31 Days of Paying Attention — Day Twenty-One


There is one word that jumps out at me from this lovely quotation, the longest one I found on those four stone obelisks at the Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center when I stayed there in September. Can you guess which word it is?

Lively, that’s the one. I’m a big believer in meditation and imaginative reading of scripture truth. And I believe that the practice/exercise described here is one worth doing, on a regular basis. And the central question to be asked during this practice? Oh, yes! This is the center of it all, isn’t it? “For whom are you suffering, my Jesus?”

For me? For us?

Yes, yes, and yes. 

Clearly, the entire quotation speaks to my heart, on multiple levels. But it is that small adverb which has truly captured me. “LIVELY.”

Is my faith lively? Is my love? That is exactly the right word. One I want to remember, to cling to, to ask for grace to live out. I desire a faith and a love that is lively. Full of LIFE — interesting, not stodgy; crackling, not dreary; curious, not stagnant; honest, not dissembling; open, not closed; lively.

What do you think?



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  1. Elaine Byer Reed says

    I agree, Diana. That beautiful statue of Jesus in the garden portrays so well the suffering of Jesus for himself and for his mother. This is so important because sometimes when we celebrate communion frequently, it can become routine. On the other hand, when the crucifixion is portrayed like the violence in Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” it is grotesque. In our church we believe that Jesus died for us, but also lived for us.

    • I believe both things, too, Elaine. And I, too, struggled with Gibson’s portrayal. But my son-in-law at the time was suffering terribly with the after effects of cancer treatment 20 years previously and he found come comfort in that film – he felt less alone in the magnitude of his pain. He died the next year.

      • Elaine Byer Reed says

        A very thoughtful way to see the meaning of the film. Most of us have not suffered such pain, even though we may think we have suffered.

  2. Oh, yes, our faith should sing with life! I love this quotation, Diana. It truly touched my heart!

  3. Margie Bicknell says

    I had to think about this one….with Jesus in the garden, before His ultimate suffering and death. His prayer for release, knowing there would be none, could I have understood the depth of His torment? I have eternity, abundant life and growing courage to speak honestly about my Jesus, because He died for me, but would I have been able to withstand His discouragement in the garden, when He understood that the GOD of the universe, another part of the triune God, His Father, would turn His face away?
    Jesus suffered for me, Jesus died for me, because Jesus loves me…Jesus fulfilled the promise GOD made to Adam, that God would redeem the world back to Himself….Jesus was the fulfillment of that promise.
    Praise be to God