Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Touch the Clouds - A Retreat Message:

Abe V Rotor

Cirrus clouds unveil Mount Saint Paul, Benguet

When one goes to the mountain there is that definite feeling that he is closer to God. With the summit at his feet he touches the clouds. The clouds open and he hopes to find the gate of Heaven. There is no gate there.

Read this message when you have settled down at the retreat house on Mount Saint Paul (Benguet).

There on this solemn piece of Eden, you will be surrounded by towering pine trees and honored by bouquets of flowers bathed with morning sun and studded with trains of dewdrops, that heighten the ambiance of adoration. You will be enveloped by serenity and peace. Listen well to the words of your retreat master. Listen to your heart. Find Peace of Mind.

While the outside world grinds cruel and chaotic. It is the world you left behind for the time being. By being detached you may find a better vantage point to see the difference of perfection and imperfection. No one will ever reach perfection though. But it is the very intention and act of reaching for it that is most important.

I got a copy of a critical version of Matthew 25. It may lack the conventions of a critic, but it is something worthy to think about. To wit.

"I was hungry, and you formed a human rights club to discuss the politics of my hunger, thank you;

I was imprisoned, and you crept off quietly to your chapel in the cellar, and prayed for my release;

I was naked, and in your mind you debated the morality of my nakedness;

I was homeless, and you preached to me about my home in heaven;

I was lonely, and you left me alone to attend to your Sunday obligations;

You seem so holy, so close to God, but I am still very hungry, lonely and homeless."

Perhaps you should look at the version on the point of view of the faithful. Our faith is as strong as how we profess it. We cannot be passive and subservient to a point of indifference and surrender.

Now, ponder on these verses:

1. Come, come to me in silence or in song,
that I may hear you better among the throng.

2. Fewer are the grains in number
when the tillers fall in slumber.

3. The weak makes up for its frailty
in number and simplicity.

4. Cream on top, whatever is inside,
makes way for the hero and his bride.

5. Sinner or saint, saint or sinner;
never, never a cycle ever;
no matter what and where,
that the past is redeemed - or never.

6. If there is a fourth King
other that the first three;
make me a fifth being
that I'll suffer for three.

7. God is everywhere yet discreet
in many ways beyond our pain,
in our sleep or with busy feet
in far away places on the plain.

8. Truthfulness without kindness
Makes a cold, cruel steel;
Kindness without truthfulness,
Like a boat without keel.

9. Rich in the pocket, least in his heart
his life did make, is a vulture's art.

10. Walk.

Running is sometimes bad;
You’ll better see and talk
About the countryside,
And to God. ~

Good luck. May God's blessings bring out the best in you as Christian and Filipino.

(To my students, St. Paul University QC 2001; critical version of Matthew 25 by Bob
Rowland )

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