Communion Day Quotes

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The Christian who walks with the Lord and keeps constant communion with Him will see many reason for rejoicing and thanksgiving all day long.
Warren W. Wiersbe
Don't tell anyone, but on the pagan day of the sun god Ra, I kneel at the foot of an ancient instrument of torture and consume ritualistic symbols of blood and flesh. ...And if any of you care to join me, come to the Harvard chapel on Sunday, kneel beneath the crucifix, and take Holy Communion.
Dan Brown (The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3))
Every day He humbles Himself just as He did when from from His heavenly throne into the Virgin's womb; every day He comes to us and lets us see Him in lowliness, when He descends from the bosom of the Father into the hands of the priest at the altar.
Francis of Assisi
Professor Langdon,' called a young man with curly hair in the back row, 'if Masonry is not a secret society, not a corporation, and not a religion, then what is it?' 'Well, if you were to ask a Mason, he would offer the following definition: Masonry is a system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.' 'Sounds to me like a euphemism for "freaky cult." ' 'Freaky, you say?' 'Hell yes!' the kid said, standing up. 'I heard what they do inside those secret buildings! Weird candlelight rituals with coffins, and nooses, and drinking wine out of skulls. Now that's freaky!' Langdon scanned the class. 'Does that sound freaky to anyone else?' 'Yes!' they all chimed in. Langdon feigned a sad sigh. 'Too bad. If that's too freaky for you, then I know you'll never want to join my cult.' Silence settled over the room. The student from the Women's Center looked uneasy. 'You're in a cult?' Langdon nodded and lowered his voice to a conspiratorial whisper. 'Don't tell anyone, but on the pagan day of the sun god Ra, I kneel at the foot of an ancient instrument of torture and consume ritualistic symbols of blood and flesh.' The class looked horrified. Langdon shrugged. 'And if any of you care to join me, come to the Harvard chapel on Sunday, kneel beneath the crucifix, and take Holy Communion.' The classroom remained silent. Langdon winked. 'Open your minds, my friends. We all fear what we do not understand.
Dan Brown (The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3))
The secret of a full life is to live and relate to others as if they might not be there tomorrow, as if you might not be there tomorrow. It eliminates the vice of procrastination, the sin of postponement, failed communications, failed communions. This thought has made me more and more attentive to all encounters. meetings, introductions, which might contain the seed of depth that might be carelessly overlooked. This feeling has become a rarity, and rarer every day now that we have reached a hastier and more superficial rhythm, now that we believe we are in touch with a greater amount of people, more people, more countries. This is the illusion which might cheat us of being in touch deeply with the one breathing next to us. The dangerous time when mechanical voices, radios, telephones, take the place of human intimacies, and the concept of being in touch with millions brings a greater and greater poverty in intimacy and human vision.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 4: 1944-1947)
I am convinced that one should tell one's spiritual director if one has a great desire for Communion, for Our Lord does not come from Heaven every day to stay in a golden ciborium; He comes to find another heaven, the heaven of our soul in which He loves to dwell.
Thérèse de Lisieux (The Story Of A Soul: The Autobiography Of St. Therese Of Lisieux)
Conditioned to ecstasy, the poet is like a gorgeous unknown bird mired in the ashes of thought. If he succeeds in freeing himself, it is to make a sacrificial flight to the sun. His dreams of a regenerate world are but the reverberations of his own fevered pulse beats. He imagines the world will follow him, but in the blue he finds himself alone. Alone but surrounded by his creations; sustained, therefore, to meet the supreme sacrifice. The impossible has been achieved; the duologue of author with Author is consummated. And now forever through the ages the song expands, warming all hearts, penetrating all minds. At the periphery the world is dying away; at the center it glows like a live coal. In the great solar heart of the universe the golden birds are gathered in unison. There it is forever dawn, forever peace, harmony and communion. Man does not look to the sun in vain; he demands light and warmth not for the corpse which he will one day discard but for his inner being. His greatest desire is to burn with ecstasy, to commerge his little flame with the central fire of the universe. If he accords the angels wings so that they may come to him with messages of peace, harmony and radiance from worlds beyond, it is only to nourish his own dreams of flight, to sustain his own belief that he will one day reach beyond himself, and on wings of gold. One creation matches another; in essence they are all alike. The brotherhood of man consists not in thinking alike, nor in acting alike, but in aspiring to praise creation. The song of creation springs from the ruins of earthly endeavor. The outer man dies away in order to reveal the golden bird which is winging its way toward divinity.
Henry Miller (The Time of the Assassins: a Study of Rimbaud)
But if there was ever a time for us to go to extremes for our God, it is now. The truth of the gospel is being diluted, dumbed down, and trampled upon by the very ones entrusted to keep it sacred and whole. It may seem 'unnecessary' to get on your knees for multiple hours each and every day, but, may I remind you that unless someone rises up and says, 'Lord, I'm willing to travail,' there are lives, promises, and spiritual realities that will not be born into our day and age. Effectual, fervent prayer is how God changes this world and bestows upon it the beauty, grace and power that He purchased at the cross.
Leslie Ludy (Wrestling Prayer: A Passionate Communion with God)
Can there be anything more sad than a girl dying on the day of her first communion, in her new dress. A little bride of death...
Georges Rodenbach (The Bells of Bruges)
The purpose of Lent is not to force on us a few formal obligations, but to ‘soften’ our heart so that it may open itself to the realities of the spirit, to experience the hidden ‘thirst and hunger’ for communion with God.
Alicia Britt Chole (40 Days of Decrease: A Different Kind of Hunger. A Different Kind of Fast.)
Many ask, "Shall we first acquire material success to fulfill our worldly obligations, and then seek God? Or should we have God first and then go after success?" By all means, God first. Never begin or end your day without communion with Him in deep meditation. We should remember that we could not perform any duties without the power borrowed from God. So it is to Him we owe our first allegiance. If you do your other duties but forget God, He doesn't like that at all. The ideal is to perform all duties with the sole desire to please God.
Paramahansa Yogananda (Journey to Self-Realization (Collected Talks and Essays, Vol 3))
Unfortunately, many of us start that journey with enthusiasm but fail to sustain it. Our faith goes on cruise control as we start seeking comfort and not a calling. It doesn’t help that too often in our churches we pigeonhole Jesus safely behind the altar rails and communion tables of our tame religious traditions, teaching people to revere Jesus instead of following Jesus sacrificially every day in the trenches of life. Jesus’ call is not to revere; his call is to follow. When we do so, reverence will naturally result.
Mike Slaughter (Renegade Gospel: The Rebel Jesus)
Often when I teach on prayer, people want to know how long I pray each day. The answer I want to give is that I have no idea, not because I haven't been praying but because I have. I want communion with Christ to be such an integral part of my daily existence that I could never assign a measure ment to it. I want prayer to be life and life to be prayer, day in and day out.
Tricia McCary Rhodes
In the Eucharist we can find all the dimensions of communion: God communicates himself to us, we enter into communion with him, the participants of the sacrament enter into communion with one another, and creation as a whole enters through man into communion with God. All this takes place in Christ and the Spirit, who brings the last days into history and offers to the world a foretaste of the Kingdom.
John D. Zizioulas (Communion and Otherness: Further Studies in Personhood and the Church)
Every day, I crave loving communion with this planet. I speak with her. I listen to her. I touch her. I soften against her touch. I celebrate her. I hand over my visions and my dreams, and I trust in hers. I pray for balance and for healing; for her; for us—one and the same.
Carrie Ciula (The Little Book of Big Life Change: A Nine-Part Journey to Feeling Whole)
From my insufficiency to my perfection, and from my deviation to my equilibrium From my sublimity to my beauty, and from my splendor to my majesty From my scattering to my gathering, and from my rejection to my communion From my baseness to my preciousness, and from my stones to my pearls From my rising to my setting, and from my days to my nights From my luminosity to my darkness, and from my guidance to my straying From my perigee to my apogee, and from the base of my lance to its tip From my waxing to my waning, and from the void of my moon to its crescent From my pursuit to my flight, and from my steed to my gazelle From my breeze to my boughs, and from my boughs to my shade From my shade to my delight, and from my delight to my torment From my torment to my likeness, and from my likeness to my impossibility From my impossibility to my validity, and from my validity to my deficiency. I am no one in existence but myself,
Ibn Arabi (The Universal Tree and the Four Birds)
Every man and woman who has received the truth should live in such a manner before the Lord as to have the light of the Holy Spirit constantly beaming upon their minds. They should be in close communion through that Holy Spirit, with their God, so that if they had to stand alone in the midst of a gainsaying world they should be living witness to the truth of the Gospel and the power of God manifested in these days...having the consciousness that God was directing them in all their ways.
George Q. Cannon (Gospel Truth; Discourses And Writings Of President George Q. Cannon)
I suppose we all have our little hiding-hole if the truth was known, but as small as it is, the whole world is in it, and bit by bit grows on us again till the day You find us out.
Frank O'Connor (Collected Stories)
You might have noticed that I have been sending you used books. I have done this not to save money, but to make a point which is that a used book, unlike a used car, hasn't lost any of its initial value. A good story rolls of the lot into the hands of its new reader as smoothly as the day it was written. And there's another reason for these used paperbacks that never cost much even when new; I like the idea of holding a book that someone else has held, of eyes running over lines that have already seen the light of other eyes. That, in one image, is the community of readers, is the communion of literature.
Yann Martel (What is Stephen Harper Reading?: Yann Martel's Recommended Reading for a Prime Minister and Book Lovers of All Stripes)
To him who in the love of Nature holds Communion with her visible forms, she speaks A various language; for his gayer hours She has a voice of gladness, and a smile And eloquence of beauty, and she glides Into his darker musings, with a mild And healing sympathy, that steals away Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts Of the last bitter hour come like a blight Over thy spirit, and sad images Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall, And breathless darkness, and the narrow house, Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart;— Go forth, under the open sky, and list To Nature’s teachings, while from all around— Earth and her waters, and the depths of air— Comes a still voice— Yet a few days, and thee The all-beholding sun shall see no more In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground, Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears, Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again, And, lost each human trace, surrendering up Thine individual being, shalt thou go To mix for ever with the elements, To be a brother to the insensible rock And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould. Yet not to thine eternal resting-place Shalt thou retire alone, nor couldst thou wish Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down With patriarchs of the infant world—with kings, The powerful of the earth—the wise, the good, Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past, All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills Rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun,—the vales Stretching in pensive quietness between; The venerable woods—rivers that move In majesty, and the complaining brooks That make the meadows green; and, poured round all, Old Ocean’s gray and melancholy waste,— Are but the solemn decorations all Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun, The planets, all the infinite host of heaven, Are shining on the sad abodes of death, Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread The globe are but a handful to the tribes That slumber in its bosom.—Take the wings Of morning, pierce the Barcan wilderness, Or lose thyself in the continuous woods Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound, Save his own dashings—yet the dead are there: And millions in those solitudes, since first The flight of years began, have laid them down In their last sleep—the dead reign there alone. So shalt thou rest, and what if thou withdraw In silence from the living, and no friend Take note of thy departure? All that breathe Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care Plod on, and each one as before will chase His favorite phantom; yet all these shall leave Their mirth and their employments, and shall come And make their bed with thee. As the long train Of ages glide away, the sons of men, The youth in life’s green spring, and he who goes In the full strength of years, matron and maid, The speechless babe, and the gray-headed man— Shall one by one be gathered to thy side, By those, who in their turn shall follow them. So live, that when thy summons comes to join The innumerable caravan, which moves To that mysterious realm, where each shall take His chamber in the silent halls of death, Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night, Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave, Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.
William Cullen Bryant (Thanatopsis)
You know that feeling of invincibility you sometimes get, especially when young and testing yourself - well that could be because actually know deep down that we are indeed eternal. We come into this world to live a life, to experience it, from somewhere else, some other plane, but we are programmed by all around us to deny or forget this - until one day we may remember again. That feeling of blissful reconnection with our source can be invoked through nature, beautiful writing or art or music, any detailed craft or work of discovery or personal dedication, meditation or other mentally balancing practice, or even through religious experience if there is a pure communion (not a pretence of it). But we should not yearn to return too soon, we should accept that we have come here for the duration of each life, and revel in the chance to learn and grow on this splendid planet. We can draw a deep sense of being-ness. peace, and love from this connection, which will sustain us through any trial. Once nurtured, this becomes stronger than any other connection, so of course our relationships here are most joyful when they allow us the personal freedom to spend time developing and celebrating that connection. Our deepest friendships form with those we can share such time and experiences with - discussing, meditating, immersing ourselves in nature, or creating our music, art, written or other works. Our journeys here are voyages of discovery, opening out the wonders within and all around. What better companions could we have than those who are able to fully share in such delights with us?
Jay Woodman
The slow stone metamorphoses filled him with longing—longing for what? Simplicity? Was simplicity the true nature of homegoing? The simple harmonies, earth order and abundance. In this churchyard in a woodland meadow at the end of a white road, he missed what he had never known, the peace of living one day then another in communion with others of one’s blood and at the end, at the close of one’s works and days, to draw that last breath and come to rest in earth where one’s bones belonged.
Peter Matthiessen (Shadow Country)
I am just like you. My immediate response to most situations is with reactions of attachment, defensiveness, judgment, control, and analysis. I am better at calculating than contemplating. Let’s admit that we all start there. The False Self seems to have the “first gaze” at almost everything. The first gaze is seldom compassionate. It is too busy weighing and feeling itself: “How will this affect me?” or “How can I get back in control of this situation?” This leads us to an implosion, a self-preoccupation that cannot enter into communion with the other or the moment. In other words, we first feel our feelings before we can relate to the situation and emotion of the other. Only after God has taught us how to live “undefended,” can we immediately stand with and for the other, and in the present moment. It takes lots of practice. On my better days, when I am “open, undefended, and immediately present,” as Gerald May says, I can sometimes begin with a contemplative mind and heart. Often I can get there later and even end there, but it is usually a second gaze. The True Self seems to always be ridden and blinded by the defensive needs of the False Self. It is an hour-by-hour battle, at least for me. I can see why all spiritual traditions insist on daily prayer, in fact, morning, midday, evening, and before we go to bed, too! Otherwise, I can assume that I am back in the cruise control of small and personal self-interest, the pitiable and fragile “Richard self.
Richard Rohr (Radical Grace: Daily Meditations by Richard Rohr)
Sabbath was not a burden for him, any more than it was a private day off that he could take or leave. Sabbath was who he was. It was his stake in the ongoing life of his community, the one set day each week when he entered into communion with God and his neighbor.
Barbara Brown Taylor (Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith)
Langdon feigned a sad sigh. "Too bad. If that's too freaky for you, then I know you'll never want to join my cult." Silence settled over the room. The student from the Women's Center looked uneasy. "You're in a cult?" Langdon nodded and lowered his voice to a conspiratorial whisper. "Don't tell anyone, but on the pagan day of the sun god Ra, I kneel at the foot of an ancient instrument of torture and consume ritualistic symbols of blood and flesh." The class looked horrified. Langdon shrugged. "And if any of you care to join me, come to the Harvard chapel on Sunday, kneel beneath the crucifix, and take Holy Communion." The classroom remained silent. Langdon winked. "Open your minds, my friends. We all fear what we do not understand.
Dan Brown (The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3))
Now if BECOMING history is the particularity of the Son in the economy, what is the contribution of the Spirit? Well, precisely the opposite: it is to liberate the Son and the economy from the bondage of history. If the Son dies on the cross, thus succumbing to the bondage of historical existence, it is the Spirit that raises him from the dead. The Spirit is the BEYOND history, and when he acts in history he does so in order to bring into history the last days, the ESCHATON. Hence the first fundamental particularity of Pneumatology is its eschatological character. The Spirit makes of Christ an eschatological being, the 'last Adam.
John D. Zizioulas (Being as Communion: Studies in Personhood and the Church)
Here on the island I find I can sit with a friend without talking, sharing the day's last sliver of pale green light on the horizon, or the whorls in a small white shell, or the dark scar left in a dazzling night sky by a shooting star. Then communication becomes communion and one is nourished as one never is by words.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
The idea of Pope St. Pius X was the same when he granted a plenary indulgence at the hour of death to those who say at least after one Holy Communion the following prayer: "Eternal Father, from this day forward, I accept with a joyful and resigned heart the death it will please You to send me, with all its pains and sufferings.
Paul O'Sullivan (How to Avoid Purgatory)
Khaderbhai once said that if we envy someone for all the right reasons, we’re half way to wisdom. I hope he wasn’t right about that. I hope good envy takes you further than that, because a lifetime has passed since that day at the wire, and I still envy Anand’s calm communion with fate, and I long for it with all my flawed and striving heart.
