Daily Riches: The Necessary Union of Contemplation and Activism (Pete Scazzero, Mother Teresa and Stephen W. Smith)

“Paradoxically, the ability to be alone is the condition for the ability to love.” Erich Fromm

“In Stephen W. Smith’s recent book, Inside Job, he cites the Rule of Life Mother Teresa laid down for her nuns in their work among the sick and dying in Calcutta:

The Sisters shall spend 1 day in every week, 1 week in every month,
1 month in every year, 1 year in every 6 years in the Motherhouse,
where in contemplation and penance together with solitude she can
gather in the spiritual strength, which she might have used up in the
service of the poor.

“Imagine 1 Sabbath day every week, 1 Sabbath week every month, 1 Sabbath month every year, and 1 Sabbath year every 7 years. …Every one of us ministers among the sick and dying. Yet we consistently underestimate how much emotional/spiritual life is flowing out from us. If we are going to have the kind of impact Mother Teresa had, it will require we do less, not more. …Remember, we cannot give what we do not possess….” Pete Scazzero

“God is the friend of silence. His language is silence. And he requires us to be silent to discover him. We need, therefore, silence to be alone with God, to speak to him, to listen to him and to ponder his words deep in our hearts. We need to be alone with God in silence to be renewed and to be transformed. For silence can give us a new outlook on life. In it we are filled with the grace of God, which makes us do all things with joy.” Mother Teresa

“But despite Jesus’ instructions, the report of his power spread even faster,
and vast crowds came to hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases.
But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.”
Jesus in Luke 5:15,16

Moving From the Head to the Heart (Scazzero questions)

  • How aware are you of the life that is flowing out of you to others?
  • Our bodies are major, not minor prophets. If your body could speak, what would it be saying to you about the pace of your life today?
  • Are your daily rhythms sufficient for what God has placed before you (Mother Teresa’s nuns spend 3 hours a day in fixed hour prayer)?
  • What adjustments might God be inviting you to make in your weekly, monthly, and annual rhythms?  Often what worked for us in one season (e.g. last year) is not sufficient for the season we are in this year.

Jesus, may I live so that life flows into me from you and out of me to others.

For More: Come Be My Light by Mother Teresa

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If you liked this, please share it! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)

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

Daily Riches: Aging and Life In the Body (Dan Clendenin and Sherwin Nuland)

“Last week I read The Art of Aging: A Doctor’s Prescription for Well-Being by Sherwin Nuland, a Clinical Professor of Surgery at the Yale School of Medicine. There’s a very thin line, observes Nuland, between denial and despair, between pretending nothing has changed and doing nothing at all. And a big difference between living long and living well. Beyond the standard advice about diet, exercise, genetics, intellectual stimulation, and social connections, Nuland explores the intangibles of our attitudes, dispositions, and religious faith. It’s not just about eating granola, he says. Cultivating equanimity over entitlement, contentment over complaining, or determination over discouragement, are only three examples of the attitudes we can choose about aging. Aging brings both gains and losses. Cultivating the wisdom to separate fact and fantasy is huge, as is learning to live with uncertainty and adversity. One of the biggest lessons of aging, says Nuland, is that ‘choice exists for each of us.’ Aging is not a disease, it’s a natural condition of every life. And if it’s handled wisely, there really is more sugar at the bottom of the cup. …In 2 Corinthians 4 and 5, Paul mentions the ‘body’ seven times. He uses unflattering metaphors to describe the body – it’s like a flimsy tent, a clay jar, a ‘nakedness’ when we are exposed as ‘unclothed.’ Life ‘in the body,’ says Paul, is a time of ‘troubles’ when we are ‘away from the Lord.’ Paul is brutally realistic about life ‘in the body.’ He yanks us out of fantasy and into reality, from denial into candor. He would move us from despair to wisdom in order to live well today. But make no mistake, for Paul, life ‘in the body’ is hard. Growing old isn’t for sissies. While ‘in the body,’ we are ‘hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.'” Dan Clendenin

“We always carry around in our body
the death of Jesus.”
2 Corinthians 4:10

 Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • As you age, how are you doing when it comes to “equanimity over entitlement, contentment over complaining, … determination over discouragement?”
  • …when it comes to learning to live with limits? … “with uncertainty and adversity?”
  • Are you discovering “sugar at the bottom of the cup?”

Abba, help me age like a fine wine.

