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Category: Speaking to the Soul

The Price of Freedom

Paul sums it up in the Epistle, Romans 3:21-31, righteousness through the Law and circumcision and the righteousness through faith of the uncircumcised, when he writes, “since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith.”

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Hagar and Ishmael are Cast Out

“But I wonder if Hagar had nightmares. Nightmares of being forced to lie with her master. Nightmares  of death by heat exposure and thirst even after finding her new life in Paran. I wonder if Ishmael remembered the little brother he played with, who ended up with all the love of the father who loved Ishmael less. I wonder if the pain, the humiliation, the loss, the separation, the bitterness stayed with them.”

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Searching for Joy

“Proverbs is one book of the Bible that has something for just about every occasion. In looking up the word “joy,” I found, “A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is broken.  The mind of one who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly.  All the days of the poor are hard, but a cheerful heart has a continual feast” (15:13-15).”

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Mount Despair

“Psalm 88 also reminds us that even if it’s not our turn to be clinging to the face of Mt. Despair, someone out there is, and we might be called to be the one sliver of light that makes a difference in someone else’s darkness.  It might throw a rope to us to allow us to climb a few more inches towards someone, so they do not have to be plastered to the cliff face alone.  There are actually many places it can take us if we simply remain in the conversation…we just won’t have any idea where those places are or what they look like.”

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A Night Prayer

“This is the stuff of forgiveness, forgiveness that has counted the cost and benefit and erred on the side of grace, and we do not take it lightly. We cannot withhold the ebb and flow of compassion in our lives if we also remember the times it has welled up unbidden for us, as well.”

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Mary Magdalene & the Enneagram

“There is a wonderful scene in Mary Magdalene, hoards have gathered, desperate, dirty, some maybe mentally ill, people in great need of hope and blessing. Jesus sends the Apostles out to bless them, and we follow them and especially Mary as they move among a crowd of humanity, blessing, never asking political affiliation, if they’d led blameless lives and where thus worthy, or how much money or social standing they had. They simply moved among their neighbors, listening, praying, and blessing. Being present, and bearing witness. It feels like a good example to me.”

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Faith: What do we Believe?

“And that is hard. We study Scripture, pray, fast, receive the gift of the Sacrament, day in and day out, and serve, and we don’t see results. It is like taking an exam day after day and the grade is never posted.”

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Time

“We have times of day when God reminds us to stop, breathe, look for the blessings, and enjoy what God is given us at that time. The whole thing was God’s plan from the beginning, so shouldn’t we be kind enough and observant enough to stop, take advantage of it, and add a little thank you from time to time during the day? It’s so easy to take a deep breath and send up a mental “Thank you,” all at the same time.”

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The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

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