Sunday, December 13, 2009

Stricken

I have really been aware of my own spiritual poverty lately (which is good - I think?). I really need the mercy and grace of God - continuously! Came across this quote from Merton - funny, but so true. Kind of sums it up:

"Mere commitment to a decent program of action does not lift the curse. Our real choice is between being like Job, who knew he was stricken, and Job's friends who did not know that they were stricken too-though less obviously than he. (So they had answers!)"

Thursday, December 3, 2009

"Go to prayer seeking not prayer, but God."

"Go to prayer seeking not prayer, but God." James Finley - "merton's palace of nowhere"


I have spoken about this before, and just want to reiterate that learning to pray is a waste of time if my focus isn't on God. I get so frustrated with myself sometimes for not doing a better job of praying. What is that? I have even considered shutting this blog down, or at least changing the name because I don't want to mislead people. The important thing isn't prayer - it's God.

The goal and focus of my life is God and he will guide me in my relationship with Him. My job is to wait for God and to simply stay aware and awake and trust His action in me. That's it. That's what prayer and learning to pray is really all about.

Friday, November 20, 2009



101 Spiritual Transformation Words and Phrases (Enjoy):



1. Paradox
2. Honesty (Pr 12.17)
3. Letting go (Col. 3.8)
4. Prayer (Mt 6.9)
5. Awareness
6. Presence
7. Powerless (Ro. 8.3)
8. Trust (Ro. 9.33)
9. Openness
10. Forgiveness (Mt 6.14)
11. Poverty (Mt. 5.3)
12. Affirming
13. Service (Gal. 5.13)
14. Stillness (Ps. 46.10)
15. Being centered
16. Silence (Ecc. 3.7)
17. Patience and all of the rest of the Fruits of the Spirit! (Gal 5:22)
18. Love, love, love (1. Cor. 13)
19. Love yourself, God and Others (Luke 10.27)
20. Nurture
21. Rest (Deut 33.12)
22. Heart (Pr. 3.5)
23. Obey (John 14.23)
24. Faith (Ro. 1.17)
25. Float
26. Process
27. Mercy (Jas 2.13)
28. Freedom (2 Co. 3.17)
29. Mystery (Eph 5.32)
30. Worship (John 4.24)
31. Follow (Mt. 4.19)
32. Reality
33. Humanness (Heb 2.14)
34. Responsibility
35. Asking for help (1 Sa. 7.12)
36. Accepting help (Jn. 1.16)
37. Focus on what needs to be changed in me, not in the world (Mt. 23.26)
38. Listening (1 Sa. 3.9)
39. Tasting (Ps. 34.8)
40. Seeing (Ps. 34.8)
41. Childlike (Lk. 10.21)
42. Sabbath (Ex. 20.8)
43. Deliverance (Ro. 11.26)
44. Simplicity (Pr. 8.5)
45. Seek the Kingdom first (Mt.6.33)
46. Life (Jn. 1.4)
47. Death (Jn. 12.23-28)
48. and Resurrection (Jn. 12.23-28)
49. Experience
50. Inner Journey
51. Generosity (2 Co. 8.7)
52. Suffering (1. Pe 4.1)
53. Wholeness (Eph 4.13)
54. Miracles (1. Co 12.10)
55. Justice (Ps. 33.5)
56. Emptiness (Phil. 2)
57. Dialogue
58. Humility (Eph. 4.2)
59. Contemplation
60. Risk
61. Acceptance
62. Healthy detachment
63. Breath
64. Discernment
65. Self-surrender (Lk. 9.23)
66. Wisdom (Pr. 11.30)
67. Community
68. The Body of Christ (1. Co. 12.13)
69. Live by the Spirit (Gal. 5.22)
70. Letting go of our egos
71. Co-creation
72. Co-operation
73. “Circles not pyramids”
74. Truth
75. Journey (not the band)
76. Healthy dependence
77. Trinity (Mt. 28.19)
78. Invitation (Mt. 4.19)
79. Desire
80. Hope (Heb. 11.1)
81. Letting go of the past (Is. 43.18)
82. Letting go of the future
83. Living in the “Now”
84. Subtraction before addition
85. Spaciousness
86. Tears
87. Laughter
88. Joy (Jn. 15.11)
89. Transparency
90. Mess
91. Deep calling unto deep (Ps 42.7)
92. Practice
93. Grace (2 Pe. 3.18)
94. Nothing
95. A blank slate
96. Desert (Mk 1.13)
97. Darkness
98. Light (Jn. 3.19)
99. Eternal (Jn. 3.16)
100. Vulnerable
101. Jesus (1 Jn. 2.6)

