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

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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: Wonder at the Wonder of Our Universe (Annie Dillard)

“Along with intricacy, there is another aspect of the creation that has impressed me in the course of my wanderings.  Look again at the horsehair worm, a yard long and thin as a thread, whipping through the duck pond, or tangled with others of its kind in a slithering Gordian knot. Look at an overwintering ball of buzzing bees, or a turtle under ice breathing through its pumping cloaca. Look at the fruit of the Osage orange tree, big as a grapefruit, green, convoluted as any human brain. Or look at a rotifer’s translucent gut: something orange and powerful is surging up and down like a piston, and something small and round is spinning in place like a flywheel. Look, in short, at practically anything – the coot’s feet, the mantis’s face, a banana, the human ear – and see that not only did the creator create everything, but that he is apt to create anything. He’ll stop at nothing. There is no one standing with a blue pencil to say, ‘Now that one, there, is absolutely ridiculous, and I won’t have it.’ …The world is full of creatures that for some reason seem stranger to us than others, and libraries are full of books describing them – hagfish, platypuses, lizardlike pangolins four feet long with bright green, lapped scares like umbrella-tree leaves on a bush hut roof, butterflies emerging from anthills, spiderlings wafting through the air clutching tiny silken balloons, horseshoe crabs…the creator creates…he creates everything and anything. …Of all known forms of life, only about ten percent are still living today. All other forms – fantastic plants, ordinary plants, living animals with unimaginably various wings, tails, teeth, brains – are utterly and forever gone. That is a great many forms that have been created. Multiplying ten times the number of living forms today yields a profusion that is quite beyond what I consider thinkable. … The creator goes off on one wild, specific tangent after another, or millions simultaneously, with an exuberance that would seem to be unwarranted, and with an abandoned energy sprung from an unfathomable font. …the creator loves pizzazz.” Annie Dillard

“The heavens declare the glory of God….” Psalm 19:1

 Moving From Head to Heart

  • Did this quote make you smile? worship? give thanks?
  • Are you in awe of the wonder all around you?
  • When is the last time you really experienced nature for yourself?

Abba, thank you for your beautiful voice in the creation.

For More: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

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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. – Bill (Psalm 90:14)

 

Daily Riches: “Statio” – Coming to a Full Stop for Contemplation (Kathleen Norris)

“Once, when I was the only guest one Sunday night at a women’s monastery, the sisters invited me to join them in statio, the community’s procession into church. The word, which means ‘standing’ in Latin, is one of the many terms from the Roman Army that ancient Christian monastics adopted for their own purposes. To get into position, to station oneself, to take a stand. To wait in line, in a posture that invites individual watchfulness, to ‘recollect’ oneself before reentering church.  …I didn’t realize it at the time, but …not being able to amble into church on my own to find a choir stall pushed me into recognizing what the sisters already sensed, that Christ is actively present in their worshiping community. Not as a static idea or principle, but a Word made flesh, a listening, active Christ who in the gospels tells us that he prays for us, and who promises to be with us always.  Walking slowly into church in that long line of women taught me much about liturgical time and space. I found to my surprise that the entire vespers service had more resonance for me because of the solemn way I had entered into it.” Kathleen Norris

In some contemplative circles today, another, but related, meaning attaches to “statio.” Statio refers to the practice of pausing after finishing one thing and before starting another. It’s like Merton’s “recollecting” of oneself (one’s communion with one’s soul), or what Richard Foster describes as “reorienting our lives like a compass needle.” It’s simply taking a moment to lift up to God whatever has just transpired, and petition him to be in whatever is next. Such a practice can be very brief, but no doubt on occasions will lead into something longer and unexpected between the individual and God. Certainly it will help us to be more present to God through the day.

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise”
Psalm 100:4

Moving From the Head to the Heart
  • Is your church experience given “more resonance” because of how you enter into it?
  • Do you attempt to “recollect yourself” before the service begins?
  • What do you do to be intentionally “present” to Christ who is also present as the church gathers?

Abba, help me to constantly recalibrate my soul so I am aware of and available to you.

