Spiritual Life: October 2012 Archives

An Orthodox friend of mine posted this prayer and icon in light of the weather storm Sandy coming our way, and I am reposting. State government predictions are sounding exaggerated right now, but one can really tell. In Connecticut, along the waterfront, it is predicted that four high tide cycles will be exceptional, and rough weather--high winds and rain-- over 36-48 hours. In category four areas more than 362 thousand people expect some inconvenience. Let's not tempt fate. In charity, let's pray to the Divine Master, "A Prayer at the Threat from Malevolent Winds and Sea Storms."

Christ walking on water.jpg

O Master, Lord our God, Who by Thy Consubstantial and Un-originate Word, and Thy Life-Giving Spirit Who is equal in honor, hast brought all things out of nothingness into being; Who hast established the sand as bounds to the sea, and weighed the mountains and the valleys in a balance; Who hast measured the skies and holdest the water in the palm of Thy hand; Who hast given to this visible world of the senses its laws and rules, its harmony and order; Who hast appointed changes to the weather and variations in the orbit of the sun; Who, through the mingling of the elements, holdest all things together by Thine inexpressible power, and keepest them free from harm and intact: Do Thou Thyself, O All-Good King, extending to us Thine innate and customary love and goodness, visit the work of Thy hands. Do not deprive us of Thy mercies and Thy compassion, and do not destroy Thine inheritance, for Thou hast ineffably created us in Thine own image. 

Goodness vs Greatness

| | Comments (0)
Young man Memling.jpgToday's gospel is the familiar narrative of the Rich Young Man: "go and sell follow me." It is clear in Saint Mark's rendering of the story that the young man is good. He does good things, he does what any respectable person would want to do; the young man asks the right questions; he follows what the tradition lays before him. So, the man actually is admirable according to the measure of this world. But the measure with which a person of faith judges is very different because it is a given, and not achieved. There is one that the young man's not able to grasp: the greatness offered to him by God. He lacks the capacity to accept that it is not about the human will in attaining lasting happiness. As we know, it's only the Infinite that suffices in answering the needs of the human heart. As the psalm indicates, filled with Love, we sing for joy. The eschatological hope we live in is one mercy's face is more beautiful than any of the temporal riches we can conceive of. Jesus offers the young man the possibility of greatness and not mere goodness; the Lord shows him the path to eternal life, not just the best way to get through the city; God hands him holiness and not the safety of existence.

Our Lord offered the young man, and therefore us, the way to unity and deeper communion with him here, and in eternity -- but the ultimate destiny for each of us is heaven. The young man's response is understandable but not acceptable. Greatness, holiness, is a superior divine gift than being good. What do you want? What do you seek? How do you live?
"Why does God, who is love, keep us waiting? Because He is love, and seeks love. Love that does not know how to wait is not love. To love is to give ourselves. No only for a fraction of a lifetime, nor with a part of its strength: love is, and seeks, the total gift of self.... Delays in union [with God] are not time lost; far from it. God sees very far ahead; He makes wonderful use of what we call evil - of our wanderings, our hesitations and detours, although He does not love them or want them. It is at these moments, above all, that we need confidence and perseverance. The prayer, whether for ourselves or for others, that is not discouraged, which persists and besieges Heaven, touches God's heart; and that is why He tells us to persevere."

Dom Augustin Guillerand, O. Cart.
A French Carthusian monk (1877-1945) of the Charterhouse of La Valsainte, Switzerland

Recently I was reading some blog written by a Catholic extolling the virtues of a Melkite parish near to where she lives. Hurray! This woman found peace in the Byzantine East, and Melkite no less. What right-thinking Catholic would dismiss Eastern Christianity? All the things this blogger noted from icons, to incense, to singing the Liturgy, and the priest facing East are good and beautiful things but the essential was missing. No mention of Jesus Christ and the personal encounter needed for the attainment of one's Destiny. One can only say to her list of likes: so what!

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.



Humanities Blog Directory

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Spiritual Life category from October 2012.

Spiritual Life: September 2012 is the previous archive.

Spiritual Life: November 2012 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.