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Devotions

Monday, March 28th

Forgiveness works through our ongoing willingness to give up certain claims against one another, to give the truth when we assess our relationships with one another, and to give gifts of ourselves by making innovative gestures that offer a future not bound by the past. Being forgiven requires an ongoing willingness to honor a new claim that has been made on us, to speak with a new truthfulness, and to live in a new way with one another. 

 Practicing Our Faith by Dorothy C. Bass, ed 

Friday, March 25th

This is one of the miracles of love: It gives a power of seeing through its own enchantments and yet not being disenchanted. 

C. S. Lewis 

Thursday, March 24th

Your problem is how you are going to spend this one and precious life you have been issued. Whether you’re going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are.”
― Anne Lamott

Wednesday, March 23rd

I do not understand the mystery of grace — only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.”
― Anne Lamott 

Tuesday, March 22nd

Joy in Philippians is a defiant ‘Nevertheless!’ that Paul sets like a full stop against the Philippians’ anxiety… .
― Karl Barth, The Epistle to the Philippians 

Monday, March 21st

To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.”
― Karl Barth

Sunday, March 20th

The leap of faith always means loving without expecting to be loved in return, giving without wanting to receive, inviting without hoping to be invited, holding without asking to be held. And every time I make a little leap, I catch a glimpse of the One who runs out to me and invites me into his joy, the joy in which I can find not only myself, but also my brothers and sisters. Thus the disciplines of trust and gratitude reveal the God who searches for me, burning with desire to take away all my resentments and complaints and to let me sit at his side at the heavenly banquet.” 

-Henri Nouwen 

Tuesday, March 15th

Salvation is a word for the divine spaciousness that comes to human beings in all the tight places where their lives are at risk, regardless of how they got there or whether they know God’s name. Sometimes it comes as an extended human hand and sometimes as a bolt from the blue, but either way it opens a door in what looked for all the world like a wall. This is the way of life, and God alone knows how it works. 

-Barbara Brown Taylor 

Monday, March 14th

For most of my life I have struggled to find God, to know God, to love God. I have tried hard to follow the guidelines of the spiritual life—pray always, work for others, read the Scriptures—and to avoid the many temptations to dissipate myself. I have failed many times but always tried again, even when I was close to despair.

Now I wonder whether I have sufficiently realized that during all this time God has been trying to find me, to know me, and to love me. The question is not “How am I to find God?” but “How am I to let myself be found by him?” The question is not “How am I to know God?” but “How am I to let myself be known by God?” And, finally, the question is not “How am I to love God?” but “How am I to let myself be loved by God?” God is looking into the distance for me, trying to find me, and longing to bring me home. 

-Henri Nouwen 

Saturday, March 12th

The Christian religion asks us to put our trust not in ideas, and certainly not in ideologies, but in a God who was vulnerable enough to become human and die, and who desires to be present to us in our ordinary circumstances. 

-Katheen Norris 

Thursday, March 10th

It is much harder to believe than not to believe. If you fell you can’t believe, you must at least do this: keep an open mind. Keep it open toward faith, keep wanting it, keep asking for it, and leave the rest to God 

-Flannery O Connor 

Wednesday, March 9th

Prayer calls us to place before God what is in us, not what ought to be in us. 

-C.S Lewis 

Tuesday, March 8th ~ Lenten reading

We cannot worship the suffering God today and ignore him tomorrow. We cannot eat and drink the body and blood of the passionate and compassionate God today, and then refuse to live passionately and compassionately tomorrow. If we say or sing, as we so often do, ‘Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit’, we thereby commit ourselves, in love, to the work of making his love known to the world that still stands so sorely in need of it. This is not the god the world wants. This is the God the world needs.”
― N. T. Wright

Monday, March 7th ~ Lenten reading

At its Greek root, “to believe” simply means “to give one’s heart to.” Thus, if we can determine what it is we give our heart to, then we will know what it is we believe.”
  –Kathleen Norris 

Saturday, March 5th ~ Lenten reading

We sinners are so backward! We invert the true source of our justification. It isn’t some preliminary cause, some motive before the sin that justifies me, but rather the forgiveness of Christ which meets my repentance after the sin. 

 -Walter Wangerin 

Friday, March 4th ~ Lenten reading

I know that I have life only insofar as I have love. 

I have no love except it come from Thee.  

Help me, please, to carry this candle against the wind. 

       –Wendell Berry 

Thursday, March 3rd ~ Lenten reading

Peace is the centre of the atom, the core 

Of quiet within the storm.  It is not 

A cessation, a nothingness, more 

The lightning reverse is what 

Reveals the light.  It is the law that binds 

The atom’s lecture ordering the dance 

Of protons and electrons, and that finds 

Within the midst of flame and wind, the glance 

In the still eye of the vast hurricane. 

Peace is not placidity; peace is 

The power to endure the megatron of pain 

With joy, the silent thunder of release, 

The ordering of Love, Peace is the atom’s start, 

The primal image: God within the heart. 

Madeleleine L’Engle