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O Adonai! O Sacred Lord who shows himself in the flames…


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Elizabeth Scalia - published on 12/18/16

As the world seems a place aflame through war, excess, and hate, we look to this unforgettable fire, and pray
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“O sacred Lord of ancient Israel, who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush, who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: Come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free.”

It seems like firey days are upon us. The world seems a place aflame. The concerns of the world, and how we respond to them, seem to be overheated — as though things are coming to a full-on and rolling boil. Such a flame, such a boil, can be used constructively, as a means to destroy bacteria, or to cook a nourishing meal, or they can be used destructively, particularly when humanity breaks into tribal units, and ceases to see humanity in the “others.” Rhetorically, some go to extremes and act as though they’d like to “watch the world burn.” But that is not a righteous conflagration.

When God showed himself to Moses in the burning bush, he revealed the nature of his righteous and heated love for us — another sort of flame, that cleanses but does not consume, something approachable yet awful. Full of awe.

This is the same flame alive in the Sacred Heart of Christ Jesus, which reflects a self-immolation of love, never consumed or depleted. It is the love that reaches out — stretches out the mighty hand, to the right, to the left, upon the Cross of Salvation — to set us free.

O Adonai, oh Sacred Lord of Ancient Days, help us to tamp down the destructive flames we permit to grow on the kindling of our egos, and then sustain upon the breath of our anger. May we instead increase in enlightenment by the steady and unceasing light that is your Reality. In Christ we pray. Amen.

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