Daily Riches: Love Begins With Not Judging Others (Henri Nouwen, Ram Dass, Thomas Merton and Jean Vanier) *

“When you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight ….And you look at the tree and you allow it. …You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying ‘You’re too this, or I’m too this.’ That judging mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.” Ram Dass20131018_164446

“We spend an enormous amount of energy making up our minds about other people. Not a day goes by without somebody doing or saying something that evokes in us the need to form an opinion about him or her. We hear a lot, see a lot, and know a lot. The feeling that we have to sort it all out in our minds and make judgments about it can be quite oppressive. The desert fathers said that judging others is a heavy burden, while being judged by others is a light one. Once we can let go of our need to judge others, we will experience an immense inner freedom. Once we are free from judging, we will be also free for mercy.” Henri Nouwen

“The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image.” Thomas Merton

“To love someone is … to reveal to them their beauty and value, to say, ‘You’re beautiful. You’re important.'” Jean Vanier

“Or how can you say to your brother, Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’
when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye?” – Jesus

Moving From Head to Heart

  • God’s job is to judge, and ours is to love. Can you leave the judging to God? could that free you to love? free you “for mercy?”
  • Can you start by letting others be “perfectly themselves?” If not, why not?
  • How effective are you at revealing to others that they’re “beautiful … important?”

Abba, help me love well by appreciating instead of evaluating.

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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: Silence – The Most Pleasing Sacrifice (Rozanne Elder, Thomas Merton, Richard Foster and Friedrich Nietzsche) *

“When we are quiet and alone, we fear that something will be whispered in our ears, and so we hate the quiet, and dull our senses in society.”  Friedrich Nietzsche

“Silence means a void, a dreadful emptiness that demands to be filled. What we choose to fill that void with most often produces, not only noise, but agitation through over-simulation. Sensory overload is addictive. It becomes an escape from the present, from the self, from God. Like any addiction, it is pathological and life-threatening. …Prayer uttered out of the deepest longing for God, however, demands silence.” Rozanne Elder

“The soul is offered to Him when it is entirely attentive to Him. My silence which takes me away from all other things, is therefore the sacrifice of all things and the offering of my soul to God. It is therefore my most pleasing sacrifice.”  Thomas Merton

“Yahweh will destroy Babylon;
he will silence her noisy din.”
Jeremiah 51:55

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Without silent patches in our days, we become “dull” to the present, self, and God. Has sensory overload created a pathological dullness in your life?
  • Have you tried to make yourself “entirely attentive to God” – not asking or confessing or meditating, but simply “offering your soul to God” – wordlessly attending to Him? silently resting in his loving arms? quietly returning his gaze, his love?
  • When we take time to sit silently we hear disturbing things “whispered in our ears.” Can you press through this in your pursuit of intimacy with God?

I have, O Lord, a noisy heart. And entering outward silence doesn’t stop the inner clamor. In fact, it seems only to make it worse. When I am full of activity, the internal noise is only a distant rumble; but when I get still, the rumble amplifies itself. And it is not like the majestic sound of symphony rising to a grand crescendo; rather it is the deafening din of clashing pots and clanging pans. …Worst of all, I feel helpless to hush the interior pandemonium. Dear Lord, Jesus, once you spoke peace to the wind and the wave. Speak your shalom over my heart. I wait silently…patiently. I receive into the very core of my being your loving command, “Peace, be still.”  Richard Foster

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For More: The Contemplative Path by Rozanne Elder

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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: Detachment: “Just Step Away” (Peter Scazzero, Thomas Merton and The Virtues Project) *

“Detachment is experiencing our feelings without allowing them to control us. We step back and look at things objectively. We let go and accept what we cannot change. We detach from others’ choices, knowing that their spiritual work is not ours to do. We choose how we will act rather than just reacting. We step away from harmful cravings. …We can listen without losing ourselves. …we see our mistakes honestly, make amends and start afresh. Detachment allows us to be in the world but not of it. It frees us to lead our lives with grace.” The Virtues Project

