Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday, August 10, 2007

Today’s text

Luke 12:16-21

Then [Jesus] told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do for I have no place to store my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink and be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”

Prayer

What is it to be rich toward you, Holy Mystery? Is it not to reverence you in all places as the fountain of all life and blessing? Shall I not live in gratitude and humility, in soul recognition that every breath I take is the effluence of your unspeakable generosity?

I feel the sun and see how it opens the roses in their beds after the night rain. They praise you in electric red and whispering yellow. I delight in the curve of my grandson’s playful smile, so like his mother. Tears rise at the goodness of being alive, of knowing love and loving. I am startled and moved by the beauty of other souls. I am enlarged by the thoughts I receive as a gift from minds better than my own.

I could go on, Holy One; you know I can. I haven’t yet spoken of the love I feel in Jesus’ words, protecting me from the poverty of soul that withers so many. But you have taught my heart. I am a guest at the holy table of life, and you are the host who delights in giving, and in giving to me. This, I know, and it is richness and freedom.

For I know, too, what it is to be poor, small of soul. In poverty, I feverishly grasp what I can for myself. Fearing scarcity, I accumulate and accomplish what I can. I play the fool, vainly believing that I can secure my life and heart so that I will have enough, enough wealth, enough reputation, enough friends, enough of whatever I fear wanting. The soul closes in upon itself and implodes, disheartened and disconnected from the Holy Source of all that’s needful.

But today, I am not poor but rich in the love and blessing with which you would fill me and all that is. So let me, as my brother Jesus, pour the wealth of your generosity into every encounter and work I do that I may praise you as well as my roses.

Pr. David L. Miller

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Today’s text

Luke 12:13-15

Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge and arbitrator over you?” And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.

Prayer

There are many kinds of greed. I am certainly guilty of several varieties, most often I suppose the greed for reputation and status. I want to be considered smarter, wiser, better, more articulate, gracious and caring than I really am.

And isn’t that the crux of greed, to convince others we are more than we are, lest they see our smallness and discover the vulnerability, the uncertainty we hide? We clutch our fear and fragility and crouch behind the crumbling fa├žade of accomplishment and accumulation that time, soon enough, erodes, exposing what we never needed to hide--our humanity.

For our vulnerability is always a secret grace, offering a paradoxical peace. The smallness we fear invites us to flee into the arms of other needy souls and the immensity of God’s grace, there to find that when we are weak we are strong.

We fly to God on the wings of our needs. The greeds that consume--for wealth or status, for reputation or even to accumulate books and relationships--impoverish the soul, leaving us more fearful and vulnerable. Greed isolates, refusing to walk the bridge of common human need into the receiving arms and unfailing grace of the One who always awaits us.

So let me be on guard for all kinds of greed, dearest Jesus. And may your grace flow through the open windows of my need.

Pr. David L. Miller

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Today’s text

Luke 12:13-15

Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge and arbitrator over you?” And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.

Prayer

You are not judge or arbitrator, are you Jesus? With the wave of a hand, you dismiss such nonsense and misunderstanding. You refuse any course that leads away from the desire that animates your every word and deed, the desire that is your identity. You know who are, what you are to do, and in utter freedom you reject every invitation to do or be something else, something less than the burning fire of divine love whom you are.

I admire your clarity and tenacity, your self-possession and assurance. I envy your reflexive refusal to undertake anything disconnected from the core of your being. I wish I were so single minded, so simple-hearted and clear about being that which the Loving Mystery has made me. For I, too, am fashioned to be and to bear that Love which has no name, that mystery to whom you are so utterly transparent.

Thank you for this transparency, for in you I taste the Love who refuses to be anything else, a taste that tells me Love will not let me go.

But I would be truer and more simple than I am. I long to be as clear and set upon living in and from the Love who enfolds and fills me, so that I, too, may not be so much less than you, blessed Jesus, intend. May it be so, at least for today. We’ll talk about it again tomorrow.

Pr. David L. Miller

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Today’s text

Luke 12:13-15

Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge and arbitrator over you?” And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.

Prayer

In what does our life consist, dear Friend? You do not answer the question you beg, Jesus. You stand there, and the message is clear enough. Our life consists in you, in loving you but first in knowing you as the love of the Father’s heart made clear and mine.

You are my life. Apart from you I do not live, for I do not dwell that land of dreams where I know love eternal and uncreated filling and surrounding me, engulfing all that is in a wash of divine mercy. I do not dwell in a world where you, blessed Christ, are already Lord, where there is nothing to fear for I rest in a love I cannot comprehend.

I want to live in this world, daily, constantly, always, for this alone is life. All else is stumbling in the fog of fear and the confusion of illusion where I fail to know that life is being in the love you are. I live in exile too many days, feeling my way through a self-created grayness outside the circle of your light. I try to find a way to fill my emptiness when all I need is to see you standing there, not answering your own question.

Seeing you, Jesus, a love not my own fills me, teaching me again what I thought I knew. My life lies not in my unsteady accomplishments or the lack of them but in knowing you as the face of Loving Mystery.

Life, real life consists in daily, tiny episodes of knowing you at the heart of my heart, loving and being loved. In those moments, there is no confusion. I know what life is. Thank you.

Pr. David L. Miller