January 23, 2021

I once heard of a man who struggled with drinking too much.  His alcoholic tendencies just kept bringing his lips back to that bottle again and again.  After trying twelve step recovery groups, therapy and “taking the pledge,” he was cured of this problem in an instant when he heard the opening line to the Song of Songs for the first time: “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, more delightful than wine is his love” (1:2).  That man never drank again after hearing these words.  Truly, it was as if a light bulb went off in his head, and he finally understood that he did not need that bottle, that taking is a fear-based spiritual posture that leads to death, and that by making the turn to the Beloved, out of whose very side life-giving wine eternally flows (Jn 19:34), we learn to receive and enjoy a life of partnership, trust and love.  Where do we put our lips?  What will it take for us to make that same turn in our lives?  When will we finally come to rest in the Beloved?  O Crux Ave, Spes Unica.

4 thoughts on “January 23, 2021

  1. Great question for all of mankind. Seems to me it is between those who have true belief in our Lord Jesus Christ and those who are just catholic in name. What I have witnessed in my life are people everywhere who live lives of fear. (For me fear is the direct opposite of love.) I think fear based lives lead to wills that are stubborn and worried about what the world thinks of them. People who are afraid of themselves. We all know deep down that we are made for God. Joy and happiness are a choice. The pain and suffering will never go away so we need to rise above it and define it correctly. Suffering is the best and most efficient way of communicating with the spiritual kingdom of God. God hears our suffering. Suffering is pure prayer. Of course we need to minimize suffering so we can carry on with the gift of life but putting it in a place of clarity and purpose will make life forever beautiful. Original sin effects those who are purer more so than those who are not. Embarking on the journey to God through His Word and our actions which purifies us makes these things more difficult. Our Lord taught us that it’s not what we put inside of us that defiles us, but what comes out of us that defiles. God bless and thank you.

    1. I like the insight about fear-based living. For me, one of the most compelling insights of the Christian tradition is the juxtaposition of the “they took and they ate” of our first parents (Gen 3:6) and the “take and eat” of our Lord (Mt 26:26) as the essence of the human journey. That grasping habit must end at some point (cf. Jn 19:30, tetelestai, “ended”) and be transformed (think resurrection) into the pattern of eucharistic-giving which is both durable and gives life. Our entire lives turn on this singular point. It is so simple! Though, as a wise friend reminds me, simple isn’t easy! Peace to you brother, all of us walk this path together.

      1. I see. From taking to receiving with an attitude of gratitude and thanksgiving. Thanks for your insights and patience.

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