Daily Riches: How Is the State of Your Heart? (Joshua Becker)

“In many Muslim cultures, when you want to ask them how they’re doing, you ask: in Arabic, Kayf haal-ik? or, in Persian, Haal-e shomaa chetoreh? How is your haal? What is this haal that you inquire about? It is the transient state of one’s heart. In reality, we ask, ‘How is your heart doing at this very moment, at this breath?’ When I ask, ‘How are you?’ that is really what I want to know. I am not asking how many items are on your to-do list, nor asking how many items are in your inbox. I want to know how your heart is doing, at this very moment. Tell me. Tell me your heart is joyous, tell me your heart is aching, tell me your heart is sad, tell me your heart craves a human touch. Examine your own heart, explore your soul, and then tell me something about your heart and your soul. Tell me you remember you are still a human being, not just a human doing. Tell me you’re more than just a machine, checking off items from your to-do list. Have that conversation, that glance, that touch. Be a healing conversation, one filled with grace and presence. Put your hand on my arm, look me in the eye, and connect with me for one second. Tell me something about your heart, and awaken my heart. Help me remember that I too am a full and complete human being, a human being who also craves a human touch. …I want us to have a kind of existence where we can pause, look each other in the eye, touch one another, and inquire together: Here is how my heart is doing. I am taking the time to reflect on my own existence; I am in touch enough with my own heart and soul to know how I fare, and I know how to express the state of my heart. How is the state of your heart today?” Joshua Becker

“So stop telling lies.
Let us tell our neighbors the truth,
for we are all parts of the same body.”
Ephesians 4:25

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Can you be “present” to yourself? …aware of the state of your heart?
  • Can you be honest with another? …revealing the state of your heart? Do you long to do that?
  • Think about others who long for a real human connection. Are you available for that?
  • How does your life with God affect the state of your heart?

Abba, I want to be a safe person for others who want to be real.

For More: A Helpful Guide to Becoming Unbusy by Joshua Becker

________________________

Thanks for reading/sharing my blog! Please leave a comment or question. – Bill

 

 

Daily Riches: With Every Emotion (Saint Francis and Wayne Simsic)

“What is the ‘spiritual heart?’ It is our deep longing for God, the center of our humanness. Francis recognized the hunger for the fullness of God’s love in his own life, in the lives of others, and in the world. In the early days of his conversion, he walked into the abandoned church of San Damiano and knelt before its Byzantine crucifix. He prayed: ‘Most high, glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my heart….’ From the beginning, Francis had a strong awareness of a center where he struggled to discern God’s will. As adults in a busy world, we find it difficult to act from a heart center. We are too often tired, distracted, or goal oriented. We think too much, and our thoughts are the source of anxieties, guilt, and fears. We allow ourselves to be pulled into the past, into the future, and into fantasy. Thoughts split our minds from our hearts. Francis reminds us of our fundamental desire for wholeness. We yearn to integrate mind and heart. We begin by first getting in touch with our heart, in other words, cultivating a desire for God’s love. In time, thought will be guided more and more by a deeper spiritual energy. We will experience the revelation of the Spirit in the here and now–in these people, these birds, this landscape. The heart knows no boundary and gives us the capacity to engage others and the world with surprising intimacy and as truly unique and deserving of our respect. Francis’s childlikeness was a sign that he truly acted from his heart-center. He knew that he could not make himself a child of God–he simply needed to open his heart and allow God to love him. Responding to God’s presence like a child who trusted completely in a loving Parent, his relationship with God was spontaneous, uncluttered by ambition and calculation. Rather than promote his own agenda or hide behind fear, anxiousness, and other barriers to trust, Francis humbly accepted the mystery of his life and relied on the guidance of the Spirit. Cultivating a childlike trust of God in our own lives, we do not forfeit but enhance our deepest selves. Like Francis, we will uncover an unusual sensitivity to people, animals landscapes, and special places. The world will come alive and possess soul. The Spirit will reveal itself in surprising ways, unleashing a dynamic energy in all our relationships. Truly, a life is measured by the capacity of the heart.” Wayne Simsic

“Love the Lord your God
with all your heart….”
Jesus in Matthew 22:37
.

