Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May 19 – Nearer, Mighty God, to Thee

What a task God set for Himself, to make a “crooked and perverse” people understand that His unfailing righteousness and unbending holiness have taken into account their unbelieving stubbornness!

What the true monastic comes to recognize is that nearness to God, drawing near to the Presence of the Holy One, is the most certain relief from our willfulness, and hearing His Voice in His Word is the certain demise of our unbelief.

Lectio Divina is reading the Word of God, as we have said, at His knee, even at His feet, and in the crook of His arm. While nestled there, in addition to the text we have used as a sample (John 13:17 . . . “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them . . .”) we will read these words as well . . .

“If you do not listen, and if you do not set your heart to honor my name," says the Lord Almighty, "I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not set your heart to honor me.” (Malachi 2:2) Many knees have fled in terror at such passages. They are "terrible," and they are true . . . and they ought to cause us to fall on our faces before this severe God . . . Who loves us so absolutely!

We must not encounter these words “from a distance,” or if we do, we must shrink that distance post haste.

The Mother Abbess might say to the nuns, “What would you say to a loving Father concerning these words? Would you defend yourself? Perhaps you can! Would you admit some failure to honor Him? Perhaps you must. But we are here in this house to walk in all the blessedness of the Son of God Who gave Himself for us, who was made for us a curse, as the Scriptures have clarified. We can all honor Him with our honesty if we have failed in listening and obedience. We can honor him by turning from our wrong directions and turning to Him and learning to cling to His Word and seek His Presence.”

What shall we say, here in Cor Unum, to these words? Let us take up the Word of God today in the Presence of God, rejoicing where we may, repenting where we must, celebrating all that He is and has done, fearing none but Him, asking our questions and offering our thanks and praise. This is “Divine Reading,” and we will see its effect if we will carry on, in the nearness of our Father and God.

"It's Okay . . . You Can Come Out Now!"
photo by Kerry


  1. I loved today's message - and the verses from Hebrews 10:16 & 17 at the top of the page. I found it very interesting that "blesings" could be "cursed". I had never noticed that before. But, it's comforting to know that we can be blessed, we just have to do what we were created to do and honor and praise God. Pretty simple, huh?

  2. Patty, that was really good and insightful of you. I hope that the comfort you realized was portrayed . . . HE is our comfort . . . not just that we haven't blown it somewhere. HE is our shelter when we have . . . HIS is the righteousness that let's us purify our hearts with repentance.

    I think it is simple . . . when we cannot get enough of Him, when His joy is our strength . . . we can be confident that our blessings will bless us, and that those who have cursed us will eventually come "bowing down and acknowledging that He has loved us."
    (Love the book of Isaiah!)


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