by James Paulin
Pssst! The quiet voice drew Robin Williams’ attention to a small bottle of Jack Daniels behind the counter. It had been thirty years since he had admitted his addiction to alcohol and cocaine. “Just one” came in the next seductive petition. In a split response, he felt confident that he could easily handle and enjoy one drink after all this time and reflection. An even quieter murmur chanted softly “don’t do it”. The first slug went down the hatch, had the desired effect and, at first, the resolve seemed clear to stop right there. That didn’t last long.
Elijah was summoned to the mount before the Lord. The Lord passed by and there was strong wind tearing the mountains and crushing rocks and then an earthquake and then fire but the Lord was in none of these. There came a gentle breeze and the Lord spoke in its whisper.
Two whispers, two different messages, two different results within the confines of the mind and heart calling us to say yes to life or yes to our faults and failures. Addictions are invited friends. Not necessarily good or bad friends but serve to aid or enable or disable us. They usually speak softly telling us to do better or to just give in or up. It takes more than a physical change to make new friends and leave old ones behind. There has to be conviction that one friend loves you more.
Reflection for Sunday August 17, 2014
by Dave O’Donnell
“For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.
Just as you once disobeyed God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, so they have now disobeyed in order that, by virtue of the mercy shown to you, they too may [now] receive mercy.” (Romans, 11:29-32)
This does not speak of a whimsical God who gives mercy only to the best amongst us or only to Christians. It speaks of an irrevocable mercy to all. A reasonable person could conclude that God intents to save everyone.
I’ve heard it said that some theologians have concluded that God intends everyone to be saved and that bishops have told them they can’t say that. Let the theologians and Bishops argue. I’ll take Paul’s word for it.
God’s desire to give mercy to all explains the statement made by Paul that God’s ways and man’s ways are different. When I accept God’s ways, I can only respond who am I to judge?