Daily Riches: The “Benedictine Century” (Joan Chittister)

“The Rule of Benedict was a spiritual document written for males raised in Imperial Rome. But to Roman men in the patriarchal culture who were trained that domination and status and power were their birthright and their purpose in life, the Rule insisted on new ideals: humility, listening, community, equality, and service. …Benedictine spirituality, then, is first and foremost a practical way to live the good news of the gospel today. This society is a complex, consumer society; we can be simple. We can reverence creation. We can refuse to have one thing more than we need. …We can refuse to keep anything we are not using. We can give one thing away for every one thing we receive. …This society exploits. It breaks the back of sugar workers; it destroys farm workers; it wipes out the working person; it discards the middle-aged and forgets the elderly. We can minister to the world by calling for justice. This society dominates and is selfish and has it’s own goals as the inner force of its life. We can be community. We can say by our lives that there are times when it is important for us to step back in life so that others can gain. This society depends on power. We can practice the power of the powerless who show us all how little it really takes to live, how rich life is without riches, how strong are those who cannot be owned…. We can be the voice of those who are not heard and the hands of those who have no bread and the family of those who are alone and the strength of those who are weak. We can be the sign of human community. Finally, this society is anxious and angry and noisy. We can be contemplative. In the midst of chaos, if the Scripture is in our hearts, if we are faithful to lectio, if we build the Jesus-life in our own souls, we can see God where God is. Everywhere. Those are the elements of Benedictine vision that saved the Western world over the centuries again and again and again. Then they can save us from ourselves once more.” Joan Chittister

“even more blessed
are all who hear the word of God
and put it into practice.”
Jesus in Luke 11:28

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Was God speaking to you at some point in this reading?
  • Do you long to be part of such a community of faith?
  • Have you adopted a “rule of life” which guides your practice of these ideals of Jesus?

Abba, change me as I rediscover and embrace these ancient ideals.

For More: Wisdom Distilled From the Daily by John Chittister

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Thanks for reading and sharing this blog! – Bill

Daily Riches: Stopping for the Bush that Burns (Walter Rauschenbusch) *

“O God, we thank you for this universe, our great home; for its vastness and its riches, and for the manifoldness of the life which teems upon it and of which we are a part. …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 unseeing when even the thorn bush by the wayside is aflame with the glory of God.”  Walter Rauschenbusch

“Now Moses … led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”  Exodus 3:1-3

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Are you able to stay open to our world’s daily “joy and beauty” when your heart is “steeped in care?”  when it is “darkened by passion?”
  • Are you able to be unhurried enough, and present enough, so that if “the thorn bush by the wayside is aflame” you’ll stop to investigate?
  • What specific action can you take to be more mindful of what’s happening in you and around you as you move through your day today?

Abba, my heart’s cares and dark passions are constantly hindering me from hearing and seeing what you have for me. Please help me to work on being more present to you and to my world.

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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 provide you with 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: Bringing Our Anxiety to Worship (Augustine)

“Let us sing alleluia here on earth, while we still live in anxiety…. Why do we now live in anxiety? Can you expect me not to feel anxious when I read: Is not man’s life on earth a time of trial? …when the words still ring in my ears: Watch and pray that you will not be put to the test? …when there are so many temptations here below that prayer itself reminds us of them…? Do you want me to feel secure when I am daily asking pardon for my sins, and requesting help in time of trial? Because of my past sins I pray: Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and then, because of the perils still before me, I immediately go on to add: Lead us not into temptation. How can all be well with people who are crying out with me: Deliver us from evil? And yet, brothers, while we are still in the midst of this evil, let us sing alleluia to the good God who delivers us from evil. … God’s praises are sung both [in heaven] and here, but here they are sung by those destined to die, there, by those destined to live for ever; here they are sung in hope, there, in hope’s fulfillment; here they are sung by wayfarers, there, by those living in their own country.  …sing as wayfarers do – sing, but continue your journey.” Augustine

 “Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day.”  1 Chronicles 16:23

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • As Christians, we have tasted of security, peace and eternal life, but they are not yet fully ours. Even so, we sing to remind ourselves that a better day is coming. Do you sense that you’re “not yet” what you should be? At the same time, have you experienced the “already” – that foretaste of what’s to come?
  • Does your worship express “hope” that looks forward to the day when there will be no more “not yet?”
  • Will you determine to be one who “sings then, but keeps on going” – living faithfully “as wayfarers do” in this time of waiting?

Abba, in worship encourage us as we wait for the salvation of all things.

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For More: Augustine of Hippo – Selected Writings

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Thanks for reading!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Mindfulness (Walter Rauschenbusch)

“O God, we thank you for this universe, our great home; for its vastness and its riches, and for the manifoldness of the life which teems upon it and of which we are a part. …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 unseeing when even the thorn bush by the wayside is aflame with the glory of God.”  Walter Rauschenbusch

“Now Moses … led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”  Exodus 3:1-3

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Are you able to stay open to our world’s daily “joy and beauty” when your heart is “steeped in care?”  when it is “darkened by passion?”
  • Are you able to be unhurried enough, and present enough, so that if “the thorn bush by the wayside is aflame” you’ll stop to investigate?
  • What specific action can you take to be more mindful of what’s happening in you and around you as you move through your day today?

Abba, my heart’s cares and dark passions are constantly hindering me from hearing and seeing what you have for me. Please help me to work on being more present to you and to my world.

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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 provide you with something of uncommon value each day in less than 300 words. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)