Oh, How He Loves Us

Yesterday before Mass started, I was praying for a very difficult situation that my family is going through right now.  It involves watching someone I love dearly who struggles in her walk with the Lord, ride an emotional rollercoaster of choices made on the fly according to how she is feeling at the time.  It’s hard to watch, and grieves us deeply.
I heard The Lord speak very clearly in my spirit “Through this experience, I am going to show you how to really love. You are going to see how I love.”

Fr. Andrew’s homily was about how Christ doesn’t judge us for our past, but chooses to meet us where we are in our now. It challenged me to deal with with my loved one in her now, and quit throwing her yesterday up in justification for my own bitterness and disappointment.  I prayed that God would help me love her with His love, and that she would be irresistibly drawn to His mercy and grace.

After receiving the Eucharist, the worship team sang “Oh, How He Loves Us” and it reduced me to a puddle.  I’ll post a link to the original writer’s rendition, and the lyrics below.

Verse 1:

He is jealous for me
Loves like a hurricane
I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden
I am unaware of these
Afflictions eclipsed by glory
And I realize just how beautiful you are and
How great Your affections are for me

Pre-chorus:
And Oh, How He loves us so
Oh, How He loves us
How He loves us so

Verse 1

Pre-Chorus

Chorus:
He loves us
Whoa, How He loves us
Whoa, How He loves us
Whoa, How He loves
Yeah He loves us
Whoa, How He loves us
Whoa, How He loves us
Whoa, How He loves us

Verse 2:
We are His portion and
He is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean we’re all sinking
So heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss
And my heart turns violently in side of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets
When I think about the way

Chorus

Pre-chorus

Chorus

It is powerful, and I just had such a personal sense of Christ’s presence with me at that moment, and an assurance of His promise to be with me always.

He is jealous for me.  I would never understand this, without the experience I’m in with this beautiful girl.  I get it.  As much as I want her with me, in fellowship with God…THAT is how He feels for me…when he watches me blow it and turn from His face and choose sin…Oh, He is jealous for me…and still, he loves me…and waits for me…and is patient with me.

And now, I am hyper sensitive to His displays of love through my day, and I’m humbled, and a little embarrassed that while I knew, intellectually, that God loves me, how did I miss the depth of that love, and how much deeper it goes, the Bible says eye has not seen nor ear heard, nor has it even ever occurred to the mind of man what God has prepared for those who love Him.  I have a feeling, I’m going for a swim in that ocean of mercy.

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God-shaped hole

You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.  ~St. Augustine of Hippo

St. Augustine hits the nail on the head, doesn’t he?  We all can relate to this if we are honest.

How often we try to satiate our empty place with more emptiness.  We stuff all kinds of harmful things in, hoping to fill it up, only to find that not only are we still unsatisfied, but our empty place has grown larger and darker.

Relationships, jobs, shopping, drugs, television, physical activity, diets…pressing on for the one thing that will satisfy…yet, we are still empty and our conscience is robbed.  Oh, we are experts at justifying and projecting blame, and we may even dance around accountability and responsibility, for the sake of a show, but really, the only one we are fooling is ourselves…and don’t think it can’t happen.  If we lie to ourselves long enough, we will eventually believe the lie, and hate the truth.  How arrogant we are, that we can claim to be the King or Queen of our own universe, when really, we are chained and held captive by our own will.

It’s time to stop feeding the void with more void.

It’s time to show up, own up, grow up, and take responsibility for our choices.  It’s time to quit fooling around, turn around, feet on the ground, and ready to run the race that we were made for.  What are you waiting for?

Fear and Loathing in the Name of Enlightenment

Square Pegs

It’s increasingly clear to quite a few people these days that the most bigoted and intolerant people in our society are the very ones who make a big deal about being against bigotry and intolerance.  They keep using those words.  I do not think they mean what they think they mean.

Case in point: What better way to observe the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11 than by equating the aggressor with the victim.  That is what the author of this article does in quoting the post-9/11 predictions of Hunter S. Thompson:

The towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble, along with all hopes for Peace in Our Time, in the United States or any other country. Make no mistake about it: We are At War now — with somebody — and we will stay At War with that mysterious Enemy for the rest of our lives.

It will be a…

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