If you have any other transformational words or verses, let me know. Thanks.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

found this beautiful picture on the coldplay website. enjoy!:

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Made in China

From My Life is Average - "Today, while driving my 4 year old nephew and his neighbor to preschool, his neighbor (who recently started sunday school at her church) informed him that "God made everything." My nephew thought about this for a moment then replied, "I don't think so, a lot of stuff is made in China."

Monday, November 2, 2009

Welcoming Prayer


I am feeling led to practice this prayer again. Enjoy!

Gently become aware of your body and your interior state.
Welcome, welcome, welcome.
I welcome everything that comes to me in this moment
Because I know it is for my healing.
I welcome all thoughts, feelings, emotions, persons, situations and conditions.

I let go of my desire for security.
I let go of my desire for approval.
I let go of my desire for control.
I let go of my desire to change any situation, condition, person, or myself.

I open to the love and presence of God and the healing action and grace within.
Welcoming Prayer, p. 12


The welcoming prayer is a practice of ‘letting go’ in the present moment,
in the ordinary routines of daily life.

It is prayer because of our intention and consent
to God’s presence and action in our lives.
Welcoming Prayer, p. 8

~
“the ordinary events of daily life become our practice…
The routine of daily life is a path to holiness…
Contemplative prayer is aimed at
transforming daily life with its never-ending
round of ordinary activities.”
Father Thomas Keating, Open Mind Open Heart, p.125

~

THE MIND DECIEVES.
THE BODY NEVER LIES.
LISTEN TO THE WISDOM OF YOUR BODY.
HEAR ITS TRUTH.
THE WELCOMING PRAYER.
Welcoming Prayer, p. 11

~
“Over time through a series of unmet needs we exaggerate unconscious programs for happiness, known as ‘energy centers’: security/survival, affection/esteem, power/control. These unmet needs combine to motivate the false-self system…if you work at dismantling the energy centers that cause the upsetting emotions, your efforts will extend the good effects of centering prayer into every aspect of daily life.
Father Thomas Keating, Open Mind Open Heart, p.125

~
The faithful practice of both centering prayer and the welcoming prayer is the one two punch that helps me to embrace God in every moment – in every event.
Cathy McCarthy, Welcoming Prayer, p. 18

~

“Gently become aware of your body and your interior state”…”feel it! Don’t think about it – feel it your body. Remember, your head is a part of your body.”
Welcoming Prayer, p. 20

“Welcome”…”What I ‘welcome’ in the welcoming prayer practice is not the feeling, emotion, thought or body sensation, but God’s activity in them.”
Therese Saulnier, Welcoming Prayer, p. 26

~
“I let go…” Inevitably I find that one of these energy centers is robbing me of the peace of Christ and just by naming them I discover what it is.

”I open to the love and presence of God and the healing action and grace within…” This is a faithful action, or faith-filled action. Another act of letting go and trusting God to heal you and love you, maybe in ways you would never expect.

Source: Contemplative Outreach
Link: READ MORE

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

When you regarded me...


When you regarded me
Your eyes imprinted your grace in me,
In this, you loved me again,
And thus my eyes merited
To also love what you see in me...
Let us go forth together to see ourselves in Your beauty.

- ST, JOHN OF THE CROSS, Spiritual Canticle 32, 33

Prayer teaches us to rest in God's loving gaze and accept and believe that He loves what he sees in all of us.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Created Order as Sacrament

The Created Order as Sacrament by Henri Nouwen

When God took on flesh in Jesus Christ, the uncreated and the created, the eternal and the temporal, the divine and the human became united. This unity meant that all that is mortal now points to the immortal, all that is finite now points to the infinite. In and through Jesus all creation has become like a splendid veil, through which the face of God is revealed to us.

