doctrine

 

The devil believes in God but he has no God. The Lord is not his God…the damned have confirmed themselves in the belief that they cannot hope in God.

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

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I spent many years believing in God, but not hoping in him. Oh, doctrinally, yes, of course I “hoped” in God: it was the right thing to do. Doctrinally correct, and I could site chapter and verse to back it up. But there is an imposter for hope that is grim and cynical and never really expects, never really hopes, that any good will come. God is not really good, doesn’t really love me – all that is beyond hope.

Believe me, I’ve been there, and am so grateful I’m not there now. Over many years, gradually letting my grip loosen about being “right”, I find I am wrong and loved – both. It’s no longer up to me earning something; it’s about coming to know that God cherishes me and will lead me like a parent leads a little child. And hope awakens, softness awakens, love awakens. It’s not a buried treasure I will never find; it’s right there in my hand if I want to grasp it, the hand of God reaching for mine.

Grace and peace and hope to you…

dw

Copyright © 2019, becomingflame.com

 

If I believe that He can love me, I must also believe that I can love Him. If I do not believe I can love Him, then I do not believe Him Who gave us the first commandment: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and thy whole mind and all thy strength, and thy neighbor as thyself.”

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

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The system of church doctrine I learned and lived under for too long told me I was incapable of loving God.  I’m beginning to believe, instead, that those who preach such doctrines are the ones incapable of loving God or of admitting that many people, in fact, do.  Their own systematic theology keeps them from the experience they need and long for.  My prayer: Lord, give us all the simple love and courage of Mary, sister of Martha, who chose “the good portion” – sitting at your feet, loving you with all her heart.

dw

Copyright © 2019, becomingflame.com