Daily Riches: The Imperialism of the Self . . . In Marriage (Frank Sheed)

“Marriage . . . is not all magic. Husband and wife must work hard at it. If one is making no effort, the other must work twice as hard. Love helps, though it is precisely love that is in danger of losing its elan with so much to depress it; prayer helps tremendously. But, in the purely psychological order, nothing helps so much as the reverence that flows from a right vision of what man is–that this loutish man, this empty-headed woman, is God’s image, an immortal spirit, loved by Christ even to the death of the Cross: whatever the surface looks like, this is in the depth of every human being, this in him is what God joined together with this in her. The realization that there is this welding of two into one in the depths of their being, below the level that the eye of the mind can see, is the most powerful incentive to make that union in depth effective through every layer of personality. This reverence is a safeguard against one of the great dangers of family life–the tendency of one partner to form, or re-form, the other . . . in his [or her] own image. There is a sort of imperialism to which the self is liable, the desire to impose its own likeness. As we have already seen, one should not lightly try to re-make another: but, if re-making there must be, assuredly the only image in which any one should be re-made is the image of God in which he [or she] was made.” Frank J. Sheed

“Above all, love each other deeply,
because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
1 Peter 4:8 NIV

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Do you have a “right vision” of who you are? . . . of your spouse? Take some time to picture your spouse as God’s beloved image-bearer, as one treasured by God.
  • Prayer and loving like Jesus (Ephesians 5:25) will also be necessary. Are you praying God’s blessing on your spouse? How does your love for your spouse resemble God’s love for you?
  • Do you have an “imperialistic” attitude where you’re insisting on what you know is best for your spouse? Can you humble yourself instead, and allow God to work in your spouse (and in you) in God’s way and time?

Abba, I need your work in me. I’ll leave my spouse to you. Help us both.

For more: Marriage and the Family by Frank J. Sheed

Daily Riches: Radically Trusting God, Truly Helping Others (Nikos Kazantzakis, Parker Palmer)

“I remember one morning when I discovered a cocoon in the bark of a tree just as a butterfly was making a hole in its case and preparing to come out. I waited awhile, but it was too long appearing and I was impatient. I bent over it and breathed on it to warm it. I warmed it as quickly as I could and the miracle began to happen before my eyes, faster than life. The case opened; the butterfly started slowly crawling out, and I shall never forget my horror when I saw how its wings were foldedhatching back and crumpled; the wretched butterfly tried with its whole trembling body to unfold them. Bending over it, I tried to help it with my breath, in vain. It needed to be hatched out patiently and the unfolding of the wings should be a gradual process in the sun. Now it was too late. My breath had forced the butterfly to appear all crumpled, before its time. It struggled desperately and, a few seconds later, died in the palm of my hand. That little body is, I do believe, the greatest weight I have on my conscience. For I realize today that it is a mortal sin to violate the great laws of nature. We should not hurry, we should not be impatient, but we should confidently obey the external rhythm.”  Nikos Kazantzakis
 .
“…most people can and must come to life in their own way and time, and if we try to help them by hastening the process, we end up doing harm. …[but] when we understand that our efforts to help other people can be unhelpful, or worse, we may start to avert our eyes from their struggles and pains, not knowing what to do and embarrassed by our own ineptitude. … [but] Instead of fixing up, or letting down, people who have a problem, we [can] stand with simple attentiveness at the borders of their solitude – trusting that they have within themselves whatever resources they need and that our attentiveness can help bring those resources into play. …We stay present to each other without wavering, while stifling any impulse to fix each other up. We offer each other support in going where each needs to go, and learning what each needs to learn, at each one’s pace….” Parker Palmer
 
Everyone should be … slow to speak”
James 1:19
 .

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Can you resist the urge to “fix” someone in need?
  • Can you simply be “present” to them in love rather than averting your eyes?
  • Will you trust them to do for themselves what only they can do, and God to do for them what only God can do – and will do in God’s time?

Abba, help.

For More: A Hidden Wholeness by Parker Palmer

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: The Willingness to Wait (Henri Nouwen and Pete Scazzero) *

“A waiting person is a patient person. The word ‘patience’ implies the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us. Patient living means to live actively in the present and wait there. Impatient people expect the real thing to happen somewhere else, and therefore they want to get away from the present situation and go elsewhere. For them the moment is empty. But patient people dare to stay where they are.” Henri Nouwen

“Do not leave Jerusalem,
but wait for the gift my Father promised,
which you have heard me speak about.”
Jesus in Acts 1: 4

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you a patient person? Able to stay where you are, even if it seems nothing is happening?  waiting expectantly to see what God will do?
  • Are you a patient person, willing to look for God’s fullness where you are?  willing to live in the present situation and it’s fullness – a fullness which may not be obvious?
  • Can you resist the urge to “go elsewhere”, running to a better moment rather than the present one that seems so “empty?” Can you “dare to stay where you are?”
  • Think about the quiet seemingly empty moments in the various Biblical accounts that exploded into significance when God acted in them. What might you miss if you can’t stay put in “quiet, empty” moments?

