01 marzo 2015

"Real Prayer Is Falling in Love"

Hello there, my friends.

It's been absolutely eons since I last posted here, and so much has happened in the world.

Much of it, to do with Religion, and the insidious ways that these man-made systems convince some of us to look down upon and hate the rest of us.

ISIS, Charlie Hebdo, the Copenhagen shootings, the Coptic Christian martyrs in Libya... the list goes on and on.

All of this to promote a certain group's "Checklist" of prohibitions and rules, devised to clearly separate the righteous from the apostate. And always, always focused on outward shows of piety that many are now adopting in the world, not out of devotion to God, but sheer terror.

How much we need peace in these days.

And there is one, simple act that gives birth to peace: prayer.

Based on an intimate Relationship with the Creator, not out of fear, obligation or tired tradition, but out of deep, personal love.

The heart of the Father is open.
Jesus is the Door and prayer is the Key.
Prayer with such an Intimate God (Who calls Himself "Immanuel, God with us") ceases to be a burden and becomes instead a Living Conversation. One that is so intimate that Jesus told us to always commune with His Father with the door shut, just the two of you in secret, together.

As we prepare for the coming Easter celebration, moving up through forty days to Palm Sunday, I have felt myself attracted to a practice of prayer called "Examen".

Originally a spiritual discipline created by Ignatius of Loyola, a series of new videos created by the movement 24-7 Prayer brings this Relationship-based praying to life.

As Alain Emerson so touchingly observes in the short video segment below, "real prayer is falling in love" with the One Who made the stars, knows your every need and longs desperately for an intimate relationship with you, His Son or Daughter.

I hope you enjoy these reflections and that they bring you Peace in this troubled World.

27 octubre 2014

Dream Barcelona · No pares nunca de soñar

Existe una nueva comunidad en Internet que seguramente interesará
a muchos de los lectores habituales de este blog.

Según la biografía publicada en sus canales de Twitter
y en Facebook, "Dream Barcelona" pretende:

"...abrir una ventana para que entre la luz.
Para que
 sople una brisa suave, fresca y esperanzadora,
llena del amor que siente Dios por la Comunidad GLBT.

EBarcelona... y en toda España."

Les damos la bienvenida desde aquí, con los brazos abiertos.
De hecho, ya compartimos contenidos ;-)

Nos identificamos con su visión, nada más y nada menos
que el mensaje original de Jesús.

Créditos foto: David Vance

17 septiembre 2014

The Lost Message · El mensaje perdido

"The Second Mile", from Journeys with the Messiah, by Michael Belk

Is Religion truly an opium?
A drug that robs human beings of clear vision, humanity, and dignity?

The rise of the radical Islamic terrorist movement ISIS (IS)
and its affiliates around the world shows us precisely how poisonous
and dangerous man-made religious systems are.

And that they have absolutely nothing to do with God.

These murderers have gone on killing sprees so bloody,
so surrealistically sadistic that suddenly, the dark smokestacks of Ausschwitz
seem to be belching their infernal fumes over us once again.

Beheadings, even of children. Crucifixions. Robbery and extorsion.
Sexual slavery and perversion. The list goes on and on, all "in the Name of God".

How should we respond?  Is there any way to stop these monsters,
to "cure" the fever of this religious madness?

Jesus' own message of self-sacrifice and radical love
seems to leap off the pages these days:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.  Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away." ~ Matthew 5:38-42

 Yet, as Alice Su admits in her excellent article:

"How do Christians respond to terrorism?
My church answers falter.

'Love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you.'
OK, but really?

What if I were Iraqi or Syrian or Gazan?
What if the Islamic State crucified my father?
What if an Israeli bomb blew my family into pieces?

What if everyone I loved was hit
with chemical weapons?

I meet person after person for whom this is reality.
I wonder what I can say to them.
I write down their stories.
I cry. I want to vomit. I turn to God."

I will be reflecting more on these questions, and on the truly
"Lost Message" of Jesus in upcoming posts.

18 abril 2014

Synthetic Resurrections in the Digital Age

Today is Good Friday, a day which always takes me down a meditative path.

It is a dark trail that leads me into an awareness of human suffering, desperate loss and mind-numbing grief. A darkness, a pain, that drives me straight to the Cross.

By pure coincidence today, I found myself watching a very moving episode of British Channel Four's celebrated series, "Black Mirror".

In Be Right Back, a young woman grapples with staggering grief and loss; out of that pain, she reaches for a surprising comfort: the Powers of the Digital Age.

Watch the trailer

If writer Charlie Brooker is correct, our new-found god-like abilities based on software algorithms, a constant matrix of recorded digital video, and amazing medical advances will lead us to "conquer death" in new ways in the very near future.

(Watch the video above, if you don't believe me.)

Synthetic Resurrections in this Brave New World will make it possible for us to connect with deceased loved ones as never before. Death frightens us, Loss enrages us. The sudden Disappearance of one we loved leaves a wound some never see heal.

So, will we be justified in seeking Eternal Life on our own terms?
Are we really Masters of our own digital destinies?

Or, might a truer hope be found in the well-documented case of a true flesh-and-blood Resurrection? The triumph of One who promises hope and meaning in this lifetime, and eternal life to all who lose their lives for His sake, in order to find it?

The Last Supper, by David LaChapelle

Do our synthetic gods truly deliver what they promise?
Or is there perhaps more?


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