Tag Archives: soul-stirring

Worship with Evelyn Underhill

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, April 20, 2017

worship cursive

Worship with Evelyn Underhill

When I read about Evelyn Underhill, I get overwhelmed. I feel very small, indeed. She was such a talented academic, knowledgeable in the nature and forms of Christian worship. But, even more so, she had great understanding in the practical-theology end of worship and spiritual formation. (I can’t even begin to compare myself to her…)

Miss Underhill wrote classic texts on worship and mysticism. The provided excerpts on several aspects of worship are soul-stirring, indeed.

“…we are called to worship because this is the only safe, humble and creaturely way in which men can be led to acknowledge and receive the influence of an objective Reality.” [1] This deep action of the soul, as she calls it, has been found to be a reality in many people’s lives, worldwide. The impetus to worship transcends racial lines, cultural differences, differing climates and places of gathering.

“Worship, then, is an avenue which leads the creature out from his inveterate self-occupation to a knowledge of God, and ultimately to that union with God which is the beatitude of the soul.” [2] If I read Ms. Underhill’s writing correctly, she says that worship is a means of getting me out of my own head and focused away from self-occupation. I need to have something outward to direct my attention and understanding towards… If I can stop focusing on me, myself and I, that can only be beneficial.

The second part of the above statement: “that union with God which is the beatitude of the soul.” How high and lofty a statement this is. When I think of worship, I do not often concentrate on such ineffable thoughts. True. (Guilty as charged.) However, just because I rarely think of such thoughts does not make them false. Ah, “the beatitude of the soul.” I just taught a bible study sequence on the Beatitudes, so I do understand them a bit better than I did before. I understand this quote a bit better, too.

Miss Underhill, I wish I could get closer to the true heart of worship. Thank You for Your great writing and example. Dear God, gracious God, thank You for loving us far more than we deserve and caring for us even when we run away.


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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] [1] Spiritual Classics, edited by Richard J. Foster and Emilie Griffin. (San Francisco, California: HarperSanFrancisco, 2000), 254.

[2] Ibid.

Characteristics of the Soul—Plus Vitamins.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, June 9, 2015

everything will be okay

Characteristics of the Soul—Plus Vitamins.

I very much like this book—this collection of essays from different authors. It’s called Handbook for the Soul, and so far, I have appreciated each chapter. Until today. Today? The chapter by John Grey was a bit underwhelming.

I am sorry. Here I am, apologizing to John Grey without even knowing what his greater body of work is. All I do know—since I’ve never read anything else he’s ever written—is that I don’t particularly care for parts of this brief essay about the soul.

However, I did appreciate certain other parts. For example, he talks of “intrinsic virtues of the soul,” “qualities of the soul” and “attributes of soul growth.”

Grey mentions two of the soul’s “intrinsic virtues.” He says, “I am challenged to strengthen my soul through forgiveness. By forgiving the person who hurt me, I strengthen my soul.” [1] And again, “By forging ahead and trying something new—even when I am scared—I perform an act of courage. This act of courage strengthens my soul and strengthens my character.” [2] As he speaks of forgiveness and courage, I can see how these “virtues” or attributes help in causing a person to grow more as a person. And, to grow and expand on their soul, too.

When he mentioned spiritual “vitamins” on the last two pages, that’s where I was especially lost. And, I couldn’t even begin to tell you. Right here, we have another bigger-than-life experience. Sort of like Isaiah in the Temple. So awestruck, so amazing.

You can’t beat the vision the prophet had, in terms of audience ads. It kind of makes up for all the other, more questionable stuff. Isaiah definitely had a soul-stirring experience. That is what is important—for the prophet, as well as his readers..


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), 56.

[2] Ibid, 57.