For More: Amazing Grace by Kathleen Norris

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, 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: Compassion Which Flows From Contemplation (Richard Rohr)

“Leave the silence open-ended. Do not try to settle the dust. Do not rush to resolve the inner conflict. Do not seek a glib, quick answer, but leave all things for a while in the silent space. Do not rush to judgment. That is what it really means that God alone is the judge. Inner silence frees you from the burden of thinking that your judgment is needed or important. Real silence moves you from knowing things to perceiving a presence that has a reality in itself. Could that be God? There is then a mutuality between you and all things. There is an I-Thou relationship, as twentieth-century philosopher Martin Buber would call it. He said an I-It relationship is when we experience everything as a commodity, as useful, as utilitarian. But the I-thou relationship is when you an simply respect a thing as it is without adjusting it, naming it, changing it, fixing it, controlling it, or trying to explain it. Is this the mind that can know God? I think so. That does not mean that there is not a place for explaining, not a place for understanding. But first you have to learn to say “yes” to the moment. Yes is where you have to begin. If you start with no, which is critiquing, judging, pigeonholing, analyzing, dismissing, it is very hard to get back to yes. You must learn to start every single encounter with a foundational yes, before you ever dare to move to no. That is the heart of contemplation, and it takes a lifetime of practice. But you have now begun and can live each day with a forever-returning beginner’s mind. It will always be silent before it dares to speak.” Richard Rohr 

“draw near to listen
rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools….”
Ecclesiastes 5:1

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Have you fallen into the trap of “thinking your judgment is needed or important?”
  • Of seeing others as commodities based on whether they can be useful to you? This seems like a particular pitfall for those in ministry.
  • Have you begun the “lifetime practice” of always starting with a “foundational yes?” …not starting with “critiquing, judging, pigeonholing, analyzing or dismissing?”

Abba, keep me from usurping your role as judge and jury. May I learn to sit with silence before I dare to speak.

For More: Silent Compassion by Richard Rohr

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, 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: The Power of a Pregnant Pause (Courtney E. Martin)

“Designers have to resist habituation in order to be transcendentally successful. They have to build in a pregnant pause and ask themselves questions about the status quo. They have to have beginner’s minds. They have to wonder, as they reach for their toothbrush and toothpaste: Is this the best shape for a container filled with paste? Is this the best material for bristles? Is this the right sized handle? In short, a designer has to constantly resist settling for … ‘Because we’ve always done it this way.’ … [and] I don’t think it’s just great designers that have an awareness of how their own habits dull their capacity to be creative, to invent, to expect more … it’s great humans that do. One of my favorite mantras in the Buddhist tradition is, ‘May I see what I do. May I do it differently. May I make this a way of life.’ …Habits are part of what makes our lives livable. [but]…When we get too attached to these habits, we risk losing our sense of wonder and our potential for the catalytic experience. When we get too comfortable, we risk falling asleep on the job — the job being living an awake life. So it has me thinking: what are the habits that I need to or, better yet, want to shed? What are the habits filled with pleasure, the ones that make me feel grounded and capable of diving back into the fray of my busy life; in contrast, what are the habits that dull me? …My biggest ambitions to resist habituation are rooted in my relationships. I want to be less dutiful. I want to pause before I get busy anticipating everyone else’s needs and making sure that no one suffers or fights. My wiser self knows that both can lead to transformation. …I want to spend less time on guilt and more on joy. I want to choose my choices.” Courtney Martin

“not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing.” Hebrews 10:25

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Which of your habits bring you life? Which dull you?
  • Can you develop a mantra to help you “resist habituation?” … to be “transcendentally successful?”
  • How can you harness the power of habituation for spiritual transformation?

Abba, may I see what I do, do it differently, and make this a way of life.

For More: The Pregnant Pause” by Courtney Martin

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, 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: Statio …Do Consciously What You Would Do Mechanically (Joan Chittister)

