Saturday, January 31, 2009


Dear Abbey Members and Friends:

Below is today's meditation from Fr. Don Talafous, St. John's Abbey. I like the reaffirmation that God wants good things for us in this life, but we are creatures of this earth and subject to he 'laws of nature'. For me today the message reminds me of the 4th tenet of our RoL: "Show fellowship with a welcoming heart seeking Christ in everyone I meet, offering comfort and celebration." Fellowship--being present for another --is one of the greatest gifts we can give.

Shalom and blessings, George

Protestant preacher William Sloane Coffin just after the death of his college-age son in an accident confesses to blowing up at a neighbor. This well-intentioned person had brought in a dinner for Coffin and his family and said, "I just don't understand the will of God." He said: "I'll say you don't, friend. Do you think it was God's will that Alex never fixed that lousy windshield wiper, that he was driving too fast in a storm, that he probably had a couple too many drinks? That there are no lights or guardrail on that road?" Coffin says that nothing sets him off so easily as "intelligent people who seem to think that God goes around the world with a finger on the trigger, a fist around the knife, hands on the steering wheel." His point, of course, is that bad things happen because of human or natural causes. An arsonist or a faultily installed piece of equipment starts a fire; the friction in the earth's crust causes a 6.6 quake; a person possessed by hate fires the gun; a careless driver hits the child. On the positive side, we should be reminded that grain gets to starving people because of human ingenuity and generosity; that a limb nearly ripped off in a farm accident is saved by skilled doctors; bad governments are ousted by committed and responsible citizens. The frustrated woman takes it out on God in prayer: "All we have on this earth are problems and a bunch of dummies who will never figure out how to solve them. Even I could make a better world than this one." From deep within she heard: "That's what you're supposed to do." God needs us to act in this world; we need God's strength to bring about changes for the better.

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