Tag Archives: guidance

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.

@chaplaineliza

 

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.

Seeking Guidance with Martin Luther King, Jr.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, April 30, 2017

guidance, compass

Seeking Guidance with Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. King was an African-American Baptist minister, assassinated in 1968. He also was a civil rights leader, an eloquent preacher, and proponent of dignified social action with the creative weapons of love and non-violence. He believed in taking the biblical stories and transforming them into God’s prophetic voice for the present, turbulent times. [1]

I was especially struck by Dr. King’s statement: “I believe firmly that love is a transforming power that can lift a whole community to new horizons of fair play, good will and justice.” [2] Love is a transforming power, indeed!

The creative weapons of love and non-violence were indeed innovative, attention-getting, and peaceful. These creative, innovative weapons were accepted by a widespread group of people, mostly people of color—but not all. In today’s parlance, a number of allies (white folks) stood with the civil rights movement.

God’s hand was clearly in the civil rights movement, in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The prophetic voice of God was heard not only throughout this country, but around the world. Alas, today many people of color are still fearful. (Or, newly fearful.) This is because of several reasons, including the rise in xenophobia, racism, and generalized fear and anxiety. Many people find themselves fearful of the rise in xenophobia and racism, coupled with random acts of vandalism and violence.

I urge those who are frightened and anxious to come together, gather to pray and meet together in groups. If enough people gather together, and refuse to retaliate with hate and anxiety, there will be a strong, vital group expressing encouragement and love.

I close with this call for prayer from Dr. King: “We ask people everywhere to pray that God will guide us, pray that justice will be done and that righteousness will stand. And I think through these prayers we will be strengthened; it will make us feel the unity of the nation and the presence of Almighty God.” [3]

Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.

@chaplaineliza

 

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), 279.

[2] Ibid, 280.

[3] Ibid, 281.

What Thou Wouldst Have Us Do

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, October 15, 2015

clock - old vintage watch

What Thou Wouldst Have Us Do

I write this post on a computer laptop, in my post-World War II apartment in the Chicago suburbs, sprinkled with a few late-20th and -21st century contrivances. (Moreover, I am certain there are people living in my area who pride themselves on being up to the minute, in terms of the latest technological devices.) The Oxford Book of Prayer? So many of my contemporaries in the Chicago area are so not on this particular wavelength. Some would wonder why on earth I was reading such an esoteric, paper-bound book.

Yet—the words of the prayer I chose for today seem to me to be timeless, whether we are talking about the 1st century, or the 21st. This prayer by William Bright (1824-1901) in Ancient Collects concerns “As It Is In Heaven.” (Prayer 286, page 93) [1] Today’s prayer is about Guidance.

O God! You are so willing to guide us, to dispense Your light on any who ask of You! Yet, my way seems so dark, so often. Gracious God, I ought to remember Your generous offer much more frequently than I actually experience it.

Now, here is the real request and action-word of this collect. (Not to mention, my doubts and uncertainties … dear Lord, that’s my low self-esteem rearing its ugly head once again.) Grant us—grant me!!—grace to ask You what it is that You would have me to do! I remind myself not to go haring off on some wild goose chase, or to summarily ask You to rubber-stamp something I’ve cooked up on my own.

Ah, the Spirit of Wisdom. I am not as familiar with that as I ought to be, Lord. Yes, Wisdom is mentioned in some detail in Proverbs, and I pored over those chapters some years ago. But—that was some years ago. My first inclination is to say, “Forgive me for not staying current.” But then, I remember You understand me better than I do myself.

God, this collect asks that You “save us from all false choices.” (!!!) That phrase, alone, is a worthy prayer! That phrase, alone, is something for me to take, chew upon, ruminate over, and thoroughly pray to You. And, lastly, perhaps my favorite phrase of this whole prayer: that “in Thy straight path [we] may not stumble.” Ah, especially in my circuitous paths and mental meanderings, I so need the reminder of Your straight path.

I fall at Your feet, in a humble tumble, gracious God. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, we earnestly pray.

@chaplaineliza

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] The Oxford Book of Prayer, edited by George Appleton. (New York: Oxford University Press, reissued 2009), 93.