Other Writings

The name of the room is Remember — the room where with patience, with charity, with quietness of heart, we remember consciously to remember the lives we have lived…

So much has happened to us all over the years. So much has happened within us and through us. We are to take time to remember what we can about it and what we dare. That’s what entering the room means, I think. It means taking time to remember on purpose. It means not picking up a book for once or turning on the radio, but letting the mind journey gravely, deliberately, back through the years that have gone by but are not gone. It means a deeper, slower kind of remembering; it means remembering as a searching and finding. The room is there for all of us to enter if we choose to, and the process of entering it is not unlike the process of praying, because praying too is a slow, grave journey — a search to find the truth of our own lives at their deepest and dearest, a search to understand, to hear and be heard.

The room called Remember…is a room we can enter whenever we like so that the power of remembering becomes our own power…[it] is a room where all emotions are caught up in and transcended by an extraordinary sense of well-being. It is the room of all rooms where we feel at home and at peace.

Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons, “A Room Called Remember”

This is from another of Buechner’s sermons that has captured my imagination and is still capturing my heart. I don’t enter this room often enough, but the times I do I am blessed, refreshed, and am often given a new perspective that allows me to heal.

I’m posting this today because it resonates with a short-but-moving sermon I heard this morning about the importance of remembering our journeys and God’s faithfulness all along the way.

Grace and peace to you…

dw

It makes one unhappy to judge people and happy to love them.

Day, Dorothy. The Reckless Way of Love: Notes on Following Jesus (Plough Spiritual Guides: Backpack Classics) (pp. 72-73). Plough Publishing House. Kindle Edition.

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I know there is an Accuser
(poor Job didn’t know)
its voice constantly in my ear
always outraged
(thought God was his adversary)
assuming the worst
about everyone and everything
(when God was so proud)
pronouncing judgement
endlessly, monotonously
(of his servant and friend)
until I remember
I’m asked to love, not judge
(that, after accepting his apology)
and my brow relaxes
and the unhappy knot in my head loosens
(that he gave him a tour of the great acts of creation)
and I find myself loving instead of judging,
happy, almost
(culminating in Leviathan sporting on God’s leash)
as my dog,
who loves me without judging me.

dw

Copyright © 2019, becomingflame.com

THERE ARE ALL KINDS OF FEAR, and I certainly pray to be delivered from the fear of my brother; I pray to grow in the love that casts out fear. To grow in love of God and man, and to live by this charity, that is the problem. We must love our enemy, not because we fear war but because God loves him.

Day, Dorothy. The Reckless Way of Love: Notes on Following Jesus (Plough Spiritual Guides: Backpack Classics) (p. 34). Plough Publishing House. Kindle Edition.

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There is Love and there is Fear.

Fear is kin to Envy, Prejudice, Hate, and Violence.

Love is kin to Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

Love and Fear are not kin.
Love and Fear are enemies.

Fear hates Love; Love loves Fear.

Fear would kill Love.
Love would die to save Fear from itself.

dw

Copyright © 2019, becomingflame.com

 

So the soul that hopes in God already belongs to Him, and to belong to Him is the same as to possess Him, since He gives Himself completely to those who give themselves to Him.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island, Sentences on Hope

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We began this series on Hope with Thomas Merton telling us that hope takes everything away from us so that, in the end, we may possess everything. Here he gives us the answer to that riddle:

Hope’s mission is to lead us to the only sure hope, that the God Jesus called ‘Father’ is our God, we are his people, and he takes joy in giving us all that can truly be called Life. Any hope less than this is a distraction, a diminishing of this sure hope, the anchor of our souls.

dw

Copyright © 2018, becomingflame.com

For all who are in that place of pausing to perceive where their Good Shepherd is leading them next: you are practicing hope now so you can help the rest of us when we come to that place again. Grace and peace to you…

In a world where there is so much drudgery, so much grief, so much emptiness and fear and pain, our gladness in our work is as much needed as we ourselves need to be glad. If we keep our eyes and ears open, our hearts open, we will find the place surely. The phone will ring and we will jump not so much out of our skin as into our skin. If we keep our lives open, the right place will find us.

Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons, “The Calling of Voices”

 

Without hope, our faith gives us only an acquaintance with God.  Without love and hope, faith only knows Him as a stranger. For hope casts us into the arms of His mercy and of His providence. If we hope in Him, we will not only come to know that He is merciful but we will experience His mercy in our own lives.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island, Sentences on Hope

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Faith without hope
is a dry throat
swallowing hard
to push down the panic
“What if I am wrong?”

Unless it is
seething hatred
at a world
that has no good news.

Mere acquaintance with God is terrifying.

dw

Copyright © 2019, becomingflame.com

p.s.

This post from last year is a prayer I have prayed over the years, asking the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to help me be more than an acquaintance.