Saturday, August 11, 2018
Memorial of St. Clare
Today, in Mercy, we have a rare appearance from the prophet Habakkuk, whose contribution to the Hebrew Scriptures is brief — three short chapters. The first two chapters are known as the First and Second Complaint of Habakkuk.
In his first complaint, Habakkuk is upset with the way the world is going. You know what he feels like. He saw the political infrastructure rife with corruption, enemies attacking the heart of Jewish religion, and economic deadlock. Habakkuk asks God to explain why this is happening.
God says that Habakkuk has to have faith, that ultimately God will work things out.
That doesn’t float with Habakkuk, so he complains again. He basically tells God that, as the all-Powerful One, God should be able to do better.
Have you ever talked to God like that in your prayer – just so frustrated with your life or the world situation that you pour it all out in one massive complaint?
The fullness of Habakkuk’s faith evolved over time, because God abided with him, telling Habakkuk to be patient:
Write down the vision
Clearly upon the tablets,
so that one can read it readily.
For the vision still has its time,
presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint;
If it delays, wait for it,
it will surely come, it will not be late.
The rash man has no integrity;
but the just man, because of his faith, shall live.
This passage is a good incentive to maintain a spiritual journal. When we go back over past challenges, we are often amazed to see how God did, indeed, abide with us — just as God did with Habakkuk.
Ready for some haunting beautiful Gaelic? (English lyrics below.)
Music: Bi Thusa Mo Shuile (Be Thou My Vision)
( Be Thou My Vision is a traditional hymn from Ireland. The words are based on a Middle Irish poem often attributed to the sixth-century Irish Christian poet Dallán Forgaill. The best-known English version was translated by Eleanor Hull and published in 1912. Since 1919 it has been commonly sung to the Irish folk tune “Slane”.)
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art