This is called the sacramental quality of the created order. All that is is sacred because all that is speaks of God's redeeming love. Seas and winds, mountains and trees, sun, moon, and stars, and all the animals and people have become sacred windows offering us glimpses of God.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Abba



A lot of different analogies have been used for God’s grace. For example, there are biblical analogies like the just and the unjust judge, even God as a jilted lover who loves anyway. This morning I was thinking of God’s grace, and God being like a parent, in a way.

All the way through our children’s childhood my wife and I had a choice to be present, or not be present to our children. Early on we had this sense that our kids couldn’t get enough of us. They wanted us to be around and present to them as much as possible. Of course, as they grew older their desire to have us around diminished, but even at 19 and 20 they still like to have us around once and while.

As parents we had a choice to be present, loving and caring, or to not be present, loving and caring. This choice was tested continually by the way our kids behaved, the way we reacted to their behavior, and our own life challenges. As we look back now I think a regret we have as parents is that we weren’t more present to our children, especially in terms of being distracted by our own “stuff,” but thankfully, God is not like us.

I know it’s an over - used cliché, but we are all God’s children. He cared enough to live and die for us and now our lives are hidden with God for eternity. God has made peace with humanity. Since the beginning of time God has had only one desire and that is to love. We only need to make peace with God ourselves by believing in him and gradually growing in the knowledge and the awareness of God’s love for us. We may have the sense at times that God has abandoned us, but this is only a sense, not a theological fact. God is always there. If he is absent in any “sense”, it’s only because he wants us discover His presence in new and loving ways, and to discover his love to even greater depths.

We may not know it, but like children, we can’t get enough of God. As we mature in our relationship with God, we learn to relate to God in different ways as our confidence in his loving presence grows. God knows this. He knows how we are made and he loves us enough to speak to us, reach out to us, and be present to us in unique ways according to how he has made us, and our life circumstances.

Prayer teaches us to rest in God’s grace and his eternal embrace. We are his children.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Gift

"THE GIFT" by Richard Rohr
Question of the day:
How and when have I surrendered to God?

It has been said many times that, after transformation, you seldom have the feeling you have found anything. It feels much more like Someone found you!

You find yourself having been grabbed, being held, and being Someone’s beloved. At first, you do not even know what is going on. All you know is that it is a most wondrous undergoing, but an undergoing nevertheless. You know you have been”had” (see Jeremiah 20:7-9 or Isaiah 6:4-7). You are in Someone Else’s grip.

How else will anybody rightly give up control? They won’t. They’ll use religion itself as a disguised way of taking control, or try to control God by their good behavior.

From The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See (pp.18-19)




Current mantra:
God is in me and I am in God.

Keeping It Together

Life lesson for me...

"Keeping It Together" by Henry Nouwen

How can we not lose our souls when everything and everybody pulls us in the most different directions? How can we "keep it together" when we are constantly torn apart?

Jesus says: "Not a hair of your head will be lost. Your perseverance will win you your lives" (Luke 21:18-19). We can only survive our world when we trust that God knows us more intimately than we know ourselves. We can only keep it together when we believe that God holds us together. We can only win our lives when we remain faithful to the truth that every little part of us, yes, every hair, is completely safe in the divine embrace of our Lord. To say it differently: When we keep living a spiritual life, we have nothing to be afraid of.

Monday, May 25, 2009

EGO & SOUL


By Richard RohrQuestion of the day:
How do I still my soul?

None of us are completely present. So don’t feel guilty, but do know presence is still the great teacher, those enlightened moments that come now and then. When we are manipulating, changing, controlling, and fixing, we are not there yet. We cannot be present to something and trying to change it at the same time.

The calculating mind is the opposite of the contemplative mind. The first is taught by the systems of our world, the second by the Holy Spirit.

We might consider this prayer to try to draw ourselves into a contemplative frame of mind:
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am.
Be still and know.
Be still.
Be.
From Everything Belongs, p. 61

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I Graduated!


I am now a certified Spriritual Director! I would HIGHLY recommend the SoulStream Spiritual Direction Course and anything else this community offers to anyone who is interested. To check it out CLICK HERE

I think this phrase sums up SoulStream and what God is doing in my life: "Bless the Lord oh my soul, who leads me into life" Taize Song

Take Care!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

LIVING IN THE NOW

This is going in my journal. From Richard Rohr:

Question of the day:
How do we allow God to help us live in the moment?




