Wednesday, March 11, 2009

ignis fatuus

We are so rarely aware of the reality of our own least I have learned that to be true of myself. And then we find ourselves far from home..."the soul gets bewildered." Rev. Tilden reminds us in this morning's Leaflet that we can return to the "table that always waits."


A CERTAIN man had two sons:
And the younger of them said to his father. Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. . . .
And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him. . . . he was lost, and is found.
It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad.
Luke xv.

THE PRODIGAL SON (Tilden's Meditation)

"THE far-country is very near. We may be there without knowing it; for there the soul gets bewildered, loses the points of the compass, takes a will-o'-the-wisp for a star, and is led round by the ignis fatuus of unrestrained indulgence, through the bogs of sensuality or the dark thickets of covetousness, wasting the precious substance of its God-given capacity. There is no waster like sin. It Is the sure precursor of a mighty famine of the soul. Conscience, freshly commissioned from God, laid his hand on the young man, and he cried, " Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee!" It is confession that gives strength. It opens the door for God's angels to come in and put us in right position, Godward and manward. He returns to his father's table, that always waits while even one is wandering. It is only by fleeing from the hell of sin that the heaven of obedience is gained. His penitent confession was more grateful to his father's heart than anything put on to hide his nakedness. The cloth he needed was from the home wardrobe, from which his childhood's innocence was clothed; and it was ready.
" Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; . . . He was lost, and is found."

"And when he came to himself"...what a wonderful phrase. May it be so for all of us. Blessings

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