“…When we put our claws into something and we don’t want to take them out, we are beyond enjoying them. We now must have them. …God’s purpose for us is to have a loving union with him at the end of the journey. We joyfully detach from certain behaviors and activities for the purpose of a more intimate, loving attachment to God. We are to enjoy the world, for God’s creation is good. We are to appreciate nature, people, and all God’s gifts, along with his presence in Creation–without being ensnared by them. It has rightly been said that those who are the most detached on the journey are best able to taste the purest joy in the beauty of created things.” Peter Scazzero

“We do not detach ourselves from things in order to attach ourselves to God, but rather we become detached from ourselves in order to see and use all things in and for God.” Thomas Merton

“Instruct those who are rich in this present world
not to be conceited or to fix their hope
on the uncertainty of riches, but on God,
who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.”
1 Timothy 1:17

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you able to detach when you should?
  • Is detachment helping you to “be in the world but not of it?” to “taste the purest joy and beauty of created things?”
  • What would help you to “enjoy all things” without “fixing your hope” on them? How can you “step away?”

Abba, help me to “step away.”

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For More: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero

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This blog is for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow it, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

 

Daily Riches: Held by God in Both Light and Shadow (Merton, Manning, Egan and Tillich) *

“One of the keys to real religious experience is the shattering realization that no matter how hateful we are to ourselves, we are not hateful to God. …Who am I? I am one loved by Christ.” Thomas Merton

“… the depths of our union with our indwelling God, [is] a sinking down into … the vivid awareness that my inner child is Abba’s child, held fast by Him, both in light and in shadow….”  Brennan Manning

“I stand anchored now in God before whom I stand naked, this God who tells me ‘You are my son, my beloved one.'” John Egan

“Faith is the courage to accept acceptance, to accept that God loves me as I am and not as I should be, because I’m never going to be as I should be.”  Paul Tillich

“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived
and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures.
We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,
he saved us,
not because of righteous things we had done,
but because of his mercy.”
Titus 3:3-5a

“Though my mother and father forsake me, Yahweh will receive me.” Psalm 27:10

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Is it true that in this life you’re “never going to be as you should be?” Do you hate yourself for that? Should you? Does God hate you for that?
  • Are you able to “stand naked” before God and yet be “anchored in him?”  to know that you’re “held fast by Him, both in light and in shadow?”
  • Do you worry that “accepting acceptance” or “sinking down” into God’s grace in this way may be letting yourself off too easy? Do you think that fear of judgment will keep you in line better than unconditional love? If so, can you identify the source of that conviction?

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For More: Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning

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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 God in Prayer (Thomas Merton and John Higgins) *

Contemplative prayer, for Thomas Merton, “…is essentially a listening … meant to open man’s heart to God by enabling him to surrender his inmost depths to God’s presence within him. … Therefore, man’s whole life of prayer must consist in a dynamic and loving attention to the presence of God and an awareness of his own dependence upon Him. Man belongs to God and it is in prayer that he must come to realize that the depths of his own being and life are meaningful and real only to the extent that they are open to God.”  John Higgins

“First, [contemplation] is supposed to give you sufficient control over your mind and memory and will to enable you to recollect yourself and withdraw from exterior things … and second–this is the real end of contemplation–it teaches you how to become aware of the presence of God; and most of all it aims at bringing you to a state of almost constant loving attention to God, and dependence on Him.” Thomas Merton

 “O God, you are my God;
  I earnestly search for you.
  My soul thirsts for you;
  my whole body longs for you
  in this parched and weary land
  where there is no water.”
  Psalm 63:1

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Do you think of prayer as giving your “loving attention to the presence of God?” Think about this understanding of prayer and then about your prayers and the prayers of others. Isn’t it easy to fall short of being present to God in a loving way?
  • Making requests is central to prayer, but prayer filled only with speaking can distract us from any real “listening.” Does this happen to you? What could you do differently to make sure you’re not only speaking but listening?
  • If there ever was a time when we lived in a “parched and weary land where there is no water” for our thirsty souls, it’s now. Listen to the psalmist again as he prays from a place of deep longing for God. Does your urgency to find satisfaction in the person of God manifest itself in this kind of urgency?

Abba, as I pray with the words you’ve given, help me to enter into the experience of thirst and satisfaction that you have for me. You are my God. I need you every hour.

