of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, a professor at Franciscan University, and a frequent guest on EWTN. Hahn has read some works by N.T. Wright, a protestant biblical scholar. (Disclosure: I don’t personally know Dr. Hahn, but I know of his familiarity with N.T. Wright from one of his friends who is also a biblical scholar. Also, N.T. Wright is referenced several times on the St. Paul Center website).

Is Dr. Hahn orthodox enough for you, Anonymous? Does he measure up to your standards and meet with your approval?

As to your comment about Monk’s Legion malformation, your own damnation-by-association, topped off with the condescending (and bitchy) “God have mercy on you” line, reads like it comes straight out of Legion and Regnum Central Casting. As I see it, you reveal yourself to be a much more thoroughly integrated disciple of Maciel than anything I have read from Monk.

So please, Anonymous, don’t bother with the speck in Monk’s eye. Worry instead about the log in your own.

Frank I said...

Monk –

Just a brief note to let you know that the holier-than-thou Anonymous poster is not at all representative of many of the people who participate in discussions of Legion and Regnum. Though I can’t be certain, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Anonymous is a Legion or Regnum macielista dropping in just to cause trouble.

Please know that there are plenty of adults around here capable of engaging in constructive discussion, dialogue, and disagreement without resorting to anonymous internet flames. You have a worthwhile perspective to share, and I hope you will stick around here (and other places) and offer your input.