Ponder Fabian Debora’s art paired with quotes from Forgive Everyone Everything by Gregory Boyle, SJ.
Participating in our Lenten read-along of Forgive Everyone Everything? Share your thoughts about this week’s reading in the comments below. And post your thoughts, favorite quotes, or reactions with #lentreadalong on social media.
The Creator is never tired of His creation. There is a massive effort gone in the making of each one of us. So many good and concerned hands have brought us to where we are. Praise the Lord.
Referring to “Beloved” on page 64
…Touchstones that are the controlling principle to which we return when we stray…
This requires a bit of a path for me sometimes. A younger life implanted with destructive images of a punishing and disapproving God. Being able to speak how we are saved by grace, not by works, but not knowing the experience of grace and relying on my own power to try and do better. The image of that path feels very abrasive, desolate and uninviting, resulting in estrangement and a cycle of non-progression. I travel alot and interact with many people. It seems that many people share that harsh image of God too.
For me, one day during the Spiritual Exercises, I spend time in prayer, imagining and beholding God beholding me and smiling. I ask God to show me what this looks like. I’m surprised by what I see!!! I can’t help but be overcome with joy and I even giggle a little, and tears come…new and consoling experiences. I was never a giggly person and I always pushed back on sentimental experiences. It came like a flood, though…and it still does. It is humbling, but not in the hard work way of thinking myself into humility, but in a way of being disposed to receive God’s love and grace. So much tenderness and gentleness….
This image is my Touchstone. I like all the rules of discernment, but I believe that rule #9 reminds me why we experience desolation. One of those important points seems to be to strengthen my knowledge that although it may seem like I am alone in desolation, there is God right beside me at all times and in my own unique way is God’s huge welcoming endless perma-grinning smile that just won’t stop and shows me that the highest thing above all else is the love between us. No matter the strength of temptation built on a life of imaging a harsh God, my return from straying process is reminded now of God’s everlasting smile and that it is ok to let go, be vulnerable and recieve gentle forgiveness.
It’s hard to believe that I’m God’s joy and that everyone is. But it’s true. We are God’s joy and God wants us to join in and accept that.
So hard to absorb that we are God’s joy. It does take a lot to truly realize it.