Let us be present to the now.
It’s all we have and it’s where God will always speak to us.
The now holds everything, rejects nothing and,
therefore, can receive God, too.
Help us be present to the place we’re most afraid of,
because it always feels empty, it always feels boring,
it always feels like it’s not enough.
Help us find some space within that we don’t try to fill
with ideas or opinions.
Help us to create inner space,
because you always show yourself best where we are
hungry and empty.
Keep us out of the way,
so there is always room enough for you.

Amen.

From Hope Against Darkness, p. 122

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Awareness of the sacred in life is what holds our world together and the lack of awareness and sacred care is what is tearing our world apart.


Joan Chittister "Wisdom Distilled from the Daily"

Monday, April 27, 2009

Dealing With Life's Difficulties


Jeff Imbach's weekly quote has to with dealing with change. - click here

Thursday, April 23, 2009

24


"If I had to advise one thing for spiritual growth it would be silence."
Richard Rohr "Letting Go: A Spirituality of Subtraction"

Many of us, including me, live in a world of constant noise and activity and it doesn't take a priest to too tell us, or maybe it does, that the best thing for our souls is a good dose of silence once and a while.

To fulfill a requirement for a course I’m taking I took a day off recently to be silent for 24 hours and it was so good! As required, I didn't take anything but my Bible and my journal. I slept under the stars for a while, watched ducks and bald eagles play on, and over, the lake, was blown away by the majesty and beauty of the coastal mountains, and felt the rhythm of life and the joy of being present for the first time in a long time.



At one point I thought God was telling me to listen, so I listened. At another point I thought God was telling me to watch, so I watched, and close to the end of the 24 hours in silence I thought God told me to practice centering prayer, so I did that too.

No radio. No TV. Other than nature and neighbors playing and working in their yards, there was no noise, or conversations.

During the 24 hours of silence; He made me lie down in green pastures, He led me beside still waters, He restored my soul.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Creating Space for God by Henri Nouwen


Oh man, did this ever hit me where I live. Enjoy...

Discipline is the other side of discipleship. Discipleship without discipline is like waiting to run in the marathon without ever practicing. Discipline without discipleship is like always practicing for the marathon but never participating. It is important, however, to realize that discipline in the spiritual life is not the same as discipline in sports. Discipline in sports is the concentrated effort to master the body so that it can obey the mind better. Discipline in the spiritual life is the concentrated effort to create the space and time where God can become our master and where we can respond freely to God's guidance.

Thus, discipline is the creation of boundaries that keep time and space open for God. Solitude requires discipline, worship requires discipline, caring for others requires discipline. They all ask us to set apart a time and a place where God's gracious presence can be acknowledged and responded to.

________________________________________

These reflections are taken from Henri J.M. Nouwen's Bread for the Journey.

Visit HenriNouwen.org for more inspiration!

Monday, February 23, 2009

At A Stop Light In Surrey


I was driving around being "Real Estate Rod" yesterday when I looked over at the car next to me. The woman in the passenger seat was reading one of those little devotionals like "Our Daily Bread," or something, to her husband. I have to admit I had a twinge of judgment thinking they looked a little too religious for my liking, but right on the heals of that thought, the beauty of what was taking place in their car struck me. I know that sounds a little over the top, but somehow I immediately sensed the presence of God as I could see how attentive and absorbed they were in what they were reading.

My dad does his morning devotions with a little book like the one they were reading, and he often sends them to his four kids. When I take the time to prayerfully read what he e-mails us, and I connect with it in that mysterious, but now familiar way, I have to admit, it has a God affect on my day.

Another way to say it is: this type of good old fashioned devotional grounds me in God's presence and helps to inform my day. It helps me to fulfill Saint James' plea for faith and action in an inside out sort of way, which is one of the things all of us who follow Jesus are hoping for, isn't it? I know many of us have had this experience where I read a passage of scripture and then that same day I have a chance to apply it. Maybe, I have the opportunity to comfort someone with it, or give hope, or make a personal decision, or take a stand when tempted or opposed.

See what a beautiful thing this is? Inevitably, I experience more joy, more love, and more life when I read scripture, or our one of my various devotionals, and I allow it to sink in and then cooperate with God and apply it during the day.

