Dawn

The Prisoner’s Freedom

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I trust in the LORD;
    my soul trusts in His word.
My soul waits for the LORD
    more than sentinels wait for the dawn.   ~  Psalm 130: 6

          This past week, I have been learning an old, old lesson anew: that if God wills us to walk a path away from the multitudes, even if we be persecuted for it by everyone else, true peace is to be found only in that solitary, lonely path.

          No where else.

          When people spit on us for daring to be different, I can’t help but think of Jesus. Falling under the weight of His Cross, flogged and bleeding, He continued on despite the curses and vitriol flung at Him by those He had been sent to love. True, there were those who wept for Him and who loved Him and more who hid this compassion and love in their hearts for fear of reprisals, but all their numbers were pitiably small in the face of what Christ had to endure.

          Yet Jesus told Veronica, Weep not for me but for your children. Despite His immense suffering, He did not choose this solitary path to be pitied; He accepted this path for it was His Father’s will for Him that He be a Sign for others. A sign of complete and perfect obedience to what God has willed, not what man demands.

          Through the many developments in the recent months, we are learning yet again that when we stand up for what is right, it is never a comfortable place to be in. There might be a few, deeply faithful friends who will stay with us through thick and thin, more who might support us as long as it doesn’t inconvenience them, but in the end, it can still be painfully lonely. It is a seat of thorns for sure, it will draw blood from us.

          And yet I have found, only here among the thorns, lives true peace. And freedom. In these past days, I have revisited our decision – the decision that pits us against others and for which we are paying dearly. I have allowed myself to imagine doing things differently, choosing to leave this lonely point by the wall of vigil and instead going where the crowds claim is freedom.

          Immediately, the peace flees. Immediately, the waters are troubled. Although the roads the crowds have chosen promise freedom, even imagining I am there, I do not feel free anymore.

          In a strange, unlikely way, I seem to be free only in this lonely place by the water’s edge, where the travelers are few. It is certainly a strange sort of freedom, unseen by anyone else, felt only by the spirit. I am beginning to realise that this is what Jesus meant when He proclaimed, I have come to set prisoners free.

The freedom of the spirit

          We can be sad. There will be days when we will cry when our cross bites deep. We will not shift our gaze from the horizon afar, continually seeking the break of dawn and release from this pain and suffering.

          But through it all, even as we wait for daybreak as prisoners, something inside us will be, paradoxically, free.

Promise of a New Dawn

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          The image for my post yesterday came with this information: Morgenrot. Curious, I looked it up. It was the name of the place and it was German, bearing the meaning dawning, red sky at morning.

          Reading that, I felt a sudden arrow of excitement slice through me.

          This morning, eager to get on with the remaining cleaning and Christmas pre-cooking, my spirit found a quiet corner for some minutes. Remembering Sunday’s 1st reading,

The LORD spoke to Ahaz, saying:
Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God;
let it be deep as the netherworld, or high as the sky!   ~  Isaiah 7: 10 – 11

I prayed my prayer since Sunday once more.

Lord, I ask Thee for Thy sign

Since Sunday, each time I’ve prayed it, not seeking my will but that of God through His sign, God has answered me in huge ways. And so, I press on today.

Lord, I ask Thee for Thy sign

          Once more, He answers me and catches me by surprise. It is by the prayer following the Alleluia during morning Mass.

Alleluia, alleluia.
O Radiant Dawn,
splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:
come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death.
Alleluia, alleluia.

          The words seize my spirit. Each word is like an alpine horn, its notes blown down hillslopes and valleys, sounding the echoes of the past year.

Radiant Dawn

eternal light

sun of justice

come and shine

          In months past, countless times, so tired and beaten, unable to get back to my feet, God shot arrows of hope and encouragement to bid me rise.

God will help at the break of dawn

The cock is about to crow

My designs for you are about to unfold

          Each one bore the undeniable promise of a new dawn.

          Today, seeking His sign, God gives me the prayer for Christmas.

Radiant Dawn, Eternal Light,

Sun of justice, come and shine!

 

 

 

 

 

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