Friday, April 8, 2016

2nd Thursday of Easter

Acts 5:27-33
Jn 3:31-36

". . . but whoever disobeys the Son
will not see life,
but the wrath of God
remains upon him."

"the wrath of God"

I suspect a number of us here, when asked how we felt in the midst of a severe cold, or the throes of a nasty hangover, or after flying for 24 hours have responded, "like the wrath of God."  Unfortunately, in the cavalier use of the statement, "the wrath of God" we see the multiple problems associated with translation combined with the evolution of language  and use of language.  What is the wrath of God?  Perhaps it is better to begin with the question what isn't the wrath of God? 

It isn't that strength-sapping diffuse muscle soreness that accompanies the flu.  Nor is it the screaming pain in your chest upon awakening from bypass surgery.  Alas, because of the frequent colloquial use of the term, we must be certain that we don't understand the wrath of God as the spiteful anger of a vindictive God.  That we don't envision a God who withholds His love while hurling thunderbolts of punishment aimed specifically at us.

Jesuit Father Stanley Marrow noted that "the wrath of God is the judgment that is consequent upon the rejection of God's love."  It sounds as if one could argue or a vindictive God but then Father Marrow goes on to elaborate. 

"A gift, even a divine gift, is not a gift unless it is freely accepted.  If the gift is eternal life, rejecting it can only mean death.  The rejection of the free gift is a judgment."  It is important to remember that the rejection of God's gift, the rejection of God, is our choice.  It is this rejection that Scripture calls the wrath of God.  Fr. Marrow makes a startling observation. Even God stands helpless before rejection by a creature he created to be free.  Our rejection of God's gift of life makes the Creator of All Life helpless. 

The wrath of God is not an angry punishment directed at us for misbehaving.  Rather, the wrath of God is the punishment we direct at ourselves when we reject the gift of eternal life in favor of the culture of death. 


It is turning into an odd April.  Torrential rain yesterday.  Snow the two days before.  Relatively nice today though a bit chilly.   Temperatures quite cool.  Glad I'm not a magnolia blossom. 

Rain, fog, and mist, conditions we've had here for the past several days make interesting settings in which to photograph.  Am looking to get some sort of rain sleeve for the camera.  I've tried the plastic bag route and have been neither happy with the awkwardness nor secure in the degree of protection.  I'm not certain the perfect weather sleeve has been invented.  Alas. 

My last weekend in Ljubljana was marked by chaotic weather conditions.  There was some snow on the drive in from Maribor on Friday.  It was raining when we got to Ljubljana.  The rain changed to snow overnight on Friday.  Saturday dawned spectacularly sunny with a few inches of snow on the ground.  Within ninety minutes of my departing the community with camera in hand the sky clouded up, fog began to descend and, as I was just returning to the house, a fine drizzle began.  By Sunday AM that drizzle had turned into a downpour.  such is the weather there.  The following photos represent the end of a three-hour expedition in central Ljubljana with the fog serving as a natural light filter.  

Tivoli Park and Castle is a pleasant walk from the community.  It is very close to the American Embassy.  All the paths to the castle were closed off.  Would like to get some photos from the front looking down on the path that serves as the main entry. 

The long view.  There was an exhibit of architectural photographs of various places in Ljubljana.  I spent quite a bit of time looking at it.  Beautifully done.

A cropped photo of the castle taken from a slightly raised vantage point.  The castle is highlighted by one of the last rays of sun to appear during the day.  The mountain behind was almost completely obscured by fog.

A few of the photographs  on display.  

The view looking back toward the city center.  I took these photos some time before noon.  The fog was filtering out most of the sunlight. 

Ljubljana Castle overlooks the city.  It looks more like a classic castle.  It was part of the view from my room.  This is the very center of Ljubljana. 

A Blessed Easter Season

+Fr. Jack, SJ, MD

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