Daily Riches: Dangerous Jesus (Kathleen Norris and Dorothee Soelle) *

“The experience that Jesus had in Gethsemane … is the experience of assent. The cup of suffering becomes the cup of strengthening. Whoever empties that cup has conquered all fear. The one who at the end returns from prayer to the sleeping disciples is a different person from the one who went off to pray. He is clear-eyed and awake; he trembles no longer. ‘It is enough; the hour has come. Rise, let us be going.’” Dorothee Soelle

“In that gruesome and interminable night, waiting revealed itself as a true ally, a bulwark against fear. And Jesus became the most radically free and dangerous man of all, the one who embodies hope in the face of death and is afraid of nothing.” Kathleen Norris

 “Then he returned to the disciples and said to them,
‘Are you still sleeping and resting?
Look, the hour has come,
and the Son of Man is delivered
into the hands of sinners.
Rise! Let us go!
Here comes my betrayer!’”
Jesus in Matthew 26:45

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Suffering, waiting, assent – these activities transform us. When extreme suffering engulfs you, can you do what Jesus did and allow “the cup of suffering to become the cup of strengthening?”
  • If Jesus sought out solitude and prayer in his darkest hour. If  he needed to “return from prayer … a different person from the one who went off to pray”, is our need any less?
  • Will you learn how to wait and give assent to God in prayer now, or hope to learn that when the hour of darkness comes? What practices can help you learn it now?
  • Wouldn’t you like to be a “most radically free and dangerous man or woman … who embodies hope in the face of death and is afraid of nothing?” Imagine where we would be if Jesus hadn’t been “radically free and dangerous.”

Abba, it’s your approval that counts, and if I have that, it’s all I need. Deliver me from my fears to be a radically free and dangerous man.

__________

For More: Acedia And Me by Kathleen Norris

_________________________________________________

The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in 400 words or less. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Desolation’s Gift (Ruth Barrows and Kathleen Norris) *

“‘God is trying to get us to accept a state where we have no assurance within that all is well … where no clear path lies before us, where there is no way; a state of spiritual inadequacy experienced in it’s raw, humiliating bitterness.’ Only when we admit that we have “no way” do we have any hope of finding one. Out of what seems desolate a newly vigorous faith can arise, a certainty that is not subject to changes in moods or feelings, or the vicissitudes of life.” Kathleen Norris, quoting Carmelite Ruth Burrows

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way,
consider it an opportunity for great joy.
for when your endurance is fully developed,
you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
James 1:2,4

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Our first response is not usually to look at “desolation” and “troubles” as gifts or an “opportunity for great joy.” Burrows, Norris and James team up to convince us otherwise.
  • Being “complete” (James) sounds a lot like Norris’s “vigorous faith” … not subject to changes in moods or feelings, or the vicissitudes of life.” Have you experienced the kind of faith that transcends feelings and circumstances? If so, did you learn it in times of ease, or in times of trouble?
  • Have you ever thought of desolation as God’s gift to you as his child – “giving” trouble into your life so you enter a state where “there is no way?”  where you experience “spiritual inadequacy” and “humiliating bitterness?” I imagine for many who follow Jesus, that would be a new, and perhaps disturbing thought. It sounds pretty brutal. Might it be true?
  • Can you embrace desolation in your life in order to receive its gift? Perhaps if we can remember the ministry of desolation in our lives, we won’t refuse it. Is there desolation at work right now in your life? Will you embrace it?

Abba, thank you for working in me to make me whole. Help me to embrace your sometimes painful love.

__________

For More: Acedia & Me by Kathleen Norris

_________________________________________________

“There grows in me an immense dissatisfaction with all that is merely passively accepted as truth, without struggle and without examination. Faith, surely, is not passive, and not an evasion. And today, more than ever, the things we believe, I mean especially the things we accept on human faith—reported matters of ‘fact,’ questions of history, of policy, of interpretation, of wants—they should be very few.” Thomas Merton   These Daily Riches are designed to encourage examination of convictions, of faith, so that we increasingly trust in the God who is really there, and less in our ideas of Him. Thanks for reading and sharing my daily blog. –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: The “Comedy of Grace” (Kathleen Norris, Henri Bergson and John Keats)

“The comedy of grace is that it so often comes to us as loss, sorrow, and foul-smelling waste…. It is easy to be attracted to the idea of grace–which one dictionary defines as ‘divine love and protection bestowed freely on people’–but much harder to recognize this grace when it comes as pain and unwelcome change…. For grace to be grace, it must give us things we didn’t know we needed and take us to places where we didn’t want to go.”  Kathleen Norris

