- Sunday January 31: Taught with Authority
[link to full email]: https://mailchi.mp/coutreach/word-of-the-week-jan31
[excerpt from email]: I can see no other path to discernment than to be committed to a life of deep communion with the Spirit of God. Such a life will slowly develop in us an inner sensitivity.”-Henri Nouwen, Discernment
To Practice: Listen closely in and from the silence this week. How do you sense truth or untruth? Pay attention to the subtle inner promptings, the sensations or that still, small voice.
I have three siblings – and not all of us were on the same page as we tried to reach consensus last week about an important issue involving our almost 95 year old mother. At one point, I felt the need to follow the format for discernment laid out in The Contemplative Program booklet on that spiritual practice. I prayed and formed a question that I felt would give me clarity. Then I listened. Sr. Meg Funk taught me to wait for a “confirming sign.” I always feel a bit awkward at this point in the process – as if I am imposing on God’s busy schedule! But a confirming sign did come. The next step was to guard my heart as the storm with my siblings had not quite settled. But settle it did – and we have moved on to action. I am very thankful for this practice – and, just so you know, the confirming sign came with the consolation that God did not feel I was imposing.
In the Meditation Chapel and in this group, we speak, sometimes, about the connection, the energy, that is created when we meet together on Zoom. I sensed that connection this morning very deeply as I sat in my chair for prayer, meditation and sacred reading this morning. In a book of lectionary readings with additional excerpts from learned and spiritual leaders, I read the very prayer of Barclay’s that is quoted in this week’s Word of the Week. As I turned to this page to comment, I read Carolyn’s post. I am going through CO’s book on discernment, and there was Carolyn’s comment about using that practice. I am so grateful this morning for Spirit’s connecting energy that flows wherever and whenever we are open to it. Groups of people who share centering prayer together in these groups are connected!
what a gift the zoom session was on tuesday and the deeply wise comments here.
on the top of each day’s page in my planner this month , i am writing “what is true and what is not?”
As far as discernment is concerned, the question of “what is true ” is key. Over these many months, and years, the experience of feeling below feelings signals to me what is true and what is not. (welcoming prayer )
if something of discordance comes up, that signals to me that something is off about my perception or behavior. for example i want to tell my friend that something she suggested (an online retreat ) was not helpful to me , without being unkind, Or when a grandaughter’s feelings were hurt in an online family get together, what was my share in that? looking back on my career, is the story i have beeen telling myself about that really true?
all the noise we whip up in our lives… is it just a way of avoiding the deep insight into what is true?
Sunday, January 31: Taught With Authority
Being committed to a life of deep communion with the Spirit of God is one way I sense truth. Does what I hear align with God’s love for us? Does it affirm us as beloveds? Developing over time a mind that can hold paradox is difficult to accomplish, yet immeasurably valuable for discernment. “…make us able to test everything, and to hold fast to that which is good.” (Barclay) <3 linda
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