The king fell into a rage and treated this one more cruelly than the others, for he was himself smarting from the young man’s scorn. And so the young man met his end undefiled and with perfect trust in the Lord.
The mother was the last to die, after her sons. – 2 Maccabbees 7:39-41 (NJB)

*   *   *

It’s a terrifying story, the murder of a mother and her seven sons because they refused to violate the Law of God – in their case, keeping Kosher. I see it commemorated in the Chanukah candles, one a night, in defiance of tyranny.  Let the king be offended. Our Lord will reign.

The difference between a thought (notion) and belief (faith) hinges on whether you would stake your life on it. Belief – true faith – changes the world, for the better. (Belief also changes the word.) Too often, thoughts merely get in the way. A Zen koan, anyone?

The way of the world appears in the Atlantic City signs and allure. Everybody else – busload after busload – turns onto the expressway toward glitter, while we continue straight on for a silent Meeting. We’re at liberty.

*   *   *

So shall Fear be far from you; and as for Terror, it shall not come near you: You meek and harmless Ones, you shall increase your Joy in the Lord, and shall inherit the Earth, and delight yourselves in abundance of Peace. (Elizabeth Bathurst, 1655?-1685)

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