October 17: Humble and Contrite Heart
‘The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a humble and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.’ (Ps 51:17)
We pierced God and He broke, His balm poured out to heal us. Will we open ourselves to our cure? The tendency to clench is more powerful in us. We have defended ourselves carefully, at times brutally, certain only of the need to stay tough. Self-justified, we fail to see how we pierce others with our addictions (and other controlling actions), barbed retorts, and the bitter tendency to see the self as victim to an unjust world. Sure, we suffered at the hands of those who pierced us; now we have become the insufferable.
How splendid the balm that opens our eyes to God’s cure and our own chronic state. We can agree with the mystics that knowledge of self and of God is essential to an open heart before the Crucified. We welcome first the glimpses of mercy from the Cross: ‘By gazing at His grandeur, we realize our lowliness; by looking at His purity, we see our filth; by pondering His humility, we see how far we are from being humble’ (St. John of the Cross). His goodness frees us to welcome Him where He is most needed—in our contradictions of heart where we long to trust Him but cannot.
So we humble ourselves by confessing our sins, beginning with pride, and simply position ourselves where He is, without fail, on the Cross: the God whom we pierced and who answers us with blood. That balm alone unites us with the Father who holds us near to Himself. He envelopes us with strong tender arms until the time that our hearts can bear witness of the bond forged between pierced man and pierced God.
‘God wants to be merciful to us but cannot be if we deny our sin. The most difficult thing for God to obtain is a ‘humble and contrite heart.’ His omnipotence is not sufficient for this; He needs our free response. That’s why it is so precious and touches His heart.’ Raneiro Cantalamessa
Join us as we prayer for:
1. Pacific Northwest Region, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Alaska, Dean Greer – Coordinator: For new regional leadership to be identified and raised-up, and for the new group in Portland.
2. Living Waters Shanghai: For team unity, and wisdom in with decision making as they prepare to announce and take applications for the Living Waters group beginning late February, 2015.
3. RHN: Restoring Hope Ministries, Paul Osterman, Dania Beach, FL: renewed vision and strength and search for an office administrator. New Hearts Outreach, Mark Culligan, Tampa, FL: financial provision and wisdom as they expand into larger ministry opportunities.
“Courage for Pastor Phil Strout (National Director of Vineyard USA), that he would ensure that the Church becomes a clear fountain of transformation for persons with same-sex attraction!”