St. Arbucks Chapel- March 3, 2021
Here is a link if you didn’t get to hear this week’s sermon: (Suffering Well)
My Next Steps – An Invitation to Journaling and Reflection….
1. Is there suffering in your life that needs to be explored rather than explained?
2. Is there pain that you need to integrate into your life rather than try to endure pain?
3. Can you embrace a God who suffers? Reflect on this statement from Barbara Brown Taylor…”What the cross teaches us is that God’s power is not the power to force human choices and end human pain. It is, instead, the power to pick up the shattered pieces and make something holy of them – not from a distance but right up close!”
These are the quotes from this morning’s sermon….
- “All addictive behavior can be attributed to one’s unwillingness to suffer legitimately.” Carl Jung, M.D.
- “Christianity is the only world religion that confesses a God who suffers. It is not all that popular an idea, even among Christians. We prefer a God who prevents suffering, only that is not the God we have. What the cross teaches us is that God’s power is not the power to force human choices and end human pain. It is, instead, the power to pick up the shattered pieces and make something holy of them – not from a distance but right up close!” Rev Dr Barbara Brown Taylor
Books I referred to….
- “When Bad Things Happen to Good People” by Rabbi Harold Kushner (his son died at a very young age from progeria – advanced premature aging)
- “The Gift,” and “The Choice” by Dr. Edith Eger (Holocaust survivor)
Spiritual Practice – “Welcoming Prayer”
Welcoming Prayer – This prayer method is consenting to God’s presence and action in our physical and emotional reactions to events and situations in daily life. The purpose of the Welcoming Prayer is to deepen our relationships with God through consenting in the ordinary activity of our day – “consent-on-the-go!”
The Welcoming Prayer helps to dismantle acquired emotional programs and to heal the wounds of a lifetime by addressing them where they are stored – in the body. It contributes to the process of transformation in Christ initiated in Centering Prayer. (I will speak to this in the future)
- The Method:
- Feel and sink into what you are experiencing this moment in your body.
- “Welcome” what you are experiencing this moment in your body as an opportunity to consent to the Divine indwelling.
- You imaginatively place the pain, the emotion, in the palms of your hands and see the light of the Holy Spirit saturating the problem with grace and peace.
- Let go by saying, “I let go of my desire for security, affection, control and embrace this moment as it is.”
- Start practicing the Welcoming Prayer with the little things in life – small, everyday frustrations like sitting in traffic or waiting in line at the grocery store. Practicing with the small things prepares us for the bigger upsets.
- Pray….Oh God, grant me the grace to live in the space between impulse and action. Amen.
- Welcoming prayer helps us….
- To feel more deeply and to be less reaction and more responsive.
- Become aware of how our bodies store our emotions.
- Practice calm so we can fully present to each person and each event that comes our way.
Have a blessed week!