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Are you “too often tired, distracted, or goal oriented?”
  • How often do you “experience the revelation of the Spirit in the here and now?”
  • Does your answer to the first question explain your answer to the second question?

“Let us love [you] Lord God … with every effort, every affection, every emotion, every desire and every wish.” St. Francis

For More: Living the Wisdom of St. Francis by Wayne Simsic

_________________________________________________

Thanks for reading and sharing this blog!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

 

Daily Riches: Your Heart Is Always Revealing Itself (Anthony de Mello, Kathleen Norris and Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

Sa’di of Shiraz tells this story about himself: ‘When  I was a child I was a pious boy, fervent in prayer and devotion. One night I was keeping vigil with my father, the Holy Koran on my lap. Everyone else in the room began to slumber and soon was sound asleep, so I said to my father, “None of these sleepers opens his eyes or raises his heart to say his prayers. You would think that there were all dead.” My father replied, “My beloved son, I would rather you too were asleep like them than slandering.” Anthony de Mello

“Every time you find yourself irritated or angry with someone, the one to look at is not that person but yourself. The question to ask is not, ‘What’s wrong with this person?’ but ‘What does this irritation tell me about myself?’” Anthony de Mello

“Many desert stories speak of judgment as the worst obstacle for a monk. ‘Abba Joseph said to Abba Pastor: “Tell me how I can become a monk.” The elder replied: ”If you want to have rest here in this life and also in the next, in every conflict with another say, ‘Who am I?’ and judge no one.” Kathleen Norris

“By judging others, we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.”  Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“A good person produces good things
from the treasury of a good heart,
and an evil person produces evil things
from the treasury of an evil heart.
What you say flows
from what is in your heart.”
Jesus in Luke 6:45

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • What is your response to the story about the Muslim father and son? Are you more like the father or the son?
  • What can you do to become more like the father? Can you learn to stop and ask “What does this irritation tell me about myself?”
  • If you’re more like the “slandering son”, are you aware of your “own evil?” Have you been “forgiven much?” Can you extend that grace to others like yourself who, like you, don’t deserve it?

Abba, teach me to judge no one. May my irritations with others lead me into regular self-examination, and to better self awareness.

For More: The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

_________________________________________________

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 Trouble I Give Myself (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Charles Spurgeon, Martin Luther, Dwight Moody, Augustine)

“Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either – but right through every human heart – and through all human hearts. …And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains … an unuprooted small corner of evil.” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“All the devils in hell and tempters on earth could do us no injury if there were no corruption in our own natures. …Beware of no man more than yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us. …The worst thing you have to fear is the treachery of your own heart.” Charles Spurgeon

“I am more afraid of my own heart than of the pope and all his cardinals. I have within me the great pope, Self.” Martin Luther

“I have had more trouble with myself than with any other man.” Dwight L. Moody

“Lord Jesus, don’t let me lie when I say that I love you…and protect me, for today I could betray you.” Augustine

One of the servant girls who worked for the high priest came by and noticed Peter warming himself at the fire. She looked at him closely and said, You were one of those with Jesus of Nazareth. But Peter denied it. ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about,’ he said, and he went out into the entryway. …When the servant girl saw him standing there, she began telling the others, ‘This man is definitely one of them!’ But Peter denied it again. A little later some of the other bystanders confronted Peter and said, ‘You must be one of them, because you are a Galilean. Peter swore, ‘A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know this man you’re talking about!”  Mark 14:65-72

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Do you fear “the treachery of your own heart?” If not, in light of these testimonies, and Peter’s example, why not?
  • If so, what practices do you have in place to protect yourself from the ravages of “the great pope (Self) within?”
  • Do you have a spiritual friend that can help you watch over your heart?

Abba, help me to guard my heart as though my life depended on it, for of course, it does.

For More: Lectures to My Students by Charles Haddon Spurgeon
_________________________________________________

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.”