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Archive for April, 2012

I used to be in love with so many things, but that love wasn’t real. Now I know that the only one I’m truly in love with is Christ. He is magnificent and extraordinary. A radical. A revolutionary. He is God. I’m drawn to him as if my life depended on it. But of course my life does depend on it! Without him I would be dead. This great sorrow that I feel constantly is only kept at bay by his love. Everything that I am is from him and for him. I can’t help but praise him. He is beyond me but at the same time human with me. He understands every emotion that I feel. He has never condemned me but always uplifted me. When this world takes advantage of me, he whispers in my ear, “Do not be ashamed! They can’t take your soul. I made you exactly the way you are out of my image and for my glory. Be yourself and I will use you.” I give him praise for the kind of person I am because the kind of person I am compels me towards him. Without difficulty I would not know him. He’s for those who feel out of place and poor in spirit. When my heart beats, he beats. He lives within me. This unseen love gives me hope and a reason. I must live for him. He took my place and I’m willing to take his. All he has to do is lead me. I have failed him far more times than I have pleased him, but I feel his forgiveness. This forgiveness that has transformed me. I was angry but now I’m at peace. I love my neighbor because he loves me. I want everyone to know the real him. He is love and I am in love with love. I deserve nothing but he has given me everything. I need him like I need my breath. There is nothing in this world that satisfies me but him. This is because he is not of this world. He is something so much more. I hope my life in some small way reveals him. Nothing else matters. I have the hammer and nails out everyday but he still comes close. He’ll never leave until about me he says, “It is finished.”

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‘Gravity and Grace’ by Simone Weil

‘To lower oneself is to rise in the domain of moral gravity. Moral gravity makes us fall towards the heights.’

‘It is impossible to forgive whoever has done us harm if that harm has lowered us. We have to think that it has not lowered us, but has revealed our true level.’

‘A man who lived for his city, his family, his friends, to acquire wealth, improve his social position, etc. – a war: he is led away as a slave and henceforth for evermore he must wear himself out to the utmost limit of his strength merely in order to exist. That is frightful, impossible, and for this reason he will cling to any aim which presents itself no matter how wretched, be it only to have the slave punished who works at his side. He has no more choice about aims. Any aim at all is like a branch to a drowning man.’

‘I also am other than what I imagine myself to be. To know this is forgiveness.’

‘The world must be regarded as containing something of a void in order that it may have need of G-d. That presupposes evil.’

‘To love truth means to endure the void and, as a result, to accept death. Truth is on the side of death.’

‘The reality of the world is the result of our attachment.’

‘Attachment is a manufacturer of illusions and whoever wants reality ought to be detached.’

‘All suffering which does not detach us is wasted suffering.’

‘Each time that we say “Thy will be done” we should have in mind all possible misfortunes added together.’

‘If we love G-d while thinking that he does not exist, he will manifest his existence.’

‘When we are disappointed by a pleasure which we have been expecting and which comes, the disappointment is because we were expecting the future, and as soon as it is there it is present. We want the future to be there without ceasing to be future. This is an absurdity of which eternity alone is the cure.’

‘When pain and weariness reach the point of causing a sense of perpetuity to be born in the soul, through contemplating this perpetuity with acceptance and love, we are snatched away into eternity.’

‘Purification is the separation of good from covetousness.’

‘Christ experienced all human misery, except sin. But he experienced everything which makes man capable of sin. It is the void which makes man capable of sin. All sins are attempts to fill voids.’

‘We possess nothing in the world – a mere chance can strip us of everything – except the power to say “I”. That is what we have to give to G-d – in other words, to destroy. There is absolutely no other free act which it is given us to accomplish – only the destruction of the “I”.’

‘When we do a service to beings thus uprooted and we receive in exchange discourtesy, ingratitude, betrayal, we are merely enduring a small share of their affliction. It is our duty to expose ourselves to it in a limited measure just as it is our duty to expose ourselves to affliction.’

