The Paris Miracle

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I thought the traffic in Rome was wild. But I think Paris is crazier. We arrived in the center of the French capital with two full cars for a dinner with a member of the American Embassy. Parking spaces that night were as rare as snow in October, so myself and the other driver dropped off our human cargo, and began to drive around the block hoping for a space to open up. That’s when it happened. I lost site of the other car, took a wrong turn, and all of a sudden I was lost. Like an astronaut untethered in space, I began to be sucked away into the orbit of constant, unending, chaotic streams of Parisian traffic.

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Wisdom and the Convergence of Chaos


Photo by Oli Kekäläinen

 

 

First published on April 17th, 2011, I woke up this morning sensing the Lord wanted me to republish this. The main point is at the end, and the need for wisdom. For new readers, the rest of this meditation can also serve as a wake-up call to the seriousness of our times….

 

SOME time ago, I listened on the radio to a news story about a serial killer somewhere on the loose in New York, and all the horrified responses. My first reaction was anger at the stupidity of this generation. Do we seriously believe that constantly glorifying psychopathic killers, mass murderers, vile rapists, and war in our “entertainment” has no effect on our emotional and spiritual well-being? A quick glance at the shelves of a movie rental store reveals a culture so dumbed down, so oblivious, so blinded to the reality of our internal sickness that we actually believe our obsession with sexual idolatry, horror, and violence is normal.

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Merciless!

 

IF the Illumination is to occur, an event comparable to the “awakening” of the Prodigal Son, then not only will humanity encounter the depravity of that lost son, the consequent mercy of the Father, but also the mercilessness of the elder brother.

It is interesting that in Christ’s parable, He does not tell us whether the elder son comes to accept the return of His little brother. In fact, the brother is angry.

Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean. The servant said to him, ‘Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him. (Luke 15:25-28)

The remarkable truth is, not everyone in the world will accept the graces of the Illumination; some will refuse “to enter the house.” Is this not the case every day in our own lives? We are granted many moments for conversion, and yet, so often we choose our own misguided will over God’s, and harden our hearts a little bit more, at least in certain areas of our lives. Hell itself is full of people who willfully resisted saving grace in this life, and are thus without grace in the next. Human free will is at once an incredible gift while at the same time a serious responsibility, since it is the one thing that renders the omnipotent God helpless: He forces salvation upon no one even though He wills that all would be saved. [1]cf. 1 Tim 2:4

One of the dimensions of free will that restrains God’s ability to act within us is mercilessness…

 

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1. cf. 1 Tim 2:4