Five Minutes on Friday #29


Our recent lunar eclipse reminded me of a story I once read about a total eclipse of the sun.  Leading up to the event the media was full of warnings reminding people that they should not look directly at the sun.  Even ordinary sunglasses would not do; you needed to acquire special protective glasses for such viewing.  The warnings kept coming.  Finally a lady wrote to a national newspaper about this.  If the eclipse was so dangerous, she wrote, why were we having one in the first place?



In this time that specializes in labelling and dismissing people, Thomas Merton’s words ring with prophetic truth.

“Do not be too quick to assume that your enemy is an enemy of God just because he is your enemy. Perhaps he is your enemy precisely because he can find nothing in you that gives glory to God.  Perhaps he fears you because he can find nothing in you of God’s love and God’s kindness and God’s patience and mercy and understanding of the weaknesses of men.             Do not be too quick to condemn the man who no longer believes         in God, for it is perhaps your own coldness and avarice, your mediocrity       and materialism, your sensuality and selfishness that have killed his faith.”                                                                             [Thomas Merton]





'Love has its speed. It is a spiritual speed. It is a different kind of speed from the technological       speed to which we are accustomed. It goes on in the depth of our life, whether we notice or not, at three miles an hour. It is the speed we walk and therefore the speed the love of God walks.'      [K. Koyama]

This week we will listen to the report of those among us who went on an MDS assignment to Princeton, B.C. As we chatted informally, I heard in their stories ‘the speed of love.’  Talking to residents whose houses were damaged or destroyed, forging friendships with other volunteers, all takes time and good listening skills – the spiritual speed of three miles an hour!


        14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?

17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.

18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”    [James 2]    - Hard times come again no more