‘When the “I” is wounded from outside it starts by revolting in the most extreme and bitter manner like an animal at bay. But as soon as the “I” is half dead, it wants to be finished off and allows itself to sink into unconsciousness. If it is then awakened by a touch of love, there is sharp pain which results in anger and sometimes hatred for whoever has provoked this pain. Hence the apparently inexplicable vindictiveness of the fallen towards their benefactors.’

‘The sin in me says “I”.’

‘Everything without exception which is of value in me comes from somewhere other than myself, not as a gift but as a loan which must be ceaselessly renewed.’

‘Creation is an act of love and it is perpetual. At each moment our existence is G-d’s love for us. But G-d can only love himself. His love for us is love for himself through us. Thus, he who gives us our being loves in us the acceptance of not being.’

‘We participate in the creation of the world by decreating ourselves.’

‘He emptied himself of his divinity. We should empty ourselves of the false divinity with which we were born. Once we have understood we are nothing, the object of all our efforts is to become nothing. It is for this that we suffer with resignation, it is for this that we act, it is for this that we pray. May G-d grant me to become nothing. In so far as I become nothing, G-d loves himself through me.’

‘In general we must not wish for the disappearance of any of our troubles, but grace to transform them.’

‘If we find fullness of joy in the thought that G-d is, we must find the same fullness in the knowledge that we ourselves are not, for it is the same thought. And this knowledge is extended to our sensibility only through suffering and death.’

‘Belief in immortality is harmful because it is not in our power to conceive of the soul as really incorporeal. So this belief is in fact a belief in the prolongation of life, and it robs death of its purpose.’

‘The soul which is not full of love dies a bad death.’

‘It is necessary to uproot oneself. To cut down the tree and make of it a cross, and then to carry it every day.’

‘G-d gave me being in order that I should give it back to him.’

‘Humility is the refusal to exist outside G-d.’

‘Even if we could be like G-d it would be better to be mud which obeys G-d.’

‘G-d who is no other thing but love has not created anything other than love.’

‘Obedience is the supreme virtue.’

‘All absolutely pure goodness completely eludes the will. Goodness is transcendent. G-d is Goodness.’

‘We must not help our neighbor for Christ but in Christ. May the self disappear in such a way that Christ can help our neighbor through the medium of our soul and body. May we be the slave whom his master sends to bear help to someone in misfortune. The help comes from the master, but it is intended for the sufferer. Christ did not suffer for his Father. He suffered for men by the Father’s will.’

‘We should not go to our neighbor for the sake of G-d, but we should be impelled towards our neighbor by G-d, as the arrow is driven towards its target by the archer.’

‘The will of G-d. How to know it? If we make a quietness within ourselves, if we silence all desires and opinions and if with love, without formulating any words, we bind our whole soul to think “Thy will be done”, the thing which after that we feel sure we should do (even though in certain respects we may be mistaken) is the will of G-d. For if we ask him for bread he will not give us a stone.’

‘Every creature which attains perfect obedience constitutes a special, unique, irreplaceable form of the presence, knowledge and operation of G-d in the world.’

‘Obedience is the only pure motive, the only one which does not in the slightest degree seek a reward for the action, but leaves all care of reward to the Father who is in secret and who sees in secret.’

‘In contemplation, the right relationship with G-d is love, in action it is slavery. This distinction must be kept. We must act as becomes a slave while contemplating with love….’

‘A test of what is real is that it is hard and rough. Joys are found in it, not pleasure. What is pleasant belongs to dreams.’

‘We must try to love without imagining – to love the appearance in its nakedness without interpretation. What we love then is truly G-d.’

‘A science which does not bring us nearer to G-d is worthless. But if it brings us to him in the wrong way, that is to say if it brings us to an imaginary G-d, it is worse….’

‘There is as it were a phagocytosis in the soul: everything which is threatened by time secretes falsehood in order not to die, and in proportion to the danger it is in dying. That is why there is not any love of truth without an unconditional acceptance of death. The cross of Christ is the only gateway to knowledge.’

