Tag Archives: closer to God

Contemplate Guidance with John Ruusbroec

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, May 2, 2017


immeasurable prayer power.jpg

Contemplate Guidance with John Ruusbroec

Fr. Ruusbroec lived in the 1300’s in the Flemish part of what is now Belgium. When a teen, he went to live with his uncle (a priest). John studied for the priesthood himself, became ordained, and later entered a religious house with his uncle. Fr. Ruusbroec became known as a contemplative, a spiritual writer and thinker who wrote and published a number of treatises. Excerpts from The Spiritual Espousals are included here.

In this section, Fr. Ruusbroec discusses the importance of unity of mind and spirit, and the several manifestations of unity within a person. I was struck by the following description:
“There is no more precious vessel than a loving soul and no more beneficial drink than the grace of God. It is in this way that a person will offer to God all his works and his entire life with a simple and upright intention and will also, above that intention, above himself, and above all things, rest in that sublime unity where God and the loving spirit are united without intermediary.” [1]

My goodness! What riches there are in these short few sentences! Fr. Ruusbroec wanted to aid his readers in becoming closer and closer to God. The way for the good Father was to strive to practice regular, rigorous interior (that is, inner) exercises. And, as we reach a state of more and more closeness, we may indeed approach that “sublime unity.”

I wonder quite what Ruusbroec meant about “God and the loving spirit” are indeed united without intermediary. I suspect that if this was coming from a Roman Catholic, it verged on the outskirts of Catholic theology. (Interesting! Seriously.)

“This unity of the spirit is where we are to dwell in the peace of God and in the richness of charity. Here all the multiplicity of the virtues comes to an end, and they live together in the simplicity of the spirit.” [2]

Ah, for the good Father, it all distills down to the unity of the spirit. And, what can be more blessed and God-given than for everyone to have the opportunity to receive these blessed gifts. Dear Lord, gracious God, help the readers (me, included) to take what John Ruusbroec dearly wished. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayers.



Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Spiritual Classics, edited by Richard J. Foster and Emilie Griffin. (San Francisco, California: HarperSanFrancisco, 2000), 286.

[2] Ibid, 287.

Lessons for Your Soul

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, June 30, 2015

flowers in sidewalk cracks

Lessons for Your Soul

I love reading anything Melody Beattie wrote—including this chapter of the book Handbook for the Soul. Somehow, I can connect with almost everything she writes. (It’s both a funny/ha-ha thing as well as a funny/that was strange! kind of way.)

Like, for example, where Melody wrote that “we are all at different stages of growth, so we each need different things to trigger that connection to the soul.” [1]

That is so true. I have been thinking for a number of recent years about this life I live. When I consider myself, and the things I’ve stopped doing, and I see how far I’ve come. Or, when I think of what is happening in the experiences of people around me, and feel for them. About what is going on in their lives.

I’ve reflected just recently that life is a journey and that we are all at different stages. (My words, precisely.) And then, I read the same words in Melody Beattie’s chapter tonight. In a word, wow.

I also resonate with Beattie’s comment that we all go on automatic pilot, sometimes. (Don’t we, though?) I was just mentioning this to my daughter the other day. Sometimes I don’t realize it until afterwards—how much time on automatic pilot I have spent. And what has this “pilot” been but a limitation? Just keeping time? Making the same-old, same-old. Marking time, setting for second best. That’s what I can get up to, in my head.

Keeping time and zoning out is definitely not staying in touch with my soul.

I’m not sure, but I suspect that even that is part of this journey all of us are on. Hopefully, God willing, I will see whether I can concentrate on getting closer to God. And, that is a good thing. I pray that I may continue much longer than a month in June.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

[1] Handbook for the Soul, Richard Carlson and Benjamin Shield, editors. (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1995.), 186.