nature abhors a vacuum

Remember the old saying, “Nature abhors a vacuum.”  Very true!

In today’s Gospel, Jesus talks about expelling demons in our lives and creating a vacuum.

“When an unclean spirit goes out of someone, it roams through arid regions searching for rest but, finding none, it says, ‘I shall return to my home from which I came.’ But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order.  Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there, and the last condition of that man is worse than the first.”

Men and women in Twelve Step programs talk about the necessity of replacing the drug of their choice with healthy substitutions; otherwise, they run the risk of falling back into their addictive habits.  Not only do they run the risk of going back, but they may well find themselves doing things that they never imagined that they would do.  Addiction is progressive.  Men and women never just stay at a certain level.  They either develop new ways of living or they go back with a vengeance.  Nature abhors a vacuum!

Followers of this blog may think that the above applies only to those dealing with drugs, alcohol or sex but it also applies to food, TV, Internet, sports, shopping, work, chocolate, nicotine, anger, resentments, caffeine … you name it!   Anything that is obsessive and controls us falls into the category. Nature abhors a vacuum.  What we need to do is fill the vacuum with good, healthy, life-giving substitutes.

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Posted in Addictive behavior, Christian Faith, General Interests, Spirituality, Today's Scripture Readings, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

the virtue of persistence

In today’s Gospel, Luke 11:5-13, we hear Jesus say:

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

Persistence…..the virtue of persistence!

Jesus tells us that if we persist in humbly going to Him and presenting our needs, He will respond – perhaps not in the way that we would like but ultimately in the way that will be best for us. Jesus asks us to be persistent and to trust Him. Our problem is that we often approach Him on our terms.  Jesus only responds in His way and in His time. – but for our good even though it may not be apparent at the time.

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Have you reason to be angry with God?

In today’s first reading, Jonah 4:1-11, Jonah is angry with God.

The people of Nineveh were sinners.  At God’s command, Jonah went, against his will, to preach a message of conversion to the people.  He told them that God would destroy them if they did not repent.  To his horror, they repented, and God did not destroy them.  Jonah was angry with God because God did not carry out His threat to destroy them.  God challenged Jonah:  “Have you reason to be angry?” God asks Jonah because God is merciful.

Could God not pose the same question to you and to me? I know that I have reacted negatively at times when good things happen to people that I don’t like or even worse when good things happen to people that I consider to be sinners – and these could be public figures like politicians/movie stars, etc., or even people that I know personally. Have I ever resented the fact that God is a God of mercy? How often do I need to remember that the mercy God shows to others, God also shows to me!

 

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can’t run away from the Lord!

Jonah 1:1-2:2, 11, tells us the fascinating story of Jonah and the whale.

The word of the Lord comes to Jonah:  “Set out for the great city of Nineveh and preach against it; their wickedness has come up before me.” Jonah wants nothing to do with this!  Jonah knows what happens to prophets!  “Jonah made ready to flee to Tarshish away from the Lord.” He paid for passage on a ship.  A violent storm arose which threatened to sink the ship. The crew found out that Jonah was running away from the Lord and threw him overboard where he was swallowed by a whale.  After spending three days in the belly of the whale, he was spat out by the whale onto the shore.  With reluctance, he accepted the will of the Lord and went to Nineveh.

Sound familiar?  We may not find ourselves in the belly of a whale, but we have all tried to run away from the Lord – each in our own way.  In the Lord’s time; in His own way, even  though we may be reluctant, He brings us to Himself.

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don’t want to get out of bed???

I was exhausted when I went to bed last night.  I had an ok sleep.  I didn’t need to be up early so I decided that I would have a natural rise.  Went to bed at 11:30 PM and woke up at 7 AM.  Not bad for me.  But I didn’t want to get out of bed.  In fact, I just lay there for another 10-15 minutes.  Then words of my long deceased mother came to mind:  “Si ont arrette de marcher, ont est fini!”  My mother in her French-Canadien dialect.  Translated, it means:  If you stop walking, you are finished.  Further translated:  If you don’t choose to get up and function, you will waste your life away and die if not actually physically then certainly emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, etc. I quickly got out of bed!

In recent years, I have recalled my mother’s words especially when I don’t feel up to functioning.  My mother was right.  We need to make choices to function on a regular basis; otherwise, we run the risk of not living. We  die on many levels.

Posted in General Interests, Human behavior, Spirituality, Uncategorized | 3 Comments