“Lord grant me the grace to do one thing at a time today, without rushing or hurrying. Help me to savor the sacred in all I do, be it large or small. By the power of the Holy Spirit, empower me to pause today as I move from one activity to the next. Declutter my heart, O God, until I am quiet enough to hear you speak out of the silence. Forgive me for running my life without you sometimes. Help me to be still, to surrender to your will, and to rest in your loving arms. Amen.”  (Pete Scazzero)

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For More: The Daily Office by Peter Scazzero

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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: Dangerous Jesus (Kathleen Norris and Dorothee Soelle) *

“The experience that Jesus had in Gethsemane … is the experience of assent. The cup of suffering becomes the cup of strengthening. Whoever empties that cup has conquered all fear. The one who at the end returns from prayer to the sleeping disciples is a different person from the one who went off to pray. He is clear-eyed and awake; he trembles no longer. ‘It is enough; the hour has come. Rise, let us be going.’” Dorothee Soelle

“In that gruesome and interminable night, waiting revealed itself as a true ally, a bulwark against fear. And Jesus became the most radically free and dangerous man of all, the one who embodies hope in the face of death and is afraid of nothing.” Kathleen Norris

 “Then he returned to the disciples and said to them,
‘Are you still sleeping and resting?
Look, the hour has come,
and the Son of Man is delivered
into the hands of sinners.
Rise! Let us go!
Here comes my betrayer!’”
Jesus in Matthew 26:45

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Suffering, waiting, assent – these activities transform us. When extreme suffering engulfs you, can you do what Jesus did and allow “the cup of suffering to become the cup of strengthening?”
  • If Jesus sought out solitude and prayer in his darkest hour. If  he needed to “return from prayer … a different person from the one who went off to pray”, is our need any less?
  • Will you learn how to wait and give assent to God in prayer now, or hope to learn that when the hour of darkness comes? What practices can help you learn it now?
  • Wouldn’t you like to be a “most radically free and dangerous man or woman … who embodies hope in the face of death and is afraid of nothing?” Imagine where we would be if Jesus hadn’t been “radically free and dangerous.”

Abba, it’s your approval that counts, and if I have that, it’s all I need. Deliver me from my fears to be a radically free and dangerous man.

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For More: Acedia And Me by Kathleen Norris

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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: 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)

Daily Riches: The Willingness to Wait (Henri Nouwen and Peter Scazzero)

“A waiting person is a patient person. The word ‘patience’ implies the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us. Patient living means to live actively in the present and wait there. Impatient people expect the real thing to happen somewhere else, and therefore they want to get away from the present situation and go elsewhere. For them the moment is empty. But patient people dare to stay where they are.” Henri Nouwen

“Do not leave Jerusalem,
but wait for the gift my Father promised,
which you have heard me speak about.’”
Jesus in Acts 1: 4

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you a patient person? Able to stay where you are, even if it seems nothing is happening?  waiting expectantly to see what God will do?
  • Are you a patient person, willing to look for God’s fullness where you are?  willing to live in the present situation and it’s fullness – a fullness which may not be obvious?
  • Can you resist the urge to “go elsewhere”, running to a better moment rather than the present one that seems so “empty?” Can you “dare to stay where you are?”
  • Think about the quiet seemingly empty moments in the various Biblical accounts that exploded into significance when God acted in them. What might you miss if you can’t stay put in “quiet, empty” moments?

Lord grant me the grace to do one thing at a time today, without rushing or hurrying. Help me to savor the sacred in all I do, be it large or small. By the power of the Holy Spirit, empower me to pause today as I move from one activity to the next. Declutter my heart, O God, until I am quiet enough to hear you speak out of the silence. Forgive me for running my life without you sometimes. Help me to be still, to surrender to your will, and to rest in your loving arms. Amen.  Peter Scazzero

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For More: The Daily Office by Peter Scazzero

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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: Dangerous Jesus (Kathleen Norris and Dorothee Soelle)

“The experience that Jesus had in Gethsemane … is the experience of assent. The cup of suffering becomes the cup of strengthening. Whoever empties that cup has conquered all fear. The one who at the end returns from prayer to the sleeping disciples is a different person from the one who went off to pray. He is clear-eyed and awake; he trembles no longer. ‘It is enough; the hour has come. Rise, let us be going.’” Dorothee Soelle

“In that gruesome and interminable night, waiting revealed itself as a true ally, a bulwark against fear. And Jesus became the most radically free and dangerous man of all, the one who embodies hope in the face of death and is afraid of nothing.” Kathleen Norris

 “Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, ‘Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!’” Matthew 26:45

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Suffering, waiting, assent – these activities transform us. When extreme suffering engulfs you, can you do what Jesus did and allow “the cup of suffering to become the cup of strengthening?”
  • If Jesus sought out solitude and prayer in his darkest hour, if he needed to “return from prayer … a different person from the one who went off to pray”, is our need any less?
  • Will you learn how to wait and give assent to God in prayer now, or hope to learn that when the hour of darkness comes? What practices can help you learn it now?
  • Wouldn’t you like to be a “most radically free and dangerous man or woman … who embodies hope in the face of death and is afraid of nothing?” Imagine where we would be if Jesus hadn’t been “radically free and dangerous.”

Abba, it’s your approval that counts, and if I have that, it’s all I need. Deliver me from my fears to be a radically free and dangerous man.

__________

For More: Acedia And Me by Kathleen Norris

_________________________________________________

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)