For More: The Art of Aging by Sherwin Nuland

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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 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 Limitations of Love (Henri Nouwen) *

“Forgiveness is to allow the other person not to be God. Forgiveness says, ‘I know you love me, but you don’t have to love me unconditionally, because no human being can do that…’ To forgive other people for being able to give us only a little love–that is a hard discipline. To keep asking others for forgiveness because we can only give a little love–that is a hard discipline…. If we can forgive that another person cannot give us what only God can give, then we can celebrate that person’s gift. Then we can see the love that person is giving us as a reflection of God’s great, unconditional love.” Henri Nouwen

“A new command I give you: Love one another.
As I have loved you,
so you must love one another.”
John 13:34

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • The love of Jesus for us was and is unconditional. He isn’t deterred in his love for me “however undeserving I am” (Teresa of Avila). We’re called to love that way, but “it’s a hard discipline.”
  • Can you forgive others for “not being God” – for failing to give you “what only God can give?” Can you do this with your spouse? family members? people at church? your pastor?
  • Can you forgive yourself for “not being God” to others – for failing to give them “what only God can give?”
  • What can you do to keep these limits before you, so you remember them when you or others fall short in loving well?

Abba, forgiving and loving well is a hard discipline. May my often feeble attempts to forgive and love point beyond themselves, even in their limitations, to your perfect forgiveness and love.

__________

For More: A Spirituality of Living by Henri Nouwen

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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 about 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: Embracing Our Limits (Pete Scazzero) *

“Getting off our thrones and joining the rest of humanity

is a must for spiritual maturity.
We are not the center of the universe.
The universe does not revolve around us.
Yet a part of us hates limits. We won’t accept them.
This is one of the primary reasons grieving our losses Biblically
is such an indispensable part of spiritual maturity.
Embracing our limits humbles us like little else.”
Peter Scazzero

“So John’s disciples came to him and said, ‘Rabbi, the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you identified as the Messiah, is also baptizing people. And everybody is going to him instead of coming to us.’ John replied, ‘No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven.  …It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the best man is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success. He must become greater and greater,
and I must become less and less.’” John 3:26-30

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Of one pastor it was said, “He wanted to be the bride at every wedding, and the corpse at every funeral.” It’s both funny and sad. Do you ever struggle to “get off your throne and join the rest of humanity?”
  • Think about some of the limits in your life. Do you hate them? Are you refusing to accept them, or are you “embracing” them?
  • What would it mean for you to “grieve your losses Biblically?” Can you see that there would be benefit in doing that? How so?

Abba, forgive me for constantly trying to do more than you intend with my life. Forgive me for my exalted sense of my own importance – for my constant chafing at the limits you give. Help me to submit to the work of “limits” in my life.

__________

For More: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero

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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: Embracing Limits (Henri Nouwen)

“Forgiveness is to allow the other person not to be God. Forgiveness says, ‘I know you love me, but you don’t have to love me unconditionally, because no human being can do that…’ To forgive other people for being able to give us only a little love–that is a hard discipline. To keep asking others for forgiveness because we can only give a little love–that is a hard discipline…. If we can forgive that another person cannot give us what only God can give, then we can celebrate that person’s gift. Then we can see the love that person is giving us as a reflection of God’s great, unconditional love.” Henri Nouwen

“A new command I give you: Love one another.
As I have loved you,
so you must love one another.”
John 13:34

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • The love of Jesus for us was and is unconditional. He isn’t deterred in his love for me “however undeserving I am” (Teresa of Avila). We’re called to love that way, but “it’s a hard discipline.”
  • Can you forgive others for “not being God” – for failing to give you “what only God can give?” Can you do this with your spouse? family members? people at church? your pastor?
  • Can you forgive yourself for “not being God” to others – for failing to give them “what only God can give?”
  • What can you do to keep these limits before you, so you remember them when you or others fall short in loving well?

Abba, forgiving and loving well is a hard discipline. May my often feeble attempts to forgive and love point beyond themselves, even in their limitations, to your perfect forgiveness and love.

__________

For More: A Spirituality of Living by Henri Nouwen

_________________________________________________

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 about 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: Embracing Our Limits (Pete Scazzero)

“Getting off our thrones and joining the rest of humanity

is a must for spiritual maturity.
We are not the center of the universe.
The universe does not revolve around us.
Yet a part of us hates limits. We won’t accept them.
This is one of the primary reasons grieving our losses Biblically
is such an indispensable part of spiritual maturity.
Embracing our limits humbles us like little else.”
Peter Scazzero

“So John’s disciples came to him and said, ‘Rabbi, the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you identified as the Messiah, is also baptizing people. And everybody is going to him instead of coming to us.’ John replied, ‘No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven.  …It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the best man is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success. He must become greater and greater,
and I must become less and less.’” John 3:26-30

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Of one pastor it was said, “He wanted to be the bride at every wedding, and the corpse at every funeral.” It’s both funny and sad. Do you ever struggle to “get off your throne and join the rest of humanity?”
  • Think about some of the limits in your life. Do you hate them? Are you refusing to accept them, or are you “embracing” them?
  • What would it mean for you to “grieve your losses Biblically?” Can you see that there would be benefit in doing that? How so?

Abba, forgive me for constantly trying to do more than you intend with my life. Forgive me for my exalted sense of my own importance – for my constant chafing at the limits you give. Help me to submit to the work of “limits” in my life.

__________

For More: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero

_________________________________________________

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 about 300 words. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

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