“God seeks Himself in us, and the aridity and sorrow of our heart is the sorrow of God who is not known in us, who cannot yet find Himself in us because we do not dare to believe or to trust the incredible truth that He could live in us, and live there out of choice, out of preference. But indeed, we exist solely for this, to be the place He has chosen for His presence, His manifestation in the world, His epiphany. But we make all this dark and inglorious because we fail to believe it, we refuse to believe it. It is not that we hate God, rather that we hate ourselves, despair of ourselves. If we once began to recognise, humbly but truly, the real value of our own self, we would see that this value was the sign of God in our being, the signature of God upon our being.” Thomas Merton
“But God showed his great love for us
by sending Christ to die for us
while we were still sinners.”
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- God desires to live in you. That’s God’s choice, God’s preference. When you consider that, what feelings arise?
- “We exist solely … to be the place He has chosen for His presence, His manifestation in the world, His epiphany.” Why would God do that?
- Do you hate yourself too much to believe that in his love, God seeks you, chooses you–and desires to live in you?
- Now imagine God loving all of God’s human creation in this way–with each person as God’s “epiphany.” How does that effect your thoughts about those who are different from you racially, in economic status or gender, in religious conviction or sexual preference–politically?
Abba, may I be transformed by a growing sense of your unfailing love for me.
For more: The Hidden Ground of Love by Thomas Merton
These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and God seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. I appreciate your interest! Please leave a comment or question. – Bill (Psalm 90:14)
“To the degree that we accept that through Christ we ourselves have been reconciled with God we can be messengers of reconciliation for others. Essential to the work of reconciliation is a nonjudgmental presence. We are not sent to the world to judge, to condemn, to evaluate, to classify, or to label. When we walk around as if we have to make up our mind about people and tell them what is wrong with them and how they should change, we will only create more division. Jesus says it clearly: ‘Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge; … do not condemn; … forgive’ (Luke 6:36-37). In a world that constantly asks us to make up our minds about other people, a nonjudgmental presence seems nearly impossible. But it is one of the most beautiful fruits of a deep spiritual life and will be easily recognized by those who long for reconciliation.” Henri Nouwen
“Those of my university students who have grown up outside of the church (about half of them) have a very negative stereotypical view of Christianity. When I ask them to write a short essay on their impression of Christianity, they consistently use five adjectives: Christians are literalistic, anti-intellectual, self-righteous, judgmental, and bigoted.” Marcus Borg
“Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another.
If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law.”
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- How often do you judge, condemn, evaluate, classify or label someone? …even someone you don’t really know?
- When you catch yourself, do you beat yourself up? Can you just stop? Can you take another look and practice compassion–or attempt some understanding?
- Can you make up your mind once and for all to see others as God does–with compassion, forgiveness and grace? …to see them as bearing God’s image? …as someone God loves? …as someone God is for? …as a confused person in need of a Savior? …as a broken person in need of a friend? …as someone like you?
- Do you ever look at people (like while waiting in the doctor’s office) and just let your heart go out to them in love? Try it!
Abba, remind me daily that I’ve made up my mind to look upon others only with love. May your love for me spill over to others.
For More: Bread for the Journey by Henry Nouwen
These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)
“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”