Well, down to the nitty-gritty, I am continuing on in Ezekiel even while in Spain. It keeps me current with my Bible Study group while away since Ezekiel is the book of study this fall. The verse that caught my eye and got me thinking this week was Ezekiel 35:15:
Because you rejoiced when the inheritance of Israel became desolate, that is how I will treat you. You will be desolate, Mount Seir, you and all of Edom. Then they will know that I am the LORD.Reading: Ezekiel 35:15.
Meditation: I have had occasion to watch others gloat over someone's hard luck, especially if it is someone whom they dislike or envy. Where else did the expression, "it serves him [her] right," come from if not from rejoicing over someone else's desolation. I know occasionally when I see someone who has caused me difficulties fall into difficulties of their own, I am tempted to say, "hah, it serves him [her] right," but I do know that we are not the ones to judge what another deserves. (Just think about we each deserve -- I think I would prefer grace to getting what I really deserve.) And I recall God telling me that my abusive mother "lives in grace," which initially angered me in what I perceived as its unfairness until I realized that grace is God's to give and not mine to decide who deserves it. (Sort of reminds one of the workers who started to work in the last hours of the harvest but got paid the same as the others.)So, now, I really try, when I see someone who "got what they deserved," to ask him/her how I can help with the current difficulty. Often, I can, and when I do, I feel a whole lot better seeing someone in better shape than I would feel from gloating about someone in bad shape.
Contemplation: That is far as I can go with you this Monday morning. I now retire to private prayer to praise God for the examples given to us in the New Testament of how to think about situations of fairness. I will thank God for the latitude we are given to react in ways that help both us and those in trouble grow in compassion and gratitude. I will ask to remind me of Divine mercy when I am tempted to take the path of the gloating sinner, and I will repent any times I have done so. 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.