Statio is “the practice of stopping one thing before we begin another. …the time between times. …In monastic spirituality it is common for the community to gather … for a few minutes together in the chapel itself before intoning the opening hymn of the office. My novice mistress, in fact, insisted that we all be in chapel five minutes before the bell rang for prayer, an expectation the logic of which managed to elude me for years. After all, ‘an idle mind is the devil’s workshop,’ the Puritan in me knew well. ‘Every minute counts,’ I’d learned somewhere along the way. …Think of all the things that could have been done in that additional five minutes a day or thirty-five minutes a week or two hours and twenty minutes a month or twenty-eight hours a year…. Work, valuable work, could have been done and I could still have made it on time for prayer. It took years to realize that [it was] … highly unlikely, though, that my mind would have been there too. The practice of statio is meant to center us and make us conscious of what we’re about to do and make us present to the God who is present to us. Statio is the desire to do consciously what I might otherwise do mechanically. Statio is the virtue of presence. If I am present to this child before I dress her, then the dressing becomes an act of creation. …If I am present to the flower before I cut it, then life becomes precious. If I am present to the time of prayer before I pray, then prayer becomes the juncture of the human with the Divine. We have learned well in our time to go through life nonstop. Now it is time to learn to collect ourselves from time to time so that God can touch us in the most hectic of moments. Statio is the monastic practice that sets out to get our attention before life goes by in one great blur and God becomes an idea out there somewhere rather than an ever present reality here.” Joan Chittister

“You …set me in your presence forever.” Psalm 41:12

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Imagine pausing to commit the last thing to God before beginning the next thing.
  • Imagine lifting up the next thing to God before you begin it.
  • Imagine the sanity, clarity and sense of God’s presence that could come from this practice.

Abba, help me to regularly come to a full stop, recalibrating, increasingly present to you.

For More: Wisdom Distilled From the Daily by Joan Chittister

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In “Daily Riches” 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)

Daily Riches: Threatened by Toxic Media (Jayson Bradley, Mike Wallace, Eugene Peterson)

“I found an incredible interview from the late 50’s with Mike Wallace. It came from a series called The Mike Wallace Interview that ran from 1957–1960. I was blown away that

  1. A show could exist in such a simple format
  2. There was a time when people used television as a vehicle to think about metaphysical questions
  3. People cared about thoughtful dialogue enough to keep this show on the air for three years
  4. It was publically acceptable for people to smoke that much

I fell into an entranced spiral watching video after video of Mr. Wallace interviewing interesting personalities like The Twilight Zone’s Rod Serling, Brave New World author Aldous Huxley, artist Salvador Dali, and German social psychologist Erich Fromm. …What does an interview program look like now? We barely have the attention span to sit through a 15 minute interview with Barbara Walters, and her celebrity interviews have neither the depth or substance of these powerful discussions. Can you imagine a program like this running on prime-time today? Nope, we’re creating lowest-common-denominator television now. We have the world at our fingers, and we’re perfectly content with Honey Boo Boo, Jersey Shore, The Bachelor, and Dancing with the Stars. After watching these videos for hours, I walked away sad that we’ve slipped into an intellectual entropy. Who’s going to save us from this cultural ghetto!?”  Jayson Bradley

“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.
Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. …
Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity,
God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”
Romans 12:2 (Eugene Peterson, the Message)

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Do you abstain from from media often enough to be able to see through its ubiquitous nonsense? to recognize its dangers? to escape the grip of its propaganda?
  • Is your media consumption intentional, so that you protect your mind and heart?
  • Do you “fix your attention on God” in times of solitude and silence to center, ground and protect yourself?
  • Are you becoming insensitive to the sexual images? the ads? the profaneness? the inanity? oblivious to the time spent?

Abba, help me whether with media or otherwise, to recognize nonsense and illusion, and protect my heart, the source of all I am.

For More:  Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, 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: The Crucible of Interruptions (Mark Buchanan)

“Jesus … lived life with the clearest and highest purpose. Yet he veered and strayed from one interruption to the next, with no apparent plan in hand other than his single, overarching one: Get to Jerusalem and die. Otherwise, his days, as far as we can figure, were a series of zigzags and detours, apparent whims and second thoughts, interruptions and delays, off-the-cuff plans, spur-of-the-moment decisions, leisurely meals, serendipitous rounds of storytelling. …Purposefulness requires paying attention, and paying attention means … that we make room for surprise. We become hospitable to interruption. I doubt we can notice for long without this hospitality. And to sustain it we need … a conviction in our bones that God is Lord of our days and years, and that his purposes and his presence often come disguised as detours, messes, defeats. ‘I came to you naked,’ Jesus says. ‘I came to you thirsty.’ ‘When, Lord?’ we ask, startled. When He wore the disguise of an interruption. Think a moment of all the events and encounters that have shaped you most deeply and lastingly. How many did you see coming? How many did you engineer, manufacture, chase down? And how many were interruptions? The span between life as we intend it and life as we receive it is vast. Our true purpose is worked out in that gap. It is fashioned in the crucible of interruptions.” Mark Buchanan

“Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro … and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness … and he looked, and behold, [a] bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. So Moses said, ‘I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.'” Exodus 3:1-3

Moving From Head to Heart

  • What if Moses hadn’t “turned aside?”
  • Imagine yourself living as Jesus did, with “zigzags and detours …” etc. How would that feel?
  • Can you become more hospitable to what happens in “the [vast] span between life as you intend it and life as you receive it?”

Abba, “Grant us, we pray you, a heart wide open to all this joy and beauty, and save our souls from being so steeped in care or so darkened by passion that we pass heedless and unseeeing when even the thornbush by the wayside is aflame with the glory of God.” Walter Rauschenbusch

For More: The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, 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: Mindfulness (Ruth Haley Barton & Richard Rohr) .

“Discernment is first of all a habit, a way of seeing that eventually  permeates our whole life. It is the journey from spiritual blindness (not seeing God anywhere or seeing him only where we expect to see him) to spiritual sight (finding God everywhere especially where we least expect it.)”  Ruth Haley Barton

“Most of Jesus’ contemporaries missed the ‘Real Presence’ that was right in their midst, and most of them were religiously observant people ….They were looking for religion, and he was just a human being.” Richard Rohr

“He came into the very world he created,
but the world didn’t recognize him.
He came to his own people,
and even they rejected him.”
John 1:10,11

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Do you agree that we can find God everywhere? (Don’t forget that old dusty doctrine of the “omnipresence” or “ubiquity” of God – that he is “everywhere present.” Don’t forget how the creation speaks of him (Psalm 19:1-4), how Jesus appears in the poor and marginalized, and how every person bears God’s image.)
  • Which of Barton’s three categories describe you – unaware of God, looking for him in expected places, or expecting him everywhere? Do you want to “expect him everywhere?”
  •  Imagine all the people who saw and listened to Jesus when he walked the earth – God in their very midst – who “didn’t recognize him” and even “rejected him.” I wonder how often we fail to “recognize” him in our day. What discipline can you begin to practice today to help you be more mindful of the presence of God all around you?

Abba, help me to really “stop, look and listen” as I go through my day. Teach me to be more present to myself, to others and to you.

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For More: Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation by Ruth Haley Barton

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The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in 400 words or less. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Living in the Present Moment (Cynthia Bourgeault, Richard Rohr, William Barry, Brennan Manning)

“The spiritual life can only be lived in the present moment, in the now. All the great religious traditions insist upon this simple but difficult truth. When we go rushing ahead into the future or shrinking back into the past, we miss the hand of God, which can only touch us in the now.” Cynthia Bourgeault

“…People who are fully present know how to see fully; rightly, and truthfully. Presence is the one thing necessary, and in many ways, the hardest thing of all. Just try to keep your heart open, your mind without division or resistance, and your body not somewhere else. Presence is the practical, daily task of all mature religion and all spiritual disciplines. …Good religion, however is always about seeing rightly … And to see rightly is to be able to be fully present – without fear, without bias, and without judgment.”  Richard Rohr

“Self absorbed and inattentive, we fail to notice the subtle ways in which Jesus is snagging our attention. William Barry wrote, ‘We must school ourselves to pay attention to our experience of life in order to discern the touch of God or what Peter Berger calls the rumor of angels from all the other influences on our experience.’” Brennan Manning

“This is the day which the Lord has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Psalm 118:24

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Do you think you could be “missing the hand of God” by focusing on past regrets or attempting to control the future?
  • Are you doing anything to learn “to be fully present – without fear, without bias, and without judgment?”
  • What helps you to “school yourself to pay attention to your experience of life” in spite of all the other influences in your experience?
  • Do you have a friend to join you in the goal of becoming less “self absorbed and inattentive” and of perceiving better “the subtle ways that Jesus is snagging your attention?”

Abba, I want to be routinely available to you in the now. Please help me to learn this hardest thing of all.