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For More:  Thomas Merton on Prayer by John J. Higgins

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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: Knowing Self, Knowing God (John Calvin and Thomas Merton) *

“… true and sound wisdom, consists of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves. But while joined by many bonds, which one precedes and brings forth the other is not easy to discern. In the first place, no one can look upon himself without immediately turning his thoughts to the contemplation of God, in whom he ‘lives and moves’ [Acts 17:28]. …the knowledge of ourselves not only arouses us to seek God, but also, as it were, leads us by the hand to find him. Again, it is certain that man never achieves a clear knowledge of himself unless he has first looked upon God’s face, and then descends from contemplating him to scrutinize himself.”  John Calvin

“If I find God I will find myself and if I find my true self I will find God.” Merton

“Contemplation is also the response to a call … from Him Who has no voice, and yet Who speaks in everything that is, and Who, most of all, speaks in the depths of our own being….”  Merton

“I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord.
They will be my people, and I will be their God….”
Jeremiah 24:7a

Moving From the Head to the Heart

Calvin insists that “sound and true wisdom” consists in essentially two things – knowing ourselves and knowing God. We must know ourselves intimately to know God properly, and we must know God intimately to know ourselves properly.

  • Are you devoting as much effort to knowing yourself as you are to knowing God? Can you imagine truly knowing one and not the other?
  • Have you been “aroused to seek God” or “find” him in a new way through “scrutiny of yourself?”
  • Are you responding to the “call from Him Who has no voice, and yet Who speaks in everything?”  Do you try to listen for his voice “in the depths of your own being?”

Abba, lead me, as it were, by the hand into a deeper experience of knowing myself … and you.

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For More: The Institutes by John Calvin

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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: A Life of Constant Repentance (The Episcopal Liturgy, Tim Keller and Thomas Merton)

“We repent of the evil that enslaves us, the evil we have done, and the evil done on our behalf.” (Episcopal Liturgy)

“There is so much evil done on our behalf [as Americans.] … A racist criminal justice and penal system. War, drones and torture. Systemic poverty, the absence of worker protections or living wage laws, the constriction of unions. Oppression of the poor, immigrants, people of color. Globalized capitalism and sweatshop labor. The abuse and exploitation of the environment for financial gain and our financial ease. Racial injustice. Environmental injustice.” David Henson

“… it is the work of Christians in the world to minister in word and deed and to gather together to do justice. … A life poured out in doing justice for the poor, is the inevitable sign of any real, true gospel faith.” Tim Keller

“Contemplation, at its highest intensity, becomes a reservoir of spiritual vitality that pours itself out in the most telling social action.” Thomas Merton

“Seek justice, reprove the ruthless,
defend the orphan, plead for the widow.”
Isaiah 1:17

Moving From Head to Heart

  • One church tradition may emphasize the need for repentance for “the evil we have done” and another for “the evil done on our behalf.” Which is your tradition? If you listen, can you hear God speaking in both traditions? What is lost by listening to only one or the other of these traditions?
  • Does your tradition have a place for the words of the prophet Isaiah? How does your church (or church tradition) “seek justice?” How does it “reprove the ruthless?”
  • Do you agree that, as Christians, we should repent for “the evil done on our behalf?” Is that even possible? If so, what would it look like? What would be the point? Would it be unpatriotic?
  • Can you let you heart be moved by the call to both of these kinds of repentance?

Abba, help me to live a life of constant repentance, full of purity, love and justice.

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For More: Generous Justice by Tim Keller

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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: Change the World, but First Yourself (David K. Flowers, Thomas Merton, Socrates) *

“You don’t need to fix your friends or family. You don’t need to solve all the problems that confront you. If you can simply learn to not be controlled by fear — your own or that of others — you will be a non-anxious presence in the lives of others, and there is nothing they need more. So how do you do this? By confronting your own anxieties and fears head-on. An anxious person cannot be a non-anxious presence, obviously. The world is full of people wanting to solve all the problems of the world. But the world would profit much more if people would first confront their own anxieties and the things that cause them 1) to have to fill every silence with meaningless chatter, 2) to stay constantly busy, and 3) to do anything to avoid being still.”  David K. Flowers

“He who attempts to act and do things for others or for the world without deepening his own self-understanding, freedom, integrity, and capacity to love, will not have anything to give to others. He will communicate to them nothing but the contagion of his own obsessions, his aggressivity, his ego-centered ambitions, his delusions about ends and means.” Thomas Merton

“Let him who would move the world, first move himself.” ~ Socrates

First get rid of the log in your own eye;
then you will see well enough
to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”
Jesus in Matthew 7:5

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • It’s much easier to focus on “fixing” another person (a spouse, a child, a friend) than to look within. In many instances, Jesus wants us to leave the other person to him. Is there someone in your life right now that you’re trying to “fix?”
  • The most effective way to help others is for us to bring a “non-anxious presence” (“our best selves”) into our relationships with them. Do you regularly have a non-anxious presence?
  • Can you spend time before God in silence and stillness? Are you too busy to be without anxiety? How can you have a more “non-anxious presence?”

