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Tag Archives: Aquinas

Heaven — a Great Lake of Beer

While few people in Western culture, including Christian leaders, think much of heaven, Scripture calls us to set our hearts and minds on things above (Col.3:1-3). Heaven as “a great lake of beer” is Bridgid of Irelands’ (451-524) attempt to describe the bliss and fulfillment that awaits us when we see Him face to face. One of my great learning curves the last few years is how foundational this is for the leadership we offer our churches. The following is my summary of Thomas Aquinas’ excellent description of heaven and how it is meant to inform our daily lives. Take a few minutes to prayerfully ponder his insights. When you taste God, there is nothing else to wish for. God’s love for us is both eros and agape – i.e., passionate, ecstatic, and joyful, as well as loyal and faithful. Your human soul was built for a joy the world can’t offer you. You. Read more.

Our Greatest Longing and "Goal"

Most Christians are more focused on the here-and-now than on the then-and there, i.e., our future life that is anchored in heaven (Heb.6:19). Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini (1647-1652) and his sculpture of Teresa of Avila. and the angel with the spear, portrays the following episode from her autobiography where she describes her encounter with God. We see in her a picture of our greatest longing: I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron’s point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could. Read more.

The Boston Marathon Tragedy

Yesterday’s attack at the Boston Marathon was tragic.  What can we say to others? to ourselves? Where was God? I offer you two fragments that help me in times like this. 1. Be comfortable in being silent. Job’s three friends “wept aloud, tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was (Job 2:11-13). It is when they started talking that they got in trouble! Notice their presence “with him,’ i.e. Job, in his suffering. 2. The ultimate knowledge of God is to know that we do not know. Thomas Aquinas was a brilliant theologian who had written 20 very large volumes about who God is and how He works. On December 6, 1273 something happened to him that brought his teaching and writing to an end.. Read more.

Pastoral Gleanings from the Trappists -2012

At the end of my summer vacation each year, I take a week for a retreat on the lovely grounds of St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts.  About 60-70 men live there, dedicated to a life of prayer. I love the silence, the singing of the Psalms, the beauty of the landscape, the contrast to my life in New York City. One of the highlights for me continues to be a growing relationship with Father Dominic. He his a former Dominican priest with a PH.D in Thomas Aquinas.He taught at Georgetown University before sensing a call to a greater life of prayer. This led him out of the Dominican order to become a Trappist. He now serves as the prior of the monastery (i.e. the COO, or#2 person). We met each day for spiritual direction and a “conference.” He is engaged in many “un-monastic” things, such as strategic planning, running a business, dealing with. Read more.