UNTIL I AM TIRED OF DYING

On one of the few occasions that the disciple was able to Skype  the master – who for years has been working with refugees in a remote, far-flung, refugee camp under very difficult and dangerous conditions – a conversation ensued and the disciple asked, “How long will you remain there?”

And the master answered, “Until I am tired of dying.”

Source: Adapted by Philip Chircop from a recently heard story.

CONSIDER THIS

“We ought to learn how to die before we die, so that when we die, we won’t die.” 

“Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.”  John 12:24-25 (The Message)

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ENCOUNTERING THE LIVING GOD

“It was Thomas Aquinas’s proofs for the existence of God that brought me into the Church,” said the eager theology student to his professor.

“I’m very happy for you,” replied Sofia, the wise, seasoned and experienced  teacher, “they almost drove me out of it.”

Source: As remembered and retold by Philip Chircop SJ

CONSIDER THIS

There’s a big difference between proving the existence of God and experiencing  God; between explaining God and encountering God. Thinking, analysis, and philosophical arguments are lovely and can be very helpful tools but they also run the risk of boxing up the faith in dangerous and suffocating systems of belief.

Analyzing God or faith is like dissecting a frog, when you take it apart, you might find out what it’s made up of, but the frog itself is killed in the process.

How do you experience and encounter the divine?

THREE BLESSINGS TO CHOOSE FROM

A seasoned pastor was meeting with a variety of members from his parish faith community. Gathered for the meeting were associate pastors and pastoral assistants, members of the pastoral council and the finance committee, as well as members from the many ministry groups in the parish.  They were meeting to plan the year ahead but also, and most importantly, to explore together ways of tackling the parish debt.

In the midst of the meeting an angel appeared saying to the pastor that she had come to reward him for his many years of devoted service to his community. He was asked to choose between three blessings: infinite wealth, infinite fame or infinite wisdom.

Without hesitation, the pastor asked for infinite wisdom. “You got it!” said the angel, and disappeared. Silence followed as all heads slowly turned toward the pastor, who by now was glowing in an aura of wisdom.

Finally the chair of the pastoral council leans in and whispers into the pastor’s ear, “Say something.” The pastor looked at them and said, “I should have taken the money.”

Source: Re-imagined and retold by Philip Chircop
Tuesday 20th September 2016

CONSIDER THIS

God answered Solomon, “This is what has come out of your heart: You didn’t grasp for money, wealth, fame, and the doom of your enemies; you didn’t even ask for a long life. You asked for wisdom and knowledge so you could govern well my people over whom I’ve made you king. Because of this, you get what you asked for—wisdom and knowledge. And I’m presenting you the rest as a bonus—money, wealth, and fame beyond anything the kings before or after you had or will have.”2 Chronicles 1:11-12

Imagine that you are offered three blessings to choose from: infinite wealth, infinite fame or infinite wisdom. Which one would you choose and why?

WHAT’S INSIDE IS WHAT COMES OUT

Teacher: “If I were to squeeze this lemon as hard as I could, what would come out?”

Student: “Juice, of course.”

Teacher: “Do you think orange juice could come out of it?”

Student: “Of course not. It’s a lemon!”

Teacher: “How about apple juice? Do you think apple juice could come out of it?”

Student: “Of course not. It’s a lemon!”

Teacher: “How about grapefruit juice? Do you think grapefruit juice could come out of it?”

Student: “Of course not. It’s a lemon!”

Teacher: “Tell me then, what would come out of it?”

Student: “Lemon juice, of course.”

Teacher: “Why? Why is it that when you squeeze a lemon, lemon juice comes out?”

Student: “Well, it’s a lemon and that’s what’s inside.”

Credit: Retold by Philip Chircop SJ
Inspired by a story told by Wayne Dyer

CONSIDER THIS

Imagine that the lemon is you. Imagine someone squeezing you, puts pressure on you, says something you don’t like, offends you. What comes out when life squeezes you? When someone hurts or offends you?

If anger, pain and fear come out of you, it’s because that’s what’s inside. It doesn’t matter who does the squeezing—your mother, your brother, your children, your boss, the government. If someone says something about you that you don’t like, what comes out of you is what’s inside. And what’s inside is up to you, it’s your choice.

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH

At the end of a busy day, a man and his wife were sitting at home on the veranda in the quiet of twilight, broken only by the sounds of the gentle wind and the swash of the waves. They were enjoying a glass of wine together.

As the sun slowly sank below the mountains, she broke the soothing silence saying, “I love you so much I don’t know I could ever live without you.”

The husband, a tad surprised, asks, “Is that you or the wine talking?”

She replies, “It’s me … talking to the wine.”

And the two burst out laughing!

Source: Recycled and retold by Philip Chircop sj

CONSIDER THIS

Learning to laugh a little more just may save your life, not to mention your marriage. To paraphrase Henry Ward Beecher, “A marriage without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs – jolted by every pebble in the road.”

Still not convinced? Listen to these other voices:

  • Laughter is an “instant vacation”. | Bob Hope
  • You can’t stay mad at somebody who makes you laugh.” |  Jay Leno
  • We cannot really love anybody with whom we never laugh. | Agnes Repplier