For More: Trusting in the Mercy of God by Cynthia Bourgealt

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, 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: The Sacrament of the Present Moment (Edwina Gateley, Evelyn Underhill and Julian of Norwich) *

“This is my prayer—

That, though I may not see,
I be aware
Of the Silent God
Who stands by me.
That, though I may not feel,
I be aware
Of the Mighty Love
Which doggedly follows me.
That, though I may not respond,
I be aware
That God—my Silent, Mighty God,
Waits each day.
Quietly, hopefully, persistently.
Waits each day and through each night
For me.
For me—alone.”
Edwina Gateley, “Silent God”

“God is always coming to you in the Sacrament of the Present Moment.
Meet and receive Him there with gratitude in that sacrament.”
Evelyn Underhill

“…God wishes to be seen, and he wishes to be sought, and he wishes to be expected, and he wishes to be trusted.” Julian of Norwich

“Where can I go from your Spirit?
 Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.”
Psalm 139:7-10

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • There is a “Silent God who stands by” you, and a “Mighty Love which doggedly follows” you. What emotions arise in your soul when you let that sink in?
  • In his infinity and ubiquity, God is able to “wait each day, quietly, hopefully, persistently …each day and through each night …For me–alone” – and at the same time for you, and for every person made in God’s image. How are you responding to God’s waiting hopefully, quietly – persistently for you?
  • Do you really believe that “God is always coming to you in the … present moment?” Can you focus, not on the past or the future, but on being present to God in this moment now, and as this day unfolds, through the moments of the day as they succeed each other?

Abba, help me learn to structure my days so that I return again and again to these life-giving concepts. And thank you for your nearness, your persistence, your dogged, unfailing love. Thank you that you hold me fast.

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For More: There Was No Path So I Trod One by Edwina Gateley

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, 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: Our Deep Need for Approval (Anthony de Mello and Brennan Manning) *

“Look at your life and see how you have filled its emptiness with people. As a result they have a stranglehold on you. See how they control your behavior by their approval and disapproval. They hold the power to ease your loneliness with their company, to send your spirits soaring with their praise, to bring you down to the depths with their criticism and rejection. Take a look at yourself spending almost every waking minute of your day placating and pleasing people, whether they are living or dead. You live by their norms, conform to their standards, seek their company, desire their love, dread their ridicule, long for their applause, meekly submit to the guilt they lay upon you; you are terrified to go against the fashion in the way you dress or speak or act or even think.” Anthony de Mello

“When we freely assent to the mystery of our belovedness and accept our core identity as Abba’s child, we slowly gain autonomy from controlling relationships. We become inner-directed rather than outer-determined. The fleeting flashes of pleasure or pain caused by the affirmation or deprivation of others will never entirely disappear, but their power to induce self-betrayal will be diminished.”  Brennan Manning

“Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
   for my hope is in him.
 He alone is my rock and my salvation,
  my fortress where I will not be shaken.
 My victory and honor come from God alone.”
 Psalm 62:5-7a

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you aware of how much control over your life you’re giving away? Have you lost yourself somewhere in the process?
  • Is your core identity that of “Abba’s child?” If not, what needs to change?
  • Are you willing to be true to yourself and learn to resist the urge to “betray” yourself when you feel pressure from others?

Abba, help me to slowly gain autonomy from the controlling relationships in my life as I look for approval from you alone.

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For More: The Way to Love by Anthony de Mello

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The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in less than 400 words. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Inconvenient Epiphanies (John L’Heureux and Dorothy Day) *

“Christ came into my room and stood there….

I had work to do….
I didn’t ask him to sit down;
He’d have stayed all day.
… So I said to him after a while,
Well, what’s up? What do you want?
And he laughed …
Said he was just passing by
And thought he’d say hello.
Great, I said. Hello.
So he left.
And I was so mad
I couldn’t even listen to the radio. I went
And got some coffee.
The trouble with Christ is
He always comes at the wrong time!”
John L’Heureux, “The Trouble with Epiphanies”

“If everyone were holy and handsome, with ‘alter Christus’ shining in neon lighting from them, it would be easy to see Christ in everyone. If Mary had appeared in Bethlehem clothed, as St. John says, with the sun, a crown of twelve stars on her head and the moon under her feet, then people would have fought to make room for her. But that was not God’s way for her nor is it Christ’s way for Himself now when He is disguised under every type of humanity that treads the earth.” Dorothy Day

“He came into the very world he created,
but the world didn’t recognize him.BwlWW2NCQAE0JYW
He came to his own people,
and even they rejected him.”
John 1: 10-11

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Would you say you’re a “driven” person? Do you sometimes choose to work when you know you should spend some time with Jesus?
  • Think about the reception that Joseph and Mary received looking for lodging in Bethlehem. Think about the world’s response to it’s creator, the Jew’s response to their Messiah. How often do you think you might have been oblivious to a divine “epiphany?”
  • Do you look for Jesus who is “disguised under every type of humanity that treads the earth?”

