Praise and worship that where I am You speak to, not only here in the blogosphere but in what was in my inbox this morning. Praise and worship that You are that personal of a God, not for my pleasure but for Your glory, that more and more I would listen......am listening.....
Weekly Reflection March 8 : On the Journey Toward Being Vulnerable
written by RITA O'CONNOR
"I can't." That statement was the first step on my journey to being vulnerable. The next statement took three days to emerge from my trembling lips: "I...need...help." I was living as an assistant in a L'Arche home, and things were not going well.
My upbringing had taught me that I was alone. That I would have to solve my own problems. That my needs were excessive and would not, could not be met. This left me feeling very alone. To my heart's relief, when I asked for help in my L'Arche home, I was helped. As I began to express my needs, they were responded to.
As I journeyed toward being vulnerable, I noticed that my journeying invited others to do the same. When I took the risk to confess a fear, dislike, or displeasure, my companion did likewise. My heart opened. Softened. The increasing mutual vulnerability led to my feeling and being more connected to my friends.
I realized that a fear of judgment had kept me silent. Now I check things out. Sure it is hard to hear "Yes, I am angry with you." Often, though, the other person responds with reassurance. At some point on the journey, I realized that I was known. Known and accepted. Known and loved.
That who I was, was good.
It is a fearsome process to speak the truth from the heart.
Yet the fact is, I am vulnerable. I have made the decision that I'd rather live being vulnerable than be alone.
Daily Meditation for March 8, 2006
written by Henri Nouwen
Towards a Nonjudgmental life
One of the hardest spiritual tasks is to live without prejudices. Sometimes we aren't even aware how deeply rooted our prejudices are. We may think that we relate to people who are different from us in colour, religion, sexual orientation, or lifestyle as equals, but in concrete circumstances our spontaneous thoughts, uncensored words, and knee-jerk reactions often reveal that our prejudices are still there.
Strangers, people different than we are, stir up fear, discomfort, suspicion, and hostility. They make us lose our sense of security just by being "other." Only when we fully claim that God loves us in an unconditional way and look at "those other persons" as equally loved can we begin to discover that the great variety in being human is an expression of the immense richness of God's heart. Then the need to prejudge people can gradually disappear.
March 8, 2006
THE RELINQUISHED LIFE
I am crucified with Christ.
No one is ever united with Jesus Christ until he is willing to relinquish not sin only, but his whole way of looking at things. To be born from above of the Spirit of God means that we must let go before we lay hold, and in the first stages it is the relinquishing of all pretence. What Our Lord wants us to present to Him is not goodness, nor honesty, nor endeavour, but real solid sin; that is all He can take from us. And what does He give in exchange for our sin?
Real solid righteousness. But we must relinquish all pretence of being any thing, all claim of being worthy of God's consideration. Then the Spirit of God will show us what further there is to relinquish. There will have to be the relinquishing of my claim to my right to myself in every phase. Am I willing to relinquish my hold on all I possess, my hold on my affections, and on everything, and to be identified with the death of Jesus Christ?
There is always a sharp painful disillusionment to go through before we do relinquish. When a man really sees himself as the Lord sees him, it is not the abominable sins of the flesh that shock him, but the awful nature of the pride of his own heart against Jesus Christ.
When he sees himself in the light of the Lord, the shame and the horror and the desperate conviction come home.
If you are up against the question of relinquishing, go through the crisis, relinquish all, and God will make you fit for all that He requires of you.