Pondering for Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Daily Office Readings for Wednesday after the 3rd Sunday of Easter: Year 2

Psalm 38 Psalm 119:25-48 Exod. 19:16-25 Col. 1:15-23 Matt. 3:13-17

“Take from me the way of lying; let me find grace through your law.” (Psalm 119: 29)

I have learned from a dear friend that leaving out the whole truth is the same as lying. It is the misleading understanding about a situation that you leave with people that you are responsible for.

It sounds very tough and independent to say that you don’t care about what people think of you. And, in some cases, depending on who the person is, it may be okay. There are biblical cases in which God sanctions a lie (Rebecca lying about the identity of Jacob to Isaac; and Rahab lying about the spies of Joshua).

Also there are the cases of lying to save the life of people such as lying to protect human life as in the Underground Railroad and the Holocaust cruelty and murders.  However, in many cases, knowingly allowing a falsehood to exist, only to enhance one’s own image, is the same as straight out lying. It seems especially heinous when done only to protect or promote the status of the liar.  Perhaps the need to remember the lie, and to keep on lying, is worse than the original lie. Mark Twain said, “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” Thanks Mark, I love it.

Today we remember Catherine of Siena, Reformer and Spiritual Teacher (April 29, 1380).  She worked tirelessly to bring the Church back from France to Rome. (The Avignon Papacy, sometimes called the Babylonian Captivity of the Papacy, began when Philip the Fair, King of France, captured Rome and the Pope in 1303).

“Catherine is known (1) as a mystic, a contemplative who devoted herself to prayer, (2) as a humanitarian, a nurse who undertook to alleviate the suffering of the poor and the sick; (3) as an activist, a re-newer of Church and society, who took a strong stand on the issues affecting society in her day, and who never hesitated (in the old Quaker phrase) “to speak truth to power”; (4) as an adviser and counselor, with a wide range of interests, who always made time for troubled and uncertain persons who told her their problems — large and trivial, religious and secular.”  ( by James Kiefer at http://www.satucket.com/lectionary/Catherine_Siena.htm )

I like the “to speak truth to power” part.  It fits with my message for today.

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do.  John

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