Daily Riches: The Mystics and Prayer (Abraham Heschel, Macrina Wiederkehr, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Emily Dickenson, Soren Kierkegaard, and David Benner)

“Our need of Him is but an echo of His need of us.” Abraham Heschel

“I strain toward God; God strains toward me.
I ache for God; God aches for me.
Prayer is mutual yearning,
mutual straining,
mutual aching.”
Macrina Wiederkehr

“Closer is he than breathing
and nearer than hands and feet.”
Alfred Lord Tennyson

“The soul should always stand ajar.”
Emily Dickenson

“Always be in a state of expectancy, and see that you leave room for God to come in as he likes.” Oswald Chambers

“Blessed are the single-hearted, for they shall enjoy much peace. If you refuse to be hurried and pressed, if you stay your soul on God, nothing can keep you from that clearness of spirit which is life and peace.” Amy Carmichael

“Just as in earthly life lovers long for the moment when they are able to breathe forth their love for each other, to let their souls blend in a soft whisper, so the mystic longs for the moment when in prayer he can, as it were, creep into God.”  Soren Kierkegaard

“Just imagine how different your life would be if moment by moment you were constantly open to God. Think of how much your experience of yourself, others and the world would change if you were continuously attuned to the loving presence of God and allowed the life of God to flow into and through you with each breath. …It holds the possibility of helping us move from occasional acts of praying to a life of prayer.” David Benner

“For in him we live and move and exist.
As some of your own poets have said,
‘We are his offspring.’”
Acts 17:28
St. Paul, quoting Epimenides and Aratus

 Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Can you imagine a God who “needs” you? …who “aches for you?” (Heschel is an expert in the Hebrew prophets where these ideas recur.)
  • Can you imagine a God who is “closer than your hands and feet?” …in whom you “live and move and exist?”
  • Can the mystic’s aspiration to “creep into God” motivate you to deeper intimacy – to keep your “soul ajar?” … in “a state of expectancy?” …to “leave room for God to come as he likes?” …to “allow his life to flow through you with each breath?”

Abba, satisfy my longing for deeper intimacy with you.

For More: A Tree Full of Angels by Macrina Wiederkehr


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”


Daily Riches: Outcasts and the Conversion of the Church (Richard Rohr, Philip Yancey and Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

“Those at the edge, ironically, always hold the secret for the conversion of every age and culture. They always hold the projected and denied parts of our soul. Only as the People of God receive the stranger and the leper, those who don’t play our game, do we discover not only the hidden and hated parts of our own souls, but the Lord Jesus himself. In letting go, we make room for the Other. The Church is always converted when the outcasts are re-invited into the temple.” Richard Rohr

“In a world ruled by law, grace stands as a sign or contradiction. We want fairness; the gospel gives us an innocent man nailed to a cross who cries out, ‘Father, forgive them.’ We want respectability; the gospel elevates tax collectors, prodigals, and Samaritans. We want success; the gospel reverses the terms, moving the poor and downtrodden to the head of the line and the wealthy and famous to the rear. …To follow Jesus [means] to respond as he did, against all reason to dispense grace and love to those who deserve it least. …We see ourselves as on the side of Christ by giving to the needy. The new Testament makes plain, however, that Jesus is on the side of the poor, and we serve best by elevating the downtrodden to the place of Jesus.  … the direction of charity is not condescending, but rather ascending: in serving the weak and the poor, we are privileged to serve God himself.”  Philip Yancey

“There remains an experience of incomparable value. We have for once learned to see the great events of world history from below, from the perspective of the outcasts, the suspects, the maltreated – in short, from the perspective of those who suffer. Mere waiting and looking on is not Christian behavior. Christians are called to compassion and to action.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith
and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?”
James 2:5

 Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • If a church is “converted” by “outcasts” that it welcomes, to what degree is your church being converted?
  • How is your church doing at “dispensing grace and love to those who deserve it least?” Are such people even showing up in your church?
  • What do you do that helps you to see “from the perspective of those who suffer?” Is that something you desire? What would be the point?

Abba, may I see you and serve you in serving the maltreated of my day.

