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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

The Way of the Deserter

December 16, 2013

It all comes down to this.

To Shun the World

June 12, 2013

Be careful what you fold into your breast.

How Much?

May 27, 2013

Whom will you bless today?

To Know is to Love

February 06, 2013

There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land...My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge...

   - Hosea 4.1, 6

You have nothing more precious
than the love of God, if you perform it:
you will not regret
adoring the King of clouds.

   - Oengus mac Oengobann, Féilire Oengusso, Irish, 9th century

I can imagine the people of Israel were perplexed by Hosea’s charge: “What does he mean, ‘no knowledge of God’?”

Why, they were a very religious people. They were so religious, in fact, that they outstripped their sister state, Judah, in their approach to worshiping God. Whereas the poor, benighted people of Judah only had one center for worship, Israel had set up two. It was much more convenient not to have travel so far. Plus, in Israel anybody could aspire to the priesthood, not just those from one privileged tribe (how narrow minded!).

And besides, hadn’t the Israelites made room in their worship of God for the “best practices” and cultural preferences of many of the “seeking” folk from the surrounding nations? Oh, so what if they referred to God as “Baal” (2.16)? They all knew what they meant. Show a little tolerance, would you?

But Hosea’s word was precisely to this point: To know God is to love Him, and if we would love God, it must be on His terms, not ours.

Israel was rejected by God because they did not perform love for Him in the way He prescribed. They still worshiped God, but in their own way, on their own terms, and with a view to accommodating the sensitivities of their pagan neighbors. We will forfeit our place of covenant relationship with God if we insist that we can improve on what He has prescribed concerning how we must know, honor, and love Him.

To know God truly is to adore Him utterly; to adore Him utterly is to love Him obediently. No amount of good intentions, clever innovations, or culturally-sensitive adaptations will substitute for loving God by knowing Him and keeping His Law (Matt. 22.34-40).

We will not regret loving God in this way, and certainly we may love Him truly in no other.

Psalm 116.1-3 (Mit Freuden Zart – “All Praise to God Who Reigns Above”)
I love the Lord because He hears my cries and pleas for mercy.
Because He bends to me His ears, my prayers shall ever thus be.
The snares of death encompassed me; hell’s grip could not unloosened be;
Distress and anguish pressed me.

O loving God, let love for You wash my soul, content my mind, and render all love of lesser things hateful. Adapted from Colmán mac Beógnai, Aipgitir Chrábaid

T. M. Moore, Principal
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[1] Carey, p. 190.

Loving God

September 12, 2012

Colum Cille was renowned for his love for God.

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