Gregory David Roberts (Shantaram)
Let the Christian world forget or depart from this true gospel salvation; let anything else be trusted but the cross of Christ and the Spirit of Christ; and then, though churches and preachers and prayers and sacraments are everywhere in plenty, nothing can come of them but a Christian kingdom of pagan vices, along with a mouth-professed belief in the Apostles’ Creed and the communion of saints. To this sad truth all Christendom both at home and abroad bears full witness. Who need be told that no corruption or depravity of human nature, no kind of pride, wrath, envy, malice, and self-love; no sort of hypocrisy, falseness, cursing, gossip, perjury, and cheating; no wantonness of lust in every kind of debauchery, foolish jesting, and worldly entertainment, is any less common all over Christendom, both popish and Protestant, than towns and villages. What vanity, then, to count progress in terms of numbers of new and lofty cathedrals, chapels, sanctuaries, mission stations, and multiplied new membership lists, when there is no change in this undeniable departure of men’s hearts from the living God. Yea, let the whole world be converted to Christianity of this kind, and let every citizen be a member of some Protestant or Catholic church and mouth the creed every Lord’s day; and no more would have been accomplished toward bringing the kingdom of God among men than if they had all joined this or that philosophical society or social fraternity.
William Law (The Power of the Spirit)
Against the prevailing mindset of our day—you are what you make of yourself—union with Christ tells you that you can discover your real self only in relation to the One who made you. You are not, you cannot be, self-made. Union with Christ tells you that you can only understand who you are in communion with God and others. And that is a wildly countercultural claim. A
Rankin Wilbourne (Union with Christ: The Way to Know and Enjoy God)
People with responsibility are in danger of throwing up barriers between themselves and those for whom they are responsible. . . . They keep their distance because they are insecure. . . . It is important for people in authority to reveal themselves as they are and to share their difficulties and weaknesses. If they try to hide these, one day people will see their faults and become angry. After having put their leaders on a pedestal, they may throw them into the pit. Leaders have to be seen as fallible and human, but at the same time as trusting and trying to grow. If leaders are to be true servants of communion, they must themselves be in communion with other people as a person, not as a leader. They must set the example of sharing.
Jean Vanier (Community And Growth)
Bring thy lust to the gospel, not for relief, but for further conviction of its guilt; look on Him whom thou hast pierced, and be in bitterness. Say to thy soul, “What have I done? What love, what mercy what blood, what grace have I despised and trampled on! Is this the return I make to the Father for his love, to the Son for his blood, to the Holy Ghost for his grace? Do I thus requite the Lord? Have I defiled the heart that Christ died to wash, that the blessed Spirit has chosen to dwell in? And can I keep myself out of the dust? What can I say to the dear Lord Jesus? How shall I hold up my head with any boldness before him? Do I account communion with him of so little value, that for this vile lust’s sake I have scarce left him any room in my heart? How shall I escape if I neglect so great a salvation? In the meantime, what shall I say to the Lord? Love, mercy, grace, goodness, peace, joy, consolation… I have despised them all and esteemed them as a thing of nought, that I might harbor a lust in my heart. Have I obtained a view of God’s fatherly countenance, that I might behold his face and provoke him to his face? Was my soul washed, that room might be made for new defilements? Shall I endeavor to disappoint the end of the death of Christ? Shall I daily grieve that Spirit whereby I am sealed to the day of redemption?” Entertain thy conscience daily with this treaty. See if it can stand before this aggravation of its guilt. If this make it not sink in some measure and melt, I fear thy case is dangerous.
John Owen
Deep in our hearts there is a call to live in communion with others, a call to love, to create, to risk. But there is also that radical feeling of our poverty when faced with human misery. I am afraid to give myself. I have constructed a world of security around me...so many so-called interests which keep me from communing with others...I want to, but cannot. So many things seem to prevent me from loving and I feel them in my inmost being...so many defences and fears. I risk losing hope. I risk entering into a world of sadness and I begin to doubt myself. I have doubts about others. I doubt the value of my presence. I doubt everything. This is our human condition. We want so much but we feel incapable. We believe in love but where is it? There are so many obstacles to break through within ourselves in order to become free and to become present to others; to their misery and to their person. Our hope is to become freer each day in order to accept others, to be fully present to them. That is our hope. It is only in that way we will be able to give life. Come, Holy Spirit, give us hearts of peace and warmth which can serve as a refuge for those who suffer. Come, help us to be present one to another.
Jean Vanier (Eruption to Hope)
Like the Church the individual Christian will not be able to escape the deep ambiguities of this-wordly existence whether in its cultural, social, political or other aspects, and he too will inevitably be a mixture of good and evil, with a compromised life, so that he can only live eschatologically in the judgment and mercy of God, putting off the old man and putting on Christ anew each day, always aware that even when he has done all that it is his duty to do he remains an unprofitable servant, but summoned to look away from himself to Christ, remembering that he is dead through the cross of Christ but alive and risen in Him. His true being is hid with Christ in God. The whole focus of his vision and the whole perspective of his life in Christ’s name will be directed to the unveiling of that reality of his new being at the parousia, but meantime he lives day by day out of the Word and Sacraments. As one baptized into Christ he is told by God’s Word that his sins are already forgiven and forgotten by God, that he has been justified once for all, and that he does not belong to himself but to Christ who loved him and gave Himself for him. As one summoned to the Holy Table he is commanded by the Word of God to live only in such a way that he feeds upon Christ, not in such a way that he feeds upon his own activities or lives out of his own capital of alleged spirituality. He lives from week to week, by drawing his life and strength from the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper, nourished by the body and blood of Christ, and in the strength of that communion he must live and work until Christ comes again. As often as he partakes of the Eucharist he partakes of the self-consecration of Jesus Christ who sanctified Himself for our sakes that we might be sanctified in reality and be presented to the Father as those whom He has redeemed and perfected (or consecrated) together with Himself in one. Here He is called to lift up his heart to the ascended Lord, and to look forward to the day when the full reality of his new being in Christ will be unveiled, making Scripture and Sacrament no longer necessary.
Thomas F. Torrance (Space, Time, And Resurrection)
On the days when I am hungry—for community, for peace, for belief—I remember what it was like to feed people Jesus, and for people to feed Jesus to me. And those pieces of memory multiply, like the bread that fed the five thousand, spilling out of their baskets and filling every hollow space. Communion doesn’t answer every question, nor does it keep my stomach from rumbling from time to time, but I have found that it is enough.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
My mother gave him the final blessing in a letter in October: 'People like him mean a lot,' she told me, 'because he's honest and has a good heart, and last Sunday he received communion on his knees and helped with the mass in Latin.' In those days it wasn't permitted to receive communion standing and everything was in Latin, but my mother is accustomed to noting that kind of superfluous detail when she wants to get to the heart of the matter.
Gabriel García Márquez (Chronicle of a Death Foretold)
There is one story about letters. A perpetually cheerful Frog pays a visit to Toad but finds Toad glum, sitting on his front porch. "This is my sad time of day," says Toad, "when I wait for the mail to come." "Why is that?" says Frog. "No one has ever sent me a letter. My mailbox is always empty. That is why waiting for the mail is a sad time for me." Then Frog and Toad sit "on the porch, feeling sad together." Frog rescues the situation by running home, writing a letter to Toad, and sending it literally by snail mail. The little snail brings it four days later. Even though Toad saw Frog every day, he longed for the strangeness, the otherness of a letter, for something to come from out there and address him, "Dear Toad." Is that the thrill I feel finding a letter from you in my box? The address of a friend is made into a physical fact and every letter an artifact of the otherwise invisible communion of friendship.
Amy Alznauer (Love and Salt: A Spiritual Friendship Shared in Letters)
There is no change in His love; He is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. To us He promises, "I will never leave thee, never fail thee, nor forsake thee"; and His earnest exhortation and command is, "Abide in Me, and I in you.
James Hudson Taylor (Union And Communion or Thoughts on the Song of Solomon)
S., a clever and truthful man, once told me the story of how he ceased to believe. On a hunting expedition, when he was already twenty-six, he once, at the place where they put up for the night, knelt down in the evening to pray -- a habit retained from childhood. His elder brother, who was at the hunt with him, was lying on some hay and watching him. When S. had finished and was settling down for the night, his brother said to him: 'So you still do that?' They said nothing more to one another. But from that day S. ceased to say his prayers or go to church. And now he has not prayed, received communion, or gone to church, for thirty years. And this not because he knows his brother's convictions and has joined him in them, nor because he has decided anything in his own soul, but simply because the word spoken by his brother was like the push of a finger on a wall that was ready to fall by its own weight. The word only showed that where he thought there was faith, in reality there had long been an empty space, and that therefore the utterance of words and the making of signs of the cross and genuflections while praying were quite senseless actions. Becoming conscious of their senselessness he could not continue them.
Leo Tolstoy (A Confession)
Do you remember the other day when you told me about you and Muck receiving communion up in the woods in the snow in Bastogne, and what you said to Muck—that if you died, you would die in a state of grace?" He said to me, 'Babe, I never forgot you telling me that. So when we shot that scene with Father Maloney giving communion, I put that in myself. I turned to the character Babe, and said, 'Well Heffron, if we die, we'll die in a state of grace.' Richard Speight did that on his own. That really affected me.
Edward Heffron (Brothers In Battle, Best of Friends)
There is no pain - just travel. On her knees, she stays still as a supplicant ready for communion. It is very quiet. All of a sudden there is no hurry. There will be time for everything. For the breezes that blow and for the rainwater drying in the gutters, for Maury to find a place of safety in the world, for Malcolm to come back from the dead and ask her about birds and jets. For the big things too, things like beauty and vengeance and honor and righteousness and the grace of God and the slow spilling of the earth from day to night and back to day again. It is spread out before her, compressed into one single moment. She will be able to see it all -- if she can keep her sleepy eyes open. It's like a dream where she is. Like a dream where you find yourself underwater and you are panicked for a moment until you realize you no longer need to breathe, and you can stay under the surface forever. She feels her body falling sideways to the ground. It happens slow - and she expects a crash that never comes because her mind is jumping and it doesn't know which way is up anymore, like the moon above her and the fish below her and her in between floating, like on the surface of the river, floating between sea and sky, the world all skin, all meniscus, and she a part of it too. Moses Todd told her if you lean over the rail at Niagara Falls it takes your breath away, like turning yourself inside out -- and Lee the hunter told her that one time people used to stuff themselves in barrels and ride over the edge. And she is there too, floating out over the edge of the falls, the roar of the water so deafening it's like hearing nothing at all, like pillows in your ears, and the water exactly the temperature of your skin, like you are falling and the water is falling, and the water is just more of you, like everything is just more of you, just different configurations of the things that make you up. She is there, and she's sailing out and down over the falls, down and down, and it takes a long time because the falls are one of God's great mysteries and so high they are higher than any building, and so she is held there, spinning in the air, her eyes closed because she's spinning on the inside too, down and down. She wonders if she will ever hit the bottom, wonders will the splash ever come. Maybe not - because God is a slick god, and he knows things about infinities. Infinities are warm places that never end. And they aren't about good and evil, they're just peaceful-like and calm, and they're where all travelers go eventually, and they are round everywhere you look because you can't have any edges in infinities. And also they make forever seem like an okay thing.
Alden Bell (The Reapers are the Angels (Reapers, #1))
An acquaintanceship with the literature of the world may be won by any person who will devote half an hour a day to the careful reading of the best books. The habit of reading good books is one that gives great comfort in all the stages and among all the vicissitudes of life. The man who has learned to love good reading is never alone. His friends are the great ones of human history, and to them he may always go for stimulating and helpful communion. --GQ 71 (GQ is A Guide for Quorums of the Melchizedek Priesthood, 3rd Edition, 1930)
John A. Widtsoe (Priesthood and Church Government)
The discovery of this strange society was a curiously refreshing thing; to realize that there were ten new trades in the world was like looking at the first ship or the first plough. It made a man feel what he should feel, that he was still in the childhood of the world. That I should have come at last upon so singular a body was, I may say without vanity, not altogether singular, for I have a mania for belonging to as many societies as possible: I may be said to collect clubs, and I have accumulated a vast and fantastic variety of specimens ever since, in my audacious youth, I collected the Athenaeum. At some future day, perhaps, I may tell tales of some of the other bodies to which I have belonged. I will recount the doing's of the Dead Man's Shoes Society (that superficially immoral, but darkly justifiable communion); I will explain the curious origin of the Cat and Christian, the name of which has been so shamefully misinterpreted; and the world shall know at last why the Institute of Typewriters coalesced with the Red Tulip League. Of the Ten Teacups, of course I dare not say a word.
G.K. Chesterton (The Club of Queer Trades)
Nothing can make up for the absence of someone whom we love, and it would be wrong to try to find a substitute; we must simply hold out and see it through. That sounds very hard at first, but at the same time it is a great consolation, for the gap, as long as it remains unfilled, preserves the bonds between us. It is nonsense to say that God fills the gap; God does not fill it, but on the contrary, God keeps it empty and so helps us keep alive our former communion with each other, even at the cost of pain. . . . The dearer and richer our memories, the more difficult the separation. But gratitude changes the pangs of memory into a tranquil joy. The beauties of the past are borne, not as a thorn in the flesh, but as a precious gift in themselves. We must take care not to wallow in our memories or to hand ourselves over to them, just as we do not gaze all the time at a valuable present, but only at special times, and apart from these keep it simply as a hidden treasure that is ours for certain. In this way the past gives us lasting joy and strength. —Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
Anonymous (The NRSV Daily Bible: Read, Meditate, and Pray Through the Entire Bible in 365 Days)
At the time, the doors to the cathedral were kept locked because the federal government had ordered all gathering places to remain closed: theaters, movie houses, bars, and of course, churches. For a while, poor Father Pedro had defied the order, saying that nobody had the right to close the House of the Lord, much less refuse Communion to believers, even if fewer and fewer attended. Sick but soldiering on, he had died suddenly three days ago while reciting the Credo in the first mass of the day. The handful of churchgoers had run out without even crossing themselves.
Sofía Segovia (The Murmur of Bees)
God showed to man that compliance with His dictates would ever mean eternal bliss and joy unspeakable and life and knowledge forevermore, but that ceasing to comply would mean loss of life with God and eternal death. That was in the world’s bright morning when the morning stars sang together and all creation leaped in joy, but the wild, wild desolation of sin, disobedience, pride, and selfish sinfulness entered and drove a great gulf between God’s children and Himself. But, as ever, love found a way. God came to us and for us, and we this day with chastened hearts, quivering lips, and glistening eyes, yet with love deep and strong in our hearts, say, afresh with deep adoration, God is love. If God exhibits such glorious love in His nature, what shall we say of the glories of the dispensation of His grace? That God would have walked this earth had sin never entered is very likely, yet sin did not refrain Him from graciously walking and revealing Himself in communion with men. No, still He came. But men were so blinded by sin that they saw Him not, they knew Him not, while He hewed a way back through the hard face of sin to the heavenly shores.
Oswald Chambers (The Love of God: An Intimate Look at the Father-Heart of God)
Once more, one who lives in the spirit of prayer will spend much time in retired and intimate communion with God. It is by such a deliberate engagement of prayer that the fresh springs of devotion which flow through the day are fed. For, although communion with God is the life-energy of the renewed nature, our souls "cleave to the dust" and devotion tends to grow formal- it becomes emptied of its spiritual content, and exhausts itself in outward acts. The Master reminds us of this grave peril, and informs us that the true defense against insincerity in our approach to God lies in the diligent exercise of private prayer.
David Macintyre
After a while in a very gentle voice he asked, ‘Would you like to leave now? We’ll be better off in the boat.’ ‘All right my pet,’ she said. Awash with forgiveness and with tears still in his eyes he held her two hands tightly and helped her on board. Basking in the warmth of the afternoon they rowed upstream again past the willows and the grass-covered banks. When they reached Le Grillon once more it was not yet six, so, leaving their skiff, they set off on foot towards Bezons across the meadows and past the high poplars bordering the banks. The wide hayfields waiting to be harvested were full of flowers. The sinking sun cast a mantle of russet light over all and in the gentle warmth of the day’s end the fragrance of the grass wafted in on them mingling with the damp smells of the river and filling the air with easy languor and an atmosphere of blessed well-being. He felt soft and unresistant, in communion with the calm splendour of the evening and with the vague, mysterious thrill of life itself. He felt in tune with the all-embracing poetry of the moment in which plants and all that surrounded him revealed themselves to his senses at this lovely restful and reflective time of day. He was sensitive to it all but she appeared totally unaffected. They were walking side by side when suddenly, bored by the silence, she began to sing.
Guy de Maupassant (Femme Fatale)
himself. “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Maria, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He arose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.
