social spark Aisling Beatha: Summer Art journal Book Study Part 7


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Saturday, August 09, 2014

Summer Art journal Book Study Part 7

Here we are at the next word or spiritual practice in the Brian D McLaren book - "Naked Spirituality", the word PLEASE.

So far in this summer journey of reading and exploration I have shared with you

Summer Reading Art Journal

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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.

Summer Reading Art Journal

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.

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