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Monday, February 25, 2013

Pope Benedict: Climbing onto the mountain

Sunset on Everest (Thomas.fanghaenel)
Reuters reports that during his final Sunday address
as pope, Benedict told the supportive crowd:  The
Lord is calling me to climb onto the mountain, to
dedicate myself even more to prayer and meditation. But this does not mean abandoning the Church. Actually, if God asks this of me, it is precisely because I can continue to serve her with the same dedication and the same love I have shown so far…  in a way more in keeping with my age and my forces.

Now some may question whether it was God or Benedict himself who made this historic decision. Nevertheless, those who claim to live by the Bible might wish to review these words from Genesis 2 (NIV):  By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.  Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

This concept of withdrawing from many action-oriented tasks and focusing more upon prayerful contemplative ones is what many call "Sabbath."  If God is, indeed, omnipotent – was His seventh-day rest really a divine necessity?  If not, perhaps God was trying to tell us something – i.e., that holiness can be earnestly expressed in ways other than active work.  (The old line "Don't just do something, stand there" comes to mind…)

In his book Sabbath:  Finding Rest, Renewal and Delight in Our Busy Lives, Wayne Mueller states: Like a path through the forest, Sabbath creates a marker for ourselves so, if we are lost, we can find our way back to our center

May the Sabbath path that Benedict (and/or God) has chosen lead him to the highest mountaintop…


Copyright February 25, 2013 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved


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