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Showing posts with the label Silence

An Unexpected Invitation to Spend Time with Jesus

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Learning Something New My road to sitting with Jesus in Adoration began nearly 10 years ago.  Quite, some might say serendipitously but after spending many hours in His presence, I would say this has the Holy Spirit's finger prints all over it!!

My husband and I, along with our children, had just made the transition to this new Church.  It was actually where we met and were eventually married,  but we'd not worshiped there since our wedding nearly 20 years earlier.  We had moved out of town, and spent many years at my childhood Church until circumstances changed and it became clear we had to find a new place to call our Spiritual Home

Pray with Me, during Holy Week and Easter

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Brilliantly simple! A letter from Seattle contains practical wisdom for praying through Holy Week and the Easter Season.


Click over to Praying with Grace to read the letter.

Christian Meditation in Contrast to "Mind-Emptying" Meditation

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My husband and I were watching the investigative reporting program 60 Minutes recently, and one of the segments had to do with Buddhist "mind-emptying" meditation. The reporting journalist told of how he'd decided to try to immerse himself in the practice as part of a week-long journalistic piece he was preparing, but that he'd not ever given it much thought and didn't expect much to come of it. 


The Art of War. (Part I)

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The most treacherous path you will ever take is the Warrior's Path

You do not choose to be a Warrior, God chooses you, and His choice is quite terrifying. 

When God chooses the Warrior, there is no false humility.  When God says to you, "You ARE a Warrior," you don't say, "Oh no God...not me."  On the contrary, you say, "Yes sir!" and then youtremble at what being a Warrior for God could truly mean.   The fear at being called as a Warrior, is to shake so violently before the Lord that you think every bone in your body will break. The fear comes on the realization that a warrior will be given souls to fight for, and will be asked to account for them.


When you are called to the path of the Warrior, it is a responsibility to be pure, obey, and seek only the good of the other, never thinking that you are doing anything for God.
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Angry Comments

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People are free to disagree with me; in fact, I am grateful to have people point out a fallacy in my facts or in my thinking because it helps me learn and grow as a person and as a writer. As for negative or angry comments, I have finally become smart enough to understand that the best response to angry comments is silence. Why? I can repeat or clarify a misunderstanding. I can attempt to reconcile opposing viewpoints but usually someone who is closed to any other opinion is the person to write a negative response. If they refuse to engage in positive dialogue, I don’t bother bashing my head against the wall. Often an angry person wants to engage in a verbal fight. In fact he is purposefully antagonizing me.

Only when I am filled with divine love, only then will my words pierce hearts, console, bring peace or convict. Only when I live and move and breathe in the Holy Spirit, only then can I really love the angry, agitator who loves to attack and criticize.
continue.

Let's Hear It from the Children!

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Last week Pope Francis visited the Roman parish of St. Joseph. One of his remarks there was eagerly snatched up by social media: "Babies cry, make noise, go here and there. But it annoys me when a baby cries in church and there are those who say he needs to go out. The cry of a baby is God's voice: never drive them away from the church!"

Considering how much I crave silence, it is with great wonder and gratitude I realize how much I love to hear crying babies and noisy toddlers at church. And I don't mean I just love to hear other people's children cry, making my rambunctious brood seem comparatively docile. No, I mean squalling children help me pray.

Please continue the reflection with me at Praying with Grace. . . .

Shocking Advent Post

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Something very different is going on at Grace's prayer blog. . . .

Prepare yourself at Praying with Grace.

The silence of detachment (Part 3 of 3)

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Two weeks ago I began a series on whether we should sit quietly during prayer. Part 1 talked about the false silence of Centering Prayer. Part 2 talked about Teresa of Avila’s teaching on prayer and silence. Today I’d like to talk briefly about the silence of detachment.

If we want God to enter our lives in a significant way, we must make room for Him. He never forces Himself on anyone. Counterfeit spiritual silence can exist alongside mortal sin. But sin is incompatible with union with God. The writer to the Hebrews urges us:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb 12:1-2) Notice, we have two types of burdens to get ri…

The Catholic Prayer of Silence

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The words prayer and contemplation intimidate many people but the reality is that prayer is simple, so simple that it eludes many adults. Rest in God and enjoy God in the silence. Sometimes we need to simply cease our activity, live in the moment and breathe in God. This is reality. When the Spirit flows in and through us we are in sync with everything and everybody. We are part of the Trinity, part of the human community and part of the communion of saints. How do we relax into this state? In and through prayer. Have you ever noticed that every liturgy begins with a blessing of peace and simultaneously a call to prayer because they are intricately connected. L: “Peace be with you” P: “And also with you.” L: “Let us lift up our hearts to the Lord” P: “We lift them up to the Lord” L: Faithful and gracious God, we seek to draw nearer to you in this time of devotion and prayer. Open us to your word that we might be guided in your Spirit toward all truth and love, for we pray in Christ’s nameP…

A Surprise Gift

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Today, on Vivificat, Teófilo de Jesús posted a quote by a Carthusian monk. Interestingly enough, when I tried to visit his site, Google told me to stay away because his site was infected by Malware. I don't understand computers but this was all bogus and it was soon fixed. When I got to the site and read the message, it was as if God was speaking just to me. What a consolation and encouragement. Tears of relief come to my eyes with this quote because my private prayer has been a wordless encounter with Light and Joy for a long time. No effort on my part; I just glance in His direction and Christ takes over.  Praying like this, it is easy to feel  slack, lazy.... . The Wound of Love By A. Carthusian "Solitude is the place of prayer" first published in 1994 by the Carthusian Order in England Solitude is the place of prayer. The only true prayer which radiates there is that of Jesus: all other prayer is a reflection of the light that shines forth from his face.
Let us, ther…

Listen-Silent

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Psalm 46:10 -“Be still,and know that I am God."
1Kings 19:11-13"And behold, the Lord passed by, and a strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave."

To hear God, be silent

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Remember when God spoke to Elijah on Mt. Horeb?  There was a mighty wind, an earthquake, and a fire, but it was not until Elijah heard a gentle whisper or “a still, small voice” that he knew God was present (see 1 Kings 19:11-13). God wants to be present to you and me too. He desires to commune with us in a gentle whisper. In order to “hear” Him—to be open to receive Him—we must be silent.

Blessed Mother Teresa said, “We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature —trees, flowers, grass—grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.”

Our modern world is full of noise and activity. With four young boys at home, silence is a rare blessing for me. Still, there are many ways I can cultivate silence both during and away from my prayer time. Except for on long trips, I do not turn on the radio or CDs in the car. At home we never use …

When you're too worn out to pray

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Prayer takes energy. When you are stressed, you may find you can’t use your imagination to meditate. You may be too worn out to converse with God. This was the case with me last year, when homeschooling three kids with a baby overwhelmed me.

Several times when I went to pray, I had too little strength to picture a scene from the Gospels. I could barely muster the energy to think the words, “Jesus, I love you.”

But I knew I had to pray. And I knew Jesus was there. I knew His love was constant. That meant He was loving me at that moment. So I decided just to soak in God’s love, like I might soak in the sunlight. I sat silent, reminding myself briefly every few minutes that God’s love was surrounding me. I let Him love me, and that was my prayer for half an hour.

I’ll never forget one trip to the confessional at this period of my life. I don’t remember what I said to the priest–certainly no specifics about my prayer method–but his advice astonished me. He said I should just…