Thursday, May 30, 2013

Facing Challenges {Embracing Hope}

Today's Office of Readings touched my heart and gave me new inspiration to face the many and various challenges each day brings.  Maybe it will touch yours, too.
If you set your heart aright
and stretch out your hands toward him,
If you remove all iniquity from your conduct,
and let not injustice dwell in your tent,
Surely then you may lift up your face in innocence;
you may stand firm and unafraid.
For then you shall forget your misery,
or recall it like waters that have ebbed away.
Then your life shall be brighter than the noonday;
its gloom shall become as the morning,
And you shall be secure, because there is hope;
you shall look round you and lie down in safety,
and you shall take your rest with none to disturb
~ Job 11:13-19
Pondering today...
What would I sacrifice for Love?
How does Pure Love guide my decisions and interactions with others?
Where does self love poison my life and misdirect my thoughts, words and actions?
How do I carry the crosses (bear the sufferings) in my life?
"’s lively concern for others is reflected in all the virtues. It begins with two commands, but it soon embraces many more. Paul gives a good summary of its various aspects. Love is patient, he says, and kind; it is never jealous or conceited; its conduct is blameless; it is not ambitious, not selfish, not quick to take offense; it harbors no evil thoughts, does not gloat over other people’s sins, but is gladdened by an upright life.
The man ruled by this love shows his patience by bearing wrongs with equanimity; his kindness by generously repaying good for evil. Jealousy is foreign to him. It is impossible to envy worldly success when he has no worldly desires. He is not conceited. The prizes he covets lie within; outward blessings do not elate him. His conduct is blameless, for he cannot do wrong in devoting himself entirely to love of God and his neighbor. He is not ambitious. The welfare of his own soul is what he cares about. Apart from that he seeks nothing. He is not selfish. Unable to keep anything he has in this world, he is as indifferent to it as if it were another’s. Indeed, in his eyes nothing is his own but what will be so always. He is not quick to take offense. Even under provocation, thought of revenge never crosses his mind. The reward he seeks hereafter will be greater in proportion to his endurance. He harbors no evil thoughts. Hatred is utterly rooted out of a heart whose only love is goodness. Thoughts that defile a man can find no entry. He does not gloat over other people’s sins. No; an enemy’s fall affords him no delight, for loving all men, he longs for their salvation.
On the other hand, he is gladdened by an upright life. Since he loves others as himself, he takes as much pleasure in whatever good he sees in them as if the progress were his own. That is why this law of God is manifold." ~From the Moral Reflections on Job by Saint Gregory the Great, pope
 Such security comes with wholehearted hope in God.

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