Erec Stebbins (Extraordinary Retribution (INTEL 1, #2))
Lord, you remained in constant communion with God in prayer. Spending time with God is not something I am in the habit of doing every day. My life is too busy. When I list all of the things I need to do, prayer is not at the top of the list. I make time to shop, to work out, to go out to eat, to be with friends and to watch my favorite television program. I know it is impossible to be a loving, kind, forgiving and merciful person without a strong prayer life. Lord, slow me down so that I will take time to be with you in prayer. Help me to experience the joy and peace that come from a closer relationship with you. Nourish me with your daily bread of love and compassion. Amen. Read
Warren J. Savage (Pope Francis: Living Lent with Mercy: Encouragement and Daily Prayers)
I read it in a book, one line, and carry it around with me for days, a new map: “The literal translation for the words ‘pray always’ is ‘come to rest.’” . . . Prayer is the essence of rest, the essence of theology, the essence of idol destruction, the essence of communion. We came from His breath and we’re most our real selves when our breath is offered back to Him.6
Jessica N. Turner (The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You)
Someone once asked the celebrated biologist, Sir Frederick Grant Banting, why he cared so much about daily Communion. “Have you ever reflected,” he answered, “what would happen if the dew did not fall every night? No plant would develop. The grass and flowers could not survive the evaporations and the dryness that the day’s heat brings in one way or another. Their cycle of energies, their natural renewal, the balance of their lymphatic fluids, the very life of plants requires this dew….” After a pause, he continued: “Now my soul is like a little plant. It is something rather frail that the winds and heat do battle with every day. So it is necessary that every morning I go get my fresh stock of spiritual dew, by going to Holy Communion.
Stefano M. Manelli (Jesus Our Eucharistic Love: Eucharistic Life Exemplified by the Saints)
When it was time for me to leave, I thanked Mrs. Odom, climbed on Lenny’s bike, and set off for home. As I pedaled up the road, I turned and glanced back at the Odoms’ house. I remembered that first day on the school bus when I had seen it and thought it was so sad-looking. Then I pictured all those boys in that little kitchen getting loved on by their mama and that house didn’t look one bit sad anymore.
Barbara O'Connor (Wish)
There is much in our Lord's pantry that will satisfy his children, and much wine in his cellar that will quench all their thirst. Hunger for him until he fills you. He is pleased with the importunity of hungry souls. If he delays, do not go away, but fall a-swoon at his feet. Every day we may see some new thing in Christ. His love has neither brim nor bottom. How blessed are we to enjoy this invaluable treasure, the love of Christ; or rather allow ourselves to be mastered and subdued in his love, so that Christ is our all, and all other things are nothing. O that we might be ready for the time our Lord's wind and tide call for us! There are infinite plies in his love that the saint will never be able to unfold. I urge upon you a nearer and growing communion with Christ. There are curtains to be drawn back in Christ that we have never seen. There are new foldings of love in him. Dig deep, sweat, labour, and take pains for him, and set by as much time in the day for him as you can; he will be won with labour. Live on Christ's love. Christ's love is so kingly, that it will not wait until tomorrow, it must have a throne all alone in your soul. It is our folly to divide our narrow and little love. It is best to give it all to Christ. Lay no more on the earthly, than it can carry. Lay your soul and your weights upon God; make him your only and best-beloved. Your errand in this life is to make sure an eternity of glory for your soul, and to match your soul with Christ. Your love, if it could be more than all the love of angels in one, would be Christ's due. Look up to him and love him. O, love and live! My counsel is, that you come out and leave the multitude, and let Christ have your company. Let those who love this present world have it, but Christ is a more worthy and noble portion; blessed are those who have him.
Samuel Rutherford
Then a priestess said, “Speak to us of Prayer.” And he answered, saying: You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might pray also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance. For what is prayer but the expansion of your self into the living ether? And if it is for your comfort to pour your darkness into space, it is also for your delight to pour forth the dawning of your heart. And if you cannot but weep when your soul summons you to prayer, she should spur you again and yet again, though weeping, until you shall come laughing. When you pray you rise to meet in the air those who are praying at that very hour, and whom save in prayer you may not meet. Therefore let your visit to that temple invisible be for naught but ecstasy and sweet communion. For if you should enter the temple for no other purpose than asking you shall not receive: And if you should enter into it to humble yourself you shall not be lifted: Or even if you should enter into it to beg for the good of others you shall not be heard. It is enough that you enter the temple invisible. I cannot teach you how to pray in words. God listens not to your words save when He Himself utters them through your lips. And I cannot teach you the prayer of the seas and the forests and the mountains. But you who are born of the mountains and the forests and the seas can find their prayer in your heart, And if you but listen in the stillness of the night you shall hear them saying in silence: “Our God, who art our winged self, it is thy will in us that willeth. “It is thy desire in us that desireth. “It is thy urge in us that would turn our nights, which are thine, into days, which are thine also. “We cannot ask thee for aught, for thou knowest our needs before they are born in us: “Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all.
Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
When we try to express communion with God in words, we rapidly reach the end of our capacities. But in the depths of our being Christ is praying for more than we imagine. Compared to the immensity of that hidden prayer of Christ in us, our explicit praying dwindles to almost nothing. That is why silence is so essential in discovery the heart of prayer. Although God never stops trying to communicate with us, God never stops trying to communicate with us, God never wants to impose anything on us. Often God's voice comes in a whisper, in a breath of silence. Remaining in silence in God's presence, open to the Spirit, is already prayer. It is not a matter of trying to obtain inner silence at all costs by following some method that creates a kind of emptiness within. The important thing is a childlike attitude of trust by which we allow Christ to pray within us silently, and then one day, we will discover that the depths of our being ar inhabited by a Presence.
Taizé (Songs and Prayers from Taize: Accompaniment Edition for Cantor & Instruments)
April 1 MORNING “Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth.” — Song of Solomon 1:2 FOR several days we have been dwelling upon the Saviour’s passion, and for some little time to come we shall linger there. In beginning a new month, let us seek the same desires after our Lord as those which glowed in the heart of the elect spouse. See how she leaps at once to Him; there are no prefatory words; she does not even mention His name; she is in the heart of her theme at once, for she speaks of Him who was the only Him in the world to her. How bold is her love! it was much condescension which permitted the weeping penitent to anoint His feet with spikenard — it was rich love which allowed the gentle Mary to sit at His feet and learn of Him — but here, love, strong, fervent love, aspires to higher tokens of regard, and closer signs of fellowship. Esther trembled in the presence of Ahasuerus, but the spouse in joyful liberty of perfect love knows no fear. If we have received the same free spirit, we also may ask the like. By kisses we suppose to be intended those varied manifestations of affection by which the believer is made to enjoy the love of Jesus. The kiss of reconciliation we enjoyed at our conversion, and it was sweet as honey dropping from the comb. The kiss of acceptance is still warm on our brow, as we know that He hath accepted our persons and our works through rich grace. The kiss of daily, present communion, is that which we pant after to be repeated day after day, till it is changed into the kiss of reception, which removes the soul from earth, and the kiss of consummation which fills it with the joy of heaven. Faith is our walk, but fellowship sensibly felt is our rest. Faith is the road, but communion with Jesus is the well from which the pilgrim drinks. O lover of our souls, be not strange to us; let the lips of Thy blessing meet the lips of our asking; let the lips of Thy fulness touch the lips of our need, and straightway the kiss will be effected.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening-Classic KJV Edition)
Shorter prayers in which we make requests to God—the kind many of us are most familiar with—go undetected by a brain scan. This doesn’t mean they don’t work or they are not valuable. But it may encourage you toward deeper, longer prayer when you learn that twelve minutes of attentive and focused prayer every day for eight weeks changes the brain significantly enough to be measured in a brain scan.1 Not only that, but it strengthens areas of the brain involved in social interaction, increasing our sense of compassion and making us more sensitive to other people. It also reduces stress, bringing another measurable physical effect—lower blood pressure. Prayer in this deeper, more attentive way also strengthens the part of the brain that helps us override our emotional and irrational urges. Prayer that seeks communion with God actually makes us more thoughtful and rational, enhances our sense of peace and well-being, and makes us more compassionate and responsive to the needs of other people.
Rob Moll (What Your Body Knows About God: How We Are Designed to Connect, Serve and Thrive)
Men did care enough to struggle with our demands. And some cared enough to convert to feminist thinking and to change. But only a very, very few loved us – loved us all the way. And that meant respecting our sexual rights. To this day I believe that feminist debate about love and sexuality ended precisely because straight women did not want to face the reality that it was highly unlikely in patriarchal society that a majority of men would wholeheartedly embrace women’s right to say no in the bedroom. Since the vast majority of heterosexual women, even those involved in radical feminist movement, were not willing to say no when they did not want to perform sexually for the fear of upsetting or alienating their mate, no significant group of men ever had to rise to the occasion. While it became more acceptable to say no now and then, it was not acceptable to say no for any significant amount of time. An individual woman in a primary relationship with a man could not say no, because she feared there was always another woman in the background who could take her place, a woman who would never say no.
bell hooks (Communion: The Female Search for Love)
There is a scene I love where a brother and sister meet after many years and little communication. They meet in an arranged café in mid-afternoon. The light is dying and the city outside rumbles softly in the complacent time before rush hour. The café is unexceptional and quiet. She comes first, sits at the far end, a table facing the door, nervous in her buttoned raincoat. The waiter is an older man. He leaves her be. The brother enters late with the look but not the words of apology. He kisses her cheek. They sit and the old man brings them teas they do not want, two pots, strong for him weak for her. It is long ago since they said each other’s names aloud, and saying them now has the extraordinary shyness of encounter I imagine on the Last Day. At first there is the full array of human awkwardness. But here is the thing: almost in an instant their old selves are immediately present. The years and the changes are nothing. They need few words. They recognise each other in each other, and even in silence the familiarity is powerfully consoling, because despite time and difference there remains that deep-river current, that kind of maybe communion that only exists within people joined in the word family. So now what washes up between them, foam-white and fortifying and quite unexpectedly, is love. I cannot remember what book it is in. But it’s in this one now.
Anonymous
Sacraments   I once met a man whom I’ll call Steve. He grew up in a nondenominational charismatic church. He was a highly motivated, highly talented individual. He was also a strong leader and an excellent communicator. Given his personality and gifting, it’s no surprise that he became the pastor of a successful independent church. His life seemed to be going great until the day he discovered that his wife was having an affair with one of his best friends. The situation got worse when his church fired him for not being able to control his family.   Unemployed, going through a divorce, and cut off from the community that had always surrounded him, a friend invited Steve to join him at an Anglican church. There he discovered the power of liturgy and the mystery of the communion table. Steve didn’t have the kind of spiritual life he had always relied on. Nothing about God made any sense to him. He couldn’t sing praise songs, he couldn’t read the Bible, he couldn’t even pray. But he could eat.   Steve’s mind needed answers. His heart needed to be comforted. His soul needed grace. Sermons weren’t giving him answers and praise music wasn’t comforting, but the body of Christ was feeding his inner self. Steve discovered that God was real to him when he ate and drank Holy Communion. Even though Steve was at the lowest point of his life, a time when he could do nothing to help himself, he was still able to receive the sacrament.
Thomas McKenzie (The Anglican Way: A Guidebook)
When you have self-love, you no longer live your life according to other people’s opinions. You don’t need other people to accept you or tell you how good you are, because you know what you are. With self-love, you aren’t afraid to share your love because your heart is completely open. Today can be the day when you experience the beauty of yourself. Today can be the day when you reconnect with your own spirit and express all the love in your heart. Focus your attention on what you are feeling in this moment. Feel the desire to be alive, the desire for love and joy, the desire to create something wonderful to share with others. The biggest mission you have is to make yourself happy, and to share your love, your joy, and your happiness.
Miguel Ruiz (Prayers: A Communion with Our Creator)
I believe creeds aren't worth the paper they are written on...But I still believe in God. I believe that if you look at my life, you'll only sometimes see what I believe. I believe that if we have two coats, we should give one away (though I don't do it). Today I don't believe in anything; tomorrow who knows. I sometimes believe in God- one who existed before time, beyond gender or fathom. Make of heaven and earth and ginger (all good things), whales, two-hundred-foot cliffs, cloud banks, shipwrecks, And in Jesus Christ, God's only Son our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost- how? Born of a fourteen-year-old, Mary, scared out of her wits. Was crucified, dead, and buried, and I used to believe in the penal substitution theory of atonement, but now I just see a violent death and struggle to see how violence can ever be redemptive... He descended into hell, or was hell all around him all the time? The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into safety of abstraction, away from having to feel this, from dealing with this, And sits, maybe sprawls, on the right hand of God the Father Almighty. I believe in me; I believe in the Spirit, Sophia, wisdom... The holy catholic (i.e., everybody) Church; The Communion of saints; does this mean me? LOVE The Forgiveness of sins (but I still feel shame); (don't you?) The Resurrection of the body. I believe in singing the body electric And the life everlasting, A life we find right here in our midst
Peter Rollins (The Idolatry of God: Breaking Our Addiction to Certainty and Satisfaction)
I believe creeds aren't worth the paper they are written on...But I still believe in God. I believe that if you look at my life, you'll only sometimes see what I believe. I believe that if we have two coats, we should give one away (though I don't do it). Today I don't believe in anything; tomorrow who knows. I sometimes believe in God- one who existed before time, beyond gender or fathom. Maker of heaven and earth and ginger (all good things), whales, two-hundred-foot cliffs, cloud banks, shipwrecks, And in Jesus Christ, God's only Son our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost- how? Born of a fourteen-year-old, Mary, scared out of her wits. Was crucified, dead, and buried, and I used to believe in the penal substitution theory of atonement, but now I just see a violent death and struggle to see how violence can ever be redemptive... He descended into hell, or was hell all around him all the time? The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into safety of abstraction, away from having to feel this, from dealing with this, And sits, maybe sprawls, on the right hand of God the Father Almighty. I believe in me; I believe in the Spirit, Sophia, wisdom... The holy catholic (i.e., everybody) Church; The Communion of saints; does this mean me? LOVE The Forgiveness of sins (but I still feel shame); (don't you?) The Resurrection of the body. I believe in singing the body electric And the life everlasting, A life we find right here in our midst
Peter Rollins (The Idolatry of God: Breaking Our Addiction to Certainty and Satisfaction)
If we are taught by God in affliction we are blessed. When God teaches, he applies his instruction to the heart. He commands light to shine out of darkness (2 Corinthians 4:6). The Holy Spirit brings divine truths in such a clear and convincing light that the soul sits down fully satisfied. The soul both sweetly and freely acquiesces in the revealed truths. When God teaches, the soul experiences truth as David (Psalm 119:71). Some only know notionally, but David knew by experience; he became more acquainted with the Word. He knew it more, loved it better, and was more transformed in the nature of it. Thus, Paul, “I know who I have believed” (2 Timothy 1:12) – “I have experienced his faithfulness and his all-sufficiency; I can trust my all with him. I am sure he will keep it safe to that day.” Those taught of God in affliction can speak experimentally, in one degree or another. They can speak of their communion with God (Psalm 23:4). The sweet singer of Israel had comfortable presence. Those taught of God can say: “As we have heard, so we have seen. I have experienced this word upon mine heart, and can set my seal that God is true.” God’s teaching is a powerful teaching. It conveys strength as well as light. Truth only understood needs to be put into action and practice. God’s teachings are sweet to the taste. David rolled them as sugar under his tongue, and received more sweetness than Samson from his honeycomb. Luther said he would not live in paradise without the Word, but with the Word he could live in hell itself. Teaching is sweet because it is suitable to the renewed man (Jeremiah 15:16).
Thomas Case
The Blue Sphere Exercise Seat yourself comfortably, and relax. Try not to think about anything. 1. Feel how good it is to be alive. Let your heart feel free and affectionate; let it rise above and beyond the details of the problems that may be bothering you. Begin to sing softly a song from your childhood. Imagine that your heart is growing, filling the room – and later your home – with an intense, shining blue light. 2. When you reach this point, begin to sense the presence of the saints (or other beings) in which you placed your faith when you were a child. Notice that they are present, arriving from everywhere, smiling and giving you faith and confidence. 3. Picture the saints approaching you, placing their hands on your head and wishing you love, peace, and communion with the world – the communion of the saints. 4. When this sensation becomes strong, feel that the blue light is a current that enters you and leaves you like a shining, flowing river. This blue light begins to spread through your house, then through your neighborhood, your city, and your country; it eventually envelops the world in an immense blue sphere. This is the manifestation of the great love that goes beyond the day-today struggle; it reinforces and invigorates, as it provides energy and peace. 5. Keep the light spread around the world for as long as possible. Your heart is open, spreading love. This phase of the exercise should last for a minimum of five minutes. 6. Come out of your trance, bit by bit, and return to reality. The saints will remain near. The blue light will continue to spread around the world. This ritual can and should be done with more than one person. When this is the case, the participants should hold hands while they do the exercise.