Allowing it to SINK IN has to be one of the keys to all this type of devotional discipline, doesn't it? In Colossians 3:15 it says "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts..." The word "Let" means to "allow" the peace of Christ to rule in my heart. I could also say it means to "dip into" the peace of Christ, like a bucket being lowered and then dipped into the water at the bottom of a deep well. I LOVE this way of saying it, “dip into” the peace of Christ!

Maybe this is what I saw in one brief moment with the couple in the car next to me yesterday. I had the privilege of seeing someone else "dipping into"" the well at a stop light in the middle of Surrey, and the beauty, and the wonder of it all drew me in, and allowed me to take a dip too.

- Rod

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


In learning to pray, I am learning to let go. Through Spiritual Direction I am learning to let God save me, instead of trying to save myself. What a huge paradigm shift this is. I never realized what a striver I am when it comes to my own salvation and ongoing relationship with God.

Letting go is also one of the ways I can "pray continually," and all of life becomes prayer. This is an element of being poor in spirit, and, of course, it's all a gift, not something to be striven for.

Like usual, Richard Rohr says it way better than I ever could, so enjoy!...

From Richard Rohr http://www.cacradicalgrace.org:

LETTING GO

Question of the day:
What is God asking me to surrender?


Risk all for love, Jesus tells us, even your own life. Give that to me and let me save it. The healthy religious person is the one who allows God to save.

If this is the ideal Christian attitude toward God, then Mary is the ideal Christian of the Gospels. She sums up in herself the attitude of the poor one whom God is able to save. She is deeply aware of her own emptiness without God (Luke 1:52). She longs for the fulfillment of God’s promise (1:54); she has left her self open, available for God’s work (1:45, 49). And when the call comes, she makes a full personal surrender: “Let it be!” (1:38).

from Radical Grace: Daily Meditations, p. 322, day 333

Current mantra: Let go…let God

Friday, February 13, 2009

GOD'S LOVE

From Richard Rohr http://www.cacradicalgrace.org:

Question of the day - When do I most feel I'm inside God's love?

"The deepest level of communication is communion. When we know and love someone we are simply happy to be near them. We feel power and energy passing between us. That is the power of prayer. That is what we must do to bask in the sunshine of God's love. The word to us is, "Don't just do something; stand there!"

To receive the love of God is to recognize it is all around us, above us and beneath us; speaking to us through every person, every flower, every trial and situation. Stop knocking on the door: You’re already inside!"

from The Great Themes of Scripture, p.383


Current mantra - I know and believe the love God has for me

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Simple Metaphors


"As you listen to the examples and the metaphors of Jesus, they're much more nature based, lifestyle based, relationship based, much more than church based or religion based. He simply says "Look at the lilies of the field."

"He's using normal language that everybody can understand – not highfalutin theology, not highfalutin philosophy. Just look at things as they are and see what's real and see what's unreal."

Richard Rohr
from the CAC webcast, Nov. 8, 2008:
What is The Emerging Church?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Building Inner Bridges

Prayer is the bridge between our conscious and unconscious lives. Often there is a large abyss between our thoughts, words, and actions, and the many images that emerge in our daydreams and night dreams. To pray is to connect these two sides of our lives by going to the place where God dwells. Prayer is "soul work" because our souls are those sacred centers where all is one and where God is with us in the most intimate way.

Thus, we must pray without ceasing so that we can become truly whole and holy.

Henri Noewen

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

From Unceasing Thinking to Unceasing Prayer


Our minds are always active. We analyze, reflect, daydream, or dream. There is not a moment during the day or night when we are not thinking. You might say our thinking is "unceasing." Sometimes we wish that we could stop thinking for a while; that would save us from many worries, guilt feelings, and fears. Our ability to think is our greatest gift, but it is also the source of our greatest pain. Do we have to become victims of our unceasing thoughts? No, we can convert our unceasing thinking into unceasing prayer by making our inner monologue into a continuing dialogue with our God, who is the source of all love.

Let's break out of our isolation and realize that Someone who dwells in the center of our beings wants to listen with love to all that occupies and preoccupies our minds.

These reflections are taken from Henri J.M. Nouwen's Bread for the Journey.