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Showing posts from March, 2009

Being Christ

I notice that in my daily life, I get many opportunities to be light to those around me. People who need a listening ear, someone to pray for or with them, to be a mentor or friend. I am so thankful for these opportunities. I also realize that in all my activities like those mentioned above, but also even "religious" activities that I need to things. Down time...this is just time to relax and do something simply for fun. I also need time in contemplative prayer...the rosary, or centering prayer are two of my favorite. They allow me to recharge my spiritual batteries and regain my center in the Beloved. How do you regain your center?

What Jesus Meant

I just finished an excellent book entitled What Jesus Meant by Gary Wills. This book looks at the life of Jesus. It looks at his uniqueness but ultimately his teaching and the way he treated others. This book raises some fantastic questions. One is what was Jesus' goal for his followers. Would he be pleased with how his church looks and acts? I think Wills makes an excellent point in that the church is both holy and sinful...full of saints and pharisees. To imitate Jesus Christ is to love those who he loved. To love the Father and listen to him. Jesus was not wrapped up in a lot of religious rules, and he had little patience with those who used rituals and practices to exclude and demean people. I believe that Jesus wants his church to be based upon relationships...relationship with the Father and right relationship with each other. It seemed the only time Jesus grew angry was with religious superiority and a hateful exclusion of people by the self-righteous.

One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church

I believe that the Anglican Communion with all its beauty and faults is a part of the one holy catholic and apostolic church. I believe that when the church first came to the Celtic lands, it was not ruled by the pope in the way it it later became. Patrick made no reference to Rome nor being in submission to it. Bede writes in 431 A.D. of an a Roman Catholic missionary was sentto bring the Celtic assemblies under the rule and doctrine of Rome. I would say it is safe to say the Apostolic and Catholic Church existed there before the papacy would lay claim over all Christendom. I believe that when Henry VIII broke from Rome, that while it was for his own selfish reasons, God used it to restore the church from papal authority. We contain the elements of the apostolic church-the Eucharist, the apostolic line of bishops, and the core elements of the historic church. I view the Roman and the Orthodox as our brothers and sisters in a unique way though their understandings and practices…

Breathing

John Michael Talbot gave a beautiful example while talking about centering prayer this weekend. He talked about the word Spirit and one of its connotations in Hebrew to a word meaning something akin to intimate breath. He then gave this example. Imagine laying face to face with a lover, not speaking, just being with them where you share your breath as you are so close. Centering prayer is like that.

For me that has helped me to let go in centering prayer. I tend to be drawn to imagery of the lover and Beloved.


The Amazing Grace of God

When I was a teenager, I belonged to a fundamentalist church. I learned a lot about the Bible for which I am incredibly thankful. Unfortunately I also learned a lot about judging others. It took several years and judgement against me by that church to wake me up. Yet one thing stood firm during that time - God's grace. The Beloved was with my in pain, anger and even my running and rejection of him. He never gave up. His love broke through my confusion and rage. His mercy forgave my sins that harmed so many. His peace held me as a child being nurtured by his mother. He healed my wounds and stood me up again. His grace never let me go.

Discerning a Vocation?

You have a vocation. Yes you! All of us do. Some are called to teach. Others to work on computers, cars, or taking care of ones family. We all have a vocation. But how many of us just flow along, never stopping to ask God where he would have us be-what he would have us do? When considering what God might be calling you to do- here are a few things you might contemplate.
1. Pray. Pray often. Spend time with God in silence.
2. Seek counsel. Seek the counsel of a spiritual director, your parents, and even your friends. Weigh what these people know of you, what they may see that you may be good at. Consider their words prayerfully even if you disagree.
3. Consider a religious vocation. Could God be calling you to be a priest or religious? Could God be calling you to be a missionary or some other type of ministry?
4. Try a retreat. Sometimes a retreat can give you enough quiet time, that you may not give yourself elsewhere to hear the voice of God.
5. No matter to what lif…

Rule of Life 4

IX. Study



Engage, daily the writings of Holy Scripture, the Desert Fathers and Mothers, Contemplatives and other Holy men and women of faith to gain a greater understanding and experience of the contemplative life and practice.


It is imperative in my opinion for the contemplative to be well grounded in the scripture to keep one from the possible errors and extremes of contemplative life. He or she would also need to heed the words of those contemplatives who have gone before us. Anthony, John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Julian of Norwich, Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, Thomas Keating, Basil Pennington are a few that come to mind. It seems there are so many writings that I cannot get to them all, but slow and steady is the way to go.





Addendum

The Following is borrowed and adapted from the spirit of the order and rule Of Saint Francis of Assisi and from the rule of Saint Benedict, and adapted by Br. Stephen J Buckley IV, revised by Br. Kenneth Hosl…

Compline

After Choir, our church had Compline prayer. What a beautiful time that was with the silence, the soft hymn and the prayers. No wonder I am an Episcopalian!