What if the Name of God is the sound of breathing? What if that is the basis of His being both the Door and the Great Shepherd?
Thank you to my newest Friends of the Show, Melissa M; Patricia P; Brooke E; Michelle S; Teresa D; Carolyn W; Celine E, for loving and lifting me!
Bible Study Evangelista is on the Laudate app!
LOVE the Word® is a Bible study method based on Mary's own practice: lectio without the Latin. Get the book based on her method in the right margin, How to Pray Like Mary.
L – Listen (Receive the Word.)
O – Observe (Choose one or more of the following personality approaches to connect the passage to your life and recent events.)
All of the prayer personalities and temperaments – Franciscan, Ignatian, Augustinian, and Thomistic – are included in the exercise this week. (Read about those in my newest book, How to Pray Like Mary, in the right margin.)
Watch the video, then proceed to this LOVE the Word exercise from Ignite chapter 4.
Late morning on the shadow side of the distant mountain, the air is already so hot the horizon undulates for miles, when just hours ago the barrenness was so frigid he’d shared breath with huddled animals. He can smell burnt dirt and grass under the harsh odor of either himself or the pissing goats.
Pathetic animals are goats and sheep. Always falling into a crevice or ravine; always running away when you call them; always hungry and thirsty; always head-butting and locking horns; always wandering around in every direction at once; never know where the hell they’re supposed to go; always bleating for something.
The wide-open silence is so penetrating he hears his fingernails scratching against the woolen-felted skull of an ewe that nuzzles and nibbles against his fingers. He strokes her upturned face.
His stomach growls as the wind blows hot air and sand from a long distance up his flapping tunic and rattles the few dried weeds, but all he feels as he leans against his gnarly staff, looking out over the remote wilderness, is useless. Stupid.
Once the educated, accomplished, prodigious Prince of Egypt, but now exiled. A stinking fugitive goat herder. Named to be a deliverer of his Hebrew people, but washed up now. Finished. Abandoned. Punished. If anyone knows he deserves this grit rather than a silver spoon in his mouth, it’s him.
He’s been out here in the “desolate places” of Mt. Horeb, on the run, for forty years, the coulda-beens replaying over and over in his mind. People used to bow to him. But now, not even the sheep hear his voice. There’s nothing left of that life. It’s all been completely stripped down, cut off, and excised out here in the desolation.
Ah, well, the same acute sense of righteousness that once provoked him to murder assures him he deserves this life-sentence. If you can’t run with pharoah’s chariots, then get thyself to the desert, is his attitude as he catches sight of a flame leaping up out of the distant heatwaves.
Is the sand on fire? he thinks, and then feels stupid again. There’s not enough vegetation to burn. But it’s definitely fire. Must be a dittany shrub. Those scraggly bushes burn themselves out in a minute’s puff, so his attention wanders. He watches without seeing it, and wonders about his mothers back in Egypt, one his Hebrew birth mother, the other his Egyptian adoptive mother. Is she ashamed? Angry? Alive? He stabs the staff into the dirt and kicks at the dust he raised. Where is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob out in this forsaken wilderness, this vast open sky, this yawning abyss? Where? Nowhere.
He turns to collect the animals and herd them to shelter for the evening, but the light from the fire is oddly brighter in the growing gloom, and a shiver warns him when he still sees the clear outline of stems and stubby leaves inside its distant glow. Intrigued, now, he peers through the rosemary-scented cloud of smoke blowing over him in the wind. His steps quicken as he hurries to investigate,