‘Everything that is worthless shuns the light. Here on earth we can hide ourselves beneath the flesh. At death we can do this no longer. We are given up naked to the light.’

‘That which makes us hold back from the effort which would bring us nearer to what is good is the repugnance of the flesh, but it is not the flesh’s repugnance in the face of effort. It is the flesh’s repugnance in the face of what is good, because for a bad cause, if there were a strong enough incentive, the flesh would consent to anything, knowing it could do so without dying.’

‘In the same way as pretexts are necessary for unjust wars, a promise of some false good is necessary for sin, because we cannot endure the thought that we are going in the direction of evil.’

‘Idolatry comes from the fact that, while thirsting for absolute good, we do not possess the power of supernatural attention and we have not the patience to allow it to develop.’

‘We do not have to acquire humility. There is humility in us – only we humiliate ourselves before false gods.’

‘To love a stranger as oneself implies the reverse: to love oneself as a stranger.’

‘Love of G-d is pure when joy and suffering inspire an equal degree of gratitude.’

‘If we want to have a love which will protect the soul from wounds, we must love something other than G-d.’

‘Love tends to go ever further and further, but there is a limit. When the limit is passed love turns to hate. To avoid this change love has to become different.’

‘Love needs reality. What is more terrible than the discovery that through a bodily appearance we have been loving an imaginary being. It is much more terrible than death, for death does not prevent the beloved from having lived. That is the punishment for having fed love on imagination.’

‘To love purely is to consent to distance, it is to adore the distance between ourselves and that which we love.’

‘The soul is the human being considered as having a value in itself.’

‘To wish to escape from solitude is cowardice.’

‘Do not allow yourself to be imprisoned by any affection. Keep your solitude. The day, if it ever comes, when you are given true affection there will be no opposition between interior solitude and friendship, quite the reverse. It is even by this infallible sign that you will recognize it. Other affections have to be severely disciplined.’

‘Creation: good broken up into pieces and scattered throughout evil.’

‘Evil is limitless but it is not infinite. Only the infinite limits the limitless.’

‘A hurtful act is the transference to others of the degradation which we bear in ourselves. That is why we are inclined to commit such acts as a way of deliverance.’

‘We must accept the evil done to us as a remedy for that which we have done.’

‘If someone does me an injury I must desire that this injury shall not degrade me. I must desire this out of love for him who inflicts it, in order that he may not really have done evil.’

‘We cannot have a horror of doing harm to others unless we have reached a point where others can no longer do harm to us (then we love others, to the furthest limit, like our past selves).’

‘G-d has created a world which is not the best possible, but which contains the whole range of good and evil. We are at the point where it is as bad as possible; for beyond is the stage where evil becomes innocence.’

‘We should seek neither to escape suffering nor to suffer less, but to remain untainted by suffering.’

‘The extreme greatness of Christianity lies in the fact that it does not seek a supernatural remedy for suffering but a supernatural use for it.’

‘Affliction compels us to recognize as real what we do not think possible.’

‘Non-violence is no good unless it is effective.’

‘Whoever takes up the sword shall perish by the sword. And whoever does not take up the sword (or lets it go) shall perish on the cross.’

‘”My G-d, my G-d, why has thou forsaken me?” There we have the real proof that Christianity is something divine.’

‘Of the links between G-d and man, love is the greatest.’

‘Blood on snow. Innocence and evil. Evil itself must be pure. It can only be pure in the form of the suffering of someone innocent. An innocent being who suffers sheds the light of salvation upon evil. Such a one is the visible image of the innocent G-d. That is why a G-d who loves man and a man who loves G-d have to suffer.’

‘Heaven coming down to earth raises earth to heaven.’

‘One – the smallest of the numbers. “The One that alone is wise.” That is the infinite. A number which increases thinks that it is getting near to infinity. It is receding from it. We must stoop in order to rise. If 1 is G-d, ∞ is the devil.’

