christianity

Union With God

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“…plain life as lived by a Christian…in a spirit of faith, is a life redeemed by Christ. It is Christ’s life…When you eat breakfast. When you go to work, Christ is going to work. When you meet your brother…Christ meets Christ.”

~ Thomas Merton

Painting by Camille Pissarro (1888)

The Climate of My Prayer

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“Our mentioning of the weather — our perfunctory observations on what kind of day it is — are perhaps not idle. Perhaps we have a deep and legitimate need to know in our entire being what the day is like, to see it and feel it, to know how the sky is grey, paler in the south, with patches of blue in the southwest, with snow on the ground, the thermometer at 18, and cold wind making your ears ache. I have a real need to know these things because I myself am part of the weather and part of the climate and part of the place, and a day in which I have not shared truly in all this is no day at all. It is certainly part of my life of prayer.”

~ Thomas Merton, Journal Entry on February 27, 1963

Hymn Of Praise To You

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“Why do I keep relating to you as one of my many relationships, instead of my only relationship, in which all other ones are grounded ? Why do I keep looking for popularity, respect from others, success, acclaim, and sensual pleasures? Why, Lord, is it so hard for me to make you the only one? Why do i keep hesitating to surrender myself totally to you?

Help me, O Lord, to let my old self die, to let die the thousand big and small ways in which i am still building up my false self and trying to cling to my false desires. Let me be reborn in you and see through you the world in the right way, so that all my actions, words, thoughts can become a hymn of praise to you. I need your loving grace to travel on this hard road that leads to the death of my old self and to a new life in and for you. I know and trust that this is the road to freedom. Lord, dispel my mistrust and help me become a trusting friend.

Amen.”

~Henri Nouwen, A Cry For Mercy: Prayers From the Genesee

The Source Of Everything

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“Prayer is the experience of knowing that God is the source of everything we claim as our own. To pray is to say with Jesus, “Not my will, but yours. Not my words, but yours. Not my worth, but yours. Not my glory, but yours. Not in my name, but in yours.”

~ Henri Nouwen, Spiritual Formation

Humble Servants

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“Humility is not self-deprecation or the disregard of God-given abilities. It is, rather, the recognition that we are God’s servants to everyone else who, like us, are beloved children of God. If all people have eternal value, we cannot treat anyone as having less value than that while they are here on the earth.”

~ Steve Harper