From my Reading

“In light of today’s information overload, people are looking for a few clear certitudes by which to define themselves. . . .  We cannot settle today’s confusion by pretending to have absolute and certain answers. But we must not give up seeking truth, observing reality from all its angles. We settle human confusion not by falsely pretending to settle all the dust, but by teaching people an honest and humble process for learning and listening, which we call contemplation. Then people come to wisdom in a calm and compassionate way. There will not be the knee jerk overreactions that we have in so many on both Left and Right today” (Richard Rohr, Daily Meditation, Oct. 4, 2018).

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“We should be perfectly clear about one thing: Jesus never expected us simply to turn the other cheek, go the second mile, bless those who persecute us, give unto them that ask, and so forth. These responses, generally and rightly understood to be characteristics of Christlikeness, were set forth by him as illustrative of what might be expected of a new kind of person—one who intelligently and steadfastly seeks, above all else, to live within the rule of God and be possessed by the kind of righteousness that God himself has, as Matthew 6:33 portrays.

Instead, Jesus did invite people to follow him into that sort of life from which behavior such as loving one’s enemies will seem like the only sensible and happy thing to do.…Oswald Chambers observes:  ‘The Sermon on the Mount is a statement of the life we will live when the Holy Spirit is getting his way with us;’” (Dallas Willard in Spirit of the Disciplines).

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“Virtue is what happens when wise and courageous choices become second nature” ( N.T. Wright).

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“Praying the scriptures has found particularly colorful expression in practices derived from the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order. A hallmark of these exercises is the use of sensory imagination in meditating with the Gospels. (It is worth noting that other narrative portions of scripture are equally adaptable to the Ignatian method.) By entering into the stories and characters of the Gospels imaginatively, we are invited to encounter the living Lord—the Word Incarnate—in a more vivid and personal way.” (From Prayer with Scripture by Marjorie J. Thompson in Weavings, May/June 1990. )

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“It’s important to be clear what we’re talking about when we say “spiritual formation.” Consider Paul’s words in Galatians 4:19: ‘I am in travail until Christ be formed in you.” The word travail is a birthing image. He’s saying, essentially, “I am in the pain of childbirth until Christ is formed in you.’ That’s a biblical, foundational way of thinking about spiritual formation.

I think of a couple of old hymns that speak to this. The first is “Rock of Ages”—’Let the water and the blood, from thy wounded side which flowed, be of sin the double cure.’ That’s the key—the “double cure.” It then says “Save from wrath,” which is forgiveness, justification. But it goes on: “Save from wrath and make me pure.” When we speak of spiritual formation, it’s all of that together, not separate. It’s justification and sanctification going together”(Richard Foster, christianitytoday.com, October, 2018).

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One Response to From my Reading

  1. Bob Bakker says:

    Thank you for sharing.

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