Friday, 17 January 2020

BIBLICAL MEDITATION IS BIBLICAL

'Meditation is an exercise so profoundly biblical that it impregnates the pages of the Old Testament from the very beginning.' 
Pablo Martinez, Praying with the Grain, p.156. 

Thursday, 16 January 2020

THE CHALLENGE OF FORGIVING YOURSELF

'"I know that God has forgiven me, but I do not feel it inside." Why? The problem usually lies in the fact that, in spite of God's certain forgiveness these individuals have not forgiven themselves. The sin they have committed has been so great an offence to their self-image, their self-love has been so deeply hurt, that they are incapable of forgiving themselves. This especially occurs in cases where the sin is sexual immorality. If there has been a genuine confession, but the person still feels guilty, we are probably facing a psychological problem. The inability to forgive oneself is an issue more related to our self-image than our faith; the obstacle is not in our relationship with God but in the relationship with ourselves.' 
Pablo Martinez, Praying with the Grain, p.15. 

KNOW YOURSELF WELL TO GET TO KNOW OTHERS WELL

'...the necessary requisite for us to be able to approach others adequately is a healthy concept of personal identity. The development of intimacy in relationships will depend upon the security that  one has in oneself. The more unsure a person is, the more relational conflicts the person will have. The poorer the person's self-image, the greater the difficulty in becoming close to others. Deep down, people who have relational problems with others have not learned to relate well to themselves. They are in conflict with others because of the conflict with themselves.
The result of all of this will be problems in having an intimate relationship with God. They will find it difficult to trust in God because it is difficult for them to trust in themselves.' 
Pablo Martinez, Praying with the Grain, p.105.   

GOD WANTS TO SPEND TIME WITH YOU

'It is difficult for us to understand it, and it even surprises us, but God does want to be with us. The Lord is delighted when his children seek him. God is self-sufficient, he has need of nothing; nonetheless, he takes great pleasure in our relationship with him, in our prayers.' 
Pablo Martinez, Praying with the Grain, p.101. 

THE IMPORTANCE OF PRAYER TO THE SELF

'Prayer enables us to rebuild the very foundations of our existence, and gives back to a person the true purpose of their life: relationship with God. It provides an authentic self-fulfillment because it restores free and constant dialogue, that intimate fellowship with our Creator. Prayer is the vehicle that allows us to meet our deepest need, our thirst for God.' 
Pablo Martinez, Praying with the Grain: How Your Personality Affects The Way You Pray, p.96. 

Sunday, 12 January 2020

A FACT OF GAY LIFE?

'...all of the successful, happy gay couples I know, the ones who show an enviable depth of emotional commitment have one thing in common, and that is that they look for, and find, sex outside their loving relationship. This is a fact of gay life. I do not think that this vitiates the quality of their commitment in any way whatsoever. It merely suggests what is obvious about gay men - and therefore, of men in general, since gay culture is nothing if not a laboratory in which to see what masculinity does without the restraints imposed by women: that sex for men is, finally, separable from affect.'  
Daniel Mendelsohn, The Elusive Embrace, p.82. 

THE IMPORTANCE OF SEXUAL DIFFERENCE?

'What is it like when two men have sex? In a way, it is like the experience of Tiresias; this is the real reason why gay men are uncanny, why the idea of gay men is disruptive and uncomfortable. All straight man who have engaged in the physical act of love know what it is like to penetrate a partner during intercourse, to be inside the other, all women who have had intercourse know what it is like to be penetrated, to have the other inside oneself. But the gay man, in the very moment that he is either penetrating his partner or being penetrated by him, know exactly what his partner is feeling and experiencing even as he himself has his own experience of exactly the opposite, the complementary act. Sex between men dissolves otherness into sameness, men into de, in a perfect suspension: there is nothing the partner doesn't know about the other. If the emotional aim of intercourse is a total knowing of the other, gay sex may be, in its way, perfect, because in it a total knowledge of the other's experience is, finally, possible. But since the object of that knowledge is already wholly know to each of the parties, the act is also, in a way, redundant. Perhaps it is for this reason that so many of us keep seeking repetition, as if depth were impossible.' 
Daniel Mendelsohn, The Elusive Embrace: Desire and the Riddle of Identity, p.73. 

AN UNSHAKABLE CONVICTION

'...if I were trapped in that cage again nothing would keep me from my goal, however fearful its prospects, however hopeless the odds, I would search the earth for surgeons, I would bribe barbers or abortionists, I would take a knife and do it myself, without fear, without qualms, without a second thought.' 
Jan Morris, Conundrum, p.142. 

AN UNUSUAL HAPPY ENDING

'...I do not for a moment regret the act of change. I could see no other way, and it has made me happy. In this I am one of the lucky few. There are people of many kinds who have set out on the same path, and by and large they are among the unhappiest people on the face of the earth.' 
Jan Morris, Conundrum, p.142. 

THE LIMITS OF CHANGE

'Nobody in the history of human kind has changed from a true man to a true woman, if we class a man or woman purely by physical concepts.' 
Jan Morris, Conundrum, p.90.