Posts Tagged God

A Life Filled with the Spirit – Thomas Crowl – Guest Writer

JOB: 32;8…But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Allmighty giveth understanding…

I still remember the day that my dear mother told me I was part American Indian. At the time, I remember I considered it a mixed blessing, for my early education in reservation indians was of a alcoholic collection of poor people gathered under blankets. As I grew I began to understand the complex and honorable tradition that was the American Indian People. Christianity would visit many horrors on these kind folk, from the Spanish conquistadors to a virtual elimination of the spirit religions of North America.

When I went on to college I took courses in the American Indian Tribes and comparative religions. I became aware that we all worship the same God and that despite the complex rituals we all use we arrive at the same spirit driven goal, giving all honor and power to God.

I purchased a decorated cap on a trip to a indian village near the Everglades. It depicted a eagle carrying a peacepipe. I didn’t think too much of it til I talked with a elderly “Grandmother” at  Monument Vally. She admonished me that my purchase was important to my spirit and my place in the world and should not be taken lightly for it was a source of inspiration for my spirit and a guide to living.

Job turned a difficult life into a blessed entry into firm belief in the Lord. When he spoke the above words he helped center our spiritual belief in the certainty of God , His incredible strength and His power to grant understanding.

It is my special prayer for you that you will gather in the wondrous message of a God centered life. It is a power that builds on the best that lives in our spirit…that grants honor to all…and never demeans the method at which we arrive at spiritual salvation found in the Allmighty.

 

THE SPIRIT OF THE LIVING GOD GROWS IN THE HEART OF ALL WHO BELIEVE IN HIM AND IS NOT LIMITED TO ANY RACE, COLOR OR CREED. ACCEPT THE UNDERSTANDING THAT LIVED IN THE HEART OF JOB AND YOU WILL ALLWAYS LIVE IN A WORLD OF HONOR, DIGNITY AND KNOWLEDGE.

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“God as Sister,” by Martin Marty

God as Sister, God and Sister

Martin Marty (The Martin Marty Center: Sightings)
Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 5:33 am

God as Sister, God and Sister | Martin Marty, The Martin Marty Center, Sightings, Compassion, Sister Rosemary Connelly, Misericordia

Adults with mild to moderate disabilities live in The Brian and Sue Shannon Apartment Building (opened in 1991), and each day they handle many tasks such as cleaning, cooking and laundry. (Photo: Misericordia.org)

Put “God” in a headline and we can’t help sighting it. Neil Steinberg, columnist in the Chicago Sun-Times did so: “‘Who’s God but us?’ Sister tells it like it is.”

My wife, Harriet, the monitor of syntax and scorner of clichés, who reads the papers over coffee across the table from this “Sighter” might well have questioned the syntax in line one and the cliché in line two.

But she and I would quickly have gotten over any uneasiness as we eased into Steinberg’s column.

He was celebrating Sister Rosemary Connelly, whom he heard speaking at a fundraising lunch. There she said something he’d “never heard spoken before, never mind by a nun.” We’ll talk about her words in a moment.

Steinberg reminded Sun-Times readers that Sister, 45 years ago, was the founder of Misericordia, “the city’s pre-eminent home for those with Down Syndrome and other cognitive disabilities.”

Originally, she was to care for foundlings left by their mothers on church doorsteps but, against the will of the Archdiocese of the time, she transformed Misericordia’s mission and its site.

Steinberg told of Sister’s tale of a heart-breaking moment when she had to turn away a 15-year-old whose desperate mother could no longer lift or care for him. The problem: Misericordia’s beds were full, and the two-year waiting list was 600-people long.

Yet somehow, without violating her self-imposed rules against showing favoritism, Sister was able to help. How is less important than why.

Steinberg and the luncheoners gasped when Sister asked, and then answered her own question: “Who’s God but us? If we don’t do it, it’s not going to happen.”

Jews, Muslims and Christians alike assert that there is no God but God. So Steinberg recoiled: “Who’s God but us? Who’s God but us?”

He did not divulge whether her words were at the edge or the center of blasphemy or idolatry. Instead he contrasted them with all the ways others use “God” to justify their indifference or evil acts.

Then Steinberg imagined what went through Sister’s mind: “OK then, Mr. Lord of the Universe, if you’re going to fail this boy, I guess we’ll have to do the job for you.”

It took two years but Sister raised the money, and the boy has now been at Misericordia for 15 years.

Steinberg: “‘Who’s God but us?’ That’s edgy stuff, Sister, practically sacrilege.” But not over the edge, if you think about what Sister Rosemary Connelly knows and does about priorities in worship and expressions of faith.

I suppose there are more nearly acceptable orthodox ways of approaching what Sister was saying and doing.

My own church body has the motto: “God’s work – our hands.” Every other church body has analogues to it.

But most of us are not much moved by these more cautious ways of expressing the matter while risk-taking Sister takes risks here, ready to face her Maker.

A little theological overreach can be forgiven in a world where indifference usually keeps believers from making a difference.

And I can’t resist adding a word about how “we in the media” often distort the world of religion or religious people by the decisions we make about what makes news and what readers’ or listeners’ or bloggers’ appetites we want to feed.

Conflicts, controversies, stories of abuse deserve to be told and need to be told. But the world of faith and of the faiths also has countless participants who may be less eloquent or capable or dogged than Sister Rosemary.

They are there, quietly working and singing and praying and fundraising and doing and saying “edgy” things that merit attention.

Martin E. Marty is the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago. This article first appeared on Sightings, a publication of the Martin Marty Center at the University of Chicago Divinity School, and is used with permission.

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Random Acts of Kindness – 7

God has given you a unique gift to share. Employ your gift for the good of all. You will be glad that you did.

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Delete Proof

            I just read a post that starts, “If you get deleted in the next week.” Isn’t that our universal fear in life? We are afraid of being deleted. We are afraid that we don’t count and that others don’t need us, don’t see us, and/or don’t value us. We want desperately to belong.

            That is the wonderful message of our Christian faith. We do belong. We are a part of the family of God. No one can pluck us out of his hand or delete us from the Book of Life. You can easily delete me from your circle of friends. You can unfriend me on Facebook. You can even cut me off from any future contact or communication with you. You have the power to cut me out of your life, but no one can interrupt my connection with God.

            There are those who think that they can establish the criterion for who is in and who is out of God’s family, but those decisions are far removed from their realm of control. They are powerless to set the rules. God alone has established the criteria and no human being can alter it. “ …whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have ever lasting life.” There are no modifiers. We all belong if we believe. Whatever our particular demographic, we belong. God is love. It doesn’t get any more basic than that. God loved me long before I loved him or even knew who he is. I do not need to worry about whether or not I will be deleted from his great contact list. He calls me by my name. My place is secure and so is yours.

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