Monday, June 02, 2008


Obedience is a concept which is not very popular. For some reason we think only in terms of constraints rather than the freedom we gain. Here in the USA an popular expression is "I'm keeping my options open." The net effect of this, as i see it, is that one doesn't commit to anything and in waiting for something better to come along, truly fails to experience anything.

Is a train free to run anywhere it wants? Or does it do much better when limited to tracks where it can go a very long way indeed? Humans were created to be in relationship with God. There are those things which increase or decrease that relationship.

I think of obedience as a way to increase the relationship. It's His love which draws us to Him and love is something to cherish and protect. Just as in a relationship between 2 people, some things increase and others diminish or even damage the love they share, so this is also true of the love we share with God. We can increase, diminish or even damage our love for Him.

Obedience to His will, His commandments, replacing our wills in favor of His are all what will cause our love for God to grow and flourish.

What could possibly be a better option?


June 2: Blandina and the Martyrs of Lyons A Meditation

Grant, O Lord, that we who keep the feast of the holy martyrs Blandina
and her companions may be rooted and grounded in love of you, and may
endure the sufferings of this life for the glory that shall be
revealed in us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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Ever since I realized that my birthday was also a saint's day, these
saints have had particular meaning for me. Their story, as is the
story of all martyrs, is terrible to read. It must have been horrible
to endure. That Blandina and her companions were fed to the wild
animals on June 2, 177 is documented in secular as well as Christian
literature. Events really did happen as told. It is not myth, legend
or folk tale but the very truthful account of the hideous deaths of
people who refused to forsake the name of Jesus.

I am really quite up front about having a mental illness. After all,
it is not my fault that I was born with a defect in the way my brain
works. I am this way because there are even to this day, Christians
and others who still associate some sort of stigma to mental illness.
I don't know if this is because of their own personal fear of
contagion, ignorance due to misinformation received or taught or, in
some cases, just plain nastiness.

While i more often than not fail to live up to their example, Blandina
and her companions have been role models for me. They surely did not
want to be eaten by "fierce wild beasts" just as I have not wanted to
be eaten by my own fierce wild beast. But they endured and were
rewarded with the healing embrace of our Lord and Savior.

All of us face our own fierce wild beast of some kind or other. Each
can be hideous to endure. Let us remember that Jesus already enfolds
us in His arms, that we are not alone. We not only have Him, but the
company of everyone else He also embraces, seen and unseen.

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