About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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“Gerard Manley Hopkins once argued that most people drank more liquids than they really needed and bet that he could go without drinking for a week. He persisted until his tongue was black and he collapsed at drill.”
— A biography of Fr. Gerard M. Hopkins (d. 1889)

   Send an E-mail to Dr. Ronda Chervin, Ph.D.
Arresting Images of Grace
published 14 March 2013 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

From Old Journals:

I read about Arafat – “he finds it difficult to live without a cause, a struggle, a grievance, and a conflict to define him.” I wondered, is this part of why it’s hard to be a contemplative – no cause to define me? Also in marriage – sometimes a woman’s identity becomes grievance at her husband.

A poem by a relative of mine about family life:

“We are teardrops in the sand, we are splinters in the cross, we imagine we are choosing, we are on our way to loss.

We are everything, and nothing
But the memories we leave,
We imagine we are choosing
We are choosing to believe….

We are splinters of the cross
And the man who said, forsaken,
That the Father who had left him
Would return for what was taken.

We have not that long to go
There are mountains shouting “Leap”, there are rosaries we cling to
When the monsters haunt our sleep.

Meditation on Littleness – by Ronda

One who is totally vulnerable becomes invulnerable
because there is no pride left to squash?
As under the heavy tread of the giant tire,
the tiniest of the ants escapes from the hill?

The strutting tyrant,
The bravado tongue
Becomes a handful of dust
While the tiny soul soars into Light?

God became a babe!
The second person of the Trinity a circle of bread!
While the rustic maid becomes the Queen of heaven!

If everyone is seen as but a poor little thing
Even I, I, i,
Will Thy kingdom come?

Today is the feast of St. John Chrysostom. When he was being dragged through the mud of the city by his persecutors, the Church looked about ruined. And he was able to write with such confidence that there was nothing to fear:

“The waters have risen and severe storms are upon us, but we do not fear drowning, for we stand firmly upon a rock. Let the sea rage, it cannot break the rock. Let the waves rise, they cannot sink the boat of Jesus. What are we to fear? Death? ‘Life to me means Christ and death is gain.’ Exile? ‘The earth and its fullness belong to the Lord’….I have only contempt for the world’s threats, I find its blessings laughable. …I am surely not going to rely on my own strength! I have his promise…that is my staff, my security, my peaceful harbor…’Know that I am with you always, until the end of the world.!’

My priest teaches that whereas on a rational plane we can justify non-forgiveness, people are so miserable that we have to forgive them.

I am reading this manuscript about the unborn Jesus in the womb of Mary (George Peate – now published by Life Cycle). Here is a fantastically beautiful image relative to interior touch. The author writes about how “Jesus in the amniotic sac could have been straining forward and reaching out His tiny finger towards the inner heart of Mary His mother – as God touches each human heart from deep within.”

Sermon of my Priest

The scripture was where Jesus says that He is the bread of life and that all who come to Him with never hunger or thirst. Father said this requires some explanation. Most of us still feel that we hunger and thirst even though we come to Jesus. Father gave an analogy to little babies who are deeply anguished if their food and drink is delayed. We need to see that we need Jesus every moment that same way. I, Ronda, thought about breastfed on demand babies in tribes who lives on their mother’s breast and also breastfeeding at night in our times vs. old way of letting baby cry itself to misery and finally give up on night feeding. Also I thought, why would I want to do anything without Jesus.

Father says when we feel bad it is because we don’t feel loved and then we seek compensations of all sorts. Instead we should be like a baby who knows it needs its mother all the time. Like a babe in the womb who gets everything from the mother’s blood. If we don’t understand this, then Jesus’ words about eating his flesh and drinking his blood are shocking and not understandable. In obscure faith we need to eat and drink of Him and He of us in a certain way, too.

I thought of how the constant Jesus prayer expresses this.