Opening the Heart to Reality

Discussion in 'The Spirit of the USA' started by Mark Dohle, May 23, 2020.

  1. Mark Dohle

    Mark Dohle Archangels

    I met a man who told me that he has been a devout Christian all of his life. Then his wife die about 15 years ago and he lost his faith. Actually, he left because he believed that ‘God killed his wife, took her from him”.

    There are many ideas about ‘God’ that people have, I have them, and I am sure that they are wrong. Not because there is not some truth in what I believe, it is my level of understanding which causes trouble.

    A child, when blessed with loving parents, may get very angry with them when they do something that goes against what it wants. The son or daughter may even ‘hate’ the parents for a time, or have some sort of tantrum, but because the parents are loving, and are patient, but hold their ground, eventually the child returns and learns that manipulation does not work.

    Suffering, loss, pain and disease, and eventually death happens to all of us. So for me these events in no way bring doubt into my belief in God. Nor does it bring up uncertainty about God being loving. However, that does not mean that I understand, or even like it. Yet life goes on. God, I believe, like any loving parent waits patiently for us to return.

    Prayer is not really about begging God for ‘things, but about allowing the life of God to become more apparent to us, which brings healing. Suffering as awful as it is, is not the end of the story. Jesus had his moments during his passion. The Father seemed silent when Jesus asked that the ‘cup’ be removed. It was not, it was not according to God’s will. Yet Jesus was betrayed, abandoned, beaten, put in prison for a night, tortured, and died. We did it, just as we cause most of the moral suffering in the world. Our cultures, our cities, and our families, are snapshots of our inner, fragmented, and yes sinful lives.

    Yet, he rose, he did not ‘sin’ , did not hate, he forgave, and lives within the hearts of those who seek God, but especially in Christians who are hopefully growing into the mystery of our faith. Now a mystery is not something unknowable, but a reality that is infinitely knowable. Yet we have to be open to this journey, we can stop, leave, or turn our backs on the everlasting love of God. In the end, at our deepest level we do choose. We also make small choices every day that lead to that final decision.

    Christ Jesus came to save us from ourselves. We become ‘hell’ if we turn our backs on God if we stop seeking and live only for ourselves.

    I have ideas on how the world should work, but sometimes do not want to deepen my understanding of how I am the cause of much that is wrong in it. My heart is still hard, I can lack empathy and compassion, and it pains me when I see this. Yet, the grace of God is always there slowly healing my deepest wounds, and so over time, slowly, I do experience my heart softening. There is so much I do not know or understand as I age, but I am happy with that, it leads to inner freedom allowing me to actually live life without demanding it be a certain way.--BrMD
    Mary's child and Don_D like this.
  2. Don_D

    Don_D ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

    I read a book recently that this remind me of Br Mark. It was With God in Russia by Fr Walter Ciszek. I came away from this book seeing my own refusals to accept God's will for me over the many years of my life and how in spite of my refusals God always prevails or I go my own way and off into hell as you say or wrath as I think of it. Not because God has wrath for us His creatures, but because the lack of God in our lives truly is the closest thing to His wrath I think we can experience He loves us so much.

    I remember when Pope Francis said that quote you posted and I think it is very wise.

    What Pope Francis learned from homeless girl: 'Cry with the suffering!'

    Pope Francis hugs a former homeless girl Glyzelle Palomar at a youth rally in Manila Jan. 18

    Manila, Philippines, Jan 17, 2015 / 09:14 pm MT ().- Pope Francis praised Filipino former homeless girl Glyzelle Palomar for asking why God allows children to suffer, saying her tearful question shows that Christians must “learn how to weep.”

    The 12-year-old Glyzelle burst into tears as she recounted her experience to the Pope on Sunday: “there are many children neglected by their own parents. There are also many who became victims and many terrible things happened to them like drugs or prostitution.”

    “Why is God allowing such things to happen, even if it is not the fault of the children? And why are there only very few people helping us?” she asked.

    Her comments followed an affecting testimony from a former homeless boy, 14-year-old Jun Chura, during a youth meeting on the campus of Manila’s Santo Tomas University Jan. 18.

    After Jun’s testimony and Glyzelle’s tearful question, the two approached Pope Francis, who embraced them. The Holy Father then used the girl’s tears as the springboard for an answer to her question.

    “Glyzelle is the only one who has put a question to which there is no answer,” Pope Francis said, “and she wasn’t able to express it in words, only in tears.”

    “Why do children suffer so much?” he asked. “When the heart is able to ask itself and cry, then we can understand.”

    Pope Francis pointed to the way Jesus ministered to his people. He did not meet people’s needs with a worldly compassion, only stopping for a few moments to hand out money or material things. Rather, the Pope said, Christ took the time to listen and to sympathize with his people.

    “Jesus in the Gospel, he cried,” Pope Francis said. “He cried for his dead friend, he cried in his heart for the family that had lost its child, he cried when he saw the poor widow burying her son, he was moved to tears, to compassion, when he saw the crowds without a shepherd.”

    It is only when we learn to cry with those who are suffering that we can begin to understand them and to love them, Pope Francis explained.

    “If you don’t learn how to cry, you can’t be good Christians,” he emphasized.

    “Let us learn how to weep, as Glyzelle has shown us today. Let us not forget this lesson.”

    The 12-year-old’s question followed a heartbreaking testimony from Jun Chura, a formerly homeless Filipino child. Jun was one of three young people to personally address the Holy Father at a meeting with Filipino youth on the sports field of the University of Santo Tomas on Jan. 18.

    Not long ago, Jun left his family, as they could no longer send him to school, and took to the streets.

    “I was feeding myself with what (I) can find in the garbage,” he said. “I did not know where to go and I was sleeping on the sidewalk…looking for a piece of carton to make a mat.”

    Besides having to fend for himself, Jun witnessed things on the street no child is prepared to see.

    “…terrible things happened to my companions in the street: I saw that they were taught how to steal, to kill also, and they have no respect anymore for the adults,” he said. “I saw also some children who were taught how to use drugs…”

    It was hard to know when to accept help from those who offered it, Jun said. Adults would often approach children in the street, purporting to offer food or shelter, but would the use the children for unpaid labor or sexual abuse.

    That’s why, when Jun was first approached by the Tulay ng Kabataan Foundation, he declined. He wasn’t sure he could trust that the group was actually there to help him.

    Jun now accepts help from the Tulay ng Kabataan Foundation. They are helping him continue his education, and one day he hopes to work with the Foundation to help his family and other street children like himself.

    Glyzelle too has been helped by the foundation.
    Mary's child likes this.
  3. padraig

    padraig New Member

    Sigh . I hope I am not cynical , but Pope Francis and these staged, eye watering Drama Queen moments. Well...

    I am afraid it'll take a lot more than dramatic hugs to convince me at this point.

    I see he has decided to take the big, big, plunge and let very limited amounts of people into his August presence after closing down all the Churches in the World to go online..

    At least no more airplane press conferences, thank God.

    I wonder how the big push for Women Deacons is going?
    Last edited: May 23, 2020

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