Habits of Freedom; Holy Indifference

We are continuing our series of Habits of Freedom: 5 Ignatian Tools for Calming Your Mind and Resting in the Lord by Christopher S. Collins, SJ.

God often calls us out of our usual to get our attention. In the scripture, we see him call people to the desert, recall the Israelites in the desert after leaving Egypt and Jesus there for 40 days before he begins his public ministry.

He also uses suffering to draw us closer to him. The desert, suffering – both are ways that we turn and rely more fully on God than in other times.

St. Ignatius teaches us to have a “holy indifference” in that no matter our circumstances, we choose to turn to God.

Discernment

Discernment is an ongoing and daily process. It asks us to look each day at where we have been, what we have done, and where we have encountered God. This is our Examen. A time to reflect on our day, with the help of the Holy Spirit and ask for help for the next day.

Allow your life to be disrupted

Fr. Collins makes this point about how we can be disposed to receive grace: “putting my self into unknown, uncertain, somewhat insecure circumstances has a way of disposing me to receive something greater that I could have expected.” (pg. 10)

It is good to allow our lives to be disrupted for, with and by God. “Allow ourselves to be displaced, decentered. To be opened up to something different. And then to allow the Holy Spirit to move, to act, to allow the Word of God to be spoken and heard by me, by us.” (pg.15)

This week, take some quiet time to think about a time when your life was disrupted. What happened? How was the situation resolved? Where was God in it? What did you learn?

Would you like to banish the lies that hold you back from freedom in Christ? Receive a free guide from me to help!

 

You are Enough

Fine Line

There is a fine line between true, good, and holy desires and grasping for more. Our world tells us that we are not enough or maybe too much; that we need to do more, be more, and have more. Always striving for an ideal that is beyond reach. That is not of God.

Scripture

The righteous have enough to satisfy their appetite,
but the belly of the wicked is empty. Proverbs 13:25

The righteous have enough to satisfy their appetite,
but the belly of the wicked is empty. Proverbs 23:4

Though he was in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Phillipians 2:6

What do we need to live?

Most of us have enough. We may not realize it because we have bought into the world telling us we don’t have enough. More is better. Not really; more stuff means more time spent caring for things rather than caring for others.

This week spend some time making a list of all that God has given you. Your gifts and talents, family, friends, all that is enough in your life, both personally and materially. Let me know how it goes.

Interested in talking about your spiritual life? Take a look here for more information.

We can trust God!

What does trust mean?

What does the word trust mean? “A firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something.”

We have belief in God.  He is reliable. He is truth. His ability is above all, as is His strength. We can trust Him. Yet we falter at times.

The Word

Look at this verse from Sirach 2:10:

“Study the generations long past and understand; has anyone hoped in the LORD and been disappointed? Has anyone persevered in his fear and been forsaken? Has anyone called upon him and been rebuffed?”

Where has God been in your past?

Look at your own life, not past generations, and see where God has been there for you. Often we don’t see it at the time, but when we look back, we see how He protected us or saved us from making a mistake.

For our challenge, look back on your life and think about all the times and situations where you see God. If you are so inclined, write them down. It is your personal story of salvation, your spiritual adventure!

 

Simple & Ordinary

A few weeks ago I interviewed Rachel Balducci about her new book, No Such Thing as Ordinary and we talked about how oftentimes, we are waiting to do something big and important for God and miss what is in front of us.

Reminder from God

I have lots of insomnia lately and so the middle of the night is time for prayer and deep conversation with God. He reminded me of a few things, in particular, that he uses the ordinary things of life to help and sustain us.

As an example, there is Elijah, beaten down and afraid after his encounter with Jezebel. He wanders off, whining and complaining. God sends an angel to him and encourages him to sleep and when he wakes up gives him food and drink. Then he sleeps again to prepare himself for the next journey. He goes to the mountain of Horeb and there meets God.

Again, God was not in the dramatic weather but in the quiet.

“He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces 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 a sound of sheer silence. ” 1 Kings 19:11-12

In the Ordinary

It is a reminder, isn’t it? Stop looking out there and look inside. Yourself. Your home. Look to what is reasonable, a nap, a snack, time with God.

Living Not Lukewarm is not about setting out each day to accomplish a great list of tasks that bring hundreds to Jesus. It is about doing what is in front of us, relying on Jesus to lead us and fully entering into the task at hand.

Whatever your tasks are this week, do them with the same zealousness as Elijah did what the LORD asked him to do!

Essential Worship Questions

Who needs worship?

Is it God or us? God does not need our worship. We need to worship him. It makes us more inclined to give him honor and reverence and awe. It reminds us to love God above all other people and things.

What are we to worship?

We are meant to worship the creator, not the created. Romans 1:28 says, “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”

How are we to worship?

We are meant to come and worship God filled with the SPirit and honestly, not trying to hide anything from him. John 4:4 says, “God is spirit and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and truth.”

 

Ask yourself the question, how am I going or entering into worship? If there have blocks or things you are trying to keep hidden, ask God to remove them so you can be free in your worship of him.

Spotify Playlist

 

 

 

The Prayer of Silence

What is prayer?

Prayer is time with God. A conversation. A lifting of our mind and heart to him.

There are different types of prayer

We can pray with others or by ourselves. There are vocal prayers, often those we have memorized. We can pray those aloud or inside our mind, but there are words involved either way.

Contemplative prayer is quiet. There are not many words.

How to pray in silence?

Put yourself in a quiet place, free of distractions.

Close your eyes and ask the Lord to be present with you.

Breathe. In your mind, picture God looking at you or open your eyes and look at an image that focuses you.

Tell God briefly what is on your mind.

And then sit quietly, if thoughts come to mind, let them go.

When you are done, thank God for his presence.

You may come away with answers or a sense of peace. Answers may come at another time. Try not to worry if you are doing it right, know that any time we give to God like this helps us become the person he created.

Try contemplative prayer this week. Start with 10 minutes a day and see what happens.