Archive for April, 2017

Stop with the Revenge

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

All of us complain about what is missing in our lives, what we don’t have or what we would like more of. Our willingness to take a deeper look at why we do not have this thing would bring us our answer. The answer is that we are getting revenge on someone. It is always true that we are getting revenge on ourselves, but that is not the whole answer. Revenge is always about getting back at someone beside ourselves. As we are willing to let go of our power struggles with this person, we are no longer robbed of our present happiness.

Today, it is time to stop getting revenge and let yourself receive. Ask yourself, “By not having this thing, who is it I’m getting revenge on? Who is it I am getting back at?” Close your eyes and imagine this person standing in front of you. Is the power struggle worth more than what it is you want? Be willing to forgive them for whatever wrong you perceived them doing. Now give to them the very thing you want. As you do, you will feel yourself receiving and being filled with the same thing.

— Chuck Spezzano, If It Hurts, It Isn’t Love,, p. 252

Facing the Wind

Monday, April 24th, 2017

“We are meant to live in joy,” the Archbishop explained. “This does not mean that life will be easy or painless. It means that we can turn our faces to the wind and accept that this is the storm we must pass through. We cannot succeed by denying what exists. The acceptance of reality is the only place from which change can begin.” The Archbishop had said that when one grows in the spiritual life, “You are able to accept anything that happens to you.” You accept the inevitable frustrations and hardships as part of the warp and woof of life. That question, he had said, is not: How do we escape it? The question is: How can we use this as something positive?

— Archbishop Desmond Tutu, quoted by Douglas Abrams in The Book of Joy, p. 224

Easter Is the Answer

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

A graduate student wrote to ask if my Christianity affects my novels, and I replied that it is the other way around. My writing affects my Christianity. In a way one might say that my stories keep converting me back to Christianity, from which I am constantly tempted to stray because the circle of blessing seems frayed and close to breaking, and my faith is so frail and flawed that I fall away over and over again from my God. There are times when I feel that he has withdrawn from me, and I have often given him cause; but Easter is always the answer to My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me!

— Madeleine L’Engle, The Irrational Season, p. 99, quoted in Madeleine L’Engle, Herself, compiled by Carole F. Chase

You Are Lovable.

Saturday, April 8th, 2017

If you believe, as I do, that God is love, and not an old man in the sky hurling lightning bolts at unsuspecting innocents, and that this love is the creative force of the universe — and these are big ifs, I understand that — then you are, by the fact that you are created, loved. You are lovable because God loved you first.

But some people — maybe even most people — don’t see themselves that way. Far too often, we’ve been taught not to see God that way. We’ve been taught the vindictive-old-man version of God, and not the creative-force-of-love version, and so we may never have known that we are lovable. Or perhaps, through the little dramas and big traumas of life, we’ve forgotten it.

When you don’t know that you’re lovable as you are, you need someone to show you.

— Kerry Egan, On Living, p. 150-151.

Wisdom, Not Weakness

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

Longing for love is not weakness. It’s wisdom. Numbing our loneliness is a path to a despair that plagues our entire culture. We are not meant to be alone and self-sufficient. Without lives filled with love, we wither inside. Intimacy is oxygen. We don’t need to transcend our hunger for love — we need to honor it.

— Ken Page, Deeper Dating, p. 4-5

Deepest Wounds

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

Maybe you can live a full and beautiful life in spite of the great and terrible moments that will happen right inside of you. Actually — maybe you get to become more abundant because of those moments. Maybe — I don’t know how, but somehow? — maybe our hearts are made to be broken. Broken open. Broken free. Maybe the deepest wounds birth deepest wisdom.

— Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way, p. 24