September 23, 2010 § 1 Comment
You might actually be working in the vineyard already. All it takes is an open heart. A heart open to wonder. A heart open to suffering: One’s own suffering and the suffering of others. A grateful heart.
This blog is pondering the priesthood of the faithful. The inner priesthood which was already in evidence in the psalms.
September 6, 2010 § 2 Comments
I once wrote a story for a patient called The Garden. It was really a story about therapy – about doing therapy. About wanting each person to grow according to their inner heart. But now it strikes me that the Priesthood of our Baptism is like that too. That we are planted in the Vineyard. With no uniform blueprint for growth. (…though many long for it…) But that our God is like the Gardener in my story. Trying to help each of us – individually, uniquely – to recover from woes and sins we have either endured or inflicted. That the Garden or the Vineyard, the Kingdom of God, is a place of healing, a place to find the Compassion of God and the Heart of our (Be)longing.
Like the words of St. John Chrysostom, which so struck me when I first read them at my new parish. Which, indeed, called to me and taught me of Orthodoxy:
Enter into the church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed again to enter the church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent.
Hospital. And that makes me think of Hospitality. Which makes me think of the Rublev Icon of the Trinity. Of Abraham offering hospitality. Of God’s love being so great he created a world and progressively revealed The Divine Life animating all that is and has been and will be. And in this Hospital – this place of healing and mutual service – we are invited to become not just co-workers grafted into Christ but Partakers of Divine Life itself.
September 5, 2010 § Leave a comment
‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower.2He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes* to make it bear more fruit.
September 3, 2010 § 4 Comments
from Psalm 102
12 But you, O Lord, are enthroned for ever;
your name endures to all generations.
13 You will rise up and have compassion on Zion,
for it is time to favour it;
the appointed time has come.
14 For your servants hold its stones dear,
and have pity on its dust.
15 The nations will fear the name of the Lord,
and all the kings of the earth your glory.
16 For the Lord will build up Zion;
he will appear in his glory.
17 He will regard the prayer of the destitute,
and will not despise their prayer.
And what is this prayer? Our sacred task?
Implore God for the renewal of your hearts and minds; invoke His grace for the salvation of every human person, even – and especially – the least of our brothers and sisters (Mt 25:45); and pray fervently for the transfiguration of the whole world, to the last speck of dust.
August 30, 2010 § 3 Comments
‘I have heard my people’s cry ~ I know their sufferings’
‘Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’
You desire truth in the inward being;
therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.
[Stained Glass ~ Moses and the Burning Bush – by Sam Nachum]