SEEING IS BELIEVING

I like to take people at their word or believe what it is they are saying. Maybe I am a bit too gullible! I have sat through time-share sales presentations and listened in person and on cable to all types of silver-tongued sales folks and even some election minded politicians. Perhaps these folks weren’t totally lying but at times, they sure were stretching the truth a bit. I have heard it said that you can tell if a salesman is lying if you see their mouth moving!

 
A lot of these exaggeration tactics lead us to expect more than we actually receive. We form some level of trust with what we are told and in our belief we become vulnerable and we become a victim. In my profession, I have always tried to be a straight-shooter with no closing pressure trusting more in God to provide than my ability to close the deal. I wanted to be a man of integrity! I wanted the people I was pitching to have a clear understanding of what I recommend and what we would provide. I am sure in all the years and in my different roles; I have inevitably misled a few folks.

 
As for the half-truths I tell myself, I am quite a silver-tongue salesman. After all, being a king is always more attractive than being a servant! It is always easier to find fault in others than it is to thoroughly examine my own inventory. My blindness conveniently hides my faults and I usually don’t stumble around trying to find them! Without the light of eternal vision, darkness encumbers my path to salvation! My soul is blinded by my love for Satan and the death he is promoting! We read in Paul’s letter to the Celtics in Galatia: “If we live by the Spirit, let us also be walking by the Spirit.” [Gal. 5:25] I need more time in reflection, prayer and confession so that I may too wash in the pool of Siloam.

 
Maybe with the loving patience of my Father, I may one day become a great salesman for Christ! “O my plenteously merciful and all merciful God, Lord Jesus Christ, through Thy great love Thou didst come down and become incarnate so that Thou mightest save all. And again, O Saviour. save me by Thy grace, I pray Thee. For if Thou shouldst save me for my works, this would not be grace or a gift, but rather a duty; yea, Thou Who art great in compassion and ineffable in mercy. For he that believeth in Me, Thou hast said, O my Christ, shall live and never see death. If, then, faith in Thee saveth the desperate, behold, I believe, save me, for Thou art my God and Creator. Let faith instead of works be imputed to me, O my God, for Thou wilt find no works which could justify me. But may my faith suffice instead of all works, may it answer for, may it acquit me, may it make me a partaker of Thine eternal glory. And let Satan not seize me and boast, O Word, that he hath torn me from Thy hand and fold. But whether I desire it or not, save me, O Christ my Saviour,! forestall me quickly, quickly, for I perish. Thou art my God from my mother’s womb. Vouchsafe me, O Lord, to love Thee now as fervently as I once loved sin itself, and also to work for Thee without idleness, diligently, as I worked before for deceptive Satan. But supremely shall I work for Thee, my Lord and God, Jesus Christ, all the days of my life, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.” [Morning Prayers from the “Joranville” Prayerbook]

Fr. Gabriel Weller 5/21/17

DRY MOUTH

There is nothing that satisfies me more than a cold glass of water. I always treasured the red Coleman water jug back in the summers when in the heat of the day; my uncle would stick me on the hay wagon or up in the hay mound. After all, I had to earn that dollar an hour! Back in those days, I was a lean and mean working machine. I pushed my physical abilities as I tried to increase my muscle mass and I just could not quench my thirst for water.

 
Water is so vital for our survival! Scientist say that the human body is mostly water, 50 to 70 percent depending on the individual and the climate. If we do not consume enough water, our sweat glands shut down causing toxins to get trapped in our body and we can easily overheat. Depending on the weather, a person can only live without water for as little as a few hours but in perfect conditions as a general rule, no more than 3 days.

 
We begin our lives in water swimming in our mother’s womb and we begin our life in Christ in the cleansing waters of Baptism, but what about this living water that Jesus speaks of in the Gospel reading today? The fathers of the Church have always believed this living water to be the Holy Spirit who was poured out on the Day of Pentecost, establishing the Holy Church. The living water is a gift from God that flows from the cross through the Church and into Heaven. This living water requires penitence. It requires change! Otherwise, we become stagnate.

 
I have tasted much of what the world has to offer and it only leaves me with a dry mouth! Now days, I seek living water to quench my thirst. And instead of working on muscle mass as I did in my youth, I spend more time increasing my spirituality as I make an effort to be more like Christ. I however cannot say that I am pushing myself it is more like a gradual easy-going attempt. In my mind, I believe I still have plenty of time left to accomplish Theosis!

 
Oh Lord we ask that You quench the dryness of our spirituality with this living water that we may no longer be thirsting!

 

Fr. Gabriel Weller 5/14/17