God with us.” I think that’s what God had in mind, for Jesus to be present, to just be with us. It’s also what He has in mind for us when it comes to other people.
At what point, 2,000 years on from the life of Jesus, do we need a refresher course? Another 2,000 years? Imagine 100,000 years’ time – would the story of Moses’ burning bush amaze a generation laden with unimaginable scientific and technological wonders? Here lies religion’s biggest quandary. While science is squeezing the life out of God, how is religion going to muster a counterattack from here?
At one point, I began to think that I had a divine doorman. Lenny was the most unlikely incarnation of God I could imagine, and yet, I kept drifting irresistibly towards this absurd conclusion. Despite my staunchly atheistic inclinations, I couldn't explain Lenny any other way. But eventually I came to my senses and realized that he was just one of those game show freaks with an encyclopedic memory. That didn't make him God, did it? Would God proclaim so regularly how much he likes Patsy's Pizza?
God can communicate to us through powerful feelings. They have an energy that impels us to action. They grip our mind and will not let us go. What is calling you? What has the voice of God been whispering to you through the desires of your heart? To what are you drawn and constantly compelled to do? It could be that God is opening the eyes of your heart to see something that no one else is seeing, and to do something that others aren’t doing. If that is true, then move forward and let God worry about the how.
How can we distinguish what is biologically determined from what people merely try to justify through biological myths? A good rule of thumb is ‘Biology enables, Culture forbids.’ Biology is willing to tolerate a very wide spectrum of possibilities. It’s culture that obliges people to realize some possibilities while forbidding others. Biology enables women to have children – some cultures oblige women to realize this possibility. Biology enables men to enjoy sex with one another – some cultures forbid them to realize this possibility. Culture tends to argue that it forbids only that which is unnatural. But from a biological perspective, nothing is unnatural. Whatever is possible is by definition also natural. A truly unnatural behavior, one that goes against the laws of nature, simply cannot exist.
What we must think about is an agriculture with a human face. We must give standing to the new pioneers, the homecomers bent on the most important work for the next century - a massive salvage operation to save the vulnerable but necessary pieces of nature and culture and to keep the good and artful examples before us. It is time for a new breed of artists to enter front and center, for the point of art, after all, is to connect. This is the homecomer I have in mind: the scientist, the accountant who converses with nature, a true artist devoted to the building of agriculture and culture to match the scenery presented to those first European eyes.
You didn’t warn us about this, Readier,’ said Stowley resentfully.Gilt waved his hands. ‘We must speculate to accumulate!’ he said. ‘The Post Office? Trickery and sleight of hand. Oh, von Lipwig is an ideas man, but that’s all he is. He’s made a splash, but he’s not got the stamina for the long haul. Yet as it turns out he will do us a favour. Perhaps we have been . . . a little smug, a little lax, but we have learned our lesson! Spurred by the competition we are investing several hundred thousand dollars—’‘Several hundred?’ said Greenyham.Gilt waved him into silence, and continued: ‘—several hundred thousand dollars in a challenging, relevant and exciting systemic overhaul of our entire organization, focusing on our core competencies while maintaining full and listening co-operation with the communities we are proud to serve. We fully realize that our energetic attempts to mobilize the flawed infrastructure we inherited have been less than totally satisfactory, and hope and trust that our valued and loyal customers will bear with us in the coming months as we interact synergistically with change management in our striving for excellence. That is our mission.’An awed silence followed.
I don’t know.” The brothers had begging, hungry looks, like dogs waiting to be fed. They wanted an answer. It would be nice if it was the right answer, but if it couldn’t be, then any answer would do, because then we would stop being worried...and then his mind caught alight.That’s what the gods are! An answer that will do! Because there’s food to be caught and babies to be born and life to be lived and so there is no time for big, complicated, and worrying answers! Please give us a simple answer, so that we don’t have to think, because if we think, we might find answers that don’t fit the way we want the world to be.
We must be willing to accept the bitter truth that, in the end, we may have to become a burden to those who love us. But it is necessary that we face this also. The full acceptance of our abjection and uselessness is the virtue that can make us and others rich in the grace of God. It takes heroic charity and humility to let others sustain us when we are absolutely incapable of sustaining ourselves. We cannot suffer well unless we see Christ everywhere, both in suffering and in the charity of those who come to the aid of our affliction.
What is "grace"? It is God's own life, shared by us. God's life is love. Deus caritas est. By grace we are able to share in the infinitely selfless love of Him Who is such pure actuality that He needs nothing and therefore cannot conceivably exploit anything for selfish ends. Indeed, outside of Him there is nothing, and whatever exists exists by His free gift of its being, so that one of the notions that is absolutely contradictory to the perfection of God is selfishness.
We are what we love. If we love God, in whose image we were created, we discover ourselves in him and we cannot help being happy: we have already achieved something of the fullness of being for which we were destined in our creation. If we love everything else but God, we contradict the image born in our very essence, and we cannot help being unhappy, because we are living a caricature of what we are meant to be.
I used to think that when people fell in love, they just landed where they landed, and they had no choice in the matter afterward. And maybe that’s true of beginnings, but it’s not true of this, now.I fell in love with him. But I don’t just stay with him by default as if there’s no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day that we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me.
