So far in this summer journey of reading and exploration I have shared with you
- The making of the art journal itself
- How I prepared the art journal pages
- The summer reading list I had been hoping to get through - although it looks like the one I already finished and this will be IT since this is proving to be so engrossing.
- The Journal Spots I also made and the pages for the first 3 chapters that introduce what the rest of the book is about
- My Art Journal page on the introduction to the first season of the journey and my pages on the 2 chapters for the first word or "spiritual practice", HERE!
- My art journal pages for the two chapters on the next word or "spiritual practice", THANKS!
- The next two pages in my art journal for the 2 chapters on O! or worship.
- The introduction to the 2nd season or stage, the Summer of Complexity and the first 2 pages on Sorry!
- The idea of petition, of asking God for what we need to meet life's challenges, rather than asking for the challenges to shrink to meet our capacity as we see it.
When we move from HELP to PLEASE we move from Petition and we enter into Intercession.
The author discusses through an example from his own life how when we experience pain and struggle we can experience the upside of increased compassion for others.
If we experience some degree of comfort in our own pain, we eventually find ourselves empowered to turn outward in sacred compassion toward others.He also explores the dilemma that intercession can bring, because it means that others are in pain and we don't have the answers as to why that is.
So, we practise compassion in intercession not because we have fully satisfying answers to explain the suffering of others, BUT BECAUSE WE DON'T
The practice of compassion through intercession, in this light, is not just a response to the agony of another in pain. It is also the response to our own pain of not having answers about why anyone is in pain.
Chapter 15 begins with the story of the paralysed man who was lowered through the roof before Jesus. One of the points the author makes is that it is written that Jesus noticed the faith of HIS FRIENDS.
They literally carried their paralysed friend. They let the weight of his condition become their burden to bear. In a sense his paralysis became their paralysis and their ability to move became his ability to move.
Will we join the stretcher carriers, the burden bearers, feeling the pain of our fellow humans being and making it our own so that we carry OUR pain - their pain together with our pain for them - to the one we call COMPASSIONATE.The author goes on to discuss not just praying for people, but for all of creation and also challenges us with the concept of praying for our enemies.
Will praying for our enemies really make a difference?
The important thing is to keep praying, whatever answers do or so not come, whatever you think about HOW prayer works, because however much or little prayer changes THINGS. prayer changes YOU and you need to be changed.That last concept, THAT would be worth reading this whole book for, I think. But there is SO MUCH MORE. "Naked Spirituality" by Brian D McLAren". Check back tomorrow for yet another post with yet more pages as we move into the season I bought this book for, the autumn of perplexity.
You can check out the sites I link up to over in my sidebar. Before you go, why not check out my recipes index page, or my craft projects index page, I am sure you will find something there to interest you.