March 3rd – Where Have You Gone, Lord ?



All believers at some time go through what the Spanish mystic, St. John of the Cross, immortalised as ‘the dark night of the soul’. That’s the condition in which you feel deserted by God. Alone, bereft, isolated, God has left you. You are alone in the world’s dark night. One of the pictures he painted with words was that of a loving mother who cares about her child growing up. She weans him from her breasts and all the sweet love of those early communions together has to change. He cannot remain a baby for ever. The child may feel that his fountain of love and life has dried up. Where is the blessedness he once knew? He is dry – he feels unloved – but his mother has had to cast away the swaddling clothes. She cannot forever feed him, carry him in her arms – he has to grow up. That means standing on his own feet, learning how to walk unaided. It’s all so strange and he longs to be what he can never again be a new born baby.
His relationship with his mother is not over. It’s simply changing, growing up. This means sealing up the fountains of sweet innocent intimacy which were once instantly available and for as long as he wanted them. Now advancement is not back into helplessness, but forward into a deepening relationship which walks by faith not by touch, which stands in grace and does not lie in blissful feelings, which grows up and uses its muscles, and moves with the God he cannot see and touch, in the assurance that the God who gave him birth and loved and nursed him is still God, though he no longer treats him as a baby This is from Paul’s best known work. His hymn to the love of God in I Corinthians 13. 11-12
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see a poor reflection, as in a mirror: then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part: then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
A Prayer: Blessed be God, who has done, who does, and who will ever, do all things well.
Now read Job 38: 1-18 and 42: 1-6

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Thought 4 The Day

Do not with hold discipline from a child. Your punishment will not kill him, but without it he may kill himself.

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