Kargador at Dawn

Kargador at Dawn
Work in the Vineyard

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Dhikr for the 21st week in ordinary time (C)

Text: “Someone asked him, "Lord, will only a few people be saved?" He answered them, "Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.” (Luke 13: 23-24)

Meditation: To enter the Kingdom of God is not a question of strength and merit… No one is strong enough…and neither anyone is meritorious enough to win to Kingdom! It is a GIFT… so pray to begin this gift. The Kingdom is God’s gratuitous offer to all…!


1st step: Write the Dhikr (the Arabic word for REMEMBRANCE) in your heart.
2nd step: Let the Dhikr remain always in on your lips and mind - RECITING the Dhikr silently as often as possible...
3rd step: Be attentive to the disclosure of the meaning/s of the
Dhikr in your life.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Beware of Idolatry...

The Old Testament reminds us that Idolatry makes us as lifeless as the idols that are worshipped...

Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands.
They have mouths, but do not speak;
Eyes, but do not see.
They have ears, but do not hear;
Noses, but do not smell.
They have hands, but do not feel;
Feet, but do not walk;
And they do not make a sound in their throat.
Those who make them are like them;
So are all who trust in them.
(Psalm 115: 4-8)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Experiencing our own "Nothingness"...

What does it mean to know and experience our own "nothingness"? It is
not enough to turn away in disgust from my illusions and faults and
mistakes, to separate myself from them as if they were not, and as if
I were someone other than myself. This kind of :self-annihilation"
is only a worse illusion, it is a pretended humility which, by saying
"I am nothing" I mean in effect " I wish I were not what I am.

To really know our "nothingness" we must also love it. And we cannot
love it unless we see that it is good. And we cannot see that it is
good unless we accept it.

A supernatural experience of our contingency is a humility which loves
and prizes above all else our state of helplessness before God. We
must see and admit that it is all ours and that it is all good: good
in its positive entity since it comes from God.

The proud man/woman loves his/her own illusion and sel-sufficiency.
The spiritually poor loves his/her very insufficiency. The proud
claims honor for having what no one else has. The humble begs for a
share in what everybody else has received. He/She too desires to be
filled to overflowing with the kindness and mercy of God.
(Thomas Merton)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Dhikr for the 20th week in ordinary time (C)

Text: "I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! (Luke 12: 49-50)

Meditation: Jesus spoke of his own Baptism of fire – his suffering, death and resurrection that other may have life… It is the fire that burns yet purifies. The fire in our life is always the symbol of energy and zeal. Hold on to that fire else we become a "dead man/woman" walking…


1st step: Write the text in your heart.
2nd step: Let the text remain always in on your lips and mind - RECITING the text silently as often as possible...
3rd step: Be attentive to the disclosure of the meaning/s of the text in your life.

Friday, August 10, 2007

To Wander in Hope...

To wander in hope, we must walk with people even at times we start off by walking in the wrong direction… Auschwitz is, often, described as the “end of the line”… Yet, even in this hell, there were persons like Edith Stein (St. Theresa Benedicta) who in their utter powerlessness walked around and gave their flickering light showing God's presence that gave hope to his people in their despair.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

People Living in HOPE....

"Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out." (Vaclav Havel)

Hope is the conviction that all that we live for, happiness and sorrow, victory and defeat, will be found to have some sense. Despite the LUNACY of the realities we often find ourselves... life is NOT doomed to absurdity! It is the ultimate and unimaginable victory of MEANING!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Heart of Religion and the Heart of God...

What I should like to talk about has to do more with religion in general than with spirituality in particular: my subject is the heart of religion and the heart of God. I would like to share a story, if this were a sermon, would be absolutely the right one.

Some of you will know "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck, a novel about the migration of dispossessed small croppers from the state of Oklahoma to the vineyards of California. Their small and rather meager livelihood has been destroyed by capital financing making for large ranches that dispossessed the intimate peasantry.

They are trekking to a vision of a future in California. In the course of the journey old Grandpa Joad dies – a poor old man, his health undermined by the tribulations of his journey. They have no money for funerals, so they decide to bury him by the wayside. And then it occurs to them that they may be incurring suspicion of some foul play and, wanting to come clean, they say, “Let’s put a little notice on the grave: ‘Old Grandpa Joad died of natural causes. Old, decrepit, sick. His folks buried him.’” And so they get a piece of wood and fix on it their notice. It is all so intensely pathetic.

Travelling with them there is a derelict preacher who has attached himself to their party – a rather faded renegade pastor – and they say to him as a kind of afterthought, and this is the heart of it, “Couldn’t you put somepin [something] on it so that it’ll be religious? A text for example – ‘The Lord is my shepherd’, or maybe a snatch of a hymn – ‘Safe in the arms of Jesus’? Put somepin on it” – the notice that is – “so that it’ll be religious.”

Now, it seems fair to ask, What does that little text add to the integrity, the pathos, the good faith, the poverty, the suffering, the tragedy of that situation? What does it have to add? Is there not something already profoundly religious in all those qualities of good faith and integrity and a certain quiet heroism in the bearing of suffering?

You will all, I think, agree that the text has nothing basically to add to the solid religious quality of the situation and their behavior. But if they had not wanted the text, would they have been that sort of people? The answer surely has to be “No”. It was by association with “the arms of Jesus” or “the Lord is my shepherd”, through the tradition of their family worship that they had come to be that sort of people, wanting to behave with integrity, finding a certain nobility in the midst of poverty and standing in a reverent awe in the presence of their mortality. And in all those ways they are profoundly religious. There is a paradox present. The text that is added is the key to what is already there.

The point of this story is to have us capture the interrelationship between the worship that we bring and the behavior that we come by, or put another way, the heart of God and the heart of the believer. There has always been this interrelation between faith and faithful.

Spirituality is what believers find it and fulfill it to be, but how do we know them as believers except by their belonging to religion? It is like a circle. Come into the religion and you reach those who profess it. Meet those who profess it and you come into the knowledge of their faith. And this, of course, is true about all religions. So the point of the story is to have us think about how religions can fulfil authentic compassion in human society.

Now we come to the verse, in Sura 50 (Surat Qaf) 37: Inna fi dhalika la-dhikra li-man kana lahu qalb aw alqa al-samc wa huwa shahid, which translates: “Here verily is a reminder for him who has a heart, or gives ear with full intelligence” (Pickthall). It could be put into more literary, resonant English as: “A thing to ponder here for whoever has a heart, and who heeds with alert perception.” The passage is clearly talking about (1) a feeling heart, (2) a hearing mind and (3) a present self. These three belong together. But what is the context of “Here is something to reflect upon”? The context is human tragedy. (Kenneth Cragg)

Remembrance Prayer for the 18th week in ordinary time (C)

Dhikr for the 18th week in ordinary time (C)

Text: "Then he said to the crowd, "Take care to guard against all
greed, for though one may be rich, one's life does not consist of
possessions." (Luke 12: 15)

Meditation: Often, we measure the person's worth by his/her
possession... We are wrong! The most important is to be rich in what
matters to God...


1st step: Write the Dhikr (the Arabic word for REMEMBRANCE) in your
2nd step: Let the Dhikr remain always in on your lips and mind -
RECITING the Dhikr silently as often as possible...
3rd step: Be attentive to the disclosure of the meaning/s of the
Dhikr in your life.