Sometime ago I put in my blog quotes from Heschel, one of the most famous orthodox Jewish sages of the 20th century, who left Europe right before the Holocaust and lives in New York City most of the rest of his life. Here is something else I found provocative (writing about how the orthodox rabbis are mocked by other Jews for paying so much attention to details):
"The poetry of rigorism jars on the ears of the cynic. But, perhaps, the question of what benediction to pronounce upon a certain type of food, the problem of matching the material with the spiritual, is more important than is generally imagined."
"Man has not advanced very far from the coast of chaos. A frantic call to disorder shrieks in the world. Where is the power that can offset the effect of that alluring call? The world cannot remain a vacuum. We are all either ministers of the sacred or slaves of evil. The only safeguard against constant danger is constant vigilance, constant guidance."
Another instance came up this week. For various reasons I had a conflict with the moral views of a medical doctor in the parish in North Carolina. He is presently the doctor of the daughter in remission from cancer but still with great pain from other ailments. My daughter told me that he told the parish priest to pray more for Carla since she was suffering so much. He also begged one of the pharmacists who had left work and was cooking dinner to come back and give Carla’s husband the medicine she needed for pain on Saturday night so she wouldn’t have to wait until Monday.
thoughts I allegedly received from the Holy Spirit in the summer of 2008. (For an explanation of how to judge such thoughts, see my blog here of 12/18/2014.)
June 2, 2008 6:30 AM
You would like it to be all the good part: the long understandings from proximity through the generations; the physical closeness; the built-up gratitude for all the helps. We understand that, after all, we created the family. But, then, there are the swift judgments born of long knowledge; the resistance to compromise as each digs in with prideful self-defense; the love dished out in spoonsful that more be not demanded. And from this you flee back to friendship love, lighter, less painful but less primordial, less of the gut.
We understand, We created friendship. You hope your own marriage and children would have all the best of family and friendship; in the image and likeness of what was best in your past families, but free from all the tangled grief and disappointments. We don’t dash your hope. We wanted, by Our grace, to transform everything natural, through supernatural virtues and gifts into its best form. Each time anyone in the family opens to grace there is more love, more joy, more peace. Each time one in the family closes the heart to the others and to us, there is less love, joy and peace. We urge you into the arms of forgiveness, to heal the rifts, and to make new beginnings. Even when on earth the bonds break, we aim for final restoration in our home, which is called heaven.
You are ambivalent about closeness. Sometimes two of you can work together, your gifts complementing each other, but very often to try to do things together is to clash; each one slowed down by the resistance of the other, such as trying to put the collar on the cat’s head while she is trying to keep it off. You transfer this ambivalence to your relationship to Us. You think if you get closer to the Father He will try to make you do what doesn’t fit your personality, as your human fathers sometimes did. You think if you get closer to God the Son you will be crucified; you think if you let Me guide you moment by moment My fire will burn up all your own precious goals.
“The greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)
Means and Ends
You become insecure often because you make means into ends. These messages are a means, not an end. Think of St. Faustina, told that the new order would be founded before she died. (It wasn’t physically founded but it was spiritually founded and then started after her death.) We propose a means and if you accept, we move with that, but if there is too big an obstacle, then we try another means. Other possibilities are other means for furthering the end, which is union with Us. So, you must become closer to Us right now and not cling to specific means. The messages are good means, but they might not go on the rest of your life. Jesus wasn’t on earth until the end of time!
We understand that you cling to a means because you experience closeness to Us through it or you think you will get closer through it. That is fine, but We don’t want you to be frightened if there is a change.
(Ronda: But the sacraments and the Church aren’t just changeable means, are they?)
No, they are Us. However, we also work through other paths as John Paul II explained in Threshold of Hope with the Catholic Church being the direct beam of light to the world but other rays off it participating in that light. “That all may be one.” (John 17:11)
You cannot help wishing for rest from the combat and you are startled to
have to go back to the battlefield when you thought that victory was won. Only in heaven will that battle be over. On earth, how can you win at all if your guard is down? If you don’t call for reinforcements? That doesn’t mean that you need to be tense. More that you must be aware. The sign that the enemy is near is that sense of disequilibrium; unexpected hostile winds; change of moods in those usually friendly. But your weapon is not the sword, or the shield; but sacraments and prayer; unexpected love piercing through another’s defenses as we pierce through yours. All these weapons we give you for free, for we are an army of liberation; liberation from your fear and theirs. “You know not the day nor the hour.”( Revelation: 3:3)