Abba, I know I need to slow down, be still, and be more quiet before you and others. Help me learn to rest in your love – so I can bring my very best self to others.

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For More: Living Truthfully by David K. Flowers

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

Daily Riches: Exposed Before God (Thomas Merton) *

“ … we should let ourselves be brought naked and defenceless
into the center of that dread
where we stand alone before God in our nothingness,
without explanation, without theories,
completely dependent upon his providential care,
in dire need of the gift of his grace,
his mercy and the light of faith.”
Thomas Merton

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’ At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.'”  Isaiah 6:1-5

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Can you imagine being “brought naked and defenceless … before God?”  … “standing alone before God in your nothingness?”  feeling “undone” in the presence of God?
  • Why would Merton suggest that we not resist this? (“we should let ourselves be brought…”)
  • Teresa of Avila prayed, “Let me not be afraid to linger here in your presence will all my humanity exposed. For you are God – you are not surprised by my frailties, my continuous failures.” Can you use these words as the basis for a prayer of your own?

Abba, it’s dreadfully painful to have “all my humanity exposed” before anyone, including you. It’s in your presence though, that I am exposed yet safe. In spite of my all my humanity, may I linger before you today, presenting myself for healing – and may I do this without any attempt to lessen the pain by offering up explanations or excuses.

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For More: Contemplative Prayer by Thomas Merton;
Let Nothing Disturb You by Teresa of Avila

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

Daily Riches: Faith (Nadia Bolz Weber, Romero, Tillich, Stott, Packer, Edman, Bounds, LLoyd-Jones, Yancey, Cook, Brueggemann, Merton, Willard)

“Catholic theologian James Allison [talked] about how we think faith is about striving – keeping parameters, calling people out for not having it right, spiritual practices, doctrinal purity… whatever – but that really faith is about relaxing. Specifically, relaxing in the way we do when we are with a friend who we know for certain is fond of us. We don’t have to strive around them and we somehow still become our best self – funny, spontaneous, free. Allison suggests that faith is trusting so much that God is fond of us that we just …relax”. Nadia Bolz Weber

“Faith consists in accepting God without asking him to account for things according to our standard. Faith consists in reacting before God as Mary did: I don’t understand it, Lord, but let if be done in me according to your word.”  Oscar Romero

“Faith is the courage …to accept that God loves me as I am and not as I should be, because I’m never going to be as I should be.”  Paul Tillich

J. I. Packer – “self-abandoning trust in the person and work of Jesus”
Raymond Edman – “trusting in the dark what God told you in the light”
Martin Lloyd-Jones – “the refusal to panic”
Philip Yancey – “trusting in advance, what will only make sense in reverse”
Bob Cook –  “expecting God to act like God.”
Thomas Merton – “convinced of the reliability of God.”
Dallas Willard –  “confidence grounded in reality.”
Walter Brueggemann – “openness to wonder and awe in glad praise.”
Oswald Chambers – “unutterable trust…which never dreams that He will not stand by us”
Martin Luther – “permitting ourselves to be seized by the things we do not see”
John Stott – “a trust which reckons thoughtfully and confidently upon the trustworthiness of God.”

“Though He slay me,
yet will I trust Him.”
Job 13:15a

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Can you relax with God like you do with your best friend?  Does he love you “as you are and not as you should be?”
  • Are you “seized by” things unseen? trusting what will often only make sense later? refusing to ask God “to give an account?”
  • Can you “abandon” yourself to God like Martin Luther, Oscar Romero and Job did? If not, why not?

Abba, I will trust in you. Only you have the words of life.


