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Archive for June, 2010
Reading Jun 30th 2010
Here’s a list of the books that have nourished me this year:
David Adams Richards. Doubleday Canada.
Canadian novelist gets fed up with the portrayal of people of faith as nuts or dangerous in literature. This is his personal response to his life and experience- concludes that “God Is”
Humility of God Ilia
Delio St. Anthony Messenger Press.
This book gives a refreshing turn to our view of God, the Incarnation and our call as followers of Jesus. If the introduction bogs you down – skip to first chapter.
Poverty of Spirit
Johannes Baptist Metz – Paulist Press.
I have returned several times to this reflection on Jesus’ full embrace of the poverty of humanity. Jesus’ gritty experience beckons us to follow and embrace our own poverty in his grace.
Prayers Jun 16th 2010
Relax and recognize that we are settling ourselves to be in the presence of God.
You are invited to relax and be comfortable and to listen carefully to God’s word, being reminded of Jesus’ assurance: “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am with them.”
All we need to do is relax, listen to a reading and be prepared to share with the group the word or phrase that caught our attention during the reading
Our reader will read a scripture passage aloud, slowly and distinctly, with pauses, so that each phrase can sink into us as listeners.
Our reader will read it one more time for us. After this reading, there should be a gentle silence.
Then each person is invited to repeat the word or phrase that strikes her/him personally. More >
Retreats Jun 16th 2010
Begin believing that the Divine Shepherd wants to communicate personally with you. No matter where you have been in the past all you bring to this process is a generous openness to God.
Silence is one of the important ingredients to quieting yourself, both inside and out. You want to create an atmosphere of hospitality for the Divine Guardian of your soul.
At the beginning of each prayer period quiet yourself, relax and tune out everything but the One who wants to communicate with you.
John Veltri sj, gives this helpful piece of advice: “In an age of noise, activity and tensions like our own, it is not always necessary or easy to forget our cares and commitments, the noise and excitement of our environment. Never feel constrained to blot out all distractions….Rather, realize that the Word did become flesh – that God speaks to us in the noise and confusion of our day.”
When you are relaxed in the comfortable knowledge of God’s unselfish, loving presence in you then pick up the passage of scripture you have selected.
Veltri summarizes the process in “5 ‘P’s’ 1’R’”
Passage of Scripture
Pick one and have it marked and ready.
Where you are alone and uninhibited in your response to God’s presence
Relaxed and peaceful. A harmony of body with spirit
Presence of God
Be aware of it and acknowledge and respond to it.
When you are ready turn to the selected passage.
Read it very slowly aloud and listen carefully and peacefully to it….pause…..Listen with your heart as you would a love letter. Read aloud or whisper with pauses and repetitions when and where you are drawn. Don’t be anxious, don’t try to look for implications or lessons or profound thoughts or conclusions. Be content to be like a child who climbs into a caring person’s lap and listens to a story. During the prayer exercise and, certainly just before closing, it is helpful to carry on a conversation with God or with Jesus or some safe wisdom figure concerning what you hear.
After the period of prayer is over reflect upon the experience of prayer just finished. This review will help you notice what God is doing in your experience.
An important part of the process of prayer is sharing the experience (as much as is appropriate) with your friends in the group. It has been my experience that we often find surprises in the telling of what we have experienced of God to a few trusted friends.
Often new truths, emotions, comforts and fears can emerge in the telling. The trusted friends in the group become mediators and reminders of God’s love for you in all of this experience.
Prayers Jun 16th 2010
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that
I think that I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope that I have that desire
in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything
apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this
you will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and will never leave me to face my perils alone.
Reading Jun 16th 2010
Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church
N.T. Wright Harper – Collins Canada
Wright gently and often amusingly helps us understand that Jesus’ resurrection focuses our lives on justice, beauty and good news. Thoughtful and enriching reading.