The Resurrected God

This is the resurrected God to whom we sing. A God who didn’t say we would never be afraid but that we would never be alone. Because this is a God who shows up: in the violence of the cross, in the darkness of a garden before dawn, in the gardener, in a movie theater, in the basement of a bar.

— Nadia Bolz-Weber, Pastrix, p. 200

[Photo: Burg Ehrenburg, Germany, October 1997]

No Moral High Ground

Richard Rohr says that the people who’ve truly experienced grace — meaning they’re not worthy of it and they still get it — are no longer in a position of being able to decide who “the deserving poor” are. When you realize that no one’s worthy and yet everyone receives (the practice of the church that illuminates this idea is the open table at the Eucharist), where’s the moral high ground that you stand on anymore? The only ground you get to stand on is the ground at the foot of the cross, with all the rest of us sinners. But it’s holy ground. It’s a position of standing in and among, and in solidarity with everyone, and singing praise to God. It’s a very different way of seeing Christianity, I think.

— Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints, p. 211

[Photo: Glenveagh, Ireland, July 2001]

Heralds of Hope

The Gospel is the real antidote to spiritual destitution: wherever we go, we are called as Christians to proclaim the liberating news that forgiveness for sins committed is possible, that God is greater than our sinfulness, that he freely loves us at all times and that we were made for communion and eternal life. The Lord asks us to be joyous heralds of this message of mercy and hope! It is thrilling to experience the joy of spreading this good news, sharing the treasure entrusted to us, consoling broken hearts and offering hope to our brothers and sisters experiencing darkness. It means following and imitating Jesus, who sought out the poor and sinners as a shepherd lovingly seeks his lost sheep.

— Pope Francis, The Spirit of Saint Francis, p. 131

A Higher Way

It is not punishment.  God never punishes.  And He well knows how you have been longing to do His will.  This sickness has been given you as a loving message to help you understand that there was a still higher and more heavenly way of reacting to the wounds and troubles that you were experiencing than you knew about.  Certainly God gave you a glorious victory even though your feelings were so wounded; you were delivered from resentment and were able to accept it all with forgiveness.  But perhaps there was a little self-pity because you did not realize about the glorious principle I have been sent to share with you.  For there is a still higher level of acceptance possible, and that is to accept everything that happens with praise, thanksgiving, and joy, knowing that every seeming affliction is really a blessing in disguise.  God allows only the very best things possible to happen to you at any particular time; that is to say, exactly the things and situations that are best fitted to help you, because they afford you the opportunity of reacting just as Jesus did.  Learning by His grace to react with praise and thanksgiving even to things that appear most evil, unjust, cruel, and deplorable, because God is allowing this opportunity to bring good out of evil, is just like waving a magic wand over an evil enchantment and being able to replace cruel spells with heavenly miracles.

— Hannah Hurnard, Eagles’ Wings to the Higher Places, p. 56-57