For More: Soul Survivor by Philip Yancey


I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill


Daily Riches: A Confusion of Images and Myths (Thomas Merton)

“Paul’s view of the ‘elements’ and the ‘powers of the air’ was couched in the language of the cosmology of his day. Translated into the language of our own time, I would say these mysterious realities are to be sought where we least expect them, not in what is remote and mysterious, but in what is most familiar, what is near at hand, what is at our elbow all day long – what speaks or sings in our ear, and practically does our thinking for us. The ‘powers’ and ‘elements’ are precisely what stand between the world and Christ. It is they who stand in the way of reconciliation. It is they who, by influencing all our thinking and behavior in so many unsuspected ways, dispose us to decide for the world as against Christ, thus making reconciliation impossible. Clearly the ‘powers’ and the ‘elements,’ which in Paul’s day dominated men’s minds through pagan religion or through religious legalism, today dominate us in the confusion and the ambiguity of the Babel of tongues that we call mass-society. Certainly I do not condemn everything in the mass-media. But how does one stop to separate the truth from the half-truth, the event from the pseudo-event, reality from the manufactured image? It is in this confusion of images and myths, superstitions and ideologies that the ‘powers of the air’ govern our thinking – even our thinking about religion! Where there is no critical perspective, no detached observation, no time to ask the pertinent questions, how can one avoid being deluded and confused?” Thomas Merton

“…a mighty windstorm hit the mountain.
It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose,
but the Lord was not in the wind.”
1 Kings 19:11

 Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you so immersed in media that it “practically does your thinking for you?”
  • Do you often ask yourself whether something is a truth or half-truth, an event or a “pseudo-event” – whether what you see is reality or a “manufactured image?”
  • Do you have a regular set of practices that help you avoid being “deluded and confused” by today’s Babel of tongues?

Abba, with your help I will refuse to be hurried and pressed, I will stay my soul on you. May nothing keep me from clearness of spirit which is life and peace. (adapted from Amy Carmichael)

For More: Faith and Violence by Thomas Merton


“Daily Riches” is for your encouragement as you seek God and he seeks you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”


Daily Riches: Community, Stability and Spirituality (Joan Chittister)

“Everything in life, contrary to Madison Avenue’s guarantees, can’t be cured or resolved or eliminated. Some things must simply be endured. Some things must simply be borne. Some things must simply be accepted. Community and relationships enable us to do that. …It is in community where we find out who we really are. It is life with another that shows my impatience and life with another that demonstrates my possessiveness and life with another that gives notice to my nagging devotion to the self. Life with someone else, in other words, doesn’t show me nearly as much about his or her shortcomings as it does about my own. In human relationships I learn how to soften my hard spots and how to reconcile and how to care for someone else besides myself. In human relationships I learn that theory is no substitute for love. It is easy to talk about the love of God; it is another things to practice it. That’s how relationships sanctify me. They show me where holiness is for me. That’s how relationships develop me. They how me where growth is for me. If I’m the passive-victim type, then assertiveness may have something to do with coming to wholeness. If I’m the domineering character in every group, then a willingness to listen and to be led may be my call to life. Alone, I am what I am, but in community I have the chance to become everything that I can be. And so, stability bonds me to this group of people and to these relationships so that resting in the security of each other we can afford to stumble and search, knowing that we will be caught if we fall and we will be led where we cannot see by those who have been there before us.” Joan Chittister

“Iron sharpens iron,
So one man sharpens another.”
Proverbs 27:17

 Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you discovering “who you really are” through your life in community – perhaps as a spouse, sibling, parent, roommate, employee, church member, neighbor? What about you needs to change?
  • Have you discovered in your relationships that some things won’t change and “must simply be endured?” Are you doing that well?
  • Are you engaged in community life so that, you are not only learning about yourself, but changing? Is a probationary approach to relationships hindering your transformation?

Abba, help me to submit to this messy but essential part of spirituality.

