My little furry friend is sick. I’ve done my best to take care of her but unfortunately, some of the treatments are scary and painful for her. Now she hides from me. She runs when I try to pet her. It breaks my heart.
Amidst the tears welling in my eyes this morning, I heard God’s gentle voice saying, “Now you know how I feel.”
When we are hurt, because of sin, sickness, personal calamity, how do we react? I know what I do. I hide. I’m too ashamed, too guilt-ridden, too despondent to run to God for healing and comfort.
If I feel sick to my stomach with worry. I feel pain over the pain in my little friend’s eyes. How must God feel when He sees his children broken and sad, or dying inside because of their sin and afflictions.
All I want to do is put her on my lap and stroke her fur but she won’t let me.
…how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Luke 13:34
He waits patiently, arms open wide, eyes full of tears. Don’t run from the One who wants to heal you and lavish you with His love.
Let me take a quick break from all the hilarity to share a short reflection on the gospel reading from this past Sunday, Mark 1:40-45 (RSV):
And a leper came to him beseeching him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. And he sternly charged him, and sent him away at once,and said to him, “See that you say nothing to any one; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to the people.” But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter.
My favorite abbey homilist, Fr. James Flint, O.S.B. made an interesting point about this passage that’s had me chewing on it for the last 24 hours. Among other things, he suggested that Jesus did a bit of a role reversal with the leper. At first, I was confused by this, but now I think I get it. Let me see if I can explain.
[UPDATE: I am reliably informed that my rant about OSU’s hats and t-shirts should more appropriately be directed toward the CFP people and Nike. Nevertheless, it’s still fun to bust on Urban whenever and wherever possible.]
What’s the deal with the hats and t-shirts? “Undisputed National Champions?”
Really? Are you afraid someone might call your championship into question? What’s up Urban? Feeling insecure?
To paraphrase Denzel Washington, “Nuts gotta be nuts.”
In other news…
Pope Francis I declared 2015 to be the Year of Consecrated Life in order to draw the Church’s attention to those who serve God as consecrated religious, and to pray for vocations to the religious life. It coincides with the 50th anniversary of Perfectae Caritatis, a decree on religious life.
As we do from time to time here at Chewing Glass, let me plug one of our regulars.
FOB Jack has a new gig with EWTN Radio as host of the Open Line Show, M-F on your local Catholic radio dial. Or if you prefer to get your media via the intertubes—and who dosen’t, amiright?—check out the link in the sidebar.
Open Line is a call-in show with lots of studio guests discussing a world of topics relevant to our times. Check it out!
My post about depression and the suicide of Robin Williams drew some negative reaction which I would like to address. First, let me quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section 2281 and following [emphasis mine]:
2281 Suicide contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to preserve and perpetuate his life. It is gravely contrary to the just love of self. It likewise offends love of neighbor because it unjustly breaks the ties of solidarity with family, nation, and other human societies to which we continue to have obligations. Suicide is contrary to love for the living God.
2282 If suicide is committed with the intention of setting an example, especially to the young, it also takes on the gravity of scandal. Voluntary co-operation in suicide is contrary to the moral law.
Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide.
2283We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives.
Also, I’d like to share the following message by Fr. Apostolos Hill, who says it better than I ever could:
They’ve gone and condemned him to death! I thought they’d just give him a stern talking to, maybe a fine and then kick him out of the city with a warning. But instead they’re going to kill him!
When I saw him come from the Governor’s mansion, he was a mess! They beat him to a bloody pulp! I immediately ran to C’s house to try and stop this, but he refused to see me. I made such a fuss that he finally agreed to let me in. The others were there too.
I told them what they’d done to The Boss. I told them I couldn’t take their money. I told them they didn’t hold up their end of the bargain! I never wanted to see him beaten. I didn’t want him to die! I just wanted him, I don’t know, out of the way. I just wanted to be free of him. I wanted him out of my head! But not like this!