Sunday, August 26, 2007

This is the great alternative that we must learn over and over again: to give priority to our own expectations, rejecting Jesus, or to accept Jesus in the truth of his mission and set aside all of our too human expectations.- Pope Benedict XVI

Do you know your New Testament? Or rather, do you know your Greek? Most English speakers don't know the play on words presented to Peter by the resurrected Jesus.

In Greek the word "fileo" means the love of friendship, tender but not total and all encompassing. The word "agapao" means love without reserve, unconditional and total.

The first time Jesus asks first " Simon...do you love me (agapas-me)?"
Peter resonds "Lord; you know I love you (filo-se).
Second time Jesus asks again with agapas-me.
Again Peter responds with the "Kyrie, filo-se"
The third time Jesus asks: "Fileis-me?"
And Peter responds "Filo-se"

Simon, Peter, now is brought to understand that his poor love is enough for Christ, it is the only love Peter is capable of, though he is grieved Christ speaks to him in this way. Jesus places himself on the level of Peter, we are not seeing Peter on the level of Jesus. It is this conformity by Christ that gives hope to the Apostle and still gives hope to us today. Our love of Christ is not perfect, but it is enough, for it is all we have.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The man on the street stopped me today and told me that the anticiapted ZZ Top concert the Sunday night before labor day here in Aggieland is not going to happen. Sad. However, that does free up the day to head to Lake Bryan for the Ziegenbock Festival. For those wanting to go, the best band plays early....2:00 I believe.

Many of you also know that I have a great admiration and deep respect for St. Benedict of Nursia, the patron of civil engineers and the founder of western monasticism. I was reflecting this afternoon on a saying attributed to him "All are to be welcomed as Christ." Not all that deep, for we all in our humanity are created in the image of the divine, in the image of Christ. Thus it leads that any visitor, heck, anyone we encounter along our lives journey should be welcomed as if we are welcoming Christ. This is easier said than done with our prejudices and ill formed ideas gunking up the heart. Which lead me to ponder another quote of St. Benedict: "Listen with ear of your heart." If only it were so easy at times. We should strive for these ideals, though often we fall short.

Then as I was pondering these things, my phone rang. A different than normal ring, a ring I assigned to a friend of mine's number. Not a close friend who knows all my inner most thoughts or even my life story, nor I know theirs, but a friend none the less. A friend I admire for their strength, courage, and testicular fortitude in following their dreams against long odds. It was a rare call and this friend asked me for help, if I could do something that they did not have time to do that would help them in a very large way. In such instance, I do not think my pondering was randome, there was a reason for why those words were in my mind and thoughts just seconds before this phone call. It is not a big thing for me to do, but to this other it is very important. I could have said no, I could have made an excuse as to why I was a bad choice, but I did neither. I offered my time and my help much to my friends relief, because they did not know how they were going to be able to sell it to me if I balked. "Listen with the ear of you heart" and welcome all as if Christ. With friends it is easy, now if we could follow this with our so called "enemies' our non-friends. Try....and if you can't do it...fake it unti you're not faking anymore because it has become habit.

And a final thought, perhaps St. Benedict's most important rule for his rules of monastic life can be found in the first word of his Rule: Listen. With all the noise in the world, if we would stop and listen, we hear much and protest less.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Well, we have I been lately. I've been around and around and around. Just been busy. Celebrated the last birthday of my 20's in very low key style. Though I did splurge for a big birthday gift to myself. It has 4 wheels and is big and silver. It has a towing package....maybe good enough to haul a small piano around. I've been playing hockey, 3 times a week, and with all the ice time have actually noticed a lot of improvement in some of the weaker areas of my game.

I've been reading. Just finished up Boys of Winter about the 1980 Olympic Hockey team. I'm also still working through Jesus of Nazareth and The Reagan Diaries. The former I should wrap up this weekend and highly reccomend to anyone.

I've also been spending my Saturday mornings seeing movies on the cheap, it's nice to save some bucks here and there.

Now, I am going to bed so I can go see a movie in the morning, do laundry, watch NASCAR, and just do some fun stuff tomorrow.