from William Wordsworth's "Resolution and Independence"

My former thoughts returned: the fear that kills;
And hope that is unwilling to be fed;
Cold, pain, and labour, and all fleshly ills;
And mighty Poets in their misery dead.
--Perplexed, and longing to be comforted,
My question eagerly did I renew,
"How is it that you live, and what is it you do?"

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Purpose--Simon, Son of John, Do You Love Me?

Those who know me from elsewhere will know me; to others, I remain for the time being a little anonymous in so much as blogger allows that anonymity.  This is neither from shame nor from pride, but rather so that others might better see themselves in some of the things I share.

As the description indicates, I have lately discovered that I have willingly, though largely unknowingly limited my life by the implicit freedom I have given myself to judge everyone and everything around me.  This is a terribly human and ordinary thing to do, but it is, as I have said, a limiting thing because all of one's choices become oriented toward these judgments and one tends in the direction one has started. It has only recently occurred to me that life of joy is comprised of a life of boundless compassion for one's fellow travelers.

Hence, this blog--a blog of resolutions and accountability--you who read will know my successes and my failures and this public confession of them will either strengthen the resolution or show that it has no validity to start with.

A most important point:  no resolution embarked upon by my will alone and through my own power will ever amount to much more than the life of a mayfly.  I might manage for a day or two to stick to what I have said I will do--but without grace and God's constant ongoing support of the effort, it will come to nothing.  Because I believe that God Himself, simple in nature, is the face of Boundless Compassion, there can be nothing He more desires that we join ourselves completely to that expression of Him.  He has taught this countless times, through countless prophets, and countless revelations--both those recognized by all major faiths and those that come to individuals in the stillness of their hearts.

In John 21, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?"  Three times he asked this and each time Simon Peter answered, "Lord, you know I do."  What then does Jesus say about Simon Peter's love for Him?  "Feed my sheep."  As with Simon Peter, my love for Him is revealed in how I conduct my life here on Earth among His brothers and sisters--my brothers and sisters.  That is the instruction Jesus has given each of us about how to show our love for Him.  "Feed my sheep."

And so this will serve as a little record of my attempts to listen to this command.  As well as the prayers and the strengthening help that day by day will make God's grace known to me.

Simon, on of John, do you love me?

I am not Simon, but I have come to know that this question is asked of me.

And more importantly the response Jesus gives--"Feed my sheep."  That too is directed to me, for no one is free of the responsibility of being part of the family--we are all called to feed one another.

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