Linda Ryan

Sheltering

Sheltering

“The Bible is full of references to sheltering. The first one that came to my mind was, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty” (Ps 91:1). Then there is “There will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain” (Is 4:6). One that is frequently used in perilous times is “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in times of trouble” (Ps 46:1).”

The Pharisee, the Tax Collector, and the Speculators

The Pharisee, the Tax Collector, and the Speculators

“Lent is a perfect time to practice this purging. It is tough to do, but the reward is a lightness of spirit and trust in the One who forgives all our sins. And it can be done without going out, searching for things that aren’t on the shelves yet, and coming home empty-handed but with the possibility of having acquired an illness.”

Perpetua and Felicitas, Carthaginian Martyrs

Perpetua and Felicitas, Carthaginian Martyrs

“When I read stories like this one, I have to try not to laugh at those who claim martyrdom today when their ideas are not accepted, they feel they are being wronged over small things, or people disagree with them. Our Christian calendar is so full of real martyrs, those who faced death because they followed Jesus and didn’t back down when the time for execution came.”

Starting, Stopping, and Finishing

Starting, Stopping, and Finishing

“Lent is an opportunity for us to learn to pace ourselves, even if we fall every single day. It is a time of falling, picking ourselves up, and taking another step forward rather than going ten steps backward. It’s a time period in which we work to get to the end, and hopefully, when we do reach the end, we feel we have accomplished something, we have grown in some way, we have come to new understandings of things that were cloudy to us before.”

Lazarus and Resurrection

Lazarus and Resurrection

“In the Gospel of John, the writer often made things a bit more abstract or mysterious than the simple straightforwardness of the other three. His use of “sleeping” to the disciples meant that Lazarus was in the sleep of death and that Jesus’ delay in going to his friend was to teach them a lesson about belief. Jesus knew that the time was coming when they would have to remember the experience of Lazarus.”

Paybacks

Paybacks

“Jesus taught us to turn the other cheek, but not to be a total doormat either.  We are to treat others as our neighbors, whether they are residents or aliens in our land. We are to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the prisoners, care for the ill, children, and elderly, and to follow God’s laws. If we encounter evildoing, we are to do our best to counter it and remove it, returning ourselves and the land to righteousness under God.”

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