The key to the missionary's work is the authority of Jesus Christ, not the needs of the lost. We are inclined to look on our Lord as one who assists us in our endeavors for God. Yet our Lord places Himself as the absolute sovereign and supreme Lord over His disciples. He does not say that the lost will never be saved if we don't go- He simply says, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations...."
Would that men might come at last to see that it is quite impossible to reach the thicket of the riches and wisdom of God except by first entering the thicket of much suffering, in such a way that the soul finds there its consolation and desire. The soul that longs for divine wisdom chooses first, and in truth, to enter the thicket of the cross.
Shouldn't we suppose that many of our most painful ordeals will look quite different a million years from now, as we recall them on the New Earth? What if one day we discover that God has wasted nothing in our life on Earth? What if we see that every agony was part of giving birth to an eternal joy?
True prayer is done in secret, but this does not rule out the fellowship of prayer altogether, however clearly we may be aware of its dangers. In the last resort it is immaterial whether we pray in the open street or in the secrecy of our chambers, whether briefly or lenghtily, in the Litany of the Church, or with the sigh of one who knows not what he should pray for. True prayer does not depend either on the individual or the whole body of the faithful, but solely upon the knowledge that our Heavenly Father knows our needs.
Most people tell themselves these excuses - I've always been this way, this is my nature, I can't help it - that are just memes. They're belief systems that keep you from being able to become all that you are intended to become. They're impediments to reaching God-realization, or Tao-centeredness. People lose track of their purpose, because they are so back there - living in their past. Byron Katie speaks about this: Who would you be without your story? Carlos Castaneda used to say if you don't have a story, you don't have to live up to it. So get rid of your story.
I mean, think about [the phrase 'love the sinner, hate the sin.'] Isn't it like saying, 'I love left-handed people but hate that they're left-handed.' Is that really love? Or is that saying, 'I'm willing to love you as I'd like you to be, not as you are'? Either God's love is unconditional or it's not.
Civilization - and by this I do not mean talking cinemas and tinned food, nor even surgery and hygienic houses, but the whole moral and artistic organization of Europe - has not in itself the power of survival. It came into being through Christianity, and without it has no significance or power to command allegiance ... It is no longer possible, as it was in the time of Gibbon, to accept the benefits of civilization and at the same time deny the supernatural basis on which it rests ... Christianity ... is in greater need of combative strength than it has been for centuries.
So when people ask me if I believe God created the universe, I tell them that the question itself makes no sense. Time didn't exist before the Big Bang, so there is no time for God to make the universe in. It's like asking for directions to the edge of the earth; the earth is a sphere, it doesn't have an edge, so looking for it is a futile exercise.
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