‘It is human misery and not pleasure which contains the secret of the divine wisdom. All pleasure-seeking is the search for an artificial paradise, an intoxication, an enlargement. But it gives us nothing except the experience that it is vain. Only the contemplation of our limitations and our misery puts us on a higher plane.’

‘When the whole universe weighs upon us there is no other counterweight possible but

G-d himself – the true G-d, for in this case false gods cannot do anything, not even under the name of the true one. Evil is infinite in the sense of being indefinite: matter, space, time. Nothing can overcome this kind of infinity except the true infinity. That is why on the balance of the cross a body which was frail and light but which was G-d, lifted up the whole world. “Give me a point of leverage and I will lift up the world.” This point of leverage is the cross. There can be no other. It has to be at the intersection of the world and that which is not the world. The cross is this intersection.’

‘Contradiction alone is the proof that we are not everything. Contradiction is our wretchedness, and the sense of our wretchedness is the sense of reality. For we do not invent our wretchedness. It is true. That is why we have to value it. All the rest is imaginary.’

‘Impossibility is the door of the supernatural. We can but knock at it. It is someone else who opens.’

‘The links that we cannot forge are evidence of the transcendent.’

‘It is only by directing my thoughts towards something better than myself that I am drawn upwards by this something.’

‘A man inspired by G-d is a man who has ways of behaviour, thoughts and feelings which are bound together by a bond impossible to define.’

‘Suffering is violence, joy is gentleness, but joy is the stronger.’

‘Limitation is the evidence that G-d loves us.’

‘G-d can only be present in creation under the form of absence.’

‘If I thought that G-d sent me suffering by an act of his will and for my good, I should think that I was something, and I should miss the chief use of suffering which is to teach me that I am nothing. It is therefore essential to avoid all such thoughts, but it is necessary to love G-d through the suffering.’

‘I must love being nothing. How horrible it would be if I were something!’

‘Communion is good for the good and bad for the wicked. Hence, damned souls are in paradise, but for them paradise is hell.’

‘To explain suffering is to console it; therefore it must not be explained.’

‘The errors of our time come from Christianity without the supernatural.’

‘Religion in so far as it is a source of consolation is a hindrance to true faith: in this sense atheism is a purification. I have to be atheistic with the part of myself which is not made for G-d. Among those men in whom the supernatural part has not been awakened, the atheists are right and the believers wrong.’

‘Absolutely unmixed attention is prayer.’

‘Truth is sought not because it is truth but because it is good.’

‘Attention alone – that attention which is so full that the ‘I’ disappears – is required of me.’

‘The poet produces the beautiful by fixing his attention on something real. It is the same with the act of love. To know that this man who is hungry and thirsty really exists as much as I do – that is enough, the rest follows of itself.’

‘We must steal away the energy from our desires by taking away from them their temporal orientation.’

‘We can only know one thing about G-d – that he is what we are not.’

‘The recognition of human wretchedness is difficult for whoever is rich and powerful because he is almost invincibly led to believe that he is something. It is equally difficult for the man in miserable circumstances because he is almost invincibly led to believe that the rich and powerful man is something.’

‘Purity is the power to contemplate defilement.’

‘We have to accomplish the possible in order to touch the impossible.’

‘We know by means of our intelligence that what the intelligence does not comprehend is more real than what it does comprehend.’

‘In the intellectual order, the virtue of humility is nothing more nor less than the power of attention.’

‘We must recognize our brother in a stranger, and G-d in the universe.’

‘Every being cries out silently to be read differently.’

‘He who has not been able to become nothing runs the risk of reaching a moment when everything other than himself ceases to exist.’

‘What makes wishes dangerous is the fact that they are granted.’

‘What does it matter that there should never be joy in me since there is perfect joy perpetually in G-d! And the same is true with regard to beauty, intelligence and all things.’

‘Love in the same way as the sun gives light.’

