In spite of not being able to post regularly, including the MMM, while the computer was on the blink and I was using a borrowed laptop from time to time, I have moved on in my own mornings of contemplation. I finished Isaiah, and this week I began the Book of Jeremiah. It is an interesting coincidence of my own progress through the Bible, beginning with Genesis, undertaken with MMM #1, and the somewhat random choice of my Bible Study group to read Jeremiah over the next several months. Maybe I will have additional insights as a result of our Bible Study. If so, I will share them.
In the meanwhile, I thought I might just start at the beginning today because I am starting to relate to Jeremiah, and to explain that requires starting at the beginning. In Jeremiah 1, we read:
4 The word of the LORD came to me, saying,Jeremiah remonstrates, but God tells him that he should not remonstrate and that in following God's instructions, he will not be abandoned. God will be with him. Nonetheless, given the nature of the perturbing message that Jeremiah must bring to the people, the task given to him must certainly seem overwhelming, or at least awkward, to Jeremiah.
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew[a] you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
6 “Alas, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”
7 But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.
8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD.
Meditation: This tasking of Jeremiah to be a prophet and to bring bad news where he does not want to take it reminds me of a tasking I received -- certainly, not as any kind of prophet and on a far lesser scale, but nonetheless, one that set me bahttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifck a bit. My first reaction, too, was to remonstrate, but in the end I did do as asked. In this particular case, I was told to "bring him to Me," him being an employee far below me in the hierarchy of our organization, and I had no idea how to approach someone to ask him the state of his soul! Nonetheless, I found myself doing just that. I related the story in detail a while ago on my Modern Mysticism blog: Voice VI.
This particular task was not easy or pleasant. It makes me feel much empathy for Jeremiah who experienced far greater unpleasantness. It makes me feel grateful to God that I have not been asked to suffer in the ways of Jeremiah or to carry the kinds of difficult messages that Jeremiah was asked to carry. Nonetheless, I hope I would be ready to do so if asked. None of us know how we will respond until we are, indeed, asked.
Contemplation: That is far as I can go with you this Monday morning. I now retire to private prayer to repent for those times I have first protested instead of jumping straightforward onto a given task, to praise God for all the ways He uses all willing hearts and hands, especially those of prophets, to help others, to thank God for giving me an occasional task that I might not mess up too much and not giving up on me because of my initial remonstrance, and to ask Him not to give up on me, as contrary a person as I can sometimes be. 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.