“Arrange your time and tasks according to these seven categories, and you’ll be a creativity machine” @kadavy https://medium.com/the-mission/arrange-your-time-and-tasks-according-to-these-seven-categories-and-youll-be-a-creativity-machine-b142d2fff65
Some time since I have blogged. To be honest I am settled into a lovely routine here in the Oratory. Nothing too much to say as I listen to the sounds of God in the rustling leaves and melodious birdsong. Yet, a significant change has taken place over the last two months.
For years I have begun each day with daily prayer. This has been with a daily office or set of prayers said each morning. A mixture of psalms, scripture and prayers it gave me the perfect way into my day. I considered God, myself and the world I was stepping back into. I chanted the psalms aloud before a lighted candle, bowing, kneeling or standing as seemed most appropriate. My voice added to the prayers encircling the globe everyday.
Yet after six years of this routine I felt God reach down and remove it from my…
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Source: New Year’s Day 2016
Love says it all is the only response anyone of us can make to the magnificence of the Easter Passion. St Basil provides a spendid reflection this first weekend after Easter.
“What words can adequately describe God’s gifts? They are so numerous that they defy enumeration. They are so great that any one of them demands our total gratitude in response.
Yet even though we cannot speak of it worthily, there is one gift which no thoughtful man can pass over in silence. God fashioned man in his own image and likeness; he gave him knowledge of himself; he endowed him with the ability to think which raised him above all living creatures; he permitted him to delight in the unimaginable beauties of paradise, and gave him dominion over everything upon earth.
Then, when man was deceived by the serpent and fell into sin, which led to death and to all the sufferings associated with death, God still did not forsake him. He first gave man the law to help him; he set angels over him to guard him; he sent the prophets to denounce vice and to teach virtue; he restrained man’s evil impulses by warnings and roused his desire for virtue by promises. Frequently, by way of warning, God showed him the respective ends of virtue and of vice in the lives of other men. Moreover, when man continued in disobedience even after he had done all this, God did not desert him.
No, we were not abandoned by the goodness of the Lord. Even the insult we offered to our Benefactor by despising his gifts did not destroy his love for us. On the contrary, although we were dead, our Lord Jesus Christ restored us to life again, and in a way even more amazing than the fact itself, for his state was divine, yet he did not cling to his equality with God, but emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave.
He bore our infirmities and endured our sorrows. He was wounded for our sake so that by his wounds we might be healed. He redeemed us from the curse by becoming a curse for our sake, and he submitted to the most ignominious death in order to exalt us to the life of glory. Nor was he content merely to summon us back from death to life; he also bestowed on us the dignity of his own divine nature and prepared for us a place of eternal rest where there will be joy so intense as to surpass all human imagination.
How, then, shall we repay the Lord for all his goodness to us? He is so good that he asks no recompense except our love: that is the only payment he desires. To confess my personal feelings, when I reflect on all these blessings I am overcome by a kind of dread and numbness at the very possibility of ceasing to love God and of bringing shame upon Christ because of my lack of recollection and my preoccupation with trivialities.”
Follow my friend Marty as he explores this way of Contemplative Activism
The “Second Week”: Week Eleven/Session Two.
Theme: The Contemplation on the Incarnation.
Our reading for today: John 1: 1-14.
The Word was first, the Word present to God, God present to the Word. The Word was God, in readiness for God from day one.
Everything was created through Him; nothing—not one thing!— came into being without Him. What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by. The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out.
The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son. Generous inside and out, true from start to finish. (John 1: 1-5, 14 MsgB)
When John, the writer of the fourth gospel, sat down to tell his Jesus-story, it’s apparent that he was prompted by the Holy Spirit to…
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Cattle rustling has been a big problem in West Songhor, our main area for peace-building.
But on Easter Monday Chief Maurice told me that not a single cow has been taken since December.
So he is very happy as he now looks very good in the monthly reports he makes to the national security people.
And we give thanks to God, as cattle rustling is one of the major flashpoints in the Borderlands.