Paulo Coelho (The Pilgrimage)
Their stillness is the reason why these memories of former times do not awaken desire so much as sorrow—a vast, inapprehensible melancholy. Once we had such desires—but they return not. They are past, they belong to another world that is gone from us. In the barracks they called forth a rebellious, wild craving for their return; for then they were still bound to us, we belonged to them and they to us, even though we were already absent from them. They appeared in the soldiers’ songs which we sang as we marched between the glow of the dawn and the black silhouettes of the forests to drill on the moor, they were a powerful remembrance that was in us and came from us. But here in the trenches they are completely lost to us. They arise no more; we are dead and they stand remote on the horizon, they are a mysterious reflection, an apparition, that haunts us, that we fear and love without hope. They are strong and our desire is strong—but they are unattainable, and we know it. And even if these scenes of our youth were given back to us we would hardly know what to do. The tender, secret influence that passed from them into us could not rise again. We might be amongst them and move in them; we might remember and love them and be stirred by the sight of them. But it would be like gazing at the photograph of a dead comrade; those are his features, it is his face, and the days we spent together take on a mournful life in the memory; but the man himself it is not. We could never regain the old intimacy with those scenes. It was not any recognition of their beauty and their significance that attracted us, but the communion, the feeling of a comradeship with the things and events of our existence, which cut us off and made the world of our parents a thing incomprehensible to us—for then we surrendered ourselves to events and were lost in them, and the least little thing was enough to carry us down the stream of eternity.
Erich Maria Remarque (All Quiet on the Western Front)
I'm sorry this trip has been so difficult." "It could be worse.We could be enduring Father Morrell's celebration of the Eucharist." Bronwyn's jaw dropped and she turned in his arms to see if Ranulf was serious. He was. Ranulf framed her face in his hands and placed a soft kiss on her lips. He then stepped aside and pulled his tunic over his head. Seeing her still stunned, sea blue eyes follow his movements, he said, "Don't look at me that way. The aggravating priest confronted me when you were packing, telling me that I was damning all of our souls by taking you away on such an auspicious day." Bronwyn bit her bottom lip to keep from laughing. "Father Morrell's just concerned. He believes that all should be given Holy Communion at least once a year and-" "He has chosen the last Sunday of the Twelfthtide to be that day. I understand. But just as I told him, I've missed so many of what he considers critical celebrations in my lifetime, another won't matter. And since you've attended almost every one, forgoing one or two this year is just as trivial." Bronwyn took a deep breath, exhaled, and followed his lead, freeing the restraints of her bliaut. "I've married a heathen." Helping her pull the thick material over her head, Ranulf agreed, "I think that is exactly what Father Morrell concluded as well." Free from the bulky winter garment, Bronwyn felt a surge of arousal and twisted around to kiss him full on the lips. "Then maybe I'll just have to reform you." "Sounds tempting," Ranulf murmured against her lips, "but what if it is I who corrupt you?" he asked as he slowly edged her shift up over her hips, breast, and then head. Bronwyn smiled and twined her arms around his neck.She felt no awkwardness for her lack of clothing.She had nothing to hide from this man.He thought her perfect. "You've already tried." "And it's working.Just who is seducing whom, angel?" "Oh,I am definitely seducing you, my lord." Tomorrow she would ask him about his reasons for their impromptu journey south. She suddenly had other plans.
Michele Sinclair (The Christmas Knight)
A Prayer for Grace and Illumination Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have You present so that I do not forget You. You know how easily I abandon You. Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak and I need Your strength, that I may not fall so often. Stay with me, Lord, for You are my life, and without You, I am without fervor. Stay with me, Lord, for You are my light, and without You, I am in darkness. Stay with me, Lord, to show me Your will. Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear Your voice and follow You. Stay with me, Lord, for I desire to love You very much, and always be in Your company. Stay with me, Lord, if You wish me to be faithful to You. Stay with me, Lord, for as poor as my soul is, I wish it to be a place of consolation for You, a nest of Love. Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late and the day is coming to a close, and life passes, death, judgment, eternity approaches. It is necessary to renew my strength, so that I will not stop along the way and for that, I need You. It is getting late and death approaches. I fear the darkness, the temptations, the dryness, the cross, the sorrows. O how I need You, my Jesus, in this night of exile! Stay with me tonight, Jesus, in life with all its dangers, I need You. Let me recognize You as Your disciples did at the breaking of bread, so that the Eucharistic Communion be the light which disperses the darkness, the force which sustains me, the unique joy of my heart. Stay with me, Lord, because at the hour of my death, I want to remain united to You, if not by Communion, at least by grace and love. Stay with me, Jesus, I do not ask for divine consolation, because I do not merit it, but, the gift of Your Presence, oh yes, I ask this of You! Stay with me, Lord, for it is You alone I look for. Your Love, Your Grace, Your Will, Your Heart, Your Spirit, because I love You and ask no other reward but to love You more and more. With a firm love, I will love You with all my heart while on earth and continue to love You perfectly during all eternity. Amen. —Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina
Patrick Madrid (A Year with the Bible: Scriptural Wisdom for Daily Living)
Prayer was the rhythm of the Holy Father’s life. He made time to pray before and after his meals, and interspersed his Breviary prayers (the Liturgy of the Hours) throughout the day and night, calling it: “very important, very important.” At six in the morning, at noon, and again at six in the evening, he would stop whatever he was doing to pray the Angelus, just as he had done while working in the chemical plant in Poland. He prayed several Rosaries each day, went to confession every week, and did not let a day pass without receiving Holy Communion. Each Friday (and every day in Lent), he prayed the Stations of the Cross, and preferred to do this in the garden on the roof of the Papal Apartments. During Lent, he would eat one complete meal a day, and always fasted on the eve of our Lady’s feast days. He remarked, “If the bishop doesn’t set an example by fasting, then who will?” The Holy Father knew that his first duty to the Church was his interior life. He declared, “the shepherd should walk at the head and lay down his life for his sheep. He should be the first when it comes to sacrifice and devotion.” Each night, he looked out his window to Saint Peter’s Square and to the whole world, and made the sign of the cross over it, blessing the world goodnight.
Jason Evert (Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves)
Remembering​ ​is​ ​something​ ​God​ ​asks​ ​us​ ​to​ ​do​ ​over​ ​and​ ​over​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Bible:​ ​“Remember the​ ​Sabbath​ ​day​ ​by​ ​keeping​ ​it​ ​holy”​ ​(Exod.​ ​20:8).​ ​​ ​“Remember​ ​your​ ​Creator”​ ​(Eccles.​ ​12:1).​ ​​ ​The Israelites​ ​were​ ​experts​ ​at​ ​remembering,​ ​building​ ​altars​ ​of​ ​thanks​ ​and​ ​celebrating​ ​festivals​ ​to​ ​be mindful​ ​of​ ​God’s​ ​mighty​ ​acts​ ​of​ ​provision.​ ​​ ​They​ ​had​ ​much​ ​to​ ​celebrate:​ ​​ ​the​ ​parting​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Red Sea,​ ​the​ ​supply​ ​of​ ​manna​ ​in​ ​the​ ​desert,​ ​the​ ​cloud​ ​by​ ​day​ ​and​ ​the​ ​pillar​ ​of​ ​fire​ ​by​ ​night.​ ​​ ​In remembering,​ ​they​ ​knew​ ​God​ ​was​ ​faithful,​ ​and​ ​it​ ​fortified​ ​their​ ​faith​ ​for​ ​the​ ​next​ ​battle​ ​ahead. All​ ​of​ ​us​ ​who​ ​are​ ​Christians​ ​are​ ​asked​ ​to​ ​remember​ ​too.​ ​​ ​The​ ​violence​ ​of​ ​the​ ​cross​ ​is​ ​in front​ ​of​ ​us​ ​each​ ​time​ ​we​ ​take​ ​communion--”Do​ ​this​ ​in​ ​remembrance​ ​of​ ​Me”​ ​(Luke​ ​22:19). Though​ ​it​ ​isn’t​ ​easy​ ​to​ ​face,​ ​we​ ​are​ ​asked​ ​to​ ​remember​ ​the​ ​blood​ ​He​ ​spilled​ ​out​ ​for​ ​us.​ ​​ ​When​ ​I embrace​ ​His​ ​suffering​ ​for​ ​me,​ ​it​ ​gives​ ​meaning​ ​to​ ​my​ ​own.​ ​​ ​I​ ​know​ ​it​ ​also​ ​forces​ ​me​ ​to remember​ ​the​ ​pain​ ​of​ ​others.​ ​​ ​And​ ​God​ ​doesn’t​ ​want​ ​me​ ​to​ ​forget​ ​the​ ​innocent​ ​blood​ ​that​ ​was shed​ ​over​ ​the​ ​hills​ ​of​ ​Rwanda.​ ​​ ​The​ ​act​ ​of​ ​remembering​ ​holds​ ​something​ ​very​ ​sacred--it​ ​makes us​ ​more​ ​grateful.​ ​​ ​We​ ​have​ ​to​ ​be​ ​willing​ ​to​ ​remember​ ​our​ ​pain​ ​so​ ​we​ ​can​ ​comfort​ ​and​ ​offer​ ​a place​ ​of​ ​healing​ ​for​ ​others.​ ​(pp.​ ​152-153)
Eric Irivuzumugabe (My Father, Maker of the Trees: How I Survived the Rwandan Genocide)
These memories of former times do not awaken desire so much as sorrow--a vast, inapprehensible melancholy. Once we had such desires--but they return not. They are past, they belong to another world that is gone from us. In the barracks they called forth a rebellious, wild craving for their return; for then they were still bound to us, we belonged to them and they to us, even though we were already absent from them. They appeared in the soldiers' songs which we sang as we marched between the glow of the dawn and the black silhouettes of the forests to drill on the moor, they were a powerful remembrance that was in us and came from us. But here in the trenches they are completely lost to us. They arise no more; we are dead and they stand remote on the horizon, they are a mysterious reflection, an apparition, that haunts us, that we fear and love without hope. They are strong and our desire is strong--but they are unattainable, and we know it. And even if these scenes of our youth were given back to us we would hardly know what to do. The tender, secret influence that passed from them into us could not rise again. We might be amongst them and move in them; we might remember and love them and be stirred by the sight of them. But it would be like gazing at the photograph of a dead comrade; those are his features, it is his face, and the days we spent together take on a mournful life in the memory; but the man himself it is not. We could never regain the old intimacy with those scenes. It was not any recognition of their beauty and their significance that attracted us, but the communion, the feeling of a comradeship with the things and events of our existence, which cut us off and made the world of our parents a thing incomprehensible to us--for then we surrendered ourselves to events and were lost in them, and the least little thing was enough to carry us down the stream of eternity. Perhaps it was only the privilege of our youth, but as yet we recognised no limits and saw nowhere an end. We had that thrill of expectation in the blood which united us with the course of our days. To-day we would pass through the scenes of our youth like travellers. We are burnt up by hard facts; like tradesmen we understand distinctions, and like butchers, necessities. We are no longer untroubled--we are indifferent. We might exist there; but should we really live there? We are forlorn like children, and experienced like old men, we are crude and sorrowful and superficial--I believe we are lost.
Erich Maria Remarque (All Quiet on the Western Front)
—I cannot, at this place, avoid a sigh. There are days when I am visited by a feeling blacker than the blackest melancholy—contempt of man. Let me leave no doubt as to what I despise, whom I despise: it is the man of today, the man with whom I am unhappily contemporaneous. The man of today—I am suffocated by his foul breath!… Toward the past, like all who understand, I am full of tolerance, which is to say, generous self-control: with gloomy caution I pass through whole millenniums of this madhouse of a world, call it “Christianity,” “Christian faith” or the “Christian church,” as you will—I take care not to hold mankind responsible for its lunacies. But my feeling changes and breaks out irresistibly the moment I enter modern times, our times. Our age knows better… . What was formerly merely sickly now becomes indecent—it is indecent to be a Christian today. And here my disgust begins.—I look about me: not a word survives of what was once called “truth”; we can no longer bear to hear a priest pronounce the word. Even a man who makes the most modest pretensions to integrity must know that a theologian, a priest, a pope of today not only errs when he speaks, but actually lies—and that he no longer escapes blame for his lie through “innocence” or “ignorance.” The priest knows, as every one knows, that there is no longer any “God,” or any “sinner,” or any “Saviour”—that “free will” and the “moral order of the world” are lies—: serious reflection, the profound self-conquest of the spirit, allow no man to pretend that he does not know it… . All the ideas of the church are now recognized for what they are—as the worst counterfeits in existence, invented to debase nature and all natural values; the priest himself is seen as he actually is—as the most dangerous form of parasite, as the venomous spider of creation… . We know, our conscience now knows—just what the real value of all those sinister inventions of priest and church has been and what ends they have served, with their debasement of humanity to a state of self-pollution, the very sight of which excites loathing,—the concepts “the other world,” “the last judgment,” “the immortality of the soul,” the “soul” itself: they are all merely so many instruments of torture, systems of cruelty, whereby the priest becomes master and remains master… . Every one knows this, but nevertheless things remain as before. What has become of the last trace of decent feeling, of self-respect, when our statesmen, otherwise an unconventional class of men and thoroughly anti-Christian in their acts, now call themselves Christians and go to the communion-table?… A prince at the head of his armies, magnificent as the expression of the egoism and arrogance of his people—and yet acknowledging, without any shame, that he is a Christian!… Whom, then, does Christianity deny? what does it call “the world”? To be a soldier, to be a judge, to be a patriot; to defend one’s self; to be careful of one’s honour; to desire one’s own advantage; to be proud … every act of everyday, every instinct, every valuation that shows itself in a deed, is now anti-Christian: what a monster of falsehood the modern man must be to call himself nevertheless, and without shame, a Christian!—
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Antichrist)
April 1 I AM CALLING YOU to a life of constant communion with Me. Basic training includes learning to live above your circumstances, even while interacting on that cluttered plane of life. You yearn for a simplified lifestyle, so that your communication with Me can be uninterrupted. But I challenge you to relinquish the fantasy of an uncluttered world. Accept each day just as it comes, and find Me in the midst of it all. Talk with Me about every aspect of your day, including your feelings. Remember that your ultimate goal is not to control or fix everything around you; it is to keep communing with Me. A successful day is one in which you have stayed in touch with Me, even if many things remain undone at the end of the day. Do not let your to-do list (written or mental) become an idol directing your life. Instead, ask My Spirit to guide you moment by moment. He will keep you close to Me. Pray continually. 1 THESSALONIANS 5 : 17 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. PROVERBS 3 :
Sarah Young (Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence)
Prayer for the Day I pray that I may renew my strength in quietness. I pray that I may find rest in quiet communion with God.
Anonymous (Twenty Four Hours A Day)
How many different ways there are of knowing a person—and even so there are all these different ways of knowing Christ; so that you may keep on all your lifetime, still wishing to get into another room, and another room, nearer and nearer to the great secret, still panting to "know him." Good Rutherford says, "I urge upon you a nearer communion with Christ, and a growing communion. There are curtains to be drawn by, in Christ, that we never shut, and new foldings in love with him. I despair that ever I shall shall win to the far end of that love; there are so many plies in it. Therefore, dig deep, and set by as much time in the day for him as you can, he will be won by labor.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
PRAYER OF COMMUNION We who are about to partake of each other, shall walk past all amorous sickness and deaths, for we are within the magical equinox. Amen We who proudly make unto ourselves every graven image, shall have great copulations and are allowed to love our Gods, for we know the Sacred Alignments. Amen We who do not crucify—nothing shall hurt us that is of the 'Nature'; neither our comings and goings from the womb, for we have the Key to all aesthetics. Amen In this sacred moment (here occurs the symbolic eating of flesh and blood) we forget our enemies: therefore let our dead children sleep. And let our dead loves arise, so they too may watch and enjoy our ecstasies. Let their animation be power to our memories and so resurge all ecstasy, for in this day there shall be no inhibitions. Amen Thou insatiable peripheral quadriga of sex. Amen PRAYER OF ADORATION Thou lambent spirit of Erh! Thou hast kindled the sacred fire from dead ashes, so my torch lightens all darknesses. Thou hast become the fulcrum of my will. Everlastingly in Thee I know not respite: Except in the sensuous impact of flesh, there are no meanings. Thou hast awakened me into eternities. Thou makest all things beautiful unto the grotesque. Whom thou succour hath no sterility. I am reborn and reborn into desirous becomings: I have recreated my Soul by birthing pleasure. Through Thee my will, desire, belief and word become the law That carries me into the Catastrophic beyond becoming: Thou the emissary of Neither-Neither! Ever Silent Watcher! Thou hast shown me the new sexualities And all the mysteries of the Threshold! Only Thee I adore in my Soul and my everlasting body. Alpha-Omega—Amen!
