Wednesday, April 28, 2021

THE CAVE, THE TABLE, THE ROAD, THE FIRE: THE CAVE

Photo by Marius Venter from Pexels

THE CAVE: DISCOVERING A PLACE OF PRAYER AND INTIMACY

 I realize it is easier for me to type things than write them these days. So I am answering questions in my Order of the Mustard Seed Guide. This exercise is based on a talk by Karl Martin, Senior Pastor of Central Church, Edinburgh.

"My cave is the place in which I am able to slow down and turn off the cacophonous noise of this life to hear the voice of God instead" (p. 75, The Order of the Mustard Seed Guide).

Proskartereo - The Greek word used in Acts 2:42 when the early church "devoted" themselves to prayer. It is a very strong word describing "steadfast strength," "intense effort" and the faithful disciplined pursuit of a particular goal.

QUESTIONS FOR THE CAVE:

What form does my cave take? is there a particular place or time in the day in which I particularly seek God?

I always tell people how much I love my CAVE!

Morning

I have the blessing of being a very early riser. So I go to my "kitchen cave" desk. I make my chai tea, light my candle at my desk and have prayer time. Lately, it has started with the Celtic Prayers of the Northumbrian Community. Sometimes that involves dancing to the music they created for this liturgy. I journal and pray through the Scripture meditations for the day. When I get to the "pray for others" part, I pray for my family, the people I am making eternal investments in, and the peoples all over the world through wonderful prayer APPS. Many weekdays I join the 6:30 Prayer Watch with the Order of the Mustard Seed (OMS), and sometimes I go to the 3:30 Prayer Watch!

On Friday mornings I join the Jesuits in Scotland for an hour of contemplative prayer.

Then I go for a prayer walk. I listen to Pray as You Go or Lectio365, but many times I just walk and listen to God as I enjoy his wonderful creation.

On Sunday mornings, I love my Centering Prayer time with the Mercy Center in Burlingame, CA.

Midday

Mornings are my prime time, and I give it to him, but I often go into a short mid-day prayer time with the Northumbrian Community. Often it is while walking and going up to the hospital to walk the labyrinth there.  I release any fears as I go in. I receive God's word to me regarding those fears in the center. I walk out returning to the world. 

Midday Centering Prayer: I connect with several groups in the midday (East Mosely, UK; Jo with OMS, Presbyterians in town)  

Midday Examen: OMS (not every day but many days).

Midday Contemplation: Every other Wednesday with the Jesuits in Britain called Imagine

Evening

This is my weakest area. I have learned that I need to pray in the early evening because I get very sleepy after about 8:30! The newer Evening Prayer on the Lectio365 app and the musical version of the Evening and Compline prayers of the Northumbrian Community have been helpful. Sometimes I will go for a walk as the sun sets and listen to these. 

What practical steps might I take to "devote" myself more fully to prayer? 

I have wanted to grow in Centering Prayer for so long, and these groups that I have joined in the last year have been so helpful! I hope to grow in doing it on my own more often, but the accountability has been wonderful. 

I am also wanting to grow more in evening prayer. George and I are doing a "no electricity" evening once a week, and that tends to lend itself to more connection with God and each other in the evening. 

 Every Other Month 

I go to an extended CAVE time by myself, usually at a monastery. I have been going away since I was 19 years old. I am very thankful for my mentors who instilled this in me. This is a handout I give all people interested in having a Day in Prayer. There is a simpler one put out by the 24-7 people too.

I was going to write about all four, but I am breaking this up over the next four days! See you tomorrow for THE TABLE.  


Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Freewrite Tuesday

 

From: Pray For The World... Pictures, Photos, and Images for Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Twitter (lovethispic.com)



What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer. 

There is a holy hush as Tuesdays are my day to pray from 7-8am for the world. Actually, I pray every day for the world as part of my time with God, but this is my extended time, and at the end, the sweet sense of God's presence is here, and I wanted to do a Freewrite to capture it.

So many people in poverty and in the path of violent extremism. So many people are oppressed by overpowering governments. So many women are trapped because of overpowering men. I went all over the world today, and I know I cannot go there, but I can certainly lift them up in prayer. 

