2010 Hopeful Ravings

Therefore, let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.

I am always surprised when a verse mysteriously appears in my head.  It’s nice to know that there is stuff up there for the Holy Spirit to draw upon as he chooses.  I could never recite any verse on command (save perhaps John 3:16), but occasionally, something will break through, demonstrating that something was there to begin with, however remote and untappable.  This particular verse arrived upon rumination about the hope of 2010.  I love New Years, because they provide such a good opportunity to turn the page.  And turning the page on 2009 was something that was a long time coming.  I hope everything about this year vanishes from my memory forever, save the good ones preserved in pictures.

2009 was stressful, and from a spiritual perspective, ugly.  Much of what was thought to have been built on rock turns out to have been built on sand.  I should have known, but I didn’t.  Oh well.  It’s an interesting feeling in some ways, as it leaves me a bit muddled as to what to do and which foot to put forward.  And yet here is 2010, bright, shiny, new and ready for a test drive.  So far, so good.  Resolutions are standing against the tide of sloth and habit.  It may well be that I am not in a state of grace, but at least it’s not for the same old reasons.  All is made new.  Even my list of sins.  Joyous splendor!  Jesus is good.

Therefore, let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.

That could be my life’s caption.  And indeed, though I stand now, I know from a litany of experience that it could literally be that I fall within the next 5 minutes.  Where does the wind blow?  Indeed, I pray she not blow in that direction, because it could be my undoing.  Woe is me, I am a man of unclean lips.  And good many other unclean things.  Shortly after the take heed verse comes this:

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.

Small comfort, that.  It’s good to know that I am not particularly special in this regard, but it’s no real help to think that others are similarly plagued.  However, be encouraged, poor soul, for…

God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Good news!  Gospel!  There is a way out.  It might hurt, but I will be able to endure.  Will I want to endure it?  Will I endure it?  Things are going well?  Take heed, your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lionBe sober.  He is coming!  Better be ready.  And there is the link I was looking for.  I didn’t see it until now.  For prior to the take heed verse, we are warned to not put the Lord to the test, as some of them did.  My Scripture reading this morning was about our Lord’s being put to the test in the desert, for forty days, where one of Our Lord’s rebukes to the devil is, You shall not tempt the Lord your God.  Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, and returned from the wilderness in the power of the Spirit, the devil having been defeated. 

Christmas is almost over.  Lent looms on the not-too-distant horizon.  The trick is to endure until Lent.  Stay sober, be alert, take heed, remain grounded in the resolutions, the rituals, the prayers.  Do not stray off the path.  For the Holy Spirit will soon be driving us into the wilderness, that through an intense period of prayer and fasting, the devil may be overcome and the power of the Spirit, received in baptism, be loosed within us.  In fact, the take heed verse itself provides a clue on how to endure the current times.  Not that prayer and fasting is limited to Lent, of course.  Why not start now too, the fasting part, I mean?  But also, the take heed verse is located within St. Paul’s great Eucharistic passage, where he speaks of supernatural food and supernatural drink, the cup of blessng and the bread which we break.

Stay close to Christ in the Great Sacrament of the Altar, for there is no other name given under heaven by which we may be saved.

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~ by Rob on January 8, 2010.

2 Responses to “2010 Hopeful Ravings”

  1. Amen!

  2. […] verse seems to be the perfect antidote to the previously expressed sentiment that, though I stand, I live in fear of the next set of circumstances that will undo […]

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