Anonymous
There is one story about letters. A perpetually cheerful Frog pays a visit to Toad but finds Toad glum, sitting on his front porch. "This is my sad time of day," says Toad, "when I wait for the mail to come." "Why is that?" says Frog. "No one has ever sent me a letter. My mailbox is always empty. That is why waiting for the mail is a sad time for me." Then Frog and Toad sit "on the porch, feeling sad together." Frog rescues the situation by running home, writing a letter to Toad, and sending it literally by snail mail. The little snail brings it four days later. Even though Toad saw Frog every day, he longed for the strangeness, the otherness of a letter, for something to come from out there and address him, "Dear Toad." Is that the thrill I feel finding a letter from you in my box? The address of a friend is made into a physical fact and every letter an artifact of the otherwise invisible communion of friendship.
Amy Andrews
Hot dogs and Communion at the Hope Rescue Mission. I will always think of the body of Christ now with this scene in mind. Doctors and housewives and professors in nice shoes and brightly colored sweaters shuffling to the table together with men and women who hadn't changed clothes for days or weeks. The sophisticated smell of after-shave mixed with the sharp scent of dirty socks and stale smoke. People whose lives seemed all together sharing the same loaf with people whose lives were broken and tattered. We were all one body, for we all ate from the same loaf.
Leonard J. Vander Zee (Christ, Baptism and the Lord's Supper: Recovering the Sacraments for Evangelical Worship)
we don’t need to try to ‘fit’ God into each day, that is to see our prayer life as something different from the rest of life. In fact the danger arises precisely when you do think your prayer life is something separate. No, for the Son everything flows from his communion with his Father, and so it should become for us. When you know that each day is already all God’s and that we have fellowship with him all the time, then prayer suffuses the whole day more naturally. Then you find yourself intuitively praying through the day more, and without feeling the need to be hyperspiritual and concentrated the whole time.
Michael Reeves (Enjoy Your Prayer Life)
But at this point an objection is frequently raised. The "otherworldliness" of Christianity is objected to as a form of self-ishness. The Christian, it is said, does what is right because of the hope of heaven, but how much nobler is the man who because of duty walks boldy into the darkness of annihilation! The objection would have some wight if heaven according to Christian belief were mere enjoyment. But as a matter of fact heaven is communion with God and with his Christ. it can be said reverently that the Christian longs for heaven not only for his own sake, but also for the sake of God. Our present love is so cold, our present service is so weak; and we would one day love and serve Him as His love deserves.. it is perfectly true that the christian is dissatisfied with the present world, but it is a holy dissatisfaction; it is that hunger and thirst after righteousness which our Savior blessed. We are separated from the Savior now by the veil of sense and by the effects of sin, and it is not selfish to long to see Him face to face.
J. Gresham Machen
But at this point an objection is frequently raised. The ‘otherworldliness’ of Christianity is objected to as a form of selfishness. The Christian, it is said, does what is right because of the hope of heaven, but how much nobler is the man who because of duty walks boldly into the darkness of annihilation! The objection would have some weight if heaven according to Christian belief were mere enjoyment. But as a matter of fact heaven is communion with God and with His Christ. It can be said reverently that the Christian longs for heaven not only for his own sake, but also for the sake of God. Our present love is so cold, our present service so weak; and we would one day love and serve Him as His love deserves. It is perfectly true that the Christian is dissatisfied with the present world, but it is a holy dissatisfaction; it is that hunger and thirst after righteousness which our Saviour blessed. We are separated from the Saviour now by the veil of sense and by the effects of sin, and it is not selfish to long to see Him face to face.
J. Gresham Machen
Embarrassed by her generosity, I sent a quick thank-you in response and resolved to return the favor sometime. If I owed her, maybe I wouldn't have to let her in. I was in possession of my friend's gift long before I received it, on a gray day when its stubborn, irresponsible beauty could not be ignored. Until then, I didn't want to admit how badly I needed her kindness, how helpless I was at sorting all this out on my own. She knew God would unclench my fists and unfurl my fingers and that grace would eventually get through. When I finally opened my hands, when I received grace the way I receive communion, with nothing to offer back but thanks.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
As I have mentioned how the people were brought into a condition to despair of life and abandon themselves, so this very thing had a strange effect among us for three or four weeks; that is, it made them bold and venturous, they were no more shy of one another, or restrained within doors, but went anywhere and everywhere, and began to converse. One would say to another, “I do not ask how you are, or say how I am; it is certain we shall all go; so ’tis no matter who is sick or who is sound;” and so they ran desperately into any place or any company. As it brought the people into publick company, so it was surprizing how it brought them to crowd into the churches. They enquired no more into who, they sat near to or far from, what offensive smells they met with, or what condition the people seemed to be in, but looking upon themselves all as so many dead corpses, they came to the churches without the least caution, and crowded together, as if their lives were of no consequence compared to the work which they came about there. Indeed, the zeal which they shewed in coming, and the earnestness and affection they shewed in their attention to what they heard, made it manifest what a value people would all put upon the worship of God if they thought every day they attended at the church that it would be their last. Nor was it without other strange effects, for it took away all manner of prejudice or of scruple about the person who they found in the pulpit when they came to the churches. It cannot be doubted but that many of the ministers of the parish churches were cut off, among others, in so common and dreadful a calamity; and others had courage enough to stand it, but removed into the country as they found means for escape. As then some parish churches were quite vacant and forsaken, the people made no scruple of desiring such Dissenters as had been a few years before deprived of their livings by virtue of the Act of Parliament called the Act of Uniformity to preach in the churches; nor did the church ministers in that case make any difficulty of accepting their assistance; so that many of those who they called silenced ministers had their mouths opened on the occasion and preached publickly to the people. Here we may observe, and I hope it will not be amiss to take notice of it, that a near view of death would soon reconcile men of good principles one to another, and that it is chiefly owing to our easy situation in life and our putting these things far from us that our breaches are fomented, ill blood continued, prejudices, breach of charity and of Christian union so much kept and far carried on among us as it is. Another plague year would reconcile all these differences; a close conversing with death, or with diseases that threaten death, would off the gall from our tempers, remove the animosities among us, and bring us to see with differing eyes than those which we looked on things with before. As the people who had been used to join with the Church were reconciled at this time with the admitting the Dissenters to preach to them, so the Dissenters, who with an uncommon prejudice had broken off from the communion of the Church of England, were now content to come to their parish churches, and to conform to the worship which they did not approve of before; but as the terror of the infection abated, those things all returned again to their less desirable channel, and to the course they were in before.
Daniel Defoe (A Journal of the Plague Year)
When we commit each new day to God in prayer, asking for His provision, His will, His plan for us in order that His will may be done on earth in our lives as it is in heaven, then we start to begin our journey of ‘powerful prayer’. And we bring delight to the Father because we seek fellowship with Him and His will more than things and above our own desires.
Paddick Van Zyl
life in the Spirit that is denoted by the term “deeper life” is far wider and richer than mere victory over sin, however vital that victory may be. It also includes the thought of the indwelling of Christ, acute God-consciousness, rapturous worship, separation from the world, the joyous surrender of everything to God, internal union with the Trinity, the practice of the presence of God, the communion of saints and prayer without ceasing.
A.W. Tozer (Tozer on the Holy Spirit: A 365-Day Devotional)
O Lord, Thou art God, Holy and Almighty, and Thou doest all things well. Show Thyself to us this day. Lord, for myself I would make petition to see Thee; draw me near to Thee that I may know Thee and have rare communion with Thee.
Oswald Chambers (If Ye Shall Ask)
The tulips are too excitable, it is winter here. Look how white everything is, how quiet, how snowed-in. I am learning peacefulness, lying by myself quietly As the light lies on these white walls, this bed, these hands. I am nobody; I have nothing to do with explosions. I have given my name and my day-clothes up to the nurses And my history to the anesthetist and my body to surgeons. They have propped my head between the pillow and the sheet-cuff Like an eye between two white lids that will not shut. Stupid pupil, it has to take everything in. The nurses pass and pass, they are no trouble, They pass the way gulls pass inland in their white caps, Doing things with their hands, one just the same as another, So it is impossible to tell how many there are. My body is a pebble to them, they tend it as water Tends to the pebbles it must run over, smoothing them gently. They bring me numbness in their bright needles, they bring me sleep. Now I have lost myself I am sick of baggage—— My patent leather overnight case like a black pillbox, My husband and child smiling out of the family photo; Their smiles catch onto my skin, little smiling hooks. I have let things slip, a thirty-year-old cargo boat stubbornly hanging on to my name and address. They have swabbed me clear of my loving associations. Scared and bare on the green plastic-pillowed trolley I watched my teaset, my bureaus of linen, my books Sink out of sight, and the water went over my head. I am a nun now, I have never been so pure. I didn’t want any flowers, I only wanted To lie with my hands turned up and be utterly empty. How free it is, you have no idea how free—— The peacefulness is so big it dazes you, And it asks nothing, a name tag, a few trinkets. It is what the dead close on, finally; I imagine them Shutting their mouths on it, like a Communion tablet. The tulips are too red in the first place, they hurt me. Even through the gift paper I could hear them breathe Lightly, through their white swaddlings, like an awful baby. Their redness talks to my wound, it corresponds. They are subtle : they seem to float, though they weigh me down, Upsetting me with their sudden tongues and their color, A dozen red lead sinkers round my neck. Nobody watched me before, now I am watched. The tulips turn to me, and the window behind me Where once a day the light slowly widens and slowly thins, And I see myself, flat, ridiculous, a cut-paper shadow Between the eye of the sun and the eyes of the tulips, And I have no face, I have wanted to efface myself. The vivid tulips eat my oxygen. Before they came the air was calm enough, Coming and going, breath by breath, without any fuss. Then the tulips filled it up like a loud noise. Now the air snags and eddies round them the way a river Snags and eddies round a sunken rust-red engine. They concentrate my attention, that was happy Playing and resting without committing itself. The walls, also, seem to be warming themselves. The tulips should be behind bars like dangerous animals; They are opening like the mouth of some great African cat, And I am aware of my heart: it opens and closes Its bowl of red blooms out of sheer love of me. The water I taste is warm and salt, like the sea, And comes from a country far away as health.
Sylvia Plath (Ariel)
communion was celebrated. "We had comunion. Captain Newport dined ashore with our diet, and invited many of us to supper as a farewell." The next day, Christopher Newport raised anchor and began the return trip to England. He took letters from those remaining in Virginia and carried accounts describing Virginia and the events that had occurred. The settlement had been made, and the future seemed promising.
Charles E. Hatch (The First Seventeen Years: Virginia, 1607-1624)
But at this point an objection is frequently raised. The "otherworldliness" of Christianity is objected to as a form of selfishness. The Christian, it is said, does what is right because of the hope of heaven, but how much nobler is the man who because of duty walks boldly into the darkness of annihilation! The objection would have some wight if heaven according to Christian belief were mere enjoyment. But as a matter of fact heaven is communion with God and with his Christ. it can be said reverently that the Christian longs for heaven not only for his own sake, but also for the sake of God. Our present love is so cold, our present service is so weak; and we would one day love and serve Him as His love deserves.. it is perfectly true that the christian is dissatisfied with the present world, but it is a holy dissatisfaction; it is that hunger and thirst after righteousness which our Savior blessed. We are separated from the Savior now by the veil of sense and by the effects of sin, and it is not selfish to long to see Him face to face.
J Gresham Machen
But at this point an objection is frequently raised. The "otherworldliness" of Christianity is objected to as a form of self-ishness. The Christian, it is said, does what is right because of the hope of heaven, but how much nobler is the man who because of duty walks boldy into the darkness of annihilation! The objection would have some wight if heaven according to Christian belif were mere enjoyment. But as a matter of fact heaven is communion with God and with his Christ. it can be said reverently that the Christian longs for heaven not only for his own sake, but also for the sake of God. Our present love is so cold, our present service is so weak; and we would one day love and serve Him as His love deserves.. it is perfecly true that the chirstian is dissatisfied with the present world, but it is a holy dissatisfaction; it is that hunger and thirst after rightousness which our Savior blessed. We are separated from the Savior now by the veil of sense and by the effects of sin, and it is not selfish to long to see Him face to face.
J. Gresham Machen
Dorothy's world had become very small-visits to the chapel downstairs, vespers, and Communion, and opera on the radio (including Wagner, whom she refused to let Hitler, or even Wagner himself, ruin for her).
Kate Hennessy (Dorothy Day; The World Will Be Saved By Beauty: An Intimate Portrait of Dorothy Day)
The LORD God brings man into Communion with himself, by that sweet Familiar way of COVENANT, in all ages, from the Foundation to the Consummation of the world. God might have dealt with man in a More Absolute Lordly and Majestical way, peremptorily Commanding and requiring from man his Duty and Allegiance: but he hath pleased to Condescend to a More Relative familiar Covenant way; And this after the manner of man, viz. familiarly, sweetly, and condescendingly dealing with man by Covenant, as one man with another. God by his Covenants Reveals, Applies, Confirms, and Increaseth this sweet Communion betwixt himself and his People in all ages and generation of the world, from the Creation to the judgement day.
Francis Roberts (Mysterium & medulla Bibliorum the mysterie and marrow of the Bible)
It was necessary that the Mediator should die for sinners. And if the sinner was saved on his account, it was not possible that that cup should pass from him, because propriety required it. So God will not bestow the benefits of the Mediator on them that are not united to him, because there is no propriety in it. It is not proper that they should have communion with Christ who have no union with him.
Owen Strachan (Always in God's Hands: Day by Day in the Company of Jonathan Edwards)
But the truth is, until your homies gaze into your soul and see who you really are, your name doesn't mean anything. Your family, they want to change the real you, prevent the real you from ever happening, and so the name they give you, it's an empty one. They'd rather not recognize the potential for evil as well as good that grows inside you, that from within your soul grins the smile of a sinner and criminal. But your clicka, they're not scared to see this 'cause when they look at you, they see themselves grinning right back. Your homies don't mourn the loss of innocence like your family does, your old lady remembering how proud she was the day of your first communion, tu primera comunión, as you got down on your hands and knees in front of a priest and took the host on your tongue for the first time. They know that, in the barrio, innocence is a lie and that the biggest lie of all is that you were ever really innocent at all. In the eyes of the world, you were born a sinner, a criminal, a whore, or a gang-banger. And with pride, your clicka gives birth to you and helps you fulfill this prophecy.
Myriam Gurba (Dahlia Season: Stories and a Novella)
Without conversion of heart we cannot serve God on earth. We have naturally neither faith, nor fear, nor love, toward God and His Son Jesus Christ. We have no delight in His Word. We take no pleasure in prayer or communion with Him. We have no enjoyment in His ordinances, His house, His people, or His day. We may have a form of Christianity, and keep up a round of ceremonies and religious performances. But without conversion we have no more heart in our religion than a brick or a stone. Can a dead corpse serve God? We know it cannot. Well, without conversion we are dead toward God. Look round the congregation with which you worship every Sunday. Mark how little interest the great majority of them take in what is going on. Observe how listless, and apathetic, and indifferent, they evidently are about the whole affair. It is clear their hearts are not there! They are thinking of something else, and not of religion. They are thinking of business, or money, or pleasure, or worldly plans, or bonnets, or gowns, or new dresses, or amusements. Their bodies are there, but not their hearts. And what is the reason? What is it they all need? They need conversion. Without it they only come to church for fashion and form’s sake, and go away from church to serve the world or their sins. But this is not all. Without conversion of heart we could not enjoy heaven, if we got there. Heaven is a place where holiness reigns supreme, and sin and the world have no place at all. The company will all be holy; the employments will all be holy; it will be an eternal Sunday. Surely if we go to heaven, we must have a heart in tune and able to enjoy it, or else we shall not be happy. We must have a nature in harmony with the element we live in, and the place where we dwell. Can a fish be happy out of water? We know it cannot. Well, without conversion of heart we could not be happy in heaven. Look round the neighborhood in which you live and the persons with whom you are acquainted. Think what many of them would do if they were cut off for ever from money, and business, and newspapers, and cards, and balls, and races, and hunting, and shopping, and worldly amusements! Would they like it? Think what they would feel if they were shut up forever with Jesus Christ, and saints, and angels! Would they be happy? Would the eternal company of Moses, and David, and St. Paul be pleasant to those who never take the trouble to read what those holy men wrote? Would heaven’s everlasting praise suit the taste of those who can hardly spare a few minutes in a week for private religion, even for prayer? There is but one answer to be given to all these questions. We must be converted before we can enjoy heaven. Heaven would be no heaven to any child of Adam without conversion. Let no man deceive us. There are two things which are of absolute necessity to the salvation of every man and woman on earth. One of them is the mediatorial work of Christ for us, His atonement, satisfaction, and intercession. The other is the converting work of the Spirit in us, His guiding, renewing, and sanctifying grace. We must have both a title and a heart for heaven. Sacraments are only generally necessary to salvation: a man may be saved without them, like the penitent thief. An interest in Christ and conversion are absolutely necessary: without them no one can possibly be saved. All, all alike, high or low, rich or poor, old or young, gentle or simple, churchmen or dissenters, baptized or unbaptized, all must be converted or perish.
