I have continued to read Matthew, which continues to be a great gospel. This week I stopped at the following verses (just a couple verses beyond those of last week). It is difficult to zoom through such rich reading.
21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.Reading: Matthew 16:21-23
22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”
23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
Meditation: One of the things that was initially (post-conversion) difficult for me to understand -- and I have heard that I am far from alone -- is the negative/bad things that God "allows" to happen. Now, of course, the determination of whether events are bad or good is man-determined in this case. If I say God lets bad things happen to me (He generally does not!), then it is because I am interpreting that is happening to me as bad. I am not sure that there is an absolute bad -- or good -- out there. Was it bad that my daughter was born with spina bifida? Well, in the long run, no. There have been many positive things that have come from that. I could point out a lot of other "bad" things that have served a more noble purpose. I think now the bottom line for me is to trust that God will take care of me and not worry whether things are bad or good, they just are. With time, they may appear differently, or they may not. I just don't really think about that aspect of life much anymore. I leave all of that up to God.
Contemplation: That is far as I can go with you this Monday morning. I now retire to private prayer to thank God for all the experiences He has given to me or allowed, regardless of how I might have interpreted them when the occurred, to repent for any time I have questioned His intent, to praise Him for having a bigger picture even if I do not know what it is, and to ask Him to help me always to accept what comes my way, knowing that He is there to help.
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.
PS. SORRY THAT THIS DID NOT GET POSTED ON TIME ANYWHERE, NO MATTER HOW YOU COUNT THE TIME ZONES. WE HAVE BEEN ON A TYPHOON HERE IN KOREA. (ACTUALLY, NOT JUST A WATCH OR WARNING; IT IS REALLY HAPPENING.)