For More: Wisdom Distilled From the Daily by Joan Chittister


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and he seeks you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog.  I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

Daily Riches: Women and Their Idle Tales (Frederick Buechner)

“The Sundays after Easter are …precious be­cause, in their comparatively subdued, low-key way, they seem …closer to the reality of the resurrection as you and I are apt to experience it. These everyday Sundays without all the flowers and music and exaltation are like the kind of day that Luke describes in his account of the two disciples on their walk from Jerusalem to Emmaus some seven miles away. They had heard the women’s report about finding the tomb of Jesus empty that morning, but as Luke writes, it ‘seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.’ They did not believe the women because they found what the women said unbelievable, and then as they trudged along with the evening approaching …Jesus himself­ risen from the dead and alive again – joined them on their way, only they did not know it was Jesus because, again as Luke puts it, ‘their eyes were kept from recognizing him,’ and I think those eyes are almost the most haunting part of the whole haunting story because they remind me so much of my own eyes and because I suspect they may remind you also of yours. How extraordinary to have eyes like that – eyes that look out at this world we live in but, more often than not, see everything except what matters most. …What kept them from recognizing him, of course, was that they thought he was dead and gone, and when he asked them what they had been talking about, that is what they told him in words as full of pathos as any in the New Testament. ‘We had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel,’ they said, but by then their hope was as dead as they believed he was himself. They had gone to the tomb to see if he was alive as some believed but had found no trace of him. …they were so lost in their sad and tangled thoughts that they did not recognize him any more than you and I would probably recognize him as we walk through the world because, like theirs, our eyes are too accustomed to darkness and our faith not strong enough to believe in the reality of light even if it were to blaze up before us.” Frederick Buechner

“We had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel.”
Luke 24:21

 Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you dismissive towards women when it comes to spirituality?
  • Are you eyes too “accustomed to darkness” to notice the light?
  • Is your faith sufficient for those times when you are “lost in sad and tangled thoughts?”

Abba, give me eyes to see.

For More: Secrets in the Dark by Frederick Buechner

Daily Riches: A Modern Monastic Movement (Thomas Merton)

“It would perhaps be too much to say that the world needs another movement such as that which drew these men into the deserts of Egypt and Palestine. Ours is certainly a time for solitaries and for hermits. But merely to reproduce the simplicity, austerity and prayer of these primitive souls is not a complete or satisfactory answer. We must transcend them, and transcend all those who, since their time have gone beyond the limits which they set. We must liberate ourselves, in our own way, from involvement in a world that is plunging to disaster. But our world is different from theirs. Our involvement in it is more complete. Our danger is far more desperate. Our time, perhaps, is shorter than we think.” Thomas Merton

“We do not go into the desert to escape people but to learn how to find them; we do not leave them in order to have nothing more to do with them but to find out the way to do them the most good. …For the monk searches not only his own heart; he plunges deep into the heart of that world of which he remains a part although he seems to have ‘left’ it. In reality the monk abandons the world only in order to listen more intently to the deepest and most neglected voices that proceed from it’s inner depth. …The only justification for a life of deliberate solitude is the conviction that it will help you to love not only God but also other men.” Merton

”Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers
to abstain from fleshly lusts
which wage war
against the soul.”
1 Peter 2:11.

 Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Do you agree that ours is “a time for solitaries and for hermits?” Is God calling you to a life somehow separate from the crowd which would enable you “to love not only God but also other men?”
  • Do you see our world as “plunging to disaster?” Is there a way for you to “liberate” yourself from it today as the desert monastics did in theirs? What would that look like?
  • Are you able to listen intently to the “deepest and most neglected voices” of our world? What can you to do grow in that capacity?

Abba, guide me in my day as you did the monastics before me.

For More: New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

Daily Riches: The Limits of Religion and Science (Richard Rohr, Robert Russell, John Buchanan, Arthus Bogel and Simone Weil)

“The living God is related to the categories and formal arguments of our abstract thinking as fire is related to paper.” Arthus Bogel

“Great science, which we once considered an ‘enemy’ of religion, is now helping us see that we’re standing in the middle of awesome Mystery, and the only response before that Mystery is immense humility. Astrophysicists are much more comfortable with darkness, emptiness, non-explainability (dark matter, black holes), and living with hypotheses than most Christians I know. Who could have imagined this?” Richard Rohr

“I am … reminded of the humility of those early theologians who knew that when we seek to speak of God we do so only out of the glimmers of understanding that sparkle amid the vast background of uncomprehended mystery….” Robert J. Russell

