Sunday, March 31, 2019

A moment of reconciliation (Fr. Ron Rolheiser)

  Forgiveness is the greatest miracle, the pan-ultimate miracle, which, along with everlasting life, is the real meaning of the resurrection of Jesus.  There's nothing more godlike, or miraculous, than a moment of reconciliation, a moment of forgiveness.

--Fr. Ron Rolheiser, OMI
Facebook, January 7, 2019

Image source, with a fascinating article about the Indian artist who painted it:  Fr. Frank Wesley, Forgiving Father,

Saturday, March 30, 2019

The father's love was already there waiting for him (Hans Urs von Balthasar)

  Once a person learns to read the signs of love and thus to believe it, love leads him into the open field wherein he himself can love.  If the prodigal son had not believed that the father’s love was already there waiting for him, he would not have been able to make the journey home – even if his father’s love welcomes him in a way he never would have dreamed of.  The decisive thing is that the sinner has heard of a love that could be, and really is, there for him; he is not the one who has to bring himself into line with God; God has already seen in him, the loveless sinner, a beloved child and has looked upon him and conferred dignity upon him in the light of this love.

--Hans Urs von Balthasar, 
Love Alone Is Catholic

Image source: John Macallan Swan, The Prodigal Son (1888),

Friday, March 29, 2019

Standing eyelash to eyelash with God (Nick Senz)

  The Latin word for eyelash is cilia. If you were so close as to have your eyelashes with theirs (with being cum- or con- in Latin), you'd be con-cilia.  And if you were once that close, but had drifted apart and then returned again (again being re- in Latin), you would be re-con-cilia -- you would be reconciled.  

  This one word, with its hidden metaphor, succinctly summarizes salvation history.  In the beginning, human beings shared a great closeness with God.  In their innocence, Adam and Eve stood uncovered before God, not needing to hide anything.  God walked with them in the garden in the cool of evening, like you might do with an old friend after a big dinner.

  But we separated ourselves from God by our pride; we withdrew from that closeness, that intimacy, by wanting to change the nature of the relationship, by trying to be equal to God…

  But God loved us and wanted us back.  God wanted us to be able to look Him in the eye again.  So He came among us as one of us, like to us in all things but sin – he had arms and legs and hands and feet, a heart and a mind… and eyelashes.  Jesus came to sinners, to the afflicted, to the poor, and stood eye to eye with them and said, Your sins are forgiven you…

  God made us for closeness such as this with Himself… God made us so that we could one day be face to face with Him—even eyelash to eyelash. God wants nothing more than to hold us and say, I love you.  May He grant us the grace not to squirm, but to coo with delight, and nuzzle the nose of our Father.

--Nick Senz, 
former Director of Religious Ed, OLMC, 
Director of Faith Formation,
St. Vincent de Paul Church, 
Arlington, TX

To read Nick’s complete – and wonderful! – post on reconciliation, click here.

Image source:  O. Korolev, The Prodigal Son, available at Saatchi Art,