Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Today’s text

John 16:13-14

However, when the Spirit of truth comes he will lead you to the complete truth, since he will not be speaking of his own accord, but will say only what he has been told; and he will reveal to you the things to come. He will glorify me, since all he reveals to you will be taken from what is mine.


I shy away from any notion that I can possess “complete truth.” How can my finite mind and heart grasp that which is total, complete, leaving nothing out?

And how would I ever be aware of it even if, for a moment, I knew such truth? With what measure would I judge it to be true and real, let alone complete?

Yet, isn’t this your outrageous promise, Jesus, that I will be led into complete truth?

And this is to say … into you, for you are complete truth.

This is our crazy confession. You are the ultimately real, the solid, the lasting, the unerring and unchanging.

Looking into your face, perceiving the reality that you are is to gaze into the Truth which is before time, the Truth which will remain when our old earth is frozen stone-cold and gray, rotating silent and lifeless for countless millennia around a burnt-out sun, collapsing beneath its own dying weight.

But we will not end in such lifeless futility. For you send your Spirit, the Spirit of truth who lives and breathes your present Presence, encompassing my little existence.

Your Spirit’s hungry desire is to lead me--and all--into complete Truth--into you, so that the life that I am--and the life that is in all--is taken into the fullness of the loving intimacy and eternal life that you share with the One you call Father.

And there, in this intimacy, we shall live where life is complete, where there is nothing but life.

I cannot imagine this, except in rare moments, moments even now. For moments come when some sweet Spirit transports me into a ‘space,’ into a moment of truest being in which I know complete love--and recognize it as truth unchanging and unassailable.

And I know: this is not a truth I possess, but the Truth who possesses me.

Pr. David L. Miller

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

St. Cashmere, pray for us

Cashmere Castillo was found yesterday.

He was eight. Full of play and mischief, he wandered too near the quick current of the Chicago River at a park near his home on the northwest side of Chicago.

It took a week to find his body. I think his school photo appeared in the paper every day that the search continued, and every day tears came to my eyes when I saw his face.

Dozens of stories go by us every week. Tragedies and successes, murder and mayhem fill hundreds of column inches and hours of television overage each week. Most of those stories pass by our eyes leaving no mark.

Then one comes along that grabs you by the heart and won’t let go.

I can’t say why this one has attached itself to my heart. Maybe I look into Cashmere’s young face and see the colors and contours of two of my grandsons, who share his Latino heritage.

Maybe it’s because I chase those boys around and witness the utter abandon of their playful joy that eliminates all awareness of danger. Maybe it’s because I know how easily what happened to Cashmere could happen to them.

Maybe the fragility of life is so real because I read and respond to the prayer list that hits my desk at the beginning of each week.

And maybe I will never figure out real reason why Cashmere’s photo pulls at my heart. I just know that the boundaries that protect me from caring about a hundred other stories in the paper disappear each time I see his photo.

May God grant him the fullness of joy. May he run free in the fields of heaven.

And may he be a holy saint revealing the thrill of being alive, the delight that God intends--and the joy that comes when we realize how fully we are loved and can love. May he teach us how utterly beautiful and gratuitous life on this planet is.

His young face teaches me at least this much, lest I forget. And I often do.

It seems profane to say it, but this child’s death has made me more alive. His face makes me aware that there is a love in me that hungers to get out. I didn’t create it. It’s just there. And I feel more alive when this love bursts the narrow confines of my constricted concerns.

This should not surprise anyone. God is love. Christian tradition said this from the start. To love, to feel love, to have love awakened within is to know God truly, literally, physically inside one’s body.

To feel love awakened is to know the Infinite Source of life within your own life, moving you beyond isolation, connecting you with the beauty and tragedy of living--telling you that all you are and all that is rests securely in the hand of the Love who reveals holiness in the face of eight year olds.

Pray for us, St. Cashmere. Break down our walls that we might truly live.

Pr. David L. Miller