I laugh, and it’s laughter, not light, that casts out the darkness building within me, that reminds me I am still alive, even in this strange place whereeverything I’ve ever known is coming apart. I know some things—I know that I’m not alone, that I have friends, that I’m in love. I know where I came from. I know that I don’t want to die, and for me, that’s something—more than I could have said a few weeks ago.
Since we are nothing but packages of tepid, half-rotted viscera, we shall always have trouble with sentiment. Being in love is nothing, it’s sticking together that’s difficult. Faeces on the other hand make no attempt to endure or to grow. On this score we are far more unfortunate than shit: our frenzy to persist in our present state — that’s the unconscionable torture.
When I was a child, an angel came to say,A true friend is coming my warrior to sweep you away,It won’t be easy the path because it leads through hell,But if you’re faithful, it will be the greatest story to tell,You will move God’s daughters to a place of hope,Your story will teach everyone there is nothing they can’t cope,You will suffer a lot, but not one tear will you waste,Because for all that you do for me, you will be graced,For I am bringing you someone that wants to travel your trail,Someone you already met when you passed through heaven’s veil,A warrior, a friend that whispers your heart’s song,Someone that will run with you and pull your spirit along,Don’t you see the timing was love's fated throw,Because I put you both there to help one another grow,I am the writer of all great stories your chapters were written by me,You suffered, you cried because I needed you to see,That your faith in my ending goes far beyond two,It was going to change more hearts than both of you knew,So hush my child and wait for my loving hand,The last chapter is not written and still in the sand,It is up to you to finish, before the tide washes it away,All that is in your heart, I’ve put their for you to say,This is not about winning, loss or pain,I made you the way you are because true love stories are insane,I wrote you in heaven as I sat on its sandy shore,You know with all of my heart I loved you both more,There is no better ending two people seeing each other's heart,Together your spirits will never drift apart,Because two kindred spirits is what I made you to be,The waves and beach crashing together because of-- ME.
That’s for me!” I already had a grim view of existence, so there was no problem there. I was and am agoraphobic, so being reclusive was a snap. The only challenge was whether or not I could actually write horror stories. So I studied fiction writing and wrote every day for years and years until I started to get my stories accepted by small press magazines. I’m not comparing myself to Lovecraft as a person or as a writer, but the rough outline of his life gave me something to aspire to. I don’t know what would have become of me if I hadn’t discovered Lovecraft.
I have no idea how long Quisser was gone from the table. My attention became fully absorbed by the other faces in the club and the deep anxiety they betrayed to me, an anxiety that was not of the natural, existential sort but one that was caused by peculiar concerns of an uncanny nature. What a season is upon us, these faces seemed to say. And no doubt their voices would have spoken directly of certain peculiar concerns had they not been intimidated into weird equivocations and double entendres by the fear of falling victim to the same kind of unnatural affliction that had made so much trouble in the mind of the art critic Stuart Quisser. Who would be next? What could a person say these days, or even think, without feeling the dread of repercussion from powerfully connected groups and individuals? I could almost hear their voices asking, "Why here, why now?" But of course they could have just as easily been asking, "Why not here, why not now?" It would not occur to this crowd that there were no special rules involved; it would not occur to them, even though they were a crowd of imaginative artists, that the whole thing was simply a matter of random, purposeless terror that converged upon a particular place at a particular time for no particular reason. On the other hand, it would also not have occurred to them that they might have wished it all upon themselves, that they might have had a hand in bringing certain powerful forces and connections into our district simply by wishing them to come. They might have wished and wished for an unnatural evil to fall upon them but, for a while at least, nothing happened. Then the wishing stopped, the old wishes were forgotten yet at the same time gathered in strength, distilling themselves into a potent formula (who can say!), until one day the terrible season began. Because had they really told the truth, this artistic crowd might also have expressed what a sense of meaning (although of a negative sort), not to mention the vigorous thrill (although of an excruciating type), this season of unnatural evil had brought to their lives.("Gas Station Carnivals")
What messes us up a lot in this life is setting our expectations way too high and then being ashamed when we fail. What is worse is when we allow other people to make us feel ashamed for failing. What is worse than that is hiding and lying about our failure. It’s ok to fail, especially when it’s a significant life change and you gotta stand up for that right in this life.
Katniss: I’m coming back into focus when Caesar asks him if he has a girlfriend back home. Peeta: (Gives an unconvincing shake of head.)Caesar: Handsome lad like you. There must be some special girl. Come on, what’s her name?Peeta: Well, there is this one girl. I’ve had a crush on her ever since I can remember. But I’m pretty sure she didn’t know I was alive until the reaping.Caesar: She have another fellow?Peeta: I don’t know, but a lot of boys like her.Caesar: So, here’s what you do. You win, you go home. She can’t turn you down, eh?Peeta: I don’t think it’s going to work out. Winning… won’t help in my case.Caesar: Why ever not?Peeta: Because… because… she came here with me.Caesar: Oh, that is a piece of bad luck.Peeta: It’s not good.Caesar: Well, I don’t think any of us can blame you. It’d be hard not to fall for that young lady. She didn’t know?Peeta: Not until now.
In Ephesians 5, Paul shows us that even on earth Jesus did not use his power to oppress us but sacrificed everything to bring us into union with him. And this takes us beyond the philosophical to the personal and the practical. If God had the gospel of Jesus's salvation in mind when he established marriage, then marriage only 'works' to the degree that approximates the pattern of God's self-giving love in Christ.