Tag Archives: energized

Difficulty with Meditation

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, June 8, 2017

sitting in pew

Difficulty with Meditation

I have difficulty with meditation sometimes. I can relate to these seminarians. But, I am getting ahead of myself.

We need to turn our attention to the Confessing Church, representatives from a number of German churches who left the national church in 1934. (The national church was following Hitler’s agenda, increasingly, throughout the 1930’s.) The leadership of the Confessing Church sent for Dietrich Bonhoeffer in 1935; he was in London at the time. The Confessing Church established a breakaway, Confessing seminary in Finkenwalde. [1]

Dietrich Bonhoeffer expected the seminarians to “devote a half-hour each morning to silent meditation on a Scripture text.” [2] This practice caused them great consternation and difficulties. They could not figure out how to make use of the time.

As I said, I can relate. It is sometimes difficult for me to meditate and pray for an extended period, at normal and usual times. I would consider half-hour stretches of time to be a longer amount of time.

The seminarians did a variety of things instead of meditation. Some would sleep, others daydreamed, still others worked on sermons, instead of meditating and praying. Bonhoeffer offered them a number of instructions on meditation and prayer, since he thought meditation was so important to seminarians as well as pastors. (I’ll include some of his suggestions for meditation and prayer here over the next number of days.)

Dear God, I know I ought to meditate on your words regularly. When I do, I almost always feel energized, sometimes relaxed, and never, ever bored. Restore to me the joy of salvation, the love of learning, the excitement of poring over the Scriptures. In Jesus’s name, the Word made flesh, Amen.




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[1] Meditating on the Word, Dietrich Bonhöffer, edited by David McI. Gracie. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cowley Publications, 2000), 21.

[2] Ibid, 22.

Balance Between Solitude and Activity

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, December 1, 2015

winter road at night

Balance Between Solitude and Activity

Today’s reading talked of the delicate balance between solitude—what I call “alone time,” and activity. I used to like very much being in a crowd, and become energized by a group of people. In my twenties and thirties. That would most often be where I would feel the most alive.

But, now? I see the sense of being alone. Seeking solitude. Craving alone time. I am developing my introverted side. Being surrounded by introverts in my family, I appreciate another way of looking at life, and dealing with what life brings my way. Appreciating diversity.

So, I can well see how Fr. Nouwen lifts up that delicate, careful balance “between silence and words, withdrawal and involvement, distance and closeness, solitude and community.” Moreover, this balance “forms the basis of the Christian life and should therefore be the subjects of our most personal attention.” [1]

In my Advent journey, I am encouraged to balance both active moments (the more extroverted times) and moments of solitude (the introverted times). Lord, help me to examine, assess, and evaluate these things.


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] Advent and Christmas: Wisdom from Henri J. M. Nouwen (Linguori, Missouri: Redemptorist Pastoral Publications, 2004), 6.