Saturday, October 15, 2011

Anglican Reintegration

"The unification of outward order can never move faster than the recovery of inward life." Michael Ramsay in THE GOSPEL AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

How is your prayer life? Mine has been poor of late. On again and off again.

Lord have Mercy, Brian

"Effective prayer can be a struggle. So often when I approach my prayer time I find my mind distracted so that I simply go through a routine without any feelings. Usually, I memorize many of the prayers I say daily in addition to my intercessory prayers. Memorization etches the prayer in my mind making it available to me at any time.

What happens frequently, though, is that my mind takes control and begins to pray automatically This is not a good sign. Why? Because our prayers need to come from the heart with feeling and an awareness that we are engaged in a dialogue with God. We need to have the awe of His presence as we pray. An automatic prayer is not really a prayer. A prayer must come from the heart with feeling and understanding. I find I must continually remind myself of this. Too often I fall into the trap of just putting in my time to fulfill my prayer rule. It is not about the time we spend in prayer, but the sincerity with which we pray that is of the most importance."


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ego Interference

These comments by Abbot Tryphon ring with the truth of a life lived into the humility of Christ. The only thing interfering with this 'peace beyond understanding' is my selfish, demanding ego.

"We often find ourselves disappointed in life. The job we really wanted is given to another person. An associate at work doesn't invite us to the dinner party, yet invited a coworker and his wife. A person we'd love to have as a friend shows no interest and we feel rejected. The music director at church doesn't allow us to join the choir. Someone much younger gets the promotion, along with an increase in salary. You get the idea.

If we have peace in our heart, all these disappointments are meaningless. The man who has peace in his heart gives thanks to God for all things. Even illnesses and poverty can be embraced if we see all as allowed by God because He loves us and grants just what we need for our salvation.

When we approach all that comes our way with a gladsome heart, we gain that which is of the most profit. The treasure that is ours is one that nothing can take away, not even death. Glory to God for all things."
From The Morning Offering

Again, I was reminded of the paramount importance of the inner work of discipleship in this wonderful illustration:

"When an archer desires to shoot his arrows successfully, he first takes great pains over his posture and aligns himself accurately with his mark. It should be the same for you who are about to shoot the head of the wicked devil. Let us be concerned first for the good order of sensations and then for the good posture of inner thoughts."

~St John Chrysostom From Christ in our Midst HERE

It's time to go say my prayers: there is work to be done.

LORD have mercy, Brian+

Monday, October 10, 2011

Discerning Beauty

Unless we look at a person and see the beauty there is in this person, we can contribute nothing to him. One does not help a person by discerning what is wrong, what is ugly, what is distorted. Christ looked at everyone he met, at the prostitute, at the thief, and saw the beauty hidden there. Perhaps it was distorted, perhaps damaged, but it was beauty none the less, and what he did was to call out this beauty.
Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

Thanks to Salt of the Earth

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mary Olive Freeman

In memory of
Mary Olive (Short) Freeman
January 1919 – September 25, 2011
A beautiful Christian lady

If I Could (By Mary Freeman)

If I could live a life to please my God,
And to be a friend to all mankind as well,
And do the things a Christian ought to do,
As long as I am on this earth to dwell.

If I could guide the young, support the aged,
Encourage those faint hearted and the sad,
If I could bring the wanderer to the fold,
Defend the lonely widows, make them glad.

If I could shield an orphan with a home,
Deliver one poor captive with his grief,
Help someone weary, troubled in distress,
And bring a humble heartache to relief.

If I could turn some evil hate to love,
Forgive my foes for harmful things they do,
And keep the peace when riots come my way,
And strengthen one to live a life anew.

If I could heal the sick, the blind, the lame,
And comfort some one suffering in great pain,
Have pity on the poor who come my way,
This way I’d find a heart which I could gain.

If I could slow a drunkard with his drinks,
Influence one drug addict make him tame,
If I could keep good tempered as I go,
And mend a broken home from all its shame.

If I could find no fault with those I know,
And all my thoughts were perfect pure and kind,
If I could be content and feel no fear,
In me a Christian life you then would find.

If I could toil and yet no rest would need,
And labour on and no reward would take,
If I could suffer and no pain would heed,
A true and humble person I would make.

If I could give and not count the cost,
And lend an eager ear to those who call,
If I could live without a jealous heart,
I’d have no fear and be a friend to all.

I cannot live a life that’s so devine,
But I can make an effort that’s supreme,
To live in peace and joy and gladness fine,
I’d be a worthwhile person it would seem.

I pray that while I’m on this earth to dwell,
God will protect and guide me day by day,
That I may be quite pleasing in His sight,
And lead me on to live the perfect way.