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Showing posts with label Pride. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pride. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

BootCamp


My unit did not pull together, Company 129, we did not win the colors
Our commander wanted, we bruised his ego and sullied his pride

He punished us for that

He had us march for days without our flags, the honors we had earned, naked on parade
As if the things we had achieved were meaningless, we went about the base undressed

In silence, shouting our regret

I only ever wanted to do a job well, I could not get sixty-others to want the same thing
I could not get them to push through their cluttered brains, to navigate a path to victory

Self-discipline is not easy

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

High Wire


Walking the thin line
The cold steel cable, stretched tight
‘Cross the silent void

My light is swallowed
By the gloom, tearing at me
Every inch of them

My broken fingers
The wire cuts them to the bone
Tendrils and sinew

The scent of iron
Bleeding out the rusty musk
Shuddering pulses

I took to the high wire
Walked the precarious way
Falling with my pride

Hung over the void
Cut off and dangling, afraid
Of oblivion

I did not desire
The dark drift, the endless fall
Into the abyss

I dreamt of the light
To walk beneath the blue sky
On the other side

Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Homily – The Gospel of Luke 18:9 - 14 ©

A Homily – The Gospel of Luke 18:9 - 14 ©

The Gospel of the Day – 2016.10.23

On Pride and Humility

Jesus spoke the following parable to some people who prided themselves on being virtuous and despised everyone else: ‘Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood there and said this prayer to himself, “I thank you, God, that I am not grasping, unjust, adulterous like the rest of mankind, and particularly that I am not like this tax collector here. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes on all I get.” The tax collector stood some distance away, not daring even to raise his eyes to heaven; but he beat his breast and said, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” This man, I tell you, went home again at rights with God; the other did not. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the man who humbles himself will be exalted.’

Understanding

Do not be mistaken; both of these people are beloved by God.

God, the creator of the universe; God loves all people, without qualification. God gives to all people without preference.

In the person of the Pharisee, and in the person of the tax collector; there is good and there is evil; both. This is true of everyone. God loves us despite our faults and failings.

The Pharisee was born into the life of a Pharisee, was given the means to live the life he lived. He had some say in how he would handle his inheritance; as we all do, whatever that inheritance might be.

We are each of free to be prideful, or humble regardless of what we do or do not have.

A person who manifests an ugly sense of pride in relation to one aspect of their life, may be loving and humble in another. Do not believe that because you see one side of a person, you have seen everything about them.

The tax collector also inherited his circumstances; perhaps making choices along the way to establish himself in the role he occupied, nevertheless, like all people, his role in his community was partly determined by free will and partly determined by the exigencies of his community life.

A person may have an occupation where they know they are doing harm to others, but cannot walk away from it, because of unseen obligations; to family, to friends, to community. The fact that they are engaged in a sinful occupation does not tell us the whole story of who they are. They may be fierce and aggressive in the pursuit of their duties, and yet come to their prayers with humility and contrition.

Be welcoming to all who come to you. Do not judge them based on the outward expression of their piety, their occupation, their place in society.

We are all of us a mix of good and bad intentions.


30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday, September 11, 2016

A Homily – The Gospel of Luke 15:1 - 32 ©

The Gospel of the Day – 2016.09.11

The Good Shepherd, The Good Steward, The Good Father

The tax collectors and the sinners were all seeking the company of Jesus to hear what he had to say, and the Pharisees and the scribes complained. ‘This man’ they said ‘welcomes sinners and eats with them.’ So he spoke this parable to them:

  ‘What man among you with a hundred sheep, losing one, would not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the missing one till he found it? And when he found it, would he not joyfully take it on his shoulders and then, when he got home, call together his friends and neighbours? “Rejoice with me,” he would say “I have found my sheep that was lost.” In the same way, I tell you, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine virtuous men who have no need of repentance.

  ‘Or again, what woman with ten drachmas would not, if she lost one, light a lamp and sweep out the house and search thoroughly till she found it? And then, when she had found it, call together her friends and neighbours? “Rejoice with me,” she would say “I have found the drachma I lost.” In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.’

  He also said, ‘A man had two sons. The younger said to his father, “Father, let me have the share of the estate that would come to me.” So the father divided the property between them. A few days later, the younger son got together everything he had and left for a distant country where he squandered his money on a life of debauchery.

  ‘When he had spent it all, that country experienced a severe famine, and now he began to feel the pinch, so he hired himself out to one of the local inhabitants who put him on his farm to feed the pigs. And he would willingly have filled his belly with the husks the pigs were eating but no one offered him anything. Then he came to his senses and said, “How many of my father’s paid servants have more food than they want, and here am I dying of hunger! I will leave this place and go to my father and say: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as one of your paid servants.” So he left the place and went back to his father.

  ‘While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran to the boy, clasped him in his arms and kissed him tenderly. Then his son said, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.” But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the calf we have been fattening, and kill it; we are going to have a feast, a celebration, because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and is found.” And they began to celebrate.

  ‘Now the elder son was out in the fields, and on his way back, as he drew near the house, he could hear music and dancing. Calling one of the servants he asked what it was all about. “Your brother has come” replied the servant “and your father has killed the calf we had fattened because he has got him back safe and sound.” He was angry then and refused to go in, and his father came out to plead with him; but he answered his father, “Look, all these years I have slaved for you and never once disobeyed your orders, yet you never offered me so much as a kid for me to celebrate with my friends. But, for this son of yours, when he comes back after swallowing up your property – he and his women – you kill the calf we had been fattening.”

  ‘The father said, “My son, you are with me always and all I have is yours. But it was only right we should celebrate and rejoice, because your brother here was dead and has come to life; he was lost and is found.”’
 (NJB)
God is Patient
The readings for today are about stewardship, service, and belonging.
There are not two kingdoms. There is only what belongs to God; God who created the universe, in whom all things exist, and by whom we all live and breathe.
There are not two kingdoms, as there are not two sheep-folds, and there is only one shepherd. Even the sinner, depicted here as the lost sheep, belongs to God, and not some other nameless non-existent being.
No matter where you are, no matter who you are, you are God’s beloved.
You are more precious to God than a sum of great wealth. If you have lost your way God will find you, listen for the voice of the divine, you can hear it in your own breathing, be mindful, and sensitive to tug at your heart, that is the hand of God pulling you in. Every sinner is welcome, no matter what state you are in. Your return is an occasion of joy.
God is like the farmer, and the householder, whose son returns after squandering his inheritance.
Most of us (in one way or another) are like the prodigal child; eager, self-centered, ungrateful, and pushy.
We demand things that we have not earned, and squander what does not belong to us. We lead shameful lives, either in public or in private. We are small minded and petty. We get into trouble and look back to those who have always been there for us. We look to those who love us; knowing that we can count on their love again.
God is the loving parent, and we are each of us the sinful child. Some of us have the character of the spendthrift son who squandered everything and found himself, destitute, and a stranger in a faraway place, others of us are like the stalwart child who stayed by their parent’s side doing everything that was asked; from a sense of duty and not from love.
Some of us learn from our mistakes, and come to know the meaning of love, turn around and come home.
Others of us are so hardened by pride that we cannot forgive those who do not lead lives as exemplary as ours.
God is patient, and waits for them both.

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time