Tag Archives: Christian Living

Elusive Purity

Day 25The plans of the mind belong to mortals,

but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.

All one’s ways may be pure in one’s own eyes,

but the Lord weighs the spirit.

Commit your work to the Lord,

and your plans will be established.

—–Proverbs 16:1-3


Question– Do I use the wisdom that God offers?


Prayer- Lord, I acknowledge that a special purity comes you and that I am merely a vessel that carries what you have given. Let me have the understanding to be able to put your spirit to work in me. In doing so, I can achieve the purity of heart that so eludes me. Amen


Day 25-1

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Call Upon the Lord

Day 24I call upon you, O LORD; come quickly to me;

give ear to my voice when I call to you.

Let my prayer be counted as incense before you,

and the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice

—-Psalm 141:1-2


Question- Do I call upon the Lord and believe he will come?


Prayer- Lord, I call upon you this day with the faith that you will carry me through. I acknowledge you as my strength I times of trouble, my shield in times of danger and my deliverer in times of panic. Please be me this day and be my friend. Amen


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Who are You?

day 23

He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ He asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ The reply came, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.

—Acts 9:4-6


Question- Do we sometimes forget who Jesus really is?


Prayer- LORD, let me never forget that I am called to be a follower of you. Help me to act in a way that people may see you when they see me. Amen

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From the Beginning

Day 22In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.

—John 1:1-3



Question- Do I trust that God has always been with me?


Prayer- LORD, your scripture says that your love for me has always been in your plans. Let that assurance lead me to live a life that honors you. Amen


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The Voice

Day 21Saul said to Samuel, ‘I have sinned; for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. Now therefore, I pray, pardon my sin, and return with me, so that I may worship the Lord.’

—1 Samuel 15:24-25




Question- What voice are you following today?


Prayer- LORD, I seek your forgiveness for the many times I have ignored you. I implore you to speak loudly to me so that I may hear you above the voices of the world. Attune my ears to your words so that I may follow your path to the glorious life you have in mind for me. Amen


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Rules for the New Life

Day 19      March 18

Day 19Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil. Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labour and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy. 29Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.

—Ephesians 4:26-29


Question- Do I take the time to really work on my anger?


Prayer- LORD, your peace surpasses all my understanding. When anger rises within me, please calm my mind and soothe my heart with your gentle words. Fill my whole life with your perfect peace. May my personality be shaped by your peace rather than my frustration. Amen

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Singing the Song

Day 16Sing joyful songs to the Lord!
Praise the mighty rock
where we are safe.
Come to worship him
with thankful hearts
and songs of praise.

The Lord is the greatest God,
king over all other gods.
He holds the deepest part
of the earth in his hands,
and the mountain peaks
belong to him.

—-Psalm 95:1-4


Question– How will I sing a joyful song to the Lord today?


PrayerLORD, I long for the safety that you offer to me. There are times when the world is so threatening that I feel quite alone. In those times I look to you to be my rock. Let me never forget that you are always there for me. Amen.

Day 16 Special

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Day 15 Humble Yet Alert March 13

Day 15Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. Discipline yourselves; keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour.

—Hebrews 5:6-8


Question – How can my humility keep me alert to the evil one?


Prayer – LORD, the world teaches me that humility is weakness, but you teach that it is strength. Give me the courage to be humble as a way of being aware of the evil that is all around me. In that humility, you give me strength. Amen

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The Spirit of Christ

It is not for us to say who, in the deepest sense, is or is not close to the spirit of Christ. We do not see into men’s hearts. We cannot judge, and are indeed forbidden to judge.

—- C S Lewis

How many times have you been confronted with the question, are you a Christian? Our first response is obvious, yes! For some, that response requires a great many qualifiers. Have you had a dramatic “born again” experience or , like John Wesley, has your heart been strangely warmed ? C S Lewis in his writing warns us of such qualifiers. He asserts that the spirit of Christ is far more powerful than our words and expressions. Our place as Christians is to share the love and freedom that comes from knowing that spirit to all who come our way. Anything other than that would be judging, and we are not to judge. That judging is, in my opinion, the unforgivable sin

Every Christian is called to ministry by their Baptism. Our Baptism is the coming of the spirit of Christ upon us by our personal affirmation of Christ or by the affirmation of our faith community. Through that we are called to share that faith and love to our community. Faith and love cannot be shared while we are judging others.

  • The spirit of Christ is a spirit of love.
  • The spirit of Christ is a spirit of forgiveness.
  • The spirit of Christ is a spirit of inclusion.
  • The spirit of Christ is a spirit of freedom.