J.C. Ryle
At the Last Supper, Christ gave us in an unbloody manner his self-sacrifice, to be consummated the next day on Calvary. He also gave us the apostolic college to make visible the communion that, with the Eucharist, constitutes the Church. From ecclesial communion in the Eucharist comes the impulse for the Church’s mission. By the grace of the Holy Spirit, the Church announces everywhere the work of the Son, testifying to him, making him truly present in the celebration of the Eucharist in all the languages of the earth. Each time the Eucharist is celebrated, the world changes. The love of God, mediated in the Eucharist, has the power to shape right order and harmony in all other relationships, both personal and social, strengthening them in anticipation of heaven.
Francis George
When the psalmist saw the transgression of the wicked his heart told him how it could be. ”There is no fear of God before his eyes,” he explained, and in so saying revealed to us the psychology of sin. When men no longer fear God, they transgress His laws without hesitation. The fear of consequences is not deterrent when the fear of God is gone. In olden days men of faith were said to ”walk in the fear of God” and to ”serve the Lord with fear.” However intimate their communion with God, however bold their prayers, at the base of their religious life was the conception of God as awesome and dreadful. This idea of God transcendent rims through the whole Bible and gives color and tone to the character of the saints. This fear of God was more than a natural apprehension of danger; it was a nonrational dread, an acute feeling of personal insufficiency in the presence of God the Almighty. Wherever God appeared to men in Bible times the results were the same - an overwhelming sense of terror and dismay, a wrenching sensation of sinfulness and guilt. When God spoke, Abram stretched himself upon the ground to listen. When Moses saw the Lord in the burning bush, he hid his face in fear to look upon God. Isalah’s vision of God wrung from him the cry, ”Woe is me!” and the confession, ”I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips.” Daniel’s encounter with God was probably the most dreadful and wonderful of them all. The prophet lifted up his eyes and saw One whose ”body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.” ”I Daniel alone saw the vision” he afterwards wrote, ”for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.” These experiences show that a vision of the divine transcendence soon ends all controversy between the man and his God. The fight goes out of the man and he is ready with the conquered Saul to ask meekly, ”Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”  Conversely, the self-assurance of modern Christians, the basic levity present in so many of our religious gatherings, the shocking disrespect shown for the Person of God, are evidence enough of deep blindness of heart.  Many call themselves by the name of Christ, talk much about God, and pray to Him sometimes, but evidently do not know who He is. ”The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,” but this healing fear is today hardly found among Christian men.
A.W. Tozer (The Knowledge of the Holy (Annotated))
[Jesus] had only three years of public ministry, but He was never too hurried to spend hours in prayer . . . No day began or closed in which He was not in communion with His Father.
Billy Graham (Billy Graham in Quotes)
testified of blessings that come to those who attend temple dedications in a spirit of sincere worship: “The sweet whisperings of the Holy Spirit will be given to them and the treasures of Heaven, the communion of angels, will be added from time to time, for [the Lord’s] promise has gone forth and it cannot fail!”37 He wrote of one such experience, which he had at the dedication of the Logan Temple:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff)
I was still without any formal spiritual direction, but I went frequently to confession, especially at St. Francis’ Church, where the Friars were more inclined to give me advice than secular priests had been. And it was in one of the confessionals at St. Francis’ that a good priest one day told me, very insistently: “Go to Communion every day, every day.” By that time, I had already become a daily communicant, but his words comforted and strengthened me, and his emphasis made me glad. And indeed I had reason to be, for it was those daily Communions that were transforming my life almost visibly, from day to day.
Thomas Merton (The Seven Storey Mountain)
In the days of the early Christians, the Blessed Sacrament was preserved after Mass in order to bring Holy Communion to the sick or to those in prison for their faith. We hear stories, such as that of St. Tarcisius, of Christians risking their lives to carry the Blessed Sacrament to others. Records also show that in the late fourth century, in some dioceses, converts to the faith were invited to adore the Blessed Sacrament exposed for eight days after their baptism. Early
Paul Thigpen (Manual for Eucharistic Adoration)
Let me therefore earnestly exhort you, as you would seek your own future good hereafter, to watch against a contentious spirit.° If you would see good days, seek peace, and ensue it, 1 Pet. iii. 10, 11. Let the contention which has lately been about the terms of Christian communion, as it has been the greatest of your contentions, so be the last of them.
Jonathan Edwards (Selected Sermons Of Jonathan Edwards)
Robin forgets, I think, that her own religion involved human sacrifice. She is a practicing Christian. She partakes of Holy Communion, the body and blood of Jesus Christ, the human son of God who died and rose from the dead to bring back the word of his Father. She believes in the Resurrection, but only as something that happened long ago in a distant land, far removed from her day-to-day life. She believes in God, the Father Almighty. On the other hand, if her next-door neighbor were to claim that God had spoken to him in a vision, she would think him eccentric and possibly dangerous. Her God is a distant patriarch who demands that she attend church and follow a set of ten rules, but he does not deign to pass along new rules through common people. She is accustomed to a God who keeps his distance.
Pat Murphy (The Falling Woman)
When Indians sleep, they really do sleep. Neither adults nor children have a regular bed-time -- when they're tired they just drop, fully clothed, on to their beds, or the ground if they have no beds, and don't stir again until the next day begins. All one hears is occasionally someone crying out in their sleep, or a dog -- maybe a jackal -- baying at the moon. I lie awake for hours: with happiness, actually. I have never known such a sense of communion. Lying like this under the open sky there is a feeling of being immersed in space -- though not in empty space, for there are all these people sleeping all around me, the whole town and I am part of it. How different from my often very lonely room in London with only my walls to look at and my books to read.
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (Heat and Dust)
God hears prayer. This simplest view of prayer is taken throughout Scripture. It dwells not on the reflex influence of prayer on our heart and life, although it abundantly shows the connection between prayer as an act, and prayer as a state. It rather fixes with great definiteness the objective or real purpose of prayer, to obtain blessings, gifts, deliverances, from God. "Ask, and it shall be given you,"4 Jesus says to us. "Ask what I shall give thee,"5 Jehovah said to Solomon. "Call upon Me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee."6 "If any man lack wisdom, let him ask . . . and it shall be given him."7
Adolph Saphir (The Hidden Life: Thoughts on Communion with God)
If you don’t understand, please keep your mouth shut and just live with all sentient beings in peace and harmony beyond your intellectual speculation. It’s not necessary to think how much that helps people or how many people it helps. All you have to do is be peaceful with people right now, right here, day by day.
Dainin Katagiri (Each Moment Is the Universe: Zen and the Way of Being Time)
I take it from her, turn it around so I can see I right-side-up. Is this her, is this what she's like? My treasure. So tall and changed. Smiling a little now, so soon, and in her white dress as if for an olden-days First Communion. Time has not stood still. It has washed over me, washed me away, as if I'm nothing more than a woman of sand, left by a careless child too near the water. I have been obliterated for her. I am only a shadow now, far back behind the glib shiny surface of this photograph. A shadow of a shadow, as dead mothers become. You can see it in her eyes. I am not there. But she exists, in her white dress. She grows and lives. Isn't that a good thing? A blessing? Still, I can't bear it, to have been erased like that. Better she'd brought me nothing.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale)
I was also led into a state of great dissatisfaction with my own want of stability in faith and love, To be candid and tell the truth, I must say, to the praise of God's grace, He did not suffer me to backslide to anything like the extent to which manifestly many Christians did backslide. But I often felt myself weak in the presence of temptation, and needed frequently to hold days of fasting and prayer, and to spend much time in overhauling my own religious life, in order to retain that communion with God, and that hold upon the Divine truth, that would enable me efficiently to labor for the promotion of revivals of religion.
Charles Grandison Finney (The Works of Charles Finney, Vol 1 (15-in-1) Power From on High, Lectures on Revivals of Religion, Autobiography of Charles Finney, Revival Fire, Holiness of Christians, Systematic Theology)
Silence, he told us, was hugely undervalued in our American way of life as a way of being in communion with one another and with God. American Christians were conspicuously deficient. “Think of it as remedial silence.” This would be three days for practicing silence. “These might be the quietest three days you will ever spend. Don’t waste them.
Eugene H. Peterson (The Pastor: A Memoir)
In the darkest days of the Second World War, when America’s very future was at risk, writer E. B. White was asked by the U.S. Federal Government’s Writers’ War Board to write a short response to the question “What is democracy?” His answer was unassuming but inspiring. He wrote: Surely the Board knows what democracy is. It is the line that forms on the right. It is the “don’t” in don’t shove. It is the hole in the stuffed shirt through which the sawdust slowly trickles; it is the dent in the high hat. Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time. It is the feeling of privacy in the voting booths, the feeling of communion in the libraries, the feeling of vitality everywhere. Democracy is a letter to the editor. Democracy is the score at the beginning of the ninth. It is an idea which hasn’t been disproved yet, a song the words of which have not gone bad. It’s the mustard on the hot dog and the cream in the rationed coffee. Democracy is a request from a War Board, in the middle of a morning in the middle of a war, wanting to know what democracy is.
Steven Levitsky (How Democracies Die)
And just as Christ is always drawing his people closer to himself, so in Christ-centered marriage each spouse is constantly endeavoring to provide an atmosphere in the home which helps the other to draw closer to Christ, to be always flourishing in the spiritual life. This certainly is another tremendously important reason for marriage. As the Monk Moses of Mt. Athos states, “Two people come to the communion of marriage to help one another in their salvation.” Fr. Alexander Elchaninov hints at this with these remarkable words: “In marriage the festive joy of the first day should last for the whole of life: every day should be a feast day; every day husband and wife should appear to each other as new, extraordinary beings. The only way of achieving this: let both deepen their spiritual life, and strive hard in the task of self-development.
David Ford (Glory and Honor: Orthodox Christian Resources on Marriage)
Ode to the Beloved’s Hips" Bells are they—shaped on the eighth day—silvered percussion in the morning—are the morning. Swing switch sway. Hold the day away a little longer, a little slower, a little easy. Call to me— I wanna rock, I-I wanna rock, I-I wanna rock right now—so to them I come—struck-dumb chime-blind, tolling with a throat full of Hosanna. How many hours bowed against this Infinity of Blessed Trinity? Communion of Pelvis, Sacrum, Femur. My mouth—terrible angel, ever-lasting novena, ecstatic devourer. O, the places I have laid them, knelt and scooped the amber—fast honey—from their openness— Ah Muzen Cab’s hidden Temple of Tulúm—licked smooth the sticky of her hip—heat-thrummed ossa coxae. Lambent slave to ilium and ischium—I never tire to shake this wild hive, split with thumb the sweet- dripped comb—hot hexagonal hole—dark diamond— to its nectar-dervished queen. Meanad tongue— come-drunk hum-tranced honey-puller—for her hips, I am—strummed-song and succubus. They are the sign: hip. And the cosign: a great book— the body’s Bible opened up to its Good News Gospel. Alleluias, Ave Marías, madre mías, ay yay yays, Ay Dios míos, and hip-hip-hooray. Cult of Coccyx. Culto de cadera. Oracle of Orgasm. Rorschach’s riddle: What do I see? Hips: Innominate bone. Wish bone. Orpheus bone. Transubstantiation bone—hips of bread, wine-whet thighs. Say the word and healed I shall be: Bone butterfly. Bone wings. Bone Ferris wheel. Bone basin bone throne bone lamp. Apparition in the bone grotto—6th mystery— slick rosary bead—Déme la gracia of a decade in this garden of carmine flower. Exile me to the enormous orchard of Alcinous—spiced fruit, laden-tree—Imparadise me. Because, God, I am guilty. I am sin-frenzied and full of teeth for pear upon apple upon fig. More than all that are your hips. They are a city. They are Kingdom— Troy, the hollowed horse, an army of desire— thirty soldiers in the belly, two in the mouth. Beloved, your hips are the war. At night your legs, love, are boulevards leading me beggared and hungry to your candy house, your baroque mansion. Even when I am late and the tables have been cleared, in the kitchen of your hips, let me eat cake. O, constellation of pelvic glide—every curve, a luster, a star. More infinite still, your hips are kosmic, are universe—galactic carousel of burning comets and Big Big Bangs. Millennium Falcon, let me be your Solo. O, hot planet, let me circumambulate. O, spiral galaxy, I am coming for your dark matter. Along las calles de tus muslos I wander— follow the parade of pulse like a drum line— descend into your Plaza del Toros— hands throbbing Miura bulls, dark Isleros. Your arched hips—ay, mi torera. Down the long corridor, your wet walls lead me like a traje de luces—all glitter, glowed. I am the animal born to rush your rich red muletas—each breath, each sigh, each groan, a hooked horn of want. My mouth at your inner thigh—here I must enter you—mi pobre Manolete—press and part you like a wound— make the crowd pounding in the grandstand of your iliac crest rise up in you and cheer.
Natalie Díaz
urge upon you . . . a nearer communion with Christ and a growing communion. There are curtains to be drawn by in Christ that we never saw, and new foldings of love in Him. I despair that ever I shall win to the far end of that love, there are so many plies in it; therefore dig deep, and sweat, and labour, and take pains for Him, and set by so much time in the day for Him as you can: He will be won with labour.
Samuel Rutherford (The Loveliness of Christ: Selections from the Letters of Samuel Rutherford)
In our world, we give most of our attention to satisfying the appetites of the body and practically none to the soul. Consequently we are one-sided. We become fat physically and materially, while spiritually we are lean, weak, and anemic. The soul actually demands as much attention as the body. It demands fellowship and communion with God.
Billy Graham (Hope for Each Day: Words of Wisdom and Faith)
To-morrow the rediscovery of romantic love, The photographing of ravens; all the fun under Liberty's masterful shadow; To-morrow the hour of the pageant-master and the musician, The beautiful roar of the chorus under the dome; To-morrow the exchanging of tips on the breeding of terriers, The eager election of chairmen By the sudden forest of hands. But to-day the struggle, To-morrow for the young poets exploding like bombs, The walks by the lake, the weeks of perfect communion; To-morrow the bicycle races Through the suburbs on summer evenings. But to-day the struggle. To-day the deliberate increase in the chances of death, The conscious acceptance of guilt in the necessary murder; To-day the expending of powers On the flat ephemeral pamphlet and the boring meeting, Today the makeshift consolations: the shared cigarette, The cards in the candlelit barn, and the scraping concert, The masculine jokes; to-day the Fumbled and unsatisfactory embrace before hurting. The stars are dead. The animals will not look. We are left alone with our day, and the time is short, and History to the defeated May say alas but cannot help or pardon.
W.H. Auden (Collected Shorter Poems, 1927-1957)
[H]oliness depends upon contact with God. Anything that breaks or impairs this vital contact, however slight it may be, interrupts our communion with Christ and brings defeat instead of victory into our lives.
A.W. Tozer (Tozer on the Holy Spirit: A 365-Day Devotional)
Visiting someone in a hospital recently, I watched an elderly couple. The man was in a wheelchair, the wife sitting next to him in the visitor's room. For the half-hour that I watched they never exchanged a word, just held hands and looked at each other, and once or twice the man patted his wife's face. The feeling of love was so thick in that room that I felt I was sharing in their communion and was shaken all day by their pain, their love, something sad and also joyful: the fullness of a human relationship.
Eda LeShan
A moment in the morning ere the cares of the day begin, Ere the heart’s wide door is open for the world to enter in; Ah, then, alone with Jesus, in the silence of the morn, In heavenly sweet communion, let your happy day be born; In the quietude that blesses with a prelude of repose, Let your soul be soothed and softened as the dew revives the rose.
Lettie B. Cowman (Springs in the Valley)
Jesus once told us to find a quiet room of the house and retire there for regular private prayer (Matt. 6:6), and He Himself arose early in the morning for a time of communion with the Father before the day began (Mark 1:35). Our daily “quiet time” is the key to Christian serenity and sanctity. As we open our Bibles and our prayer notebooks in His presence, we can pray with Samuel, who said, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening” (1 Sam. 3:9 NIV).
