My morning nourishment before breakfast

I start the day with several email Newsletters. I recommend any (or all) to you. There are many more that I don’t subscribe to – one can’t have it all! Today, all of them seem to dancing around a common theme, which I would articulate as:

Unwelcome Change and/or
Necessary Transformation

As my first course of spiritual nourishment before breakfast today, I opened Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation, which never fails to give me something substantial to chew on. Today, in response to the multiple challenges of life and living in the worldwide danger, uncertainty, and unrest of the present moment, he’s reflecting on change, not as we may desire it, but as it confronts us uninvited and often unwelcome.

We will normally do anything to keep the old thing from falling apart, yet this is when we need patience and guidance, and the freedom to let go instead of tightening our controls and certitudes. . . . While change can force a transformation, spiritual transformation always includes a disconcerting reorientation. It can either help people to find new meaning or it can force people to close down and slowly turn bitter. The difference is determined precisely by the quality of our inner life, our practices, and our spirituality.

The word change normally refers to new beginnings. But the mystery of transformation more often happens not when something new begins, but when something old falls apart. The pain of something old falling apart—chaos—invites the soul to listen at a deeper level, and sometimes forces the soul to go to a new place. Most of us would never go to new places in any other way. The mystics use many words to describe this chaos: fire, dark night, death, emptiness, abandonment, trial, the Evil One. Whatever it is, it does not feel good and it does not feel like God.

Read it all, explore the Center for Action and Contemplation website, and subscribe here.

The kind of change that forces transformation is never welcome, and often unexpected, disconcerting, and painful. Look at the experience of Job. No matter how hard he tried to escape, God’s expansive love overtook him, and he became an instrument of God’s love even in spite of his own hatred and negativity.

Then I turned to something a little sweeter, Treats for the Soul. Fr. Medard Laz, the author, is my age and his life has been a whirlwind of the Spirit’s movement. In his active retirement, he continues to write and be involved in many things. I love his perspective. Today he approaches this theme of change and transformation from a different, equally challenging perspective. Again, it all depends on how one looks at things.

We’ve all heard the old adage, “Life is what you make it!” Someone once said, “Life is 10% what you make it and 90% how you take it.”

How do you take life? Life’s up and downs? It’s lonely times? It’s months of quarantine and isolation?

Sometimes when I am at a mall, I’ll ride the escalator to get up and down the floors. Once in a while the escalator breaks down and they have to put the “Out of Order”sign in from of it.

A while back I encountered an escalator that was not running. It had an interesting sign in front of it: “This Escalator is Temporarily a Stairway.”

Life is 10% what you make it and 90% how you take it. Is the escalator out of order or is it a stairway? I think this is especially what has been happening during the coronavirus pandemic.
. . .
Corrie ten Boom, who was imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp, has said, “Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength – carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, it empties today of its strength.”

Read it all, explore his website, and subscribe here.

Finally, the “Daily Dig” from Plough, has Anna Mow’s wise advice from her “So Who’s Afraid of Birthdays?”

The healthy body is being constantly renewed. This is just as true mentally and spiritually. There is so much in God’s Word about renewal of life that it is strange that any conscientious Christian would be afraid of change in his outlook on life or even in his religious ideas. Of course, the fear is that change would mean loss of faith, but this is never true if the faith is in the living God and not in one’s ideas of God. God never changes, but our minds must be open to new knowledge or grow stagnant. When we quit growing we begin to die. Renewal can come to anyone at any time by turning to God in faith.

Thus fortified, I’m ready for the day.

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