Tag Archives: suffer

Hadewijch, Serving God through Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, April 6, 2017

serve, joy of

Hadewijch, Serving God through Prayer

There were several Hadewijches during the medieval period in northern Europe. The editors of this “Spiritual Classics” collection believe that this particular Hadewijch was the leader of her community in Antwerp. Not an avowed person, not a religious, she nevertheless was a completely devout person who never took any sort of vows. However, she did abide by the life of poverty and contemplation, and was one of the group of women called “Beguines.” She and her community lived by a definitive Rule, followed the Hours, and essentially were nuns in all but name.

Hadewijch was so service-oriented, she had an incredibly high standard of what she expected of herself. Moreover, she was a spiritual director for the young women under her care She certainly considered all to live up to the same stringent standards.

I was not expecting Hadewijch’s description of God as Love, or Beloved. “Rejoice continually in the hope of winning love; for if you desire perfect love for God, you must not desire in return any repose whatever except Love.” [1]

I hadn’t been expecting it, but it seemed only natural that Hadewijch gave the young women under her care particular advice and direction on how they ought to walk in the Christian life. Except—she called it “Love.” “You are still young, and you must grow a good deal, and it is much better for you, if you wish to walk the way of Love, that you seek difficulty and that you suffer for the honor of Love, rather than wish to feel love.” [2]

Hadewijch does go on, and describe some of what she means exactly.  I would like to revisit her discussions at some future time (when I have more time), when I have the opportunity to delve deep. Since I have the spiritual gifts of mercy and helps in abundance, I am very interested to hear what Hagenwijch has to say about these things. (Just because she was writing her thoughts down a bunch of centuries ago, doesn’t make her any more or less serious of a planner and teacher.

I’ll let Hadewijch have the last word: “Serve nobly, wish for nothing else, and fear nothing else: and let Love freely take care of itself.” [3]  (Amen!)

@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), 200.

[2] Ibid, 201.

[3] Ibid.

 

More About Mental Illness, Mental Wholeness

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, October 8, 2016

luke-8-35-word-cloud

More About Mental Illness, Mental Wholeness

Tomorrow I am preaching about mental illness.

Some people are afraid of mental illness. There is a stigma about it. A fear, an anxiety. Let’s face it—we are afraid of what we do not understand. And, individuals who suffer from mental illness is something people so often shun, or exclude, or make fun of.

Jesus wouldn’t exclude these people.

Whether we are talking the first or the twenty-first century, we can praise God—Jesus has come to heal our diseases, to free us from our bondage. Whether from sin, from demons, from mental illnesses. Jesus knows our sorrows and carries our griefs. Jesus comes alongside of us—all of us—and helps us to bear our heavy loads.

 

Whether the load is physical or mental, psychological or spiritual, Jesus gives a helping hand. Jesus shows up. All of which suggests that God is willing to go absolutely anywhere to come alongside, to free, sustain and heal those who are broken and despairing.

Praise God. Thank You, Jesus.

 

@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

PEACE: Freedom and Equality

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, May 29, 2016

peace throughout the world - Jane Goodall

PEACE: Freedom and Equality

This is the next in a series of posts from Gemini Jr. High School in Niles. (Again, a big thank you to Mr. Rich Groeling, Gemini’s principal!)

Among the students who participated, I had two young people make their personal definitions of peace. However—neither of them left their names on the backs of their sheets of paper. I am sad about this! Still, I am presenting them here, knowing that they were and are meaningful to many, not only to these two young people.

The first definition: “Peace is freedom and equality.”

Whoa. Succinct, yet this definition says a mouthful. Yes, peace often is accompanied by freedom and equality. In the Hebrew scriptures, we can see how Moses spoke to the nation about the freedom that God grants. The spiritual redemption provided is invaluable, as is deliverance. Equality is an additional layer, layered on top. No one is more equal than any other. Each of us—each human being is unique, valuable, and different from each other person in the whole world. And, each one’s gifts are valued as much as the other. Color, creed, culture, ethnicity. Everyone matters. Unique, valuable, special.

The second definition can be challenging, and politically charged. I want to present it as the student wrote it. Simply, and in a heartfelt way.

The second definition: “Peace is freeing Palestine.”

Simply put, this definition shows a longing for freedom, just as much as the first definition did. And, not freedom in some abstract sense, but instead freedom to come and go, to work and to live their lives without fear. Without unequal distribution of power and control.

I can think of many other countries occupied by other regimes: the powerful states of Egypt, Greece, Rome. The Holy Roman Empire, the Muslim Caliphate, the British  Empire, various other controlling states.  Dear God, have mercy upon all those who suffer and have died with little or no aid or assistance. Wonderful opportunity to #PursuePEACE.

@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