From My Reading – May

“Contemplation helps us discern what is truly important in the largest, most spacious frame of reality and to know what is ours to do in the face of “evil” and injustice. Richard Rohr, Daily Meditation, January 18, 2020) . . . . . Like Jesus, Francis [of Assissi] taught his disciples while walking from place to place and finding ways to serve, to observe, and to love the world that was right in front of them. Observation with love is a good description of contemplation” (Daily Meditation, February 2, 2020).

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“The way you make apprentices [of Jesus is to ravish them with the Kingdom of God.  You set it before them in such a way that they will realize their great opportunity in life is to enter the Kingdom of God as a disciple of Jesus” (Dallas Willard).

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“We must learn to be gentle with ourselves. It may be helpful, from time to time, to picture ourselves as children learning to walk. No one scolds a little one when they stumble, and we shouldn’t scold ourselves either. Falling down is part of growing up. God doesn’t expect us to be flawless, He expects us to flourish. We’re going to make mistakes, if we respond to them in the right way, we deepen in humility and He expands His likeness inside of us. “Accepting the reality of our sinfulness,” wrote Brennan Manning “means accepting our authentic self. Judas could not face his shadow; Peter could” (Jonathan R Bailey).

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Dear God, I am so afraid to open my clenched fists!  Who will I be when I have nothing left to hold on to? Who will I be when I stand before you with empty hands? Please help me to gradually open my hands and to discover that I am not what I own, but what you want to give me. And what you want to give me is love – unconditional, everlasting love”(Henri Nouwen).

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“Beauty to the spirit is what food is to the flesh. A glimpse of it in a young face, say, or an echo of it in a song fills an emptiness in you that nothing else under the sun can. Unlike food, however, it is something you never get your fill of. It leaves you always aching with longing not so much for more of the same as for whatever it is, deep within and far beyond both it and yourself, that makes it beautiful. ‘The beauty of holiness’ is how the Psalms name it (29:2), and ‘As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee (42:1) is the way they describe the ache and the longing” (Frederick Buechner, Whistling in the Dark).

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