Even more encouraging, our Easter Monday Peace Rally went off very well.
We had three teams playing netball, and four playing very competitive football.
All was laughter, colour, movement and screams of joy as the home teams scored!
Our attempt to lower local rivalry by re-naming the teams as Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal – people are mad about the English Premier League here – was a bright idea that…
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Closing the year with purpose. Worthy of a read and some healthy self reflection on the threshold of a New Year.
So another day here in the Oratory. Since finishing with Peaceworks I have been wondering the full import of my sense that it is a season to dedicate to prayer. Not merely prayer to fill an inconvenient space, nor prayer to assert my spirituality. This is prayer as I imagine it was always intended to be; to stand alongside the Divine and to shoulder responsibility for all that conflicts with the welfare of humanity and indeed all of God’s glorious creation.
I have discovered through years of saying the Morning and Evening Office, that Prayer is not a solitary activity. Whilst I may be on my own, yet as I bow the knee and raise my voice I join with countless thousands singing the Psalms, God’s hymnbook, and proclaiming scripture in a united, global declaration. In this way, like God, the Church neither slumbers nor sleeps. It gives me great pleasure to meditate upon the Offices continually and continuously encircling the globe.
My activism must eventually yield and turn to Activism. I flee prayer convincing myself that visible activity with tangible results is the only and most pristine measure of my devotion to God. However, the witness of the saints down the years only reveals that in fact activists come and go, and their revolutionary changes swiftly disappear with them. We are perhaps measuring all the wrong things.
In settling down to be still and be silent, in the presence of the Triune God, I perhaps move from the over indulgent stimulus required and sought by all children to the post pubescent reality of emerging adulthood; life is tough, life hurts and it most definitely is not about ME.
The prayer I need to leave behind is that forged in the factory of selfishness, where prayer was either for my own perceived needs, complete with my own professed answers. Or to make an impact upon a watching crowd as my voice rose and fell with sonorous phrases uttered on behalf of someone else, yet again to demonstrate my own self importance. How many times after praying for healing was I the first to inquire how they felt? Even then I was unable to rest in God and wanted nothing more than to stroke my own ego. I believe the phrase is, ‘I must decrease and He (Jesus) must increase’.
The prayer I need to discover and nurture is the reverent silence that I occupy alongside God and quietly carry God’s concerns as a co-worker and co-conspirator in Mustard Seed life whereby the smallest particle embraced through faith is empowered to grow into a force for transformational change – and my word we see little enough of that today.
I must conclude this thought. Suffice to say to pray is to wait, to watch and to appreciate that adulthood requires an altogether different set of skills to childhood. whilst the heart of the child – imagination, hope and belief- remain essential.
I am in an extended period of waiting – yet most likely a waiting extended by my own lack of understanding what waiting means.
Waiting appears self evident. Yet, the mind’s consistent attempt to make meaning, seek out identity and secure solutions, can in fact rob me of any substantial waiting.
It has been some years since I was employed consistently. I have spent a number of years simply making myself available to serve ambitious dreams alongside others. Some have developed a little, others folded completely. Still others have been re configured and I have found myself configured out.
The learning, sometimes with a great amount of pain, is that either my contribution to this world has concluded somewhat earlier than I had imagined, or that I am in a state of disobedience.
A recent conversation with my Spiritual Director leaves me to consider that perhaps it’s the latter; disobedience. I have waited ‘part time’, whilst with the rest of my time fashioned plans, practical and theoretical, for monetising my contribution. As such I am conforming to this world’s unspoken message that life is about paid employment. Yet, God says life is about serving the Kingdom.
My problem I want, like the Rich Young Ruler, to have a healthy bank account and to be counted amongst God’s favourites. Well, the Bible story tells me that the two are mutually exclusive; for me at any rate.
So time to wait – do nothing, say nothing and appear nowehere. Time to truly explore the role of the hermit to the well being of society. I start on this journey with great trepidation, humanly frightened and blind as to where and how to move forward. Such it seems are the ways of God, the joy of a Contemplative Activist.