What are the words that have formed you? That's what I had the opportunity to contemplate and meditate on as I prepared to preach last Sunday - as I focused on a prayer that is a part of my life.
A practice that I was introduced to years ago, that I have been revisiting lately, has been a prayer practice called "Breath Prayer." It’s pretty simple: a breath prayer is a short prayer that you pray throughout the day (usually inside yourself), and is short enough that you can pray it in the length of the cadence of your breath. The breath prayer is a way that many throughout history have put the following scriptures into practice: "I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall always be in my mouth." - Psalm 34:1 "Pray without ceasing." - 1 Thessalonians 5:17 A traditional active prayer is what has been called the Jesus prayer: "Lord [...]
My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it. - Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel A blessing that I categorize as a 'dangerous blessing,' is one that Larry Hine, Brennan Manning's spiritual director, gave to Manning at his ordination. I kiddingly call them 'dangerous blessings,' because, as I mentioned in my post "A Beautifully Uncomfortable Blessing," it's not that they do harm, but they courageously embrace what we would normally consider desolation for the purpose of the greatest consolation: experiencing the Love of Christ more deeply. The thing that resonates with me regarding these 'dangerous blessings,' is that they embrace an [...]
He who goes about to reform the world must begin with himself, or he loses his labor. -St. Ignatius of Loyola Something that has been paradigm shifting for me has been the Examen prayer. As a husband, father and non-profit worker, the Examen has been impactful for me, for self-awareness as well as for my spiritual development in Christ-centered discernment. I've found that it's a useful tool to see where God is at work, and is calling me to Himself throughout the day. Along with this prayer (that I'll share below), there is language (terms) that Ignatius introduces us to, called: "consolations and desolations." Generally put, a desolation is the experience of situations or circumstances that [...]