This is a blog that I post to several times a week although not necessarily daily. These reflections are triggered by the scripture found in the lectionary used by many Christian denominations. While I am part of the Catholic tradition, these posts are not --or rarely--sectarian. I try to put myself in the space of a of Jesus Christ and listen to words that come to me as I read and pray the scriptures. Each post also includes a photograph. These rarely have any connection to the content of the post but are simply pleasing images that I capture as I make my pilgrimage through life.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Your law is within my heart

Storage buildings at Port of Pittsford
Sacrifice or oblation you wished not, but ears open to obedience you gave me.  Burnt offerings or sin-offerings you sought not; then said I, "Behold I come."  In the written scroll it is prescribed for me, to do your will, O my God, is my delight, and your law is within my heart!  Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.  Response Psalm for Thursday, Second Week of Ordinary Time drawn from Psalm 40:7-10
 This is a familiar theme that bears constant repeating.  The Divine One does not need or want religious practices or rituals.  The relationship of grace that I seek is not to be found in these practices, words, or actions.  The relationship is based on an obedient heart that responds to the law of the Divine One which is within me.

This is living from the inside out rather than from the outside in.  There is a difference between following a set of rules--no matter how relevant or correct--and following a heart that overflows into those very same actions.  From the outside it might look the same but the dynamic is completely different.  Do I engage in "right" behavior because I will be rewarded with eternal life with the Divine as a result.  Or do I engage in "right" behavior because the already existing relationship with the Divine One naturally overflows into that behavior.  Of course, that life would continue eternally but it would do so because it is already present in me right now today.

There is some scriptural language that describes this process for me in a powerful way.  Virtuous acts appear in my life as fruit appears in an orchard or as dew falls in the morning.  Those acts exist because of the nature of my relations and they occur naturally, almost organically.  So my focus should be on deepening my relationship with the Divine One rather than focusing on specific acts.  The acts are important because they flow from my willingness to "do the will" of the Divine One:  love the source of all being with all my heart and soul and love other human beings as myself.

Following a set of rules would be easier but ultimately useless.

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