Wednesday, February 20, 2013


"Every time you listen with great attentiveness to the voice that calls you the Beloved, you will discover within yourself a desire to hear that voice longer and more deeply." -Henri J. M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved

"Attentiveness to God's spirit requires deeply receptive, prayerful listening. Practicing the art of attending to the Spirit involves us in contemplative listening. Such listening is quite distinct from the various ways in which we generally listen to another...

"It is holy listening, rooted in silence. It seeks emptiness in order to be filled with the Spirit. It is permeated by humility. Such listening assumes that the Spirit is active among us and works through us. So it makes space for that movement...

"Such listening is generously flexible, hospitable, and warm. It embraces the widest possible spectrum of life's beauty and pain. It acknowledges the creation of all people in the image and likeness of God...

"While in one sense a gift, such listening is generally cultivated over the years as we prayerfully attend to the Spirit in our own lives and as others listen to us in the same grace-filled way." -Wendy M. Wright, Companions in Christ: Participant's Book, Part 5

"Ask God to make you aware of divine nudges in your life. What has God said to you through recent incidents? What was God saying to you in that unexpected phone call? in that flat tire? in that moving television program? in that bout of anxiety? in that 'coincidence?' In silence discover where God seems to be directing your attention." -Tilda Norberg, Ashes Transformed

Discipleship = Service.

"The world's system of reward has nothing to do with the disciple's system of reward. A disciple of Jesus Christ is called first to be a servant of all, and the leader is to take the lowliest position of service.

"This system turns the world's concept of leadership upside down. The first disciples found it hard to understand and even more difficult to live by such a value system.

"But Jesus seems to say there is no other way. Disciples serve."
- Reuben P. Job, A Guide to Prayer for All Who Seek God

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Feet of Christ

"The Church, then, both washes the feet of Christ and wipes them with her hair, and anoints them with oil, and pours ointment upon them, because not only does she care for the wounded and cherish the weary, but also sprinkles them with the sweet odour of grace; and pours forth the same grace not only on the rich and powerful, but also on men of lowly estate. She weighs all with equal balance, gathers all in the same bosom, and cherishes them in the same lap.

"Christ died once, and was buried once, and nevertheless He wills that ointment should daily be poured on His feet. What, then, are those feet of Christ on which we pour ointment? The feet of Christ are they of whom He Himself says: 'What you have done to one of the least of these you have done to Me.'

"These feet that woman in the Gospel refreshes, these feet she bedews with her tears; when sin is forgiven to the lowliest, guilt is washed away, and pardon granted. These feet he kisses, who loves even the lowest of the holy people. These feet he anoints with ointment, who imparts the kindness of his gentleness even to the weaker. In these the martyrs, in these the apostles, in these the Lord Jesus Himself declares that He is honoured." -St. Ambrose, Letter 41


"In solitude, we come to know the Spirit who has already been given to us. The pains and struggles we encounter in our solitude thus become the way to hope, because our hope is not based on something that will happen after our sufferings are over, but on the real presence of God's healing Spirit in the midst of these sufferings."
-Henri J. M. Nouwen, Making All Things New

Sunday, February 3, 2013


"What distinguishes the Christians whose faith is deep, burning, powerful, and luminous is...seriousness. Seriousness is not the opposite of joy but of superficiality.

"Francis of Assisi was such a lighthearted, whimsical, musical, gentle man. But that was only part of his character. On the other side was the totally dedicated, unbending, relentless search for truth and reality. A Jesus-haunted man who gave up all to obtain all.

"His seriousness changed him from the wealthy son of a comfortable Umbrian home into the blind ragged beggar of Mount Alvernia. It was his seriousness about what he read in the Gospel that turned his life into what it was." -
Brennan Manning, Lion and Lamb

Sooner or Later

"Sooner or later you will have to put God first in your life, that is to say, your own true spiritual development must become the only thing that really matters. It need not, perhaps had better not, be the only thing in your life, but it must be the first thing.

"When this happens you will find that you have got rid of a great deal of the unnecessary junk that most people carry about; mental junk, of course, although physical junk is very apt to follow upon this.

"You will find that you will do a great deal less running about after things that do no matter and only waste your time and energy, when once you have put God first. Your life will become simpler and quieter, but in the true sense, richer and infinitely more worthwhile."

Emmet Fox, Power Through Constructive Thinking

Friday, February 1, 2013

Saying Yes and Saying No, Part 2

"Even though we may not fully understand where this response will take us and though some of us will resist, still God waits for our yes...

"When Mary said yes, she could not have known about the silent night of birth in a stable or the angelic hosts singing and praising God. Would she have known about the visit to the Temple with twelve-year-old Jesus? Could she have foreseen that her son would willingly place himself in harm's way for the sake of others? Would she have said yes if she had known about the betrayal of her son that would lead to his public scourging or his trip to Calvary and crucifixion?

"Mary only knew for certain that if she said yes to God, everything would change. And so it will be with our yes. An old age may end and a new age begin with the yes we speak...each time we say yes, the Holy Spirit overshadows us and something new comes to birth in us...

"Perhaps not fully comprehending what our yes may mean, but in faith that surpasses our knowledge and trusting God with our very lives, may we boldly say with Mary: 'Here I am, the servant of the LORD; let it be to me according to your word.' So be it. Amen."

-Helen Bruch Pearson, Mother Roots

Saying Yes and Saying No, Part 1

"Daily personal prayer, examination of conscience, and participation in a faith-sharing group: these smaller practices can be of real benefit to us in sustaining the larger practice of saying yes to life, saying no to destruction.

"Together, they help us to understand, judge, and evaluate our daily choices and decisions in light of their relation to our ultimate happiness, as individuals and as humans in community.

"If we are to enhance and build up the capacities for a good, wholesome, and holy life, we must learn to say yes to what affirms and renews wholeness and life. And we must learn to say a related no to what induces and brings about destruction and ruin.

"In this practice, we are invited and challenged to make a fully conscious choice about who it is we shall become."

-M. Shawn Copeland, "Saying Yes and Saying No," in Practicing Our Faith, ed. by Dorothy C. Bass