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

 

Daily Riches: When the Sacred Becomes Vulgar (F. W. Robertson, Thomas Merton, Bernard of Clairvaux and Brennan Manning)

“There are transfiguration moments, bridal hours of the soul; and not easily forgiven are those who would utter the secrets of its high intercourse with their Lord. There is a certain spiritual indelicacy in persons that cannot perceive that not everything which is a matter of experience and knowledge is therefore a subject for conversation. You cannot discuss such subjects without vulgarising them.” F. W. Robertson

“All speech is impertinent, it destroys the simplicity of that nothingness before God by making it seems as if it had been ‘something.’” Thomas Merton

“… they are readier to speak than to listen, eager to teach that which they do not know.” Bernard of Clairvaux

“Do the truth quietly without display.” Brennan Manning

“The kingdom of God is not a matter of talk
but of power.”
1 Corinthians 4:20

 Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • James insists that a man must “keep a tight reign on his tongue” (James 1:26), and that seems particularly difficult in this area where the ego cries out for attention and admiration. Do you find yourself sharing your intimate experience with the Lord as a “matter of conversation?” If so, take some time to consider your motivations.
  • After a conversation, are you sometimes convicted that you were “eager to teach that which you do not know?” If so, again, what does this say about you?
  • Merton says that talking about the “simplicity” of something wonderful between us and God “destroys” it. That’s what’s at stake here – what Robertson calls a “vulgarising.” It’s not hard to see this shortcoming in ourselves and others. That makes this a good time to remember how patient and understanding God is with us in our weaknesses.

Jesus’ family were confused by him because he acted “in secret”, and that made no sense for someone who “wants to become a public figure.” (John 7:3-8) Abba, break my ego-driven want “to become a public figure”, and teach me not to take those rare and precious moments of intimacy between us, and vulgarize them in self-promotion.

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For More: Dancing in the Water of Life by Thomas Merton

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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 less than 400 words. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: I See Men Like Trees Walking (Henri Nouwen, Ram Dass, Thomas Merton and Jean Vanier)

“When you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight ….And you look at the tree and you allow it. …You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying ‘You’re too this, or I’m too this.’ That judging mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.” Ram Dass20131018_164446

“We spend an enormous amount of energy making up our minds about other people. Not a day goes by without somebody doing or saying something that evokes in us the need to form an opinion about him or her. We hear a lot, see a lot, and know a lot. The feeling that we have to sort it all out in our minds and make judgments about it can be quite oppressive. The desert fathers said that judging others is a heavy burden, while being judged by others is a light one. Once we can let go of our need to judge others, we will experience an immense inner freedom. Once we are free from judging, we will be also free for mercy.” Henri Nouwen

“The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image.” Thomas Merton

“To love someone is … to reveal to them their beauty and value, to say, ‘You’re beautiful. You’re important.'” Jean Vanier

“Or how can you say to your brother, Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’
when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye?” – Jesus

Moving From Head to Heart

  • God’s job is to judge, and ours is to love. Can you leave the judging to God? could that free you to love? free you “for mercy?”
  • Can you start by letting others be “perfectly themselves?” If not, why not?
  • How effective are you at revealing to others that they’re “beautiful … important?”

Abba, help me love well by appreciating instead of evaluating.

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

 

Daily Riches: Silence – The Most Pleasing Sacrifice (Rozanne Elder, Thomas Merton, Richard Foster and Friedrich Nietzsche)

“When we are quiet and alone, we fear that something will be whispered in our ears, and so we hate the quiet, and dull our senses in society.”  Friedrich Nietzsche

“Silence means a void, a dreadful emptiness that demands to be filled. What we choose to fill that void with most often produces, not only noise, but agitation through over-simulation. Sensory overload is addictive. It becomes an escape from the present, from the self, from God. Like any addiction, it is pathological and life-threatening. …Prayer uttered out of the deepest longing for God, however, demands silence.” Rozanne Elder

“The soul is offered to Him when it is entirely attentive to Him. My silence which takes me away from all other things, is therefore the sacrifice of all things and the offering of my soul to God. It is therefore my most pleasing sacrifice.”  Thomas Merton

“Yahweh will destroy Babylon;
he will silence her noisy din.”
Jeremiah 51:55

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Without silent patches in our days, we become “dull” to the present, self, and God. Has sensory overload created a pathological dullness in your life?
  • Have you tried to make yourself “entirely attentive to God” – not asking or confessing or meditating, but simply “offering your soul to God” – wordlessly attending to Him? silently resting in his loving arms? quietly returning his gaze, his love?
  • When we take time to sit silently we hear disturbing things “whispered in our ears.” Can you press through this in your pursuit of intimacy with God?

