Tag Archives: wise words

Thomas à Kempis and Solitude

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, March 25, 2017

solitude - sitting

Thomas à Kempis and Solitude

I realize I’m probably going out on a limb, but I suspect Thomas probably was more introverted than extroverted. Being more extroverted myself, I read his instructions from the Imitation of Christ as far beyond me, for the most part. However, I have several children who are, indeed, introverts. I could much more easily see them adapting to some of Thomas’s recommendations.

Don’t suppose that I mean that some of his recommendations are not intriguing! Certainly, they are. Especially since I am becoming more introverted now that I’m in my fifties, I would like to strive to follow some of these.

For instance:Thomas’s instructions, as far as leaving the crowd behind. “What’s certain? The person who wants to arrive at interiority and spirituality has to leave the crowd behind and spend some time with Jesus.” [1] This is good instruction, whatever century you are in, whatever situation in which you find yourself. I especially am intrigued by his statement wanting “to arrive at interiority and spirituality.” That makes me want to get inside my interior and sprinkle some spiritual fertilizer around! I would like to develop my interiority and spirituality, for sure.

Another insight hit home to me: “A cell that’s much prayed in is a pleasant spot. A cell that’s rarely prayed in is a forbidding place.” [2] This statement reminded me of the church I pastor, St. Luke’s Christian Community Church (in Morton Grove, a suburb of Chicago). This church has a prayed-in feel. I know that much of that feeling of deep-down prayer comes from our Korean friends, who meet in our sanctuary from 12 noon to 2 pm every Sunday. They are pray-ers! Similar to Thomas à Kempis, our sanctuary is a place that is familiar with prayer. Even, saturated with prayer. It’s great that we have opportunities like this!

When it comes to the bottom line, solitude is expressive, yet solitary. A way to God, yet also a way to havedear Ho relationship with others in our community. Dear Lord, thank You for such wise words and such insights  Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of 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), 149.

[2] Ibid, 150.

God’s Fingerprints on the World

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, June 3, 2015

bluebird and lilacs

God’s Fingerprints on the World

Today was Wednesday. The day I meet together with a group for bible study. While we were talking in the study, lots of questions came up, including how God made the world. And, I loved each and every question!

I told them I could get all theological and explain different views of different deep thinkers over the centuries to them. Or, I could give them a brief explanation, and we could go back to the topic of the day (the first part of the Lord’s Prayer). The consensus was for the short explanation, then back on topic. As I explained yet again, once we open up the Bible, its various topics are incredibly interconnected!

When I read today’s chapter from Handbook for the Soul, I was reminded so strongly of this explanation. Today’s chapter was written by Rabbi Harold Kirschner on nurturing the soul in the everyday. Yet—what happens when the everyday is normal? Or, so-so? Or, God forbid, less than good? Let’s see what Rabbi Kirschner says:

“We must remember that everything in this world has God’s fingerprints on it—and that alone makes it special. Our inability to see beauty doesn’t suggest in the slightest that beauty is not there. Rather, it suggests that we are not looking carefully enough or with broad enough perspective to see the beauty.” [1]

I need to reflect on the Rabbi’s wise words. God’s fingerprints alone make things special, or of wonderful beauty. Even when God’s creation does not have particular exterior beauty, God still made it. And, that ought to be reason enough for me to marvel in it.

As Rabbi Kirschner said further: “Can you see the holiness in those things you take for granted—a paved road or a washing machine? If you concentrate on finding what is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.” [2]

I can strive to see the wonder in God’s creation. I can choose to marvel at God’s intricate handiwork. God willing, may I be blessed with the ability to see all the wonder in the everyday.


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), 19.

[2] Ibid.