Every day, we need to go to our quiet place...

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

December 14, A.D. 2004

Zephaniah 3:1-2,9-13
Psalm 34:2-3,6-7,17-19,23
Matthew 21:28-32

A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:

Today is the feast of St. John of the Cross, the mystical Discalced Carmelite, also named a Doctor of the Church. I have thought hard and long about what St. John would have us meditate on today. Of all the beautiful and memorable and sometimes difficult words he preached, it finally occurred to me, that the only appropriate thoughts would be those contained in Sacred Scripture. After all, the core message of St. John's life was the Gospel message of Jesus; to love God above all things and our neighbor as ourselves. This is the "formula" of John, the "nada" which in reality is no more than the exhortation of Jesus which calls us to renounce everything and to take up our cross daily.

For those of us who fear our ability to bear crosses, the mention of them isn't something we embrace even if in our hearts we know they may be God's will and that He will help us bear them. How then, is St. John's way and that of Jesus supposed to be appealing, convincing?

For those of us who are still not so detached from the things of this earth, it would be well for us to remember that not only did St. John and Jesus preach that salvation is to be won by the Cross, but also that all the created beauty we seek and love is a reflection of God (albeit poor) and that when we possess God, we possess everything.

Pouring out a thousand graces,
He passed these groves in haste;
and having looked at them,
with His image alone,
clothed them in beauty

(from The Spiritual Canticle by St. John of the Cross)

- Donna Nelson, ocds
(drn3rd at hotmail dot com)

Lives of the saints:

Tuesday of the Third Week of Advent
St. John of the Cross, religious, priest, doctor of the Church

Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:


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