Abba, you are daily coming into my life and world, sometimes “seen”, but no doubt more often in many fabulous, unlikely disguises. Graciously open my eyes Lord. Graciously prepare my heart.

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For More:  Praying in the Presence of Our Lord by Dorothy Day

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The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in less than 400 words. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Awareness and Loving Listening (Anthony De Mello)

“When I’m listening to you, it’s infinitely more important for me to listen to me than to listen to you. Of course, it’s important to listen to you, but it’s more important that I listen to me. Otherwise I won’t be hearing you. Or I’ll be distorting everything you say. I’ll be coming at you from my own conditioning. I’ll be reacting to you in all kinds of ways from my insecurities, from my need to manipulate you, from my desire to succeed, from irritations and feelings that I might not be aware of. So it’s frightfully important that I listen to me when I’m listening to you.” Anthony De Mello

“Then [Joseph] had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. ‘Listen,’ he said, ‘I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.’ When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, ‘What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?’ His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.” Genesis 37:9-11

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • It’s our “conditioning … insecurities … need to manipulate … desire to succeed … [and] irritations and feelings” that make it so difficult for us to truly listen – to listen lovingly. Imagine how hard it must have been for Joseph’s family to hear about his dream.
  • Are you aware of the “triggers” that spoil your listening? How defended you are? controlling? impatient? unteachable? What would you add to this list?
  • This is an area where training will serve us better than merely trying. How can you train to “listen to you” while you “listen to me?” Can you practice watching your conversations from outside? Can you bring an “inner stability” (Nouwen) to conversations, so that it’s not “all about you?”

Abba, teach me to lovingly listen to others by teaching me first to know and hear myself.

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For More: Awareness by Anthony De Mello

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The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in 400 words or less. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Attending to and Living In the Present Moment (Jane Kenyon, Alan Wilson Watts & Cynthia Bourgeault) *

“I got out of bed on two strong legs.
It might have been otherwise.
I ate cereal, sweet milk, ripe, flawless peach.
It might have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill to the birch wood.
All morning I did the work I love.
At noon I lay down with my mate.
It might have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together at a table with silver candlesticks.
It might have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed in a room with paintings on the walls,
and planned another day just like this day.
But one day, I know, it will be otherwise.”
Jane Kenyon
(Jane Kenyon died from leukemia on April 22, 1995)

“We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infinitesimal hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future. We have no present. Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation. We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be any other experience than present experience. We are therefore out of touch with reality.” Alan Wilson Watts

“The spiritual life can only be lived in the present moment, in the now. All the great religious traditions insist upon this simple but difficult truth. When we go rushing ahead into the future or shrinking back into the past, we miss the hand of God, which can only touch us in the now.” Cynthia Bourgeault

” … you do not know what a day may bring forth.” Proverbs 27:1b
“This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you approaching today as if you know “what it may bring forth” – planning, controlling, sucking it up, sleep-walking through it? Does your answer reveal someone who is “out of touch with reality?”
  • What’s happening to you now? Are you opening your heart to God?  relaxing in God’s unconditional acceptance of you? experiencing a rootedness that will inform your day?
  • Might not such a present moment be the most important of the day – the most real, most formative, most strategic? Imagine being oblivious to it due to what seemed an “all-powerfully causative past [or] an absorbingly important future.”

Abba, today may my soul be “as light as a feather, as fluid as water, simple as a child, as easily moved as a ball, so as to receive and follow all the impressions of grace.” (J. P. de Caussade)

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For More: Collected Poems by Jane Kenyon

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These Daily Riches are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in 400 words or less. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others as we seek to find our satisfaction in our unfailingly loving God. (Psalm 90:14) I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)