When we allow His spirit to rule our lives, we possess those qualities and are equipped to share them with the world. Being Christ like is not a contest of holiness but a challenge to be the good news to those we encounter. Have you shared the true love of God with anyone lately? If you did then you saw the shear joy that appeared on their faces when they were touched by that love. We live in a world that is reeling with division and strife and seeking to find a peace that only God can offer. People who see and feel forgiveness, freedom and inclusion are changed in an instant. Let us offer that as often as we can.


Prayer

Lord, help me to truly live in the spirit of Christ. Allow me to see his love in me and share it with others. Take away my drive to judge and replace it with a drive to love and forgive. May that spirit be my way of living.

Amen


 

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Spiritual Direction and Healing the Soul

(Note: This is a reblog of an article by Lou Kavar. I thought it to be very informative and worth sharing. I will share some thoughts of my own on “Healing of the Soul” soon)

Spiritual Direction. It’s an odd term. It refers to a practice in which one person tends to another as a companion for the spiritual journey. The “direction” aspect of “spiritual direction” is what makes the term awkward. A wise spiritual director doesn’t direct anything. At best, an experienced spiritual director may make some observations about what form life is taking for the other. But someone shouldn’t be giving directions or advice.

Some people have tried using other words for “spiritual direction.” There’s spiritual friend, spiritual companion, spiritual coach or advisor, spiritual teacher …. all of which have their own problems. Conveying the dynamic of this process seems to elude all of these terms. It’s similar to trying to define spirituality itself: as soon as it’s defined, it becomes obvious that something is missing.

I don’t know when the English term “spiritual direction” was first used. In all my study, I’ve not been able to find a reference for that. But the actual process is found in every great religious tradition.

My understanding of the practice of spiritual direction is rooted in the Eastern Christian tradition. In the Eastern Christian tradition, spiritual direction traces its origin to the third century of the Common Era. At that time, the fathers and mothers of the Christian contemplative tradition sought refuge and quiet in the Sinai desert. From them emerged an understanding of what we today call spiritual director. The person regarded as a father or mother, abba or imma, was a person known for living a well integrated spiritual life. Others would seek out the wisdom of the father or mother. More often in small groups, but sometimes individually, the father or mother would offer perspective about the path of the spiritual journey. This process was understood to be one of healing.

Unlike many other approaches to spiritual direction common today, spiritual direction in Eastern Christianity is primarily known as the healing of the soul. Affirming that each person is at heart the image and likeness of the Divine, soul healing is meant to remove all obstacles that prevent the person from living fully in consonance with the Divine spark that animates each of us. From this perspective, spiritual direction isn’t just about prayer and spiritual practices or a set of exercises. Spiritual practices and disciplines do have merit in that they enable us to live into the truth of the inner light we carry. But the process of healing, of returning to wholeness, is the focus of spiritual direction. Healing and wholeness are the result of turning toward and reorienting ourselves to (Greek: metanoia) the Divine presence in us. In this process, every aspect of life is refocused to enable us to manifest the Divine light, to be transfigured into the image of God we were created to be. Healing is a movement toward integration from all the ways we each lead lives that are imbalanced or off-target (Greek: hamartia). This healing doesn’t come in an instant but is a process of growing into greater balance and harmony throughout all of life.

When I meet with others as a spiritual director, either in my study or by way of Skype, any aspect of life may be part of the conversation. For example, some people explore how the spiritual direction of life can be better integrated with work and career while others explore living compassionately in our complex world. In these conversations, my role is not that of a counselor or psychologist who identifies problems and establishes goals to solve those problems. Instead, my role is to be a reminder to return to the simple perspective of how the spiritual dimension of a person’s life gives form and shape to the other aspects of life. While only the person seeking spiritual direction can come to that kind of integration, it’s often helpful to have another ask questions or share perspectives on the process of integration. That’s what the fathers and mothers in the Sinai did when people sought their counsel.

While the spiritual dimension of my own life is rooted in the contemplative tradition of Christianity, many of those with whom I work in spiritual direction don’t share that same background. While some are Christian, some are Buddhist, and others describe themselves as spiritual but not religious or humanist. The metaphors for the integration of the spiritual dimension of life with the other aspects of life may differ because of our beliefs and practices. Yet, the essential process of healing the soul, of journeying with another along the process of wholeness, is very much the same.

Today, there’s a wide variety of perspectives on spiritual direction. Some follow a particular approach to prayer and spiritual practice, like the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius, and others use psycho-spiritual tools, like the Enneagram. My approach is one of integration and is rooted in the tradition that understands spiritual growth and development as a process of healing and wholeness for all of life.

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