I have, O Lord, a noisy heart. And entering outward silence doesn’t stop the inner clamor. In fact, it seems only to make it worse. When I am full of activity, the internal noise is only a distant rumble; but when I get still, the rumble amplifies itself. And it is not like the majestic sound of symphony rising to a grand crescendo; rather it is the deafening din of clashing pots and clanging pans. …Worst of all, I feel helpless to hush the interior pandemonium. Dear Lord, Jesus, once you spoke peace to the wind and the wave. Speak your shalom over my heart. I wait silently…patiently. I receive into the very core of my being your loving command, “Peace, be still.”  Richard Foster

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For More: The Contemplative Path by Rozanne Elder

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Thanks for your interest in RicherByFar!!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

 

 

 

Daily Riches: Seeking God in Silence (Dallas Willard, Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton and Daniel Wolpert)

“… silence is frightening because it strips us as nothing else does, throwing us upon the stark realities of our life. It reminds us of death, which will cut us off from this world and leave only us and God. And in that quiet, what if there turns out to be very little to ‘just us and God’? Think what it says about the inward emptiness of our lives if we must always turn on the tape player or radio to make sure something is happening around us.” Dallas Willard

“Solitude, silence, and prayer are often the best ways to self-knowledge. Not because they offer solutions for the complexity of our lives but because they bring us in touch with our sacred center, where God dwells.” Henri Nouwen

“Gradually, after deliberately choosing quiet times with God, our heart begins to sharpen its perception of God’s presence. The quiet of God begins to speak and direct us, and our heart becomes more finely tuned to the frequency that God uses to speak to us.” Thomas Merton

“Silentio [is] preparing to be read by God. When we go and sit in silence, when we turn our minds to our Creator, we begin the process of allowing God to be the center of our world.” Daniel Wolpert

“Let all that I am wait quietly before God
Psalm 62:5 

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Do you need to have the television or music playing constantly in the background? Does silence make you feel like nothing “is happening?”
  • Has regularly sitting in silence before God helped you to “sharpen your perception of God’s presence” over time? to feel more “in touch with your sacred center?”
  • Wolpert says that in practicing silence “we begin the process of allowing God to be the center of our world.” If you haven’t already, are you willing to begin to seek God that way? If not, what is stopping you?

Abba, may embracing solitude and silence alert me to that new voice sounding from beyond all human chatter.

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For More: The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard

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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 less than 400 words. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. Thanks!.  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

 

Daily Riches: The Subtle Violence of Hurry (Thomas Merton, Peter Scazzero and Catherine of Siena)

“There is a pervasive form of contemporary violence, and that is activism and overwork. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of this innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone and everything, is to succumb to violence. The frenzy of our activism neutralizes our work for peace. It destroys our own inner capacity for peace because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.” Thomas Merton

“Overfunctioning (doing for others what they can and should do for themselves) is a manifestation of anxiety.” Peter Scazzero

“No longer will violence be heard in your land,
nor ruin or destruction within your borders,
but you will call your walls Salvation
and your gates Praise.”
Isaiah 60:18

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Do you allow yourself to be “carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, or to surrender to too many demands?” Do you “commit yourself to too many projects [or attempt] to help everyone and everything?” What does your answer say about you?
  • Have you ever thought of overwork as a “form of violence?” Does that seem overstated? Why does Merton use the word “violence?”
  • Does frenzy in your life kill your inner life, steal your peace, undercut your inner wisdom and make your work unfruitful? If so, what can you change?
  • Have you been on the receiving end of such violence – asking for love and finding the other person, though well-intentioned, had no time for you?

You, O Eternal Trinity, are a deep sea into which, the more I enter, the more I find, and the more I find, the more I seek. O abyss, O eternal Godhead, O sea profound, what more could you give me than yourself.  Catherine of Siena

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For More: Confessions of a Guilty Bystander by Thomas Merton

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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 less than 400 words. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)