Centering Prayer

  • The Underlying Rhythm Of Lectio Divina by M. Basil Pennington
    From An Invitation to Centering Prayer If we are to practice lectio Divina effectively, we must travel back in time to an understanding that today is in danger of being almost completely lost.  In the Christian past the words action (or practice, from the Greek praktikos) and contemplation did not describe different kinds of Christians engaging (or not engaging) in different forms of prayer and apostolates.  Practice and contemplation were understood as the two poles of our underlying, [...]
Newly added

EARTH: Uproot Sin by Francine Rivers

From: Earth Psalms When you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.”  God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else.  Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.  These desires give birth to sinful actions.  And when sin is [...]

The Gentle Art of Blessing

  • A History Of Blessing by Pierre Pradervand
    From The Gentle Art of Blessing Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. (Deuteronomy 28:6) Blessing is a millennial art.  In the religious context, blessings have existed throughout centuries across almost all cultures.  Lay forms of blessings also permeate our culture in the form of housewarming [...]

Seeds of Trust

  • The Beauty Of God’s Love by Brother Roger of Taizé
    From Seeds of Trust While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head.  But some were there who said to one another in anger, “Why was the ointment wasted in this way?  For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.”  And they scolded her.  But Jesus said, “Let her [...]

The Grace Awakening

  • The Free Gift by Charles R. Swindoll
    From: The Grace Awakening For the next few minutes let’s think about heresy.  To begin with, answer this question: What would you consider the most dangerous heresy on Earth?  Stop and think before you answer.  The one I have in mind is not so bold and ugly that it would make angels blush.  This one is subtle, rather attractive.  For a long, long time it’s been a favorite of many.  [...]

Eternal Echoes

  • Why Do We Need To Belong by John O’Donohue
    From Eternal Echoes Why do we need to belong?  Why is this desire so deeply rooted in every heart?  The longing to belong seems to be ancient and is at the core of our nature.  Though you may often feel isolated, it is the nature of your soul to belong.  The soul can never be separate, its eternal dream is intimacy and belonging.  When we are rejected or excluded, we become deeply wounded.  To be forced out, to be pushed to the margin, hurts us.  The most terrifying image in Christian [...]

My writing

  • GOD 101: Forgiveness, Grace, And Mercy
    I have a new little wooden box that is sectioned off.  It allows me to put small bottles in each section. I relate to that box.  My mind likes to put its ideas in little sections, and organize and reorganize the sections to see how things line up. Like a kaleidoscope.  Each piece standing in its own place, but changeable in its relationship to the other pieces. There’s a lot in theology and even in our liturgy that I find sloppy.  Or is done in such a way that causes a person’s [...]

Earth Psalms

Psalms

  • Sweeter Than Honey (Part 2) by C. S. Lewis
    From Reflections on the Psalms As everyone knows, the psalm specially devoted to the Law is 119, the longest in the whole collection.  And everyone has probably noticed that from the literary or technical point-of-view, it is the most formal and elaborate of them all.  The technique consists in taking a series of words which are all, for [...]

February 18th

 

Grace to you and peace from the seven Spirits before his throne. (Revelation 1:4)

 

REFLECTION: The Book of Revelation speaks of the Spirits standing before the throne of the Father.

 

Seven is the perfect number. The Spirit is manifested to us in many, many different ways. We encounter the Spirit in life, and love, and revelation, and forgiveness, and compassion, etc.

 

PRAYER: May I encounter your grace in so many ways today, Holy Spirit, and may I live in that grace.

 

Epiphany poetry

Charis

  • Creator by Preston Sprinkle
    From: Charis Transcendence Genesis 1–2 explodes out of the gate with an awe-inspiring account of creation.  God fashions the sky, forges the Earth, forms Adam and Eve, and breathes cosmic firestorms into existence.  Both chapters ripple with action and drip with intimacy.  Most of all, Genesis 1–2 pulls back the curtain and reveals the main subject of the Bible.  These chapters are fundamentally about God. God is preeminent.  God is ultimate.  God is the main subject of Genesis 1–2 [...]

The Attentive Life

  • What Does It Mean To Be Contemplative? by Leighton Ford
    From The Attentive Life For many of us when we hear the word contemplative, we think of a monk, sitting for hours, eyes closed, hands folded, lost to the world around.  Of course such a monk is indeed a contemplative.  But the idea of being contemplative is much bigger. Contemplate is a two-part word, compounded from the Latin con (meaning “with”) and templum (temple), thus to observe things within a special place, and especially to observe in the presence of a deity.  So a contemplative [...]

The Case For Grace

  • “Garbage, Dust, Bastard, Alien Devil” by Lee Strobel
    From: The Case for Grace Here was a child not much older than a toddler, cast adrift in a frightening and dangerous place that was predisposed to reject her – a world without grace.  “You must have been panic-stricken,” I said. “Not at first.  I thought, I’ll stand here on the platform, and my uncle will come for me.  But when evening came, the trains stopped.  The trainmaster came out and asked me what I was doing there.  I told him I was waiting for my uncle – and that was [...]

The Cost of Discipleship

  • Costly Grace (Part 2) by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    From The Cost of Discipleship When the Reformation came, the providence of God raised Martin Luther to restore the gospel of pure, costly grace.  Luther passed through the cloister; he was a monk and all this was part of the divine plan.  Luther had left all to follow Christ on the path of absolute obedience.  He had renounced the world in order to live the Christian life.  He had learnt obedience to Christ and to his church, because only he who is obedient can believe.  The call to the [...]

Pre-Lenten prayers

  • Septuagesima—Prayer Of The Church
    From The Lutheran Church Let us pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus and for all people according to their needs. Brief silence For the church, that all who labor in her vineyard, whether for a moment or for a lifetime, may receive the reward prepared for her, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy. For those who labor in the church as leaders, our pastor(s); and all deaconesses, teachers, and other servants, that they may remain faithful to the Holy Scriptures in all they say [...]

The Voice of Thomas Merton

Healing Our Flesh

 

Lent is a sunlit season.

 

Carnivale – farewell to the flesh. It is a poor joke to be merry about leaving the flesh, as if we were to return to it once again. What would be the good of Lent, if it were only temporary?

 

Jesus nevertheless died in order to return to his flesh; in order to raise his own body glorious from the dead, and in order to raise our bodies with him. “Unless the grain of wheat, falling into the ground, dies, itself remains alone.” So we cast off the flesh, not out of contempt, but in order to heal the flesh in the mercy of penance and restore it to the Spirit to which it belongs. And all creation waits in anguish for our victory and our bodies’ glory.

 

God wills us to recover all the joys of his created world in the Spirit, by denying ourselves what is really no joy – what only ends in the flesh. “The flesh profits nothing.”

One Of Us

Visions of Hildegard of Bingen

Forgotten God

A Voice For My Soul

  • Today Is The Day by Anna Beth Fore
    From: A Voice for My Soul Let the heavens rejoice, let the Earth be glad; let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!” Let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be [...]

Epiphany sermons