Anyway, I finally (quite late) was able to settle in and read further in Micah. Moving into Chapter 7, I had to laugh when I found the following written:
1 What misery is mine!After relating that litany of "misery" and then reading the verse about "misery," I had to admit that my life, by comparison to what befell the Israelis (even if admittedly through their own fault much of the time), is full of joy, not misery. After all, I did find a cab (was not left abandoned or on foot), and I did find a bed (albeit at the wrong hotel).
I am like one who gathers summer fruit
at the gleaning of the vineyard;
there is no cluster of grapes to eat,
none of the early figs that I crave.
Reading: Micah 7:1
Meditation: I am going to move away from the literal text of Micah and reflect on my position as an American. Times are difficult, especially economically, in the United States, and while I have not been affected as severely as most people, my friends, family, and I have not been left untouched. Still, it is a matter of degree and of comparison, as well as of expectation. Most Americans (with some exceptions) are in better shape than people in some of the third-world countries I have visited. Yet, it seems that it is human nature to want more than we have and to blame God for not taking care of us when our lot in life changes. (Makes one think of Job and how he continued to praise God, no matter what. That is hard to do, isn't it?)
I have been worried about two friends who recently have ended up in financially difficult situations. Both strong believers, they have seen their faith tested by this unexpected, rapid, and severe reverse in fortunes. I would like to be able to help them, but they have pulled away from those with faith and have indicated a desire to "handle" their situation on their own. Not knowing whether or not they are serious about being alone, I have pushed a little in both cases, only to be repulsed. So, I do the best thing I can do: I pray for them.
Contemplation: That is far as I can go with you this Monday morning. I now retire to private prayer to praise God for being with us even when we do not know it or will not accept it, even when we blame Him for troubles that He never caused. I will thank God for giving us challenges for it is through meeting and overcoming challenges that we grow. I will, of course, also Him to be with my friends and to repent for any times I may have caused Him sorrow by blaming Him for any of my sorrow. Then I will move on to contemplation, my favorite part of the day, letting God take over the direction in which my relationship with Him moves.
I will leave you now to your prayer and contemplation. First, though, I would like to bring to your attention a Monday morning prayer post that you might enjoy:
Fr. Austin Fleming, priest of the Archdiocese of Boston and pastor in Concord, Massachusetts, posts a prayer each Monday morning that he calls "Monday Morning Offering." I enjoy his prayers very much. I think you also will find them inspirational. He has graciously given me permission to include a link to his blog on my Monday Morning Meditation posts. (During the week, he also posts great homilies and other thoughtful discussions. I enjoy reading those, too, as do readers of this blog who have taken the stroll over to his blog.)
For additional inspiration throughout the week, I would point out two sets of blogs: (1) the list of devotional blogs on my sidebar and (2) my blogroll, where I am following a number of inspirational priests and writers about spiritual matters. I learn so very much from all these people. I highly recommend them to you.