“In a recent sermon [Rev. John Buchanan] writes that the science that many Christians had felt over the centuries to be ‘our greatest threat … is now teaching us the ancient truth about mystery, a truth that used to be ours – that when it comes to ultimate truth, the most appropriate posture is modesty, silence, reverence, not propounding, shouting, condemning, excommunicating.’” Kathleen Norris quoting Buchanan

“The mysteries of faith are degraded if they are made into an object of affirmation and negation, when in reality they should be an object of contemplation.” Simone Weil

“I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me;
I was found by those who did not seek me.
To a nation that did not call on my name, I said,
‘Here am I, here am I.’”
Isaiah 65:1

 Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Has the living God ever burned up what you had all figured out on “paper?” Can you be comfortable with “non-explanability?”
  • Do you think of “the mysteries of faith” as something to be analysed and explained, or something to be lived with and savored?
  • Do your religious or scientific convictions lead to “propounding, shouting, condemning, excommunicating” or to “modesty, silence, reverence?”
  • Many world-class scientists are people of faith. I you’re not aware of them, why not do a little checking?

Abba, help me to think clearly and critically, but may my faith be bigger than the best of my figuring and explaining. May I constantly be moving from the head to the heart, from thinking and believing to doing and loving.

For More: Amazing Grace by Kathleen Norris


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”


Daily Riches: Inconspicuous Piety and the Santification of Trifles (Abraham Heschel, Teresa of Avila, William Wordsworth, and Aldous Huxley)

“The path of spirituality is a knife-edge between abysses.” Aldous Huxley

“We are ready to applaud dramatic struggles once a year in Washington. For the sake of lofty principles we will spend a day or two in jail somewhere in Alabama. But that prosaic demand for housing without vermin, for adequate schools, for adequate employment – right here in the vicinity of Park Avenue in New York City – sound so trite, so drab, so banal, so devoid of magnificence. …The [Hebrew] prophets field of concern is not the mysteries of heaven, the glories of eternity, but the blights of society, the affairs of the market place. …The predominant feature of the biblical pattern of life is unassuming, unheroic, inconspicuous piety, the sanctification of trifles….” Abraham Heschel

“The best portion of a good man’s life: his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.” William Wordsworth

“Let there be no disappointment when obedience keeps you busy in outward tasks. If it sends you to the kitchen, remember that the Lord walks among the pots an pans.” Teresa of Avila

“Among my people are wicked men
who lie in wait for victims like a hunter hiding in a blind.
They continually set traps to catch people.
Like a cage filled with birds,
their homes are filled with evil plots.
And now they are great and rich.
They are fat and sleek,
and there is no limit to their wicked deeds.
They refuse to provide justice to orphans
and deny the rights of the poor.”
Jeremiah 5:23-28

 Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • When is the last time you carefully read the Prophets? Have you drunk deeply enough there to be aware of their “field of concern?”
  • Are you committed to heroic, “dramatic struggles” on behalf of the poor or others? Does that keep you from “remembering the Lord among the pots and pans?”
  • Are you engaged in spiritual practices? Is your aim something like “inconspicuous piety?” Does that keep you from activity to address “the blights of society?”
  • What, in really concrete terms, would it mean for you to practice the “sanctification of trifles?”

Abba, balance me on the path which is a knife-edge between abysses.

For More:  The Insecurity of Freedom by Abraham Heschel


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

Daily Riches: Unutterable, Restorative Holiness (Frederick Buechner)

“In Florida, in the winter, there is a walk that I take early in the morning before breakfast most days.  …I do not know any place lovelier on the face of this planet, especially at that early hour when there is nobody else around and everything is so fresh and still. The waterway drifts by like a broad river. The ponds reflect the sky. There are wonderful birds – snow-white egrets and ibis, boat-tail grackles black as soot – and long, unbroken vistas of green grass and trees. It is a sight worth traveling a thousand miles to see, and yet there is no telling how hard I have to struggle, right there in the midst of it, actually to see it. What I do instead is think about things I have been doing and things I have to do. I think about people I love and people I do not know how to love. I think about letters to write and things around the house to get fixed and old grievances and longings and regrets. I worry and dream about the future. That is to say, I get so lost in my own thoughts – and lost is just the word for it, as lost as you can get in a strange town where you don’t know the way – that I have to struggle to see where I am, almost to be where I am. Much of the time I might as well be walking in the dark or sitting at home with my eyes closed, those eyes that keep me from recognizing what is happening around me. But then every once in a while, by grace, I recognize at least some part of it. Every once in a while I recognize that I am walking in green pastures that call out to me to lie down in them, and beside still waters where my feet lead me. …I recognize that even in the valley of the shadow of my own tangled thoughts there is something holy and unutterable seek­ing to restore my soul.” Frederick Buechner

