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Showing posts from January, 2012

A Welcoming Family of Believers ...

... pursuing a closer walk with God.

One Hour

"Every morning at 6:45 I go to the small convent of the Carmelite Sisters for an hour of prayer and meditation. I say 'every morning,' but there are exceptions. Fatigue, busyness, and preoccupations often serve as arguments for not going. Yet without this one hour a day for God, my life loses its coherency and I start experiencing my days as a series of random incidents and accidents."My hour in the Carmelite chapel is more important than I can fully know myself. It is not an hour of deep prayer, nor a time in which I experience a special closeness to God; it is not a period of serious attentiveness to the divine mysteries. I wish it were! On the contrary, it is full of distractions, inner restlessness, sleepiness, confusion, and boredom. It seldom, if ever, pleases my senses. But the simple fact of being for one hour in the presence of the Lord and of showing him all that I feel, think, sense, and experience, without trying to hide anything, must please him…

Life in Greencastle - The Church Gathered and Spread

"There was a time when I wondered why more people did not go to church. Taken purely as a human recreation, what could be more delightful, more unexpected than to enter a venerable and lavishly scaled building kept warm and clean for use one or two hours a week and to sit and stand in unison and sing and recite creeds and petitions that are like paths worn smooth in the raw terrain of our hearts? To listen, or not listen, as a resplendently robed man strives to console us with scraps of ancient epistles and halting accounts, hopelessly compromised by words, of those intimations of divine joy that are like pain in that, their instant gone, the mind cannot remember or believe them; to witness the windows donated by departed patrons and the altar flowers arranged by withdrawn hands and the whole considered spectacle lustrous beneath its patina of inheritance; to pay, for all this, no more than we are moved to give - surely in all democracy there is nothing like it. Indeed, it is …

Monday Morning

Here is a good word from Henri Nouwen that ties in well with part of what we reflected upon yesterday in worship:

"Nothing is real without deriving its reality from God. This was the great discovery of St. Francis when he suddenly saw the whole world in God's hands and wondered why he did not drop it. St. Augustine, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John Vianney, and all the saints are saints precisely because for them the order of being was turned around and they saw, felt, and - above all - knew with their heart that outside of God nothing is, nothing breates, nothing moves, and nothing lives.

"This makes me aware that the basis of all ministry rests not in the moral life but in the mystical life. The issue is not to live as well as we can, but to let our life be one that finds its source in the Divine life." - From Gracias!

I think what Nouwen is saying relates especially well to Paul and what we've discussed about him as we've been looking at Philippians. Paul s…

Loving Fully

This week we will look more closely at Paul's opening words to his friends and co-laborers in Philippi - including looking at his prayer for his brothers and sisters in Christ. The specific verses we will consider are Philippians 1:3-11:

"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God's grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless u…

New Year, New Book

Happy new year to everyone, and I hope you are enjoying the beautiful scene of snow swirling today.

Here at church, we began our new year by delving into a new book of the Bible: Paul's letter to the Philippians. I say, "book," but as we explored yesterday, Philippians is actually a letter written from perhaps Christianity's most well known Christian missionary and preacher, the Apostle Paul.

Paul wrote this particular letter while "in chains," under the watch of the Roman imperial guards. This wasn't the first time or the last time that Paul's bold preaching of the gospel was to land him in trouble with civic authorities. Yet, as we discovered yesterday by reading and listening to Paul's letter, he was a man far from feeling trapped or confined. Even facing the stringent limitations of being under watch, Paul was a man fully confident about his future and fully secure in the place God had him at that particular moment.

I have been reading We…