‘This world is the closed door. It is a barrier. And at the same time it is the way through.’

‘Two prisoners whose cells adjoin communicate with each other by knocking on the wall. The wall is the thing which separates them but it is also their means of communication. It is the same with us and G-d. Every separation is a link.’

‘Only he who loves G-d with a supernatural love can look upon means simply as means.’

‘If we are to respect foreign countries, we must make of our own country, not an idol, but a stepping-stone towards G-d.’

‘In everything which gives us the pure authentic feeling of beauty there really is the presence of G-d. There is as it were an incarnation of G-d in the world and it is indicated by beauty.’

‘A great deal of our art is of the devil.’

‘We must always consider men in power as dangerous things.’

‘There can be no personal contact between man and G-d except through the person of the Mediator. Without the latter, G-d can only be present to man collectively, nationally. Israel chose the nation G-d and simultaneously rejected the Mediator; it may, at one time or another, have moved towards true monotheism, but it always fell back on, and was unable not to fall back on, the G-d of the tribe.’

‘Society is the cave. The way out is solitude.’

‘Pharisees: “Verily I say unto you, they have received their reward.” Inversely, Christ could have said of the publicans and prostitutes: “Verily I say unto you, they have received their punishment” – that is to say social reprobation. In so far as they have received this, the Father who is in secret does not punish them. Whereas the sins which are not accompanied by social reprobation receive their full measure of punishment from the Father who is in secret.’

‘Christ is the point of tangency between humanity and G-d.’

‘If we know in what way society is unbalanced, we must do what we can to add weight to the lighter scale.’

‘All ambition is an absence of measure, absurdity.’

‘Obedience to a man whose authority is not illuminated by legitimacy –  that is a nightmare.’

‘We are attached to the present. We manufacture the future in our imagination. Only the past, when we do not remanufacture it, is pure reality.’

‘The master is the slave of the slave in the sense that the slave makes the master.’

‘Workers need poetry more than bread. They need that their life should be a poem. They need some light from eternity.’

‘May the eternal light give, not a reason for living and working, but a sense of completeness which makes the search for any such reason unnecessary.’

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Tired

I’m tired of the social club.

I’m tired of singing cheesy songs.

I’m tired of hearing the same sermon over and over again.

I’m tired of dressing up nice to worship a homeless man.

I’m tired of my tithes going to new carpets and stained glass windows.

I’m tired of Republicans.

I’m tired of abortion and gay marriage.

I’m tired of fake smiles and handshakes.

I’m tired of youth groups and singles groups.

I’m tired of emotionalism.

I’m tired of hearing about heaven and not the hells on earth.

I’m tired of the don’ts: don’t cuss, don’t smoke, don’t drink, don’t have sex.

I’m tired of a community that doesn’t commune.

I’m tired of hierarchy.

I’m tired of slick advertising.

I’m tired of hearing the sinner’s prayer.

I’m tired of not hearing about transformation.

I’m tired of America.

I’m tired of the white middle class.

I’m tired of four walls and a steeple.

I’m tired of judgment and condemnation.

I’m tired of Pharisees.

I’m tired of marriage and materialism.

I’m tired of entertainment.

I’m tired of exclusivity.

I’m tired of hearing only about his death and not his life.

I’m tired of denominations and theology.

I’m tired of pews and pulpits.

I’m tired of revivals.

I’m tired of gossip.

I’m tired of not hearing about his revolution.

I’m tired of legalism.

I’m tired of fire and brimstone.

I’m tired of the end of the world.

I’m tired of an institution.

I’m tired of Sunday school.

I’m tired of puppets.

I’m tired of the prosperity gospel.

I’m tired of cheap evangelism.

I’m tired of offering plates.

I’m tired of programs.

I’m tired of comfort.

I’m tired of feeling far from him in a place where I’m supposed to feel close to him.

I’m tired of religion.

I’m tired of Christianity.

I’m tired of church.

I’m not tired of him.

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