Robert J. Morgan (Near To The Heart Of God)
He kept his head down and slowly worked himself, word by word, back into communion with the other hours, days, years - there was in fact no name for this particular unit of time - that together formed a continuum of unawareness that was as close to transcendence ash e would come. He was working himself, as if with a spade in a tunnel that finally yields to light, out of the physical world.
Joshua Ferris
God grant that each of us may so live that we may enjoy that communion with Deity through the Holy Ghost, and know without doubt that he does live, and be prepared one day to enter into his presence.
Harold B. Lee
Prayer is conversation with God. ~ Shirley Tye         What Is A Prayer Partner?     “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18).     As a teenager, I read Dale Carnegie’s book, How To Win Friends and Influence People. His simple advice to win friends by becoming genuinely interested in them intrigued me. To show interest all you needed to do was to ask questions and listen to their responses.   But for me, even better than being listened to is being prayed for. I am delighted to have formal prayer partners and to be a member of prayer groups.   One such partner is JoAnn. We met briefly at a 3-day women’s conference. When we first arrived at this conference, the organizers took our photos. On the last day, we were given the picture of another woman – our prayer partner. I keep a picture of her beside my computer. She is posed in front of a stone fireplace with a shy smile. On the back of the photo, I have written her name and address with the names of her husband and two grown children. Although I have not talked to JoAnn in many years, I still pray for her and I am confident that she prays for me.   I am also a member of a Christian writers’ group, The Word Guild. I have joined a smaller team within this group, aptly called the Prayer Team. Members of the Guild submit their prayer requests via email, and we pray for these people. On top of that, the organizer picks four specific members to pray for each week. Many of these people I may never meet and may know nothing more than their names. But I pray for them regularly and I am confident that they pray for me.   Lastly, at my church, a program called Secret Sisters has been introduced. I filled out an information form, including my favourite scripture verse, and submitted it to the organizer. In return, I received the name of a church “sister” to pray for over the next year. At the end of the year, we will reveal ourselves to our secret sisters. I pray for my sister regularly and am confident that she prays for me.   I hold these partners in high esteem and count them as some of my best friends. There is power in prayer. If you are not already praying for someone specific, I challenge you to seek out a partner.       Prayer is talking to Him and listening to Him, too. Sweet communion! ~ Pat Gerbrandt        
Kimberley Payne (Feed Your Spirit - a collection of devotionals on prayer)
The Need for Silence Be silent before the Lord and wait expectantly for Him. Psalm 37:7 HCSB The world seems to grow louder day by day, and our senses seem to be invaded at every turn. If we allow the distractions of a clamorous society to separate us from God’s peace, we do ourselves a profound disservice. Our task, as believers, is to carve out moments of silence in a world filled with noise. If we are to maintain righteous minds and compassionate hearts, we must take time each day for prayer and for meditation. We must make ourselves still in the presence of our Creator. We must quiet our minds and our hearts so that we might sense God’s will and His love. Has the hectic pace of life robbed you of God’s peace? If so, it’s time to reorder your priorities and your life. Nothing is more important than the time you spend with your Heavenly Father. So be still and claim the genuine peace that is found in the silent moments you spend with God. If you, too, will learn to wait upon God, to get alone with Him, and remain silent so that you can hear His voice when He is ready to speak to you, what a difference it will make in your life! Kay Arthur I always begin my prayers in silence, for it is in the silence of the heart that God speaks. Mother Teresa Deepest communion with God is beyond words, on the other side of silence. Madeleine L’Engle The world is full of noise. Might we not set ourselves to learn silence, stillness, solitude? Elisabeth Elliot Be still, and in the quiet moments, listen to the voice of your Heavenly Father. His words can renew your spirit. No one knows you and your needs like He does. Janet L. Weaver Jesus taught us by example to get out of the rat race and recharge our batteries. Barbara Johnson My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. Psalm 62:5 NKJV
Freeman Smith (Fifty Shades of Grace: Devotions Celebrating God's Unlimited Gift)
While believers today are not required to observe the Sabbath as a law, the principle still holds value for us. Setting aside a special day to focus on communion with God refreshes our spirit and reenergizes us for further service. Taking a rest from work restores our body and mind. It’s easy to convince ourselves that we’re too busy to take a day off. But if we choose to honor God in this way, we’ll understand that God gave the fourth commandment to benefit people, not to burden them. If we follow God’s example, we’ll discover that taking a Sabbath rest—on any day of the week—is a valuable gift that God has given us.
Dianne Neal Matthews (Designed for Devotion: A 365-Day Journey from Genesis to Revelation)
TRUST ME ENOUGH to spend ample time with Me, pushing back the demands of the day. Refuse to feel guilty about something that is so pleasing to Me, the King of the universe. Because I am omnipotent, I am able to bend time and events in your favor. You will find that you can accomplish more in less time, after you have given yourself to Me in rich communion. Also, as you align yourself with My perspective, you can sort out what is important and what is not.
Sarah Young (Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence)
Our True Needs Do you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord? Isaiah 58:5 In this chapter the prophet Isaiah chastises the people for using their fast to put on a “spiritual show.” Afflicting themselves and lying in the ashes are today’s equivalent of moaning and groaning, whining about our self-imposed deprivation or our fatigue from good deeds, just to position ourselves in the holiest light. This is not the intended spirit behind a fast. A fast should be a quiet, private matter between us and God. Sometimes we fast from nourishment to remind ourselves that our sustenance and fulfillment are found in God. Our hunger reminds us of our truest need, and we realign ourselves in communion with our Savior. But we can do other kinds of fasts as well. I have fasted from negative thinking, from judgment, from complaining, from materialism and from overscheduling—and have found these fasts to be incredibly edifying and healing. Fasting can be about deprivation, but not always. Sometimes we are blessed when we learn to starve the parts of ourselves that do not glorify God and feed the parts that do. Kristin Armstrong
Mark Neilsen (Living Faith: Lenten Devotions for Catholics: Lent 2015)
Bishop Arturo Rivera y Damas, who succeeded Romero as Archbishop of San Salvador, also believes the death of Rutilio Grande was the key moment in Romero’s transformation: One martyr gave life to another martyr. Before the cadaver of Father Rutilio Grande, Monseñor Romero, in his twentieth day as archbishop, felt that call of Christ to overcome his natural human timidity and to be filled with the fortitude of the apostle. From that moment, Monseñor Romero left behind the pagan lands of Tyre and Sidon and marched with freedom toward Jerusalem.93
Scott Wright (Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints: A Biography)
As we day by day receive grace from Jesus, and more constantly recognize it as coming from Him, we shall behold Him in communion with us, and enjoy the felicity of communion with Him. Let us make daily use of our riches, and ever repair to Him as to our own Lord in covenant, taking from Him the supply of all we need with as much boldness as men take money from their own purse.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening Daily Devotions with Charles Spurgeon Book (Annotated))
But the days when the people could demonstrate peacefully were over. El Salvador was on the eve of civil war, and Romero did everything he could to prevent it.
Scott Wright (Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints: A Biography)
Because of some little vexation or trouble do not thou neglect Holy Communion, but rather hasten to confess it, and forgive freely all offences committed against thee. And if thou hast offended any man, humbly beg for pardon, and God shall freely forgive thee. 4. What profiteth it to put off for long time the confession of thy sins, or to defer Holy Communion? Cleanse thyself forthwith, spit out the poison with all speed, hasten to take the remedy, and thou shalt feel thyself better than if thou didst long defer it. If to-day thou defer it on one account, to-morrow perchance some greater obstacle will come, and so thou mayest be long time hindered from Communion and become more unfit. As soon as thou canst, shake thyself from thy present heaviness and sloth, for it profiteth nothing to be long anxious, to go long on thy way with heaviness of heart, and because of daily little obstacles to sever thyself from divine things: nay it is exceeding hurtful to defer thy Communion long, for this commonly bringeth on great torpor. Alas! there are some, lukewarm and undisciplined, who willingly find excuses for delaying repentance, and desire to defer Holy Communion, lest they should be bound to keep stricter watch upon themselves.
Thomas à Kempis (The Imitation of Christ (Illustrated))
And every day I pray many, many times –40, 50, 60 times a day. I pray without words in pure feelings, which is the language of the soul communicating directly with God, and this sharing and communion happens in two seconds. This is what you will start to experience and know. A whole prayer can be felt and received, and Divine Love can be shared with you in just two seconds. ‘God, help me to receive more of your Divine Love,’ or words/feelings to that effect; it is as simple as that.
Padma Aon Prakasha (Dimensions of Love)
My family’s pretty intense. Like every other day, someone’s having a first Communion or a christening or a baby. My mother calls me four times a day just to ‘catch up.’ I have to pretend the cell service sucks out here just to get some peace and quiet. I love them, but too much of a good thing, you know?
Kristan Higgins (Now That You Mention It)
The insight into the true order of values is not easy to achieve. It is difficult for anyone to prevail in the struggle against the fear, which does not serve an old Goethean advice. In the ideal communion which Goethe draws up in his wandering years, the quaint rule is that their members must never speak of past or future, but only of the present present. Most people sacrifice the day to the day. They are not satisfied with the task of considering and solving the problems they are now posing, but in anxious thoughts they draw down on the burden of coming times. Although we can never take the second step before we have done the first, we always consider the fiftieth or the hundredth. But Johannes Muller's theorem is one of the fundamental principles of life: "Do what is present, and wait, what will." Very many have a strange position on the past, present and future. The past transfigures them, they despair of the future, and the present they fail to miss, by their memories and fears. But the present is the only real thing that does not seize it, never reaches life. That is why we should consciously enjoy every tolerable hour without letting it darken future clouds.
Ludwig Reiners in : Norbert Kutschki, Gedanken für den Alltag - Übersetzung: TheWolfmyinnerSoul /Arv
Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of God (Luke 6:20). I'm learning what it means to descend, which is so revolutionary it often leaves me gasping. I have been trying to ascend my entire life. Up, up, next level, a notch higher, the top is better, top of the food chain, all for God's work and glory, of course. The pursuit of ascension is crippling and has stunted my faith more than any other evil I've battled. It has saddled me with so much to defend, and it doesn't deliver. I need more and more of what doesn't work. I'm insatiable, and ironically, the more I accumulate, the less I enjoy any of it. Instead of satisfaction, it produces toxic fear in me; I'm always one slip away from losing it all. Consequently, my love for others is tainted because they unwittingly become articles for consumption. How is this person making me feel better? How is she making me stronger? How is he contributing to my agenda? What can this group do for me? I am an addict, addicted to the ascent and thus positioning myself above people who can propel my upward momentum and below those who are also longing for a higher rank and might pull me up with them. It feels desperate and frantic, and I'm so done being enslaved to the elusive top rung. When Jesus told us to 'take the lowest place' (Luke 14:10), it was more than just a strategy for social justice. It was even more than wooing us to the bottom for communion, since that is where He is always found. The path of descent becomes our own liberation. We are freed from the exhausting stance of defense. We are no longer compelled to be right and are thus relieved from the burden of maintaining some reputation. We are released from the idols of greed, control, and status. The pressure to protect the house of cards is alleviated when we take the lowest place. The ascent is so ingrained in my thought patterns that it has been physically painful to experience reformation at the bottom. The compulsion to defend myself against misrepresentation nearly put me in the grave recently. I was tormented with chaotic inner dialogues, and there were days I was so plagued with protecting my rung that I couldn't get out of bed. With every step lower, the stripping-away process was more excruciating. I had no idea how tightly I clung to reputation and approval or how selfishly I behaved to maintain it. Getting to the top requires someone else to be on the bottom; being right means someone else must be wrong. It is the nature of the beast.
Jen Hatmaker (Interrupted: An Adventure in Relearning the Essentials of Faith)
Terrible things could have happened to any one of us. We never will know what might have happened to us when we were drunk. We usually thought: “That couldn’t happen to me.” But any one of us could have killed somebody or have been killed ourselves, if we were drunk enough. But fear of these things never kept us from drinking. Do I believe that in A.A. we have something more effective than fear? Meditation for the Day I must keep calm and unmoved in the vicissitudes of life. I must go back into the silence of communion with God to recover this calm when it is lost even for one moment. I will accomplish more by this calmness than by all the activities of a long day. At all cost I will keep calm. I can solve nothing when I am agitated. I should keep away from things that are upsetting emotionally. I should run on an even keel and not get tipped over by emotional upsets. I should seek for things that are calm and good and true and stick to those things. Prayer for the Day I pray that I may not argue nor contend, but merely state calmly what I believe to be true. I pray that I may keep myself in that state of calmness that comes from faith in God’s purpose for the world. APRIL
Anonymous (Twenty Four Hours A Day: Meditations)
It’s a dangerous thing to no longer deeply crave fellowship with you, Jesus. It’s a deceptive thing to enjoy but no longer actually need you. It’s a deceitful thing to be satisfied with correct theology about you, without experiencing rich communion with you. It’s a demonic thing to find our ultimate satisfaction in anyone or anything else but you.
Scotty Smith (Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith)
love the way you love, with no conditions, no expectations, no obligations, without any judgment. Help us to love and accept ourselves without any judgment, because when we judge ourselves, we find ourselves guilty and we need to be punished. Help us to love everything you create unconditionally, especially other human beings, especially those who live around us — all our relatives and people whom we try so hard to love. Because when we reject them, we reject ourselves, and when we reject ourselves, we reject You. Help us to love others just the way they are with no conditions. Help us to accept them the way they are, without judgment, because if we judge them, we find them guilty, we blame them, and we have the need to punish them. Today, clean our hearts of any emotional poison that we have, free our minds from any judgment so that we can live in complete peace and complete love. Today is a very special day. Today we open our hearts to love again so that we can tell each other “I love you,” without any fear, and really mean it. Today, we offer ourselves to you. Come to us, use our voices, use our eyes, use our hands, and use our hearts to share ourselves in a communion of love with everyone. Today, Creator, help us to be just like you are. Thank you for everything that we receive this day, especially for the freedom to be who we really are. Amen. PRAYER
Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom)
To this day I believe that feminist debate about love and sexuality ended precisely because straight women did not want to face the reality that it was highly unlikely in patriarchal society that a majority of men would whole-heartedly embrace women’s right to say no in the bedroom.
bell hooks (Communion: The Female Search for Love)
closet. The man—God’s man—is made in the closet. His life and his profoundest convictions were born in his secret communion with God. The burdened and tearful agony of his spirit, his weightiest and sweetest messages were got when alone with God. Prayer makes the man; prayer makes the preacher; prayer makes the pastor. The pulpit of this day is weak in praying. The pride of learning is against the dependent humility of prayer. Prayer is with the pulpit too often only official—a performance for the routine of service. Prayer is not to the modern pulpit the mighty force it was in Paul’s life or Paul’s ministry. Every preacher who does not make prayer a mighty factor in his own life and ministry is weak as a factor in God’s work and is powerless to project God’s cause in this world.
E.M. Bounds (The Complete Collection of E. M. Bounds on Prayer)
On those days when I have thought of giving up on church entirely,” writes Nora Gallagher, “I have tried to figure out what I would do about Communion.”43
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
The holy pair were not only children under the fatherly care of God but students receiving instruction from the all-wise Creator. They were visited by angels, and were granted communion with their Maker, with no obscuring veil between. They were full of the vigor imparted by the tree of life, and their intellectual power was but little less than that of the angels. The mysteries of the visible universe—“the wondrous works of him which is [51] perfect in knowledge” (Job 37:16)—afforded them an exhaustless source of instruction and delight. The laws and operations of nature, which have engaged men’s study for six thousand years, were opened to their minds by the infinite Framer and Upholder of all. They held converse with leaf and flower and tree, gathering from each the secrets of its life. With every living creature, from the mighty leviathan that playeth among the waters to the insect mote that floats in the sunbeam, Adam was familiar. He had given to each its name, and he was acquainted with the nature and habits of all. God’s glory in the heavens, the innumerable worlds in their orderly revolutions, “the balancings of the clouds,” the mysteries of light and sound, of day and night—all were open to the study of our first parents. On every leaf of the forest or stone of the mountains, in every shining star, in earth and air and sky, God’s name was written. The order and harmony of creation spoke to them of infinite wisdom and power. They were ever discovering some attraction that filled their hearts with deeper love and called forth fresh expressions of gratitude.
Ellen G. White (Patriarchs And Prophets)
Suffer me to rest without anxieties and worries, and may the eyes of my faith ever behold the lustre of Thy countenance even during the shades of night.