“He leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.”
Psalm 23:2,3

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Do you struggle with “seeing” the beauty that surrounds you?
  • Do you have a restorative place for your soul? Do you make time to go there?
  • Are you learning to be open to the one “seeking to restore your soul?”

Abba, slow me down. Unclutter my heart. Open my eyes.

For More: Secrets in the Dark by Frederick Buechner


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and he seeks you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

Daily Riches: Silence More Powerful than Words (Parker Palmer and Rachel Remen)

“We can be silent at people, as when we give someone ‘the silent treatment’ to convey our disdain, or keep a cowardly silence in the face of great wrongs. Silences of this sort destroy community, and may make us co-conspirators with injustice or flat-out evil. Or we can be silent with people, as in the kind of silence that surrounds reflection and reverence. Silences of this sort are a form of human communion that allow us to connect with each other at depths we can’t reach with words. [In her book My Grandfather’s Blessings, Rachel Remen tells a story from a conference on Jungian dream analysis where] … participants were asked to take a card and write about a dream. ….

One of these cards told the story of a horrific recurring dream, in which the dreamer was stripped of all human dignity and worth through Nazi atrocities. A member of the panel read the dream out loud. As she listened, my colleague began to formulate a dream interpretation in her head…. It was really a ‘no-brainer,’ she thought, as her mind busily offered her symbolic explanations for the torture and atrocities described in the dream. But this was not how the panel responded at all. When the reading of the dream was complete, Jung’s grandson looked out over the large audience. ‘Would you all please rise?’ he asked. ‘We will stand together in a moment of silence in response to this dream.’ The audience stood for a minute, my colleague impatiently waiting for the discussion she was certain would follow. But when they sat again, the panel went on to the next question. My colleague simply did not understand this at all, and a few days later she asked one of her teachers, himself a Jungian analyst, about it. ‘Ah, Lois,’ he had said, ‘there is in life a suffering so unspeakable, a vulnerability so extreme that it goes far beyond words, beyond explanations and even beyond healing. In the face of such suffering all we can do is bear witness so no one need suffer alone.” Parker Palmer

“Everyone should be … slow to speak”
James 1:19

 Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Have you experienced the power of silence?
  • Are you learning when to be silent?
  • Have you ever sensed that your words hindered God’s work?

Abba, teach me a silence filled with wisdom, love and power.

For More: A Hidden Wholeness by Parker Palmer


“Daily Riches” is for your encouragement as you seek God and he seeks you. I hope you’ll follow and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”



Daily Riches: Moving Upstream for Social Change (Oscar Romero, Saul Alinsky, and Janey Skinner)

“Imagine a large river with a high waterfall. At the bottom of this waterfall hundreds of people are working frantically trying to save those who have fallen into the river and have fallen down the waterfall, many of them drowning. As the people along the shore are trying to rescue as many as possible one individual looks up and sees a seemingly never-ending stream of people falling down the waterfall and begins to run upstream. One of other rescuers hollers, ‘Where are you going? There are so many people that need help here.’ To which the man replied, ‘I’m going upstream to find out why so many people are falling into the river.’ Saul Alinsky

“[Other] rescuers notice that while there are too many babies coming floating down the river to save them all, the chubby ones float pretty well, so they focus on pulling out the skinny ones. One of the rescuers jumps in and starts teaching the babies in the river how to swim.” Janey Skinner

“… if we really want an effective end to violence we must remove the violence that lies at the root of all violence: structural violence, social injustice, exclusion of citizens from the management of the country, repression. All this is what constitutes the primal cause, from which the rest flows naturally.” Oscar Romero

“Take away from Me the noise of your songs;
I will not even listen to the sound of your harps.
But let justice roll down like waters
And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”
Amos 5:23,24

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you good at worship (“songs and harps”) and weak on seeing to “justice?” How about your church?
  • Have you ventured into the river to try to help it’s victims?
  • Have you ventured upstream to try to try to discover the cause of the crisis?
  • Is all your time and energy invested in “pulling out the skinny ones” and “teaching babies how to swim?”

