Stimulating Thoughts for the Gospel read on Sunday, March 4, 2018

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One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.  Scenes from my life flashed across the sky.  In each I noticed footprints in the sand.  Sometimes there were two sets of footprints; other times there was only one.

During the low periods of my life I could see only one set of footprints, so I said, “You promised me, Lord, that you would walk with me always.  Why, when I have needed you the most, have you not been there for me?”

The Lord replied, “The times when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”

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God is no distant deity but a constant reality,

a very present help whenever needs occur.

So?  So live like it.  And laugh like it!

The apostle Paul did.

While he lived, he drained every drop of joy out of every day that passed.

Charles R. Swindoll in Laugh Again

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Dave Dravecky was a major league pitcher who learned that he had cancer in his pitching arm.  He had surgery, and tried a comeback.  While pitching in a big game, his arm broke with a loud crack when he threw the ball.  Surgeons had to amputate his throwing arm to save his life.

Dravecky is a deeply committed Christian, and the Lord has opened up a significant ministry to handicapped persons in the years since his amputation.  Dravecky says:

“I have learned that God’s silence to my questions

is not a door slammed in my face.

I may not have answers.  But I do have him.”

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In his essay on “Gospel” in his book, Wishful Thinking, Frederick Buechner says:

What is both Good and New about the Good News

is the mad insistence that Jesus lives on among us

not just as another haunting memory

but as the outlandish, holy, and invisible power of God

working not just through the sacraments

but in countless hidden ways

to make even slobs like us loving and whole

beyond anything we could conceivably pull off by ourselves.

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When we have met our Lord in the silent intimacy of our prayer,

then we will also meet him in the campo, in the market, and in the town square.

But when we have not met him in the center of our own hearts,

we cannot expect to meet him in the busyness of our daily lives.

Henri J. M. Nouwen, Gracias!  A Latin American Journal

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