God Is. . .Transcendent

I recently went to see a stage production of “Moby Dick” at South Coast Repertory. How could Melville’s eight hundred page classic be adapted to a two hour stage play? In a word, it was mesmerizing. Creative acrobatic work and charismatic acting made the story come alive in a new way. Always looking for God in creation, I was immediately captivated by the concept of transcendence. The stage looked like the belly of a whale, recalling the biblical story of Jonah. However, mad Captain Ahab’s need for revenge overtakes reason, humility and any contrition. In the end, he and the ship are doomed when he refuses to admit he is not in command of the forces of nature. None of us are. We may be “like God,” but are not God. When we seize control over nature, we often come face-to-face with our smallness. The transcendent nature of God can be both terrifying and comforting. Our human challenge is to know our place in this great, mysterious drama.

by DC

God Is. . .Constancy

I almost didn’t write today, I was feeling so dry, empty, frayed inside. I was also feeling guilty because I have had a wonderful, monumental birthday celebration, a week with my daughter, Disneyland, and a loving, romantic Valentine’s Day. So what’s my problem, lack of gratitude? Wrong question!  I am deeply grateful to the Lord for showing up through my beloved friends and family. I then asked myself, “Where is the Lord in this dry place inside?” Right question! He showed up in the cracks, the inner chaos, in the prayers I prayed for others. His constancy overwhelmed me. My daughter and I have a saying, if either one of us says to the other, “I love you.” The other one responds with, “I love you more.” I believe God responds to us every time we reach out to Him when we are lost, in need or in gratitude with, “ I love you more!”I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”Jeremiah 31:3

by Gracie

God Is. . . Generous

Years ago, a wise pastor once told our congregation, “You cannot out-give God!” When I think of all the blessings I have now and those in my past, I see very clearly the hand of God. They have come woven into the fabric of my life with sorrows as well. The overlying truth is that the generosity of God’s grace sustains my every breath. My needs are always met, not necessarily my wants, everything I have in life is because of God’s generosity, it is all gift. But God did not put you or me on this earth to live for ourselves. He blesses us so we can bless others. “Be generous: Invest in acts of charity. Charity yields high returns. Don’t hoard your goods; spread them around. Be a blessing to others.” (Ecclesiastes 11:1-2 MSG )

by Cathy

RCIA Session: Christian Morality February 14, 2017

To lead a moral life is to lead a good life, to be fulfilled and happy. Unlike popular consensus, the laws and rules of the Church are there to free us, to lead us into a meaningful and abundant life, centered on the Good. Tonight, we focused on the philosophy and theology of Christian morality and grappled with some difficult “real-life” scenarios. In the end, it is comforting to know that the God who created us is intimately involved in our lives and is there with mercy and forgiveness no matter what.

Podcast:

http://tuesday-nights-at-rcia.madewithopinion.com/christian-morality/#

Donna’s Power Point Presentation: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9w5_Rvgy4ljY2tWRm4ycU5FM1k/view?usp=sharing

 

God Is. . .In Stillness

There is something sacred and fearful about stillness. The quiet used to scare me and I would fill that void with having to be with someone, talking, doing something or just plain not being alone.  Stillness meant being alone with myself.  Wow!  I am not very interesting, I thought, when I first had to sit with myself. Then God took over. I kept feeling Him in my thoughts. I heard some things within myself that became clearer to me.  Stillness was the balance I was seeking, turning away from.  I experienced the paradox of life, again, running towards what I felt I was missing when what I was missing was right there in front of me (or within me). Stillness is something I welcome now, the quiet thoughts and stream of consciousness that run wild every day; to just be. Stillness is prayer.  Stillness is God within.  Stillness is healing.  Stillness is peace.

 by Liz

God Is. . .Sacrifice

 

There are times in life we all must sacrifice. Often our sacrifices are perplexing. Why me, why now, how can I cope? However, if we live in grace, then at some point, sacrifice will be demanded. If we fail to meet the demand, we succumb. If we make the sacrifice, then more will be demanded. Sometimes we make the sacrifice and it produces bad fruit. We take it hard when our sacrifice is marginalized. That’s why it’s uncanny to think of sacrifice as a gift from God. But it is. The greatest gift God bestowed to his only Son was death on the cross–the ultimate sacrifice. Through the cross, sin was forgiven. Everyday, in every town, in every parish, sacrifices are being made right in front of our eyes. If you are making that sacrifice in your life right now, thank God for you’ve been blessed. Stay strong because your impact will be felt in heaven.

by Diego

God Is. . . My One True Love

I find great comfort knowing that God will never leave me, betray me, abandon me or stop loving me. Like Jesus, I have been disillusioned by my Church, my friends, my co-workers, my family, my politicians and my country. This is not to say that all of these human touch points of my life are in chronic disarray but only to more starkly illuminate the One and only utterly true and wholly dependable love in my life. When all others fail me; when institutions I rely on to guide me, protect me and promote the greatest good water down their messages or take the easier, safer, more popular way, then it becomes so vibrantly clear to me, again and again, that God is my One True Love.

by Andrew

God Is. . .Merciful

 

My ninety-six year old mother is in hospice. I learned my faith from my parents, who still pray the rosary every day and fast during Lent, despite their age. They live in upstate New York and never miss mass unless the drive to town is too treacherous because of the weather.  While sitting with her one evening, my mother became very worried because she’d missed mass. Their pastor had been in earlier that day to bring her communion and told her she had a dispensation since she was hospitalized. I reminded her of this. She frowned and then told me that Father Ralph had his conscience and she had hers and if she felt it was wrong, then it was wrong. She only relaxed when I told her that she would be forgiven since she was “sick” and Father had absolved her of all her sins in the name of Jesus. Our God is a merciful one.

by JAM