Abba, make my religion one of doing not only of thinking and believing. Make my attempts to help others wise ones, not only sincere and determined ones.

For More: Welcoming Justice by Charles Marsh and John Perkins


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

Daily Riches: The Christian as a Citizen of the World (Judith Valente, Robert McAfee Brown, Cornell West, and Marilynne Robinson)

“Sister Janelle plays ‘My Country ‘Tis of Thee’ on the organ, but no one belts out the words. I do not think this is because the sisters are unpatriotic, nor do I think they don’t love and bless this country. But to be a monastic is to live as a citizen of the world. It requires love for every country on the planet.” Judith Valente

“The nation is the most pervasive of all the gods, in any time, in any culture. True patriotism is not worship of our nation but rather, in the light of our worship of the God of justice, to conform our nation’s ways to justice. …We can insist on a distinction between our country and our government. …Let it be clear: it is because we say Yes to what our country ought to represent (“liberty and justice for all”), that we must say No to what our government has come to represent (“truth… on the scaffold, wrong … on the throne”). When a government traduces the ideals of a country, it is an act of loyalty to oppose the government. Let us never concede that because people have been elected to public office they are exempt from challenge and critique; on the contrary they are more than ever subject to challenge, and critique, because they now speak and act not just for themselves but for all of us….”  Robert McAfee Brown (1986)

“My understanding of Jesus Christ went like this: Everything comes beneath the cross – nationalism, tribalism, patriotism, networks, even kinships. The cross is that critical juncture where catastrophe defines our condition and offers salvation, not in the name of a specific ideology or theology, but in the simple name of love. It is love that saves us from the tyranny of chauvinism and its many manifestations.” Cornell West

“I am the sort of Christian whose patriotism might be called into question by some on the grounds that I do not take the United States to be more beloved of God than France, let us say, or Russia, or Argentina, or Iran. I experience religious dread whenever I find myself thinking that I know the limits of God’s grace, since I am utterly certain it exceeds any imagination a human being might have of it. God does, after all, so love the world. …Making God a tribal deity, our local Baal, is embarrassing and disgraceful.” Marilynne Robinson

  “Render … to God the things that are God’s.”
Mark 12:17

 Moving From Head to Heart

  • Is your patriotism ever questioned?
  • Does your faith save you from “the tyranny of chauvinism and its many manifestations?”
  • Is your God a “tribal deity?”

Abba, guide our allegiances.

For More: Unexpected News by Robert McAfee Brown


Thanks for following and sharing “Daily Riches!”  – Bill




Daily Riches: The Soul in Darkness (William Cowper and Mother Teresa)

“Jesus has a very special love for you. As for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great that I look and do not see, listen and do not hear.”  “Darkness is such that I really do not see – neither with my mind nor with my reason – the place of God in my soul is blank – There is no God in me – when the pain of longing is so great – I just long and long for God. … The torture and pain I can’t explain.” Mother Teresa

“The Lord will happiness divine
On contrite hearts bestow;
Then tell me, gracious God, is mine
A contrite heart or no?

I hear, but seem to hear in vain,
Insensible as steel;
If aught is felt, ’tis only pain,
To find I cannot feel.

I sometimes think myself inclined
To love Thee if I could;
But often feel another mind,
Averse to all that’s good.

My best desires are faint and few,
I fain would strive for more;
But when I cry, ‘My strength renew!’
Seem weaker than before.

Thy saints are comforted, I know,
And love Thy house of prayer;
I therefore go where others go,
But find no comfort there.

Oh make this heart rejoice or ache;
Decide this doubt for me;
And if it be not broken, break –
And heal it, if it be.”
William Cowper

“Yet I still belong to you;
you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
leading me to a glorious destiny.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever.”
Psalm 73:23-26

 Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Have you ever felt like the Christian faith worked for others but not for you?
  • Do you know how to “keep on” as one who “belongs to God” no matter what darkness may come?
  • Are you learning in the light, what you will need to know when darkness inevitably comes?

