Come to Stillness:
Take a few minutes to allow your mind and heart to be still before God.O Lord, our God, so much of this life is lived in between; between the now and the not yet, between arriving and departing, between birth and death and rebirth, between growing up and growing old, between questions and answers. Help us not to live only for some distant day when the in between will be no more, but help us to step into the mystery of that sacred space here and now—knowing that it will be a place of genuine change and true transformation. (JLB)
Psalm for the Week: Psalm 46
Scripture for the Day: 2 Timothy 4:1-8
Reading for Reflection:
The Christian journey is a life lived from inside out, a life in which the things we experience within—dreams, memories, images, and symbols, and the presence of him whom we encounter in the deep silence—are in constant tension and dialogue with all that we experience without—people, events, joys, sorrows, and the presence of him whom we encounter in others. Thomas Merton repeats a suggestion of Douglas Steere that the absence of this tension might well produce the most pervasive form of violence present in contemporary society. “To allow one’s self to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns,” Merton writes, “to surrender to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence. Frenzy destroys our inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of our work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.”
One of the most critical tasks of the local church is to enable people to become “journeyers” rather than “wanderers.” This suggests that the leadership of a congregation needs to be serious about their own journeys, to the point where they are willing to share their experience with others, not as those who have arrived but as fellow journeyers able to receive as well as to give. Congregations are the natural settings for training in the contemplative disciplines, as well as the settings in which groups might form to give direction and support along the way. For most congregations, it will mean a reordering of priorities for the development of a step-by-step strategy for the cultivation and nurture of a disciplined apostolate committed to the exercises of Christ’s ministry in the world.In his Markings, Dag Hammarskjold records some of the often agonizing turning points that were the occasion of the deepening of his remarkable journey. One entry in this journal describes with particular wisdom that sense of creative tension which is the mark of wholeness. “The more faithfully you listen to the voice within you,” he writes, “the better you will hear what is sounding outside. And only he who listens can speak. Is this the starting of the road toward the union of your two dreams—to be allowed in clarity of mind to mirror life, and in purity of heart to mold it?” Ultimately, this is the question we all must ask, for it is the question Christ asks of us. (Mutual Ministry by James C. Fenhagen)
Reflection and Listening: silent and written
Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself
Song for the Week: Cleft of the Mountain
I will run to the cleft of the mountain and wait for You
Will you come and meet with me?
I will wait in the cleft of the mountain for You to pass by
Will you come and meet with me?
Oh, what a joy it would be
Just for a moment to lay at the feet of the Lord
Oh more than anything that’s what I long for
Oh, what a change it would bring
Just to look deep in the face of the King Who gave all
You gave everything so You could meet with me
Will You meet with me?
Lord Jesus, Help me to trust you fully in the midst of this life that seems so chaotic and unsure at times. Give me, this day, a firm place to set my feet as I walk toward you through this ever-changing world. Amen. (JLB)