May your journey
through the universal questions of life
bring you to a new moment of awareness.
May it be an enlightening one.
May you find embedded in the past,
like all the students of life before you,
the answers you are seeking now.
May they awaken that in you which is
deeper than fact,
truer than fiction,
full of faith.
May you come to know
that in every human event
is a particle of the Divine
to which we turn for meaning here,
to which we tend for fullness of life hereafter.
Joan Chittister OSB
Franciscan Friar and contemplative Richard Rhor asserts the following: “Divine union, not private perfection, is the goal of all religion.” In that very short statement we can find the heart of our faith walk. Our world is busy chasing many goals and movements to find the perfect way to “do church,” and it stares us in the face. Religion is union with the divine. That union is not found in a series of rules that seek to bring us to a state of personal perfection but in quiet steps that bring us closer to God.
This union with the Divine has to start with prayer that carries us away from the ordinary and allows us to reach for the Divine. Perhaps the best start would be a time of silence when we offer ourselves to God, and remain still long enough for Him to respond.
Union with the Divine is found in the Sacrament of Holy Communion. In this Holy Mystery, the Divine comes to us. Countless hours are spent looking for God, and without a doubt, He is present in the sacrament. Do not neglect the concept of frequent communion that is so forcefully expressed by Methodist founder John Wesley for in the practice of this Holy Mystery we find Divine union.
Jesus cries to us, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. “ Let us make coming to union with the Divine the driving force of our lives.
- The Eucharist (ubiquelucet.wordpress.com)
English: Orthodox Church and monastery of the Holy Spirit in Vilnius. Christ icon over the monastery gate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
He also said, ‘Some have afflicted their bodies by asceticism, but they lack discernment, and so they are far from God.’
He also said, ‘Our life and our death is with our neighbor. If we gain our brother, we have gained God, but if we scandalize our brother, we have sinned against Christ.’
—–Sayings of the Desert Fathers
Asceticism can be defined as the rejection of the pleasures of life. It does not really matter how much we deprive ourselves in the name of God, if we do not have the discernment to know that we must interact with all of our neighbors. Our true calling as Christ followers is to be at harmony with all who are around us .Our ultimate calling is to gain the trust and friendship of those around us. In this there is Godly living. To be destructive to our neighbor is a sin against God and man.
Lord help me to be at peace and harmony with all whom you send my way. Help me to learn that each person is a part of your creation and that you love them just as you love me. Fill me with your Spirit so that I may learn of your grace and wisdom. Though that grace and wisdom I am given the key of living in love in this unloving world. May you grant this to me through the one who loves me most. Amen