It has been a while since I typed here because I fractured the radial neck of my left arm. It was hard for me to turn my palm down all the way (and hard at first because it was in a splint). The doctor said it was fine to continue to work on my range of motion both up and down, bending at the elbow, and palms up and palms down. So I have much more range of motion overall. Typing this is not painful, whereas last week it was. Sweet young people prayed for healing on Sunday, and there was a definite increase in the ROM. Thankful. 

Today I am to teach Pilates from 2-4 pm, but I think I am going to move my usual video up to today (usually I run this video Week 7, but I am not ready to lead a Ball class yet).

Speaking of teaching Pilates. I had one student from 2018 who contacted me saying that I changed her whole attitude toward exercising. Since she graduated, she has published a book and has a life/health coaching business, and she links them to my Pilates videos. Every time there is a click, I get a commission! I got my first check yesterday. WHO KNEW? So surreal.

I would love to continue to type, but I have a spiritual direction appointment in nine minutes and I still need to dress for the occasion.


TTFN. No time to proofread for me. 

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Tuesday Freewrite - A New Day Dawns


I cannot believe it has been 18 days since my last freewrite. My writing side comes out more in a balanced life. I haven't necessarily been totally out of wack and unbalanced, but I have not been manifesting my more creative side lately. In this stream of consciousness kind of writing (see HERE for a definition of a freewrite) I realize how "grounded" writing the Bible Book Club from 2008-2013 kept me! I wrote EVERY DAY. Sometimes those posts would take 2-3 hours to write, but I loved it! Although it did make me unbalanced in my body as I sat WAY more than your average bear. So I don't write as much now because I am intentional about bodywork by teaching my Pilates class for four hours every week. I loved those times, and I still have all those pages of writing (3000+ in MS Word). 

Today, I loved the application in the Lent Retreat on Pray as You Go:

The time between Good Friday and Easter Sunday can feel like empty space, but it is precisely in this empty space that the miracle of transformation happens and new energy is released, like a butterfly from a chrysalis. Try bringing any places of emptiness in your own life consciously into the light of the Holy Spirit. These places are your Holy Saturdays where transformation begins.

Make a note in your journal of any moments this week when you have glimpsed the power of resurrection. As you look into the mirror of prayer, try expressing what you see, either in words or pictures. Notice especially anything that takes you by surprise or overturns your expectations. 

This week we might ask for the grace to see our circumstances through the eyes of love, to recognize the light of resurrection already dawning in our lives and our world, and to have the courage to cross the other side of the boat and be open to God's surprised where we least expect them. 

I loved this devotional written by Margaret Silf, and I hope to add it to my manual through the Spiritual Exercises. I have her book Inner Compass, and it is on my "to read" list. 

Speaking of "to read" lists. I am finishing up the last book for the Book Babes. It took me a long time to get into, but I have liked it in the long run as it is through the eyes of a clinical psychologist, and I find many parallels to my own practice of spiritual direction. I realize that spiritual direction is NOT therapy, but they do overlap in terms of listening and reflecting, etc. So, it has been insightful for me in many ways. I am on the last 55 pages. I am not sure I will continue with the Babes. It is a tremendous outlay of time to read 10 books every year. I gave myself the freedom not to read three of them because they held no interest for me when they were selected, and I just do not have the time to read books I know will not be interesting to me. I did give one of them that I thought I would not like, and I did not. So I am going with my first gut instinct. All that to say is that most of the ones I read were not ones that inspired anything in my life. I want books that inspire me toward growth rather than just feed me with more information. So, I am considering being even more ruthless in which ones I will read next year. I am glad I have cleared my plate of this list so I can read books like Silf's. Formation books are more of what I crave. I also crave classics because they feed my formation. 

Today is:

6:30 Morning Watch with OMS

7-8 24-7 Prayer 

9-10 Directee 

10-2 Work on my Spiritual Formation Timeline for Imago Christi Discovery 

2-4 Pilates I and II teaching

4:30-5:30 Directee

The timer has gone off. TTFN.

Old Herbaceous

This was a sweet story about a gardener in England from the time he was a boy to an old man. It made me cry it was so short and sweet.  Here...