Johann Habermann (Morning and Evening Prayers for All Days of the Week Together With Confessional, Communion, and Other Prayers and Hymns for Mornings and Evenings, and Other Occasions)
That year, I was converted to John Egerton's vision of the South and the Southern Foodways Alliance's role in it. His book, Speak Now Against the Day: The Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement in the South, chronicles the prehistory of his ideal. He will detail this philosophy from the podium, but he articulates it best for you at Ajax Diner or Off Square Books after he has feasted well in the company of old friends and we have all drunk deeply from the Jack Daniels bottle. He will tell you that ours is a large table stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to Washington, D.C., from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mexican border. He will tell you that this coming together at our table and the breaking of our various breads is an act of defiance. It is a speaking now, mouth full and spirit nourished, against the days when certain feet, those deemed too dark or too dirty, were violently separated from this supper. He will tell you that this fried chicken, these sweet potato pies are related to regular food in much the same way as communion hosts are related to regular white bread.
Lolis Eric Elie (Cornbread Nation 2: The United States of Barbecue (Cornbread Nation: Best of Southern Food Writing))
[E]verything points to the conclusion that the leaders and members of the so-called “Jerusalem Church” were not Christians in any sense that would be intelligible to Christians of a later date. They were Jews, who subscribed to every item of the Jewish faith. For example, so far from regarding baptism as ousting the Jewish rite of circumcision as an entry requirement into the religious communion, they continued to circumcise their male children, thus inducting them into the Jewish covenant. The first ten “bishops” of the “Jerusalem Church” . . . were all circumcised Jews. They kept the Jewish dietary laws, the Jewish Sabbaths and festivals, including the Day of Atonement (thus showing that they did not regard the death of Jesus as atoning for their sins), the Jewish purity laws (when they had to enter the Temple, which they did frequently), and they used the Jewish liturgy for their daily prayers . . .  . . . the first follower of Jesus with whom Paul had friendly contact, Ananias of Damascus, is described as a “devout observer of the Law and well spoken of by all the Jews of that place.” (Acts 22:12)
Jeffrey J. Bütz (The Brother of Jesus and the Lost Teachings of Christianity)
When they partook in purely Christian meetings, they would leave the synagogue and gather instead in the home of one of the congregationalists, where they could pray together, learn together, and share in the earliest truly Christian ritual: the Holy Communion, which in those days was celebrated through the sharing of a ritual meal.
Wyatt North (The Life and Prayers of Saint Paul the Apostle)
April 6 MORNING “Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp.” — Hebrews 13:13 JESUS, bearing His cross, went forth to suffer without the gate. The Christian’s reason for leaving the camp of the world’s sin and religion is not because he loves to be singular, but because Jesus did so; and the disciple must follow his Master. Christ was “not of the world:” His life and His testimony were a constant protest against conformity with the world. Never was such overflowing affection for men as you find in Him; but still He was separate from sinners. In like manner Christ’s people must “go forth unto Him.” They must take their position “without the camp,” as witness-bearers for the truth. They must be prepared to tread the straight and narrow path. They must have bold, unflinching, lion-like hearts, loving Christ first, and His truth next, and Christ and His truth beyond all the world. Jesus would have His people “go forth without the camp” for their own sanctification. You cannot grow in grace to any high degree while you are conformed to the world. The life of separation may be a path of sorrow, but it is the highway of safety; and though the separated life may cost you many pangs, and make every day a battle, yet it is a happy life after all. No joy can excel that of the soldier of Christ: Jesus reveals Himself so graciously, and gives such sweet refreshment, that the warrior feels more calm and peace in his daily strife than others in their hours of rest. The highway of holiness is the highway of communion. It is thus we shall hope to win the crown if we are enabled by divine grace faithfully to follow Christ “without the camp.” The crown of glory will follow the cross of separation. A moment’s shame will be well recompensed by eternal honour; a little while of witness-bearing will seem nothing when we are “for ever with the Lord.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening-Classic KJV Edition)
midnight when I awaken, I meditate upon Thy name, so altogether lovely, upon Thy goodness and fidelity, vouchsafed unto me, and I praise Thee because of Thy righteous judgments.
Johann Habermann (Morning and Evening Prayers for All Days of the Week Together With Confessional, Communion, and Other Prayers and Hymns for Mornings and Evenings, and Other Occasions)
1. You might be the type of person who is always on the go, running from one thing to the next— maybe even pushing things off that bring rest and healing in order to keep up. What are the things in your life right now that consume so much of your time? Do you feel guilty when you take time for yourself? 2. Today’s reading says that you can “accomplish more in less time, after you have given yourself to [God] in rich communion.” How do you think that taking time to “align yourself with [His] perspective” in time spent with God might make you more productive? Is there ever a time when you are so busy doing God’s work that you miss the opportunity to spend time working with God in quiet prayer and reflection? 3. God promises in Psalm 32:8 that He “will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you” (NASB). Take a moment today to slow down and spend a few minutes in prayer. See if this makes your day more productive or possibly even changes the priorities filling your life up with busyness.
Sarah Young (Jesus Calling Book Club Discussion Guide for Women (Jesus Calling®))
Father, I thank You that this very day, You and the Lord Jesus are releasing grace, peace, and mercy into my life. Thank You that Your grace, Your love, and the communion of the Holy Spirit are mine today.
Tony Cooke (Grace: The DNA of God)
the problem of being a scribe and a sage. Sometimes, education and learning became a flood that darkens the mind with confusion rather than a sun that enlightens it with truth. Enoch hoped one day Elohim would clear that up for him, since he was now his servant. Enoch had also wondered what it would be like to live forever. Was it transformation of the body? Was it perpetual regeneration? And what was it like to be in communion with Elohim so perfectly as to not need the dreams and visions that Enoch had become dependent upon for his own sense of real presence of the deity?
Brian Godawa (Enoch Primordial (Chronicles of the Nephilim #2))
Then, on April 7, the bishop for the diocese of the four counties surrounding San Diego, representing some 512,000 Catholics, an activist in the city’s nonsectarian Pro-Life League, announced priests would refuse Holy Communion to any Catholic who “admits publicly” to membership in the National Organization for Women or any other group advocating abortion: “The issue at stake is not only what we do to unborn children but what we do to ourselves by permitting them to be killed.” He called abortion a “serious moral crime” that “ignores God and his love.” NOW proclaimed this year’s Mother’s Day a “Mother’s Day of Outrage”—in response, it said, to the Roman Catholic hierarchy’s “attempt to undermine the right of women to control their own bodies.” The president of Catholics for Free Choice and the Southern California coordinator for NOW’s Human Reproduction Task Force, Jan Gleeson, recently returned from Southeast Asia as an Operation Babylift volunteer, clarified the feminist group’s position: “It opposes compulsory pregnancy and reaffirms a woman’s right to privacy to control her own body as basic to her spiritual, economic, and social well-being.
Rick Perlstein (The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan)
Prayer is one great secret of spiritual prosperity. When there is much private communion with God, your soul will grow like the grass after rain; when there is little, all will be at a standstill, you will barely keep your soul alive. Show me a growing Christian, a going forward Christian, a strong Christian, a flourishing Christian, and sure am I, he is one that speaks often with his Lord. He asks much, and he has much. He tells Jesus everything, and so he always knows how to act. Prayer is the mightiest engine God has placed in our hands. It is the best weapon to use in every difficulty, and the surest remedy in every trouble. It is the key that unlocks the treasury of promises, and the hand that draws forth grace and help in time of need. It is the silver trumpet God commands us to sound in all our necessity, and it is the cry He has promised always to attend to, even as a loving mother to the voice of her child. Prayer is the simplest means that man can use in coming to God. It is within reach of all, — the sick, the aged, the infirm, the paralytic, the blind, the poor, the unlearned, — all can pray. It avails you nothing to plead want of memory, and want of learning, and want of books, and want of scholarship in this matter. So long as you have a tongue to tell your soul’s state, you may and ought to pray. Those words, “Ye have not, because ye ask not” (Jas. 4:2), will be a fearful condemnation to many in the day of judgment.
J.C. Ryle (The Duties of Parents)
[T]here was a prophetic medieval Italian abbot, Joachim of Floris, who in the early thirteenth century foresaw the dissolution of the Christian Church and dawn of a terminal period of earthly spiritual life, when the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit, would speak directly to the human heart without ecclesiastical mediation. His view, like that of Frobenius, was of a sequence of historic stages, of which our own was to be the last; and of these he counted four. The first was, of course, that immediately following the Fall of Man, before the opening of the main story, after which there was to unfold the whole great drama of Redemption, each stage under the inspiration of one Person of the Trinity. The first was to be of the Father, the Laws of Moses and the People of Israel; the second of the Son, the New Testament and the Church; and now finally (and here, of course, the teachings of this clergyman went apart from the others of his communion), a third age, which he believed was about to commence, of the Holy Spirit, that was to be of saints in meditation, when the Church, become superfluous, would in time dissolve. It was thought by not a few in Joachim’s day that Saint Francis of Assisi might represent the opening of the coming age of direct, pentecostal spirituality. But as I look about today and observe what is happening to our churches in this time of perhaps the greatest access of mystically toned religious zeal our civilization has known since the close of the Middle Ages, I am inclined to think that the years foreseen by the good Father Joachim of Floris must have been our own. For there is no divinely ordained authority any more that we have to recognize. There is no anointed messenger of God’s law. In our world today all civil law is conventional. No divine authority is claimed for it: no Sinai; no Mount of Olives. Our laws are enacted and altered by human determination, and within their secular jurisdiction each of us is free to seek his own destiny, his own truth, to quest for this or for that and to find it through his own doing. The mythologies, religions, philosophies, and modes of thought that came into being six thousand years ago and out of which all the monumental cultures both of the Occident and of the Orient - of Europe, the Near and Middle East, the Far East, even early America - derived their truths and lives, are dissolving from around us, and we are left, each on his own to follow the star and spirit of his own life.
Joseph Campbell (Myths to Live By)
and
Johann Habermann (Morning and Evening Prayers for All Days of the Week Together With Confessional, Communion, and Other Prayers and Hymns for Mornings and Evenings, and Other Occasions)
Once more, one who lives in the spirit of prayer will spend much time in retired and intimate communion with God. It is by such a deliberate engagement of prayer that the fresh springs of devotion which flow through the day are fed. For, although intercourse with God is the life-energy of the renewed nature, our souls ‘cleave to the dust’, and devotion tends to grow formal – it becomes emptied of its spiritual content, and exhausts itself in outward acts. The Master reminds us of this grace peril, and informs us that the true defence against insincerity in our approach to God lies in the diligent exercise of private prayer.
David M. McIntyre (The Hidden Life of Prayer)
Thus in Thy name we fall asleep, While angels o’er us watch must keep. To Thee, O Holy One in Three, Be praise to all eternity. Latin, 7 Century.
Johann Habermann (Morning and Evening Prayers for All Days of the Week Together With Confessional, Communion, and Other Prayers and Hymns for Mornings and Evenings, and Other Occasions)
*Meditate on His sacrifice. Remember what He did for you. If you’ve committed any sins, confess them and repent. If you feel inclined by the Lord to take communion, then do so now in the secret place. Worship Him and meditate on His loving justice for you. In so many ways, He has had justice for you, by defending you against evil people and convicting the wicked to repent. Remember the love of God and turn your heart to Him now.* “For the LORD loves justice, and does not forsake His saints; they are preserved forever, but the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off.” Psalm 37:28
Adam Houge (30 Prayers Of Praise: Becoming A Habitual Worshipper Through 30 Days Of Prayer)
I dream of Morocco and Paris, and a koi pond in the backyard. Making art, supporting art, learning art. Late-night talks with soul sisters who make me feel crazy blessed and motivated. Stage presence. Books and more books. Film. Belly laughs. I dream about communion. My man. Our son. Always. I dream of sitting around a fire with leaders and lovers of progress. Being able to give yeses that open doors and new dimensions for people. I dream of tenderness and innovation. I dream of invitations that humble me, and magical connections with people I recognize on a cellular level. I dream that we band together to leverage change. I dream of feeling more electric and sweet every single day. Mostly, I dream of being amazed. How ’bout you?
Danielle LaPorte (The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your Own Terms)
Benediction
Johann Habermann (Morning and Evening Prayers for All Days of the Week Together With Confessional, Communion, and Other Prayers and Hymns for Mornings and Evenings, and Other Occasions)
January 26 Look Again and Consecrate If God so clothe the grass of the field, . . . shall He not much more clothe you? Matthew 6:30 A simple statement of Jesus is always a puzzle to us if we are not simple. How are we going to be simple with the simplicity of Jesus? By receiving His Spirit, recognising and relying on Him, obeying Him as He brings the word of God, and life will become amazingly simple. “Consider,” says Jesus, “how much more your Father Who clothes the grass of the field will clothe you, if you keep your relationship right with Him.” Every time we have gone back in spiritual communion it has been because we have impertinently known better than Jesus Christ. We have allowed the cares of the world to come in, and have forgotten the “much more” of our Heavenly Father. “Behold the fowls of the air”—their one aim is to obey the principle of life that is in them and God looks after them. Jesus says that if you are rightly related to Him and obey this Spirit that is in you, God will look after your “feathers.” “Consider the lilies of the field”—they grow where they are put. Many of us refuse to grow where we are put, consequently we take root nowhere. Jesus says that if we obey the life God has given us, He will look after all the other things. Has Jesus Christ told us a lie? If we are not experiencing the “much more,” it is because we are not obeying the life God has given us, we are taken up with confusing considerations. How much time have we taken up worrying God with questions when we should have been absolutely free to concentrate on His work? Consecration means the continual separating of myself to one particular thing. We cannot consecrate once and for all. Am I continually separating myself to consider God every day of my life?
Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest)
as if taking the body of Christ at communion made much more sense.
Kianna Alexander (The Brightest Day: A Juneteenth Historical Romance Anthology)
The Museum's function, like the Library's, is not entirely beneficent. It certainly enables us to see dead productions scattered about the world and engulfed in cults or civilizations they sought to ornament as unified aspects of a single effort. In this sense our consciousness of painting as painting is based upon the Museum, But painting exists first of all in each painter who works, and it is there in a pure state, whereas the Museum compromises it with the somber pleasures of retrospection. One should go to the Museum as the painters go there, in the sober joy of work; and not as we go there, with a somewhat spurious reverence. The Museum gives us a thieves' conscience. We occasionally sense that these works were not after аll intended to end up between these morose walls, for the pleasure of Sunday strollers or Monday "intellectuals." We are well aware that something has been lost and that this self-communion with the dead is not the true milieu of art—that so many joys and sorrows, so much anger, and so many labors were not destined to reflect one day the Museum's mournful light...The Museum adds a false prestige to the true value of the works by detaching them from the chance circumstances they arose from and making us believe that the artist's hand was guided from the start by fate. Whereas the style of each painter throbbed in his life like his heart beat, and was just what enabled him to recognize every effort which differed from his own, the Museum converts this secret, modest, non-deliberated, involuntary, and, in short, living historicity into official and pompous history.
Maurice Merleau-Ponty (Signs)
In the early days a favored few managed to persuade the sentries at the gates to allow them to get messages through to the outside world. But that was only at the beginning of the epidemic, when the sentries found it natural to obey their feelings of humanity. Later on, when these same sentries had had the gravity of the situation drummed into them, they flatly refused to take responsibilities whose possible after-effects they could not foresee. At first, telephone calls to other towns were allowed, but this led to such crowding of the telephone booths and delays on the lines that for some days they also were prohibited, and thereafter limited to what were called “urgent cases,” such as deaths, marriages, and births. So we had to fall back on telegrams. People linked together by friendship, affection, or physical love found themselves reduced to hunting for tokens of their past communion within the compass of a ten-word telegram. And since, in practice, the phrases one can use in a telegram are quickly exhausted, long lives passed side by side, or passionate yearnings, soon declined to the exchange of such trite formulas as: “Am well. Always thinking of you. Love.
Albert Camus (The Plague)
That’s not the reason anyone loves a piece of art. It’s a secret whisper from an alleyway. Psst, you. Hey kid. Yes you. Fingertip gliding over the faded-out photo—the conservator’s touch, a touch-without-touching, a communion wafer’s space between the surface and his forefinger. “An individual heart-shock. Your dream, Welty’s dream, Vermeer’s dream. You see one painting, I see another, the art book puts it at another remove still, the lady buying the greeting card at the museum gift shop sees something else entire, and that’s not even to mention the people separated from us by time—four hundred years before us, four hundred years after we’re gone—it’ll never strike anybody the same way and the great majority of people it’ll never strike in any deep way at all but—a really great painting is fluid enough to work its way into the mind and heart through all kinds of different angles, in ways that are unique and very particular. Yours, yours. I was painted for you. And—oh, I don’t know, stop