This is worth thinking about, and without a doubt, we all need a Sabbath.
There were three friends, earnest men, who became monks. One of them chose to make peace between men engaged in controversy, as it is written: “Blessed are the peace-makers.” The second chose to visit the sick. Third chose to be quiet in solitude.
Then the first, struggling with quarrelling opponents, found that he could not heal everyone. And worn out, he came to the second who was ministering to the sick, and found him flagging in spirit, and unable to fulfil his purpose. And the two agreed, and went away to see the third who had become a hermit, and told him their troubles. And they asked him to tell them what progress he had made. And he was silent for a little, and poured water into a cup. And he said: “Look at the water.” And it was cloudy. And after a little he said again: “Now look, see…
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You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.
How many people do you meet on an average day ? Do you bother to even say hello ? Most of us go through our days ignoring the persons we encounter on a typical day. Christians are the salt and light of the world. It is our presence in this world that can make all the difference. If we are silent and fail to engage the world in conversation ten we have little impact. I can’t help but regret all the nice things I have left unsaid. all too often we are quick to criticize but oh so slow to compliment.
In our busy and anonymous world people are just blurs that pass us by and we think nothing of them. I wonder how different the world would be if we all just started a few conversations. Just randomly and casually. Here’s the suggestion. Take a day, just one day, and be very intentional about saying more than hello to the people you see that day. Who are those people ?
A possible list: (yours may be different)
The cashier at the coffee shop,grocery …
The garbage collector
The person who is 50 feet away from you at the office.
The kid in your class that never utters a word.
The members of the church choir.
The person who walks (jogs-they may not want to speak but who knows)by your house every day.
That person you see every time you are in that restaurant.
That just a list to get you started. There are so many more. If you have a few suggestions just post a comment. Take time to be the “salt and light” of the world.
English: Ignatius of Loyola
Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) founded the Society of Jesus (commonly called –the Jesuits- Pope Francis is one). The youngest of eleven children, Ignatius left his home in the Basque region of Spain to become a page for a noblemen. His life of brawling, gambling, and womanizing was disrupted when the nobleman lost his position. He then joined the army and was badly wounded when he was hit in the leg by a cannonball. During his one year recuperation as a prisoner of France henturned to God. His Spiritual Exercises for a 30-day retreat were modeled after his own conversion experience and are considered a classic of Western spirituality. Ignatian Meditation is a part of the system Ignatius described in his Spiritual Exercises.
Ignatian meditation is counter-intuitive to our culture. Parents and grandparents who have watched their children and grandchildren “play like” have the easiest time with this prayer. Mine have played at being Harry Potter, SpongeBob and Dora. Ignatian Meditation asks that you enter into the story of scripture, and become a part of it. This form of meditation engages the imagination and asks you to become a child again.
The instructions are sometimes presented in quite a complex way, these can help you begin.
Points for Ignatian Meditation
- Find a quiet place to pray. This may be in your room, a church, outdoors, or your office with the door closed.
- Establish a sense of inner peace and tranquility. Let the cares and concerns of the moment slip away. Sometimes reciting the Lord’s Prayer, Psalm 23 or a favorite prayer from memory will help get into the prayer.
- As you relax into God’s presence, take a moment to greet the Lord. Ask God to guide your thoughts.
- Slowly read the passage. Get a sense of its geography and flow. Is there something that stands out to you?
- Read it again, using a different Bible translation. Is there something in particular that is touching you?
- Place yourself in the story. Are you a main character? A spectator? Think about the following:
- What are you wearing?
- What are the sights? Smells? Textures? Sounds?
- What is going on around you?
- Who else is there? Do you recognize those around you?
- Surrender to the story. Interact with your surroundings, allow yourself to be guided by the Spirit as you speak and engage with others.
- Do not try to control the prayer. Let the Holy Spirit guide you.
- How are you feeling? Is your “heart on fire?”
- As you bring your prayer to a close, take a few minutes to speak to God about it.
- Ignatian Spirituality (noahsprojectblog.wordpress.com)
Chris Martin Writes
At some point in our life, I believe we have all been there. Unsatisfied with how we look, act, or fit in. It’s human nature to never be happy with how we are. In some cases, that can actually be a good thing, but for now, I’m talking mainly about our appearance and how we feel about life in general. In a world where we are bombarded with millions of different looks, fads, opinions, and opportunities, it’s a miracle we even know who we are as individuals.
It’s everywhere. TV. Movies. Books. Magazines. Billboards. Newspapers. Daily, we are subjected to what the world, society, thinks we should be. What we should wear. What we should eat. What we should not eat. What is healthy. What is not healthy. The list stretches beyond eternity where no one can see an end to the madness. People are looked down upon if they…
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There was an old man who was served by a holy virgin and men said he was not pure. The old man heard what was said. When he was at the point of dying he said to his fathers, “When I am dead, plant my stick in the grave; if it grows and bears fruit, know that I am pure from all contact with her; if it does not grow; know that I have sinned with her.” So they planted the stick and on the third day it budded and bore fruit, and they all gave glory to God.
The importance of this saying is not in its factual content but in its parabolic truth. In the day of the lost art of telling the story, we miss so much. The wise old man is illustrating the point that our real selves will not be seen in this life but in what our lives bring forth – that is seen through the eyes of our Creator. As we toil from day to day we miss so much of the grace of God’s creation. In our struggle to find and do right, we miss the most important point of all. God makes things right. Holy is living not really about virgins and sprouting sticks. Cassian tells us that the old man knew God and his life bore fruit.
On a summer morning
I sat down
on a hillside
to think about God –
a worthy pastime.
Near me, I saw
a single cricket;
it was moving the grains of the hillside
this way and that way.
How great was its energy,
how humble its effort.
Let us hope
it will always be like this,
each of us going on
in our inexplicable ways
building the universe.
The thoughts in this article are worth some consideration. I don’t present it as end all, but a platform for disussion.
We’ve been looking at atonement theories over the past few weeks: When Jesus Died – A Conversation on Atonement, Wonder-Working Pow’r, and A Soothing Aroma.
The big question is: how do we understand/interpret Jesus’ death? This might seem a merely academic debate that should stay behind church doors between some old, dusty theologians. But I’m interested in the issues because there are societal and cultural realities that are shaped and guided by certain theological views – and this impacts all of us, whether we are people of faith or not. Today we are drawing from two books that seek to show how certain atonement views have helped to shape the world we live in. First up, J. Denny Weaver’s The Nonviolent Atonement:
Atonement theology starts with violence, namely, the killing of Jesus. The commonplace assumption is that something good happened, namely, the salvation of sinners, when…
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