“Call the world if you please, the ‘vale of soul-making.’ Then you will find out the use of the world.” John Keats

“The mystics simply open their souls to the oncoming wave.” Henri Bergson

“Very truly I tell you, when you were younger
you dressed yourself and went where you wanted;
but when you are old you will stretch out your hands,
and someone else will dress you
and lead you where you do not want to go.”
Jesus, to Peter about his death, in John 21:18

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • We often romanticize lofty terms like “love”, “grace” or “hope.” Have you sanitized these words so they represent only pleasant, satisfying experiences?
  • Have you realized that grace can come to you “as loss, sorrow, and foul-smelling waste?” Are you willing to accept that kind of grace?
  • Can you “simply open your soul to the oncoming wave” as you trust God to use this sometimes foul-smelling world at the “vale of soul-making” for you?

_________

For More: Acedia and Me by Kathleen Norris

_________________________________________________

These “Daily Riches are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in less than 400 words. Please follow my blog and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Dangerous Jesus (Kathleen Norris and Dorothee Soelle)

“The experience that Jesus had in Gethsemane … is the experience of assent. The cup of suffering becomes the cup of strengthening. Whoever empties that cup has conquered all fear. The one who at the end returns from prayer to the sleeping disciples is a different person from the one who went off to pray. He is clear-eyed and awake; he trembles no longer. ‘It is enough; the hour has come. Rise, let us be going.’” Dorothee Soelle

“In that gruesome and interminable night, waiting revealed itself as a true ally, a bulwark against fear. And Jesus became the most radically free and dangerous man of all, the one who embodies hope in the face of death and is afraid of nothing.” Kathleen Norris

 “Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, ‘Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!’” Matthew 26:45

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Suffering, waiting, assent – these activities transform us. When extreme suffering engulfs you, can you do what Jesus did and allow “the cup of suffering to become the cup of strengthening?”
  • If Jesus sought out solitude and prayer in his darkest hour, if he needed to “return from prayer … a different person from the one who went off to pray”, is our need any less?
  • Will you learn how to wait and give assent to God in prayer now, or hope to learn that when the hour of darkness comes? What practices can help you learn it now?
  • Wouldn’t you like to be a “most radically free and dangerous man or woman … who embodies hope in the face of death and is afraid of nothing?” Imagine where we would be if Jesus hadn’t been “radically free and dangerous.”

Abba, it’s your approval that counts, and if I have that, it’s all I need. Deliver me from my fears to be a radically free and dangerous man.

__________

For More: Acedia And Me by Kathleen Norris

_________________________________________________

The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in less than 400 words. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Desolation’s Gift (Ruth Barrows and Kathleen Norris)

“God is trying to get us to accept a state where we have no assurance within that all is well … where no clear path lies before us, where there is no way; a state of spiritual inadequacy experienced in it’s raw, humiliating bitterness.” Only when we admit that we have “no way” do we have any hope of finding one. Out of what seems desolate a newly vigorous faith can arise, a certainty that is not subject to changes in moods or feelings, or the vicissitudes of life.” Kathleen Norris, quoting Carmelite Ruth Burrows

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way,
consider it an opportunity for great joy.
for when your endurance is fully developed,
you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
James 1:2,4

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Our first response is not usually to look at “desolation” and “troubles” as gifts or an “opportunity for great joy.” Burrows, Norris and James team up to convince us otherwise.
  • Being “complete” (James) sounds a lot like Norris’s “vigorous faith” … not subject to changes in moods or feelings, or the vicissitudes of life.” Have you experienced the kind of faith that transcends feelings and circumstances? If so, did you learn it in times of ease, or in times of trouble?
  • Have you ever thought of desolation as God’s gift to you as his child – “giving” trouble into your life so you enter a state where “there is no way?”  where you experience “spiritual inadequacy” and “humiliating bitterness?” I imagine for many who follow Jesus, that would be a new, and perhaps disturbing thought. It sounds pretty brutal. Might it be true?
  • Can you embrace desolation in your life in order to receive its gift? Perhaps if we can remember the ministry of desolation in our lives, we won’t refuse it. Is there desolation at work right now in your life? Will you embrace it?

Abba, thank you for working in me to make me whole. Help me to embrace your sometimes painful love.

__________

For More: Acedia & Me by Kathleen Norris

_________________________________________________

The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in less than 400 words. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)