I hope that no one was too bogged down in the style of this first reading. The first four "chapters" are summaries of the initial conversations had with brother lawrence. While the style is a little difficult to get used to at first, I hope you saw the deep spiritual messages contained within. Here are a few tat really got to me today:
...instead of taking faith for the rule of their conduct, men amused themselves with trivial devotions, which changed daily.
I must admit that I am a fan of change. I happen to be one of those people that likes to change things because I don't like it when things get stale. That said, I find that this passage probably describes me quite a bit - "amus[ing] myself with trivial devotions, which change daily." I have the tendency to flit from one "passion for the day" to another. I have found that for true spiritual growth, I need to commit myself to one or two practices and discipline myself to follow them. Otherwise, I just go with the direction of the spiritual wind on any given day. This is one of the reasons that I am in the process of joining a religious order, complete with an established "Rule of Life" (more on that later).
...we ought to give ourselves up to God, with regard both to things temporal and spiritual, and seek our satisfaction only in fulfilling His will, whether he leads us by suffering or consolation, for all would be equal to a soul truly resigned.
Doesn't seem like it's much easier to give oneself up to God in time of struggle than it is during times of consolation? It seems, at least to me, that when life seems to be like a wave that is capsizing over me, I instinctively throw myself into the arms of God. When things are going pretty well, however - when health is good, finances are relatively stable, I fill fulfilled in my job, etc. - these are the times that I tend to want to take my life into my own hands (and subconsciously take credit
for it being that way as well). Finding my only satisfaction in his will is definitely something I want to strive for, but I don't think I can honestly say that it characterizes my life. I often find satisfaction in things with no regard to whether it is God's will or not. More times than not, it is, but I pray that I will become more attentive so that God's will is less by-product and more goal.
What about you? What passages from today's reading particularly strike you or make you think about your own spiritual formation and development? Share them in the comment section below (you can access that by clicking
Ecclesia Writer's Consortium
We are blessed at Ecclesia to have a number of gifted writers and teachers. Here, you'll find devotions, meditations, and musings from a sample of those writers.