Abba, my heart, if it be not broken, break – and heal it, if it be. And may you be the strength of my heart even when my health fails and my spirit grows weak.

For More: Before the Door of God by Jay Hopler and Kimberly Johnson, eds.


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”


Daily Riches: Confusing Our Will With God’s Will (Pete Scazzero and Ignatius of Loyola)

“By indifference, [Ignatius of Loyola] does not mean apathy or disinterest. He simply means we must become indifferent to anything but the will of God. Ignatius taught that the degree to which we are open to any outcome or answer from God is the degree to which we are ready to really hear what God has to say. If we are clutching or overly attached to one outcome versus another, we won’t hear God clearly. Our spiritual ears will be deafened by the racket of our disordered loves, fears, and attachments. In such a state, it is almost a forgone conclusion that we will confuse our will with God’s will. Ignatius considered this state of indifference to be spiritual freedom. We place our lives in God’s hands and trust him for the outcome. Arriving at this place of interior indifference and trusting that God’s will is good – no matter the outcome – is no small task. We are attached to all kinds of secondary things – titles, positions, honors, places, persons, and security, and the opinions of others. When these attachments are excessive, they become disordered attachments, or disordered loves, that push God out of the center of our lives. …Jesus teaches us that indifference, the key to true obedience, must be learned, struggled for, and prayed for. We see this in Gethsemane as he prayed three times. …If it took falling with his face to the ground and great struggle for the Son of God to submit himself to the will of the Father, how can we expect that it will require any less of us?” Pete Scazzero

“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth,
he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears…
Son though he was, he learned obedience
from what he suffered.”
Hebrews 5:7-8

 Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you attempting to learn “indifference?” … to be “open to any outcome from God?” How exactly?
  • Are you aware of the deafening racket created by your “disordered loves, fears, and attachments?”
  • What are some “attachments” in your life that hinder hearing “what God has to say?”

Father, I am indifferent to every outcome except your will. I want nothing more or less than your desire…. (Scazzero)

For More: The Emotionally Healthy Leader by Pete Scazzero


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”



Daily Riches: Delighting With the God Who Delights in You (James Martin, C. S. Lewis and Anthony de Mello)

“To please God … to be a real ingredient in the divine happiness … to be loved by God, not merely pitied, but delighted in as an artist delights in his work or a father in a son – it seems impossible … but so it is.” C. S. Lewis

We may pour out our grief to God, or come with our requests. “But there is more to a relationship than that. Praying solely in this way would be like having a friendship whose only purpose was to enable you to ask for things. So besides lamenting to God and asking God for things, there is another way of being with God – and that is joyfully. …St. Ignatius encourages people to imagine themselves alongside Jesus. It’s different than imagining yourself with God, who is often imagined more as a ‘presence.’ Imagining yourself with Jesus means something more specific. …This may mean something as simple as sitting joyfully with [Jesus] in prayer and imagining [Jesus] sitting joyfully with you. …laugh with the God who smiles when seeing you, rejoices over your very existence, and takes delight in you, all the days of your life. …In his book Armchair Mystic, Mark Thibodeaux, a Jesuit spiritual writer, distinguishes between four stages of prayer. The first is talking at God (which includes petitionary prayer, that is, asking for help). The second is talking to God (which includes expressing your feelings and emotions, frustrations and hopes to God). The third is listening to God (a more contemplative way of reflecting on what is going on in your daily life as well as being attentive to the inner movements of your soul during prayer). The final way is being with God (this is closer to ‘centering prayer,’ a prayer of presence). …One of my favorite suggestions for a meditation is Anthony deMello’s statement: ‘Look at God looking at you … and smiling.’ DeMellos’ image is essentially an invitation into a prayer of joy and contentment, into what you might call private, one-on-one time with a smiling God, into seeing the world the way that God does.” James Martin

“you are … God’s special possession”
1 Peter 2:9

 Moving From Head to Heart

  • “Do you think of Jesus as “smiling?” …smiling at you?
  • …rejoicing in you, like an artist in her work? like a mother in her son?
  • Are you able to simply “be with God?” …focusing on being “present” to him?

Abba, let me taste more of your love.

For More: Armchair Mystic by Mark Thibodeaux


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and he seeks you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)