- Sunday November 15: Come Share Your Talents
[full email]: https://mailchi.mp/coutreach/word-of-the-week-nov15
[excerpt from email]: “The Gospel invites us to holiness and higher states of consciousness. This invitation involves risks; it means growing beyond where we are. It asks us to invest our talents even when we feel they are inadequate to a particular situation, job or ministry … ”
– Thomas Keating, The Mystery of Christ
Examen: Has the practice of Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina or the Welcoming Prayer prompted you to take risks in your life?
Though I wouldn’t consider it a talent, I struggle with offering, what I feel is a calling, of centering prayer and Christian meditation to my community. I’m in a position to offer a spiritual space of silence, to form a contemplative community, and I don’t take the risk, I am playing it safe. Even though I know I have to take the next step to realize God’s plan, I am afraid. All of this I truly realize as false, though I have been “waiting” almost four years to do anything about it. Except pray of course. 🙂
Stepping out as a beginner is vulnerable to criticism for me. That’s me right now.
well , yes. centering prayer for years now, i listen to carl arico’s prayer on tthe app , ending with “responding to God’s love for us moment by moment by moment by moment”..
at the beginning of Advent last year, i decided that i would let God tell me in each moment what to do, instead of depending on habitual sequences of thoughts, emotions and actions. at first, it seemed like i was flinging myself from pillar to post. it was a perfect set up for what was to come in march of this year. i had to give up my precious open studio and all my friends. most dont use a computer(not advantaged).
now i find myself choosing to slow down on a massive scale. i had minor surgery a few weeks ago that has been slow in healing. in trying to “do”a lot, including reaching out to others, i had a day full of minor accidents at home involving reopened wounds . i didnt really believe old age was really in the cards for me. but alas, it is here. my husband fell and threw out his back on the same day. how humiliating. how appropriate. how i need to let go of that protestant ethic of always having to produce something, in my mother’s words “earn my bed and board.”
so i am on that thomas merton train : “lord, i have no idea where i am going…”
Sunday, November 15: Come Share Your Talents
Yes. It takes a great deal of prayer to rick the silence of my mind instead of listening to the nagging voice insisting I have more important things to do. Centering prayer demands I risk loving the unknown other (hard) and risk loving myself (harder). Without risk there can be no growth, so I thank God for them and pray the Holy Spirit’s strength to take them. <3 linda
Yes, for me the gradual practice of centering prayer over the past two years or so has produced my life’s most important insight regarding taking risk. Having failed as a business entrepreneur, I have some experience with the downside of taking certain types of risk. At one time, I might have boldly stated a willingness to risk everything for the hope of a certain kind of success. Experiencing the outcome of taking this kind of risk and failing, I now consider a huge stroke of luck! Without this risk-taking and failure I would never have had the slightest impulse to set on a different journey focused on prayer. I most sincerely consider this failure a huge gift!
Now I look for a different kind of risk-taking that some have called becoming a spiritual entrepreneur. The enormous drive and energy that it takes to succeed in business and a willingness to be totally all-in are a set of experiences I can draw from and perhaps try to mirror now in a different realm of life.
I ask myself, what risks am I willing to take? Paraphrasing, as the Gospels ask of us who say we are followers of Christ, “What does it mean to lose my life?” or, “How do I begin to lose my life?” There is a mystery in these questions that I do not understand but I am drawn to. Here are two question for myself about taking risks which I now consider worthy of silent contemplation and action. Without the practice of Centering Prayer, I would have never been remotely interested in the value of these questions or had any desire to consider an alternate view of risk-taking.
Thank you for challenging us with this excellent question about risk and the spiritual impact daring and bold decisions can have on our lives and others.
Each time I sat with “Has the practice of Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina or the Welcome prayer prompted you to take risks in my life?” I would just sit back and ponder “take risks”? My day has these components, yes, but also daily Eucharist, beginning my day and ending withthe same Scripture, frequent recall of God’s presence.
Then as I lived each day I did what the day called me to do. I lived some challening events. “Risk’ was more like “acceptance” and “surprise” and “gratitude” and ” there was more than me involved” Perhaps “Surprised by the Spirit”.
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