Tuesday, April 15, 2014

God Alone Never Changes

We are almost at the end of the "Lenten Retreat" with Teresa of Avila and so many of the prayers have spoken to me intimately. Today we remember that - unlike us - God never changes.

she writes:
Sometimes I feel completely detached, when I am in a moment of trial
yet the next day I discover that I am quite attached to the very things that I would have laughed at yesterday,
and I hardly recognize myself.
One day I am so full of courage that I would do anything for God.
The next day I would not kill an ant if I met the slightest opposition.
There are days when nothing anyone says disturbs me,
An d yet there are also days when a single word so devastates me that I long to flee this world.....

I see this within my spirit constantly. I am so inconstant -one moment strong and wise and the next weak and fearful. And truly sometimes I despair of who I am.
Reading the prayer this morning is so helpful because it names our fickle and changing condition and the truth that God does not change

So I sit in an empty sanctuary and reflect on this very good news. You never change God - you bring your strength, compassion and love into this sometimes weak, self centered and judgmental person that is me.

I come in prayer to receive you - or as my sermon Sunday said it - to be "re-membered" - re-attached to the body of Christ. It is when I come to the community, to holy spaces, to read your word that your spirit is awakened within me and you who never changes can bring a change within me. Always my mantra is "I am here to be with YOU" And that is where the abundant life is found.

One of my favorite prayers of all time is by Dietrich Bonhoeffer - who am I? And it speaks to this reality that we are both strong and weak, And that while others may see the strength and peace within us, we also know of the weakness and confusion. here is how that prayer ends:

Who am I? This or the other?

Am I one person today and tomorrow another?

Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others,

And before myself a contemptibly woebegone weakling?

Or is something within me still like a beaten army,

Fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?

Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.

Whoever I am, Thou knowest, 0 God, I am Thine

And so I pray this morning.
Who am I?
Weak or strong?
rebellious or faithful?
fret full or at peace?
Self centered or self giving?
Who am I
Whoever I am, Lord, I am yours.

I write all this in a journal that has this quote at the bottom of the page:
"if your seek Jesus in all things, you will surely find Jesus" Thomas A Kempis.

May it be so. Amen

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