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Sojourners Verse and Voice – 18 March 2021

Verse of the day   Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. – Galatians 6:2she
Voice of the day 
True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. – Arthur Ashe
Prayer of the day  
O God, we pray that you would cultivate within us a soul that finds joy in our service to others. May we always have eyes that see the needs of our communities and the will to strive to meet them.

Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe | Franciscan Media

Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe, a Conventual Franciscan, is best known for volunteering to take the place of a condemned prisoner in a death camp. But he also worked tirelessly for the spiritual welfare of people through his deep devotion to the Blessed Mother.
— Read on

Reaching Out – Henri Nouwen

When we have found our own uniqueness in the love of God and have been able to affirm that indeed we are lovable since it is God’s love that dwells in us, then we can reach out to others in whom we discover a new and unique manifestation of the same love and enter into an intimate communion with them.

Tasting the Real – Thomas Merton

Last night’s sunset on Alabama Point

We were able to enjoy some beach time yesterday after a full day of work which included sermon preparation, studying for the Interim/Transitional ministry course we will be attending in a week, and preparation for the retreat we will be leading in May for Columbia Presbyterian Theological Seminary’s Lifelong Learning program. The lovely time in God’s creation was a blessing. I love today’s reading from A Year with Thomas Merton: Daily Meditations from His Journals. (Aug 14)

Cool. Cows lowing in the mist. Long but rich night office. “Mary has chosen the better part.” My love for the great responsories….

The Lespedeza hedge we planted ten or fifteen years ago was blooming with delicate, heather-like purple blossoms, and bees were busy in them. An entirely beautiful, transfigured moment of love for God and the need for complete confidence in Him in everything, without reserve, even when almost nothing is understood. August 15 and 16, 1963. Turning Toward the World: The Pivotal Years (The Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 4: 1960-1963)

The Chosenness of Others – Henri Nouwen

When we claim and constantly reclaim the truth of being the chosen ones, we soon discover within ourselves a deep desire to reveal to others their own chosenness. Instead of making us feel that we are better, more precious or valuable than others, our awareness of being chosen opens our eyes to the chosenness of others. That is the great joy of being chosen: the discovery that others are chosen as well. In the house of God there are many mansions. There is a place for everyone—a unique, special place. Once we deeply trust that we ourselves are precious in God’s eyes, we are able to recognize the preciousness of others and their unique place in God’s heart.

Mysticism – Frederick Buechner

MYSTICISM IS WHERE RELIGIONS START. Moses with his flocks in Midian, Buddha under the Bo tree, Jesus up to his knees in the waters of Jordan—each of them is responding to Something of which words like Shalom, Nirvana, God even, are only pallid souvenirs. Religion as ethics, institution, dogma, ritual, Scripture, social action—all of this comes later and in the long run maybe counts for less. Religions start, as Frost said poems do, with a lump in the throat—to put it mildly—or with a bush going up in flames, a rain of flowers, a dove coming down out of the sky. “I have seen things,” Aquinas told a friend, “that make all my writings seem like straw.

“Most people have also seen such things. Through some moment of beauty or pain, some sudden turning of their lives, most of them have caught glimmers at least of what the saints are blinded by. Only then, unlike the saints, they tend to go on as though nothing has happened.

We are all more mystics than we choose to let on, even to ourselves. Life is complicated enough as it is.

-Originally published in Wishful Thinking and later in Beyond Words

A Contemplative Walk – Christine Valters Paintner

“A contemplative walk is one without a particular destination in mind, only an invitation to connect to your heart, breathe deeply, and listen to how things are unfolding before you.”

— Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, Sacred Seasons: A Yearlong Journey through the Celtic Wheel of the Year – A Self-Study Online Retreat

What is shimmering in the world around you, beckoning you to pay closer attention?

When Life Gets Murky – Jake Owensby

A powerful reflection from my friend, Jake!

How to navigate this messy world The post When Life Gets Murky appeared first on Jake Owensby.

When Life Gets Murky

Sojourners Verse and Voice – 12 August 2022

Verse of the day
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

– Psalm 46:1-3

Voice of the day
We can reject Christian nationalism and move toward Christianity with intentional actions, admitting where we’ve missed the mark and working to do better.

– Amanda Tyler, “The Distorted Gospel of the Charlottesville Rally Keeps Spreading

Prayer of the day
Be our refuge in these troubling times, Lord. Help us to reject distorted messages and work toward healing.

We are Seen by God’s Loving Eyes – Henri Nouwen

The greatest spiritual battle begins—and never ends—with the reclaiming of our chosenness. Long before any human being saw us, we are seen by God’s loving eyes. Long before anyone heard us cry or laugh, we are heard by our God who is all ears for us. Long before any person spoke to us in this world, we are spoken to by the voice of eternal love.

Sojourners Verse and Voice – 11 August 2022

Verse of the day
And if I have prophetic powers and understand all mysteries and all knowledge and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains but do not have love, I am nothing.

– 1 Corinthians 13:2

Voice of the day
There can be no love without justice.

– bell hooks, All About Love (1999)

Prayer of the day
Show us how to truly love, Lord. May our actions be a reflection of your justice.