Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Dangerous Prayer of Blessing

[Reader advisory: this post is for mature Christians only. All others keep moving. It may only make you frustrated.]

At the appointed time during this morning's service the priest asked if anyone had a word. Two or three did, but the first was the most specific and perhaps the most perplexing. It was something along the lines of "When I am at home or at work I feel confident and secure, but when I am at church I feel insecure and unworthy. The bar is higher for God's work than for that of the flesh. But the important part is this: We are called to know our inadequacies to understand that God is our ultimate resting place. Unless we know inadequacy in the flesh, we will never understand our relationship with God."

The Anchoress passes along what is tagged a "dangerous blessing," linking to a couple of other sources that passed it on to her, noting that Gerard Vanderleun seemed to be on the same wave length. All that, together with this morning's Word at church, compels me to post it here for my readers.

Read now with an open mind and heart, then drill back into the links to see what The Anchoress and Vanderleun have posted. God is sending out a message today that is as easy to grasp and as hard to accept as any phenomenon of nature, from a summer rain to a volcanic eruption. Free will notwithstanding, nothing we do will importantly alter Divine plans.

May all your expectations be frustrated.
May all your plans be thwarted.
May all your desires be withered into nothingness.
That you may experience the powerlessness and the poverty of a child and sing and dance in the love of God the Father, the Son and the Spirit.

This ‘blessing’ was prayed over Henri Nouwen by his spiritual mentor. The application can vary from one individual to another. Let us pray that it is not meant for us as a nation.

My personal understanding is that Divine love is as real as gravity and as impossible for us to avoid. Love -- like forgiveness -- is not contingent upon the understanding of the beloved. But whenever it is accepted, the blessings are unequaled.

[Further along the same track, Dr. Sanity also looks at a narcissistic world view, pointing to some frightening consequences. (Thanks to The Anchoress for noticing.) Christians, thank God, are not that mechanistic. The thrust of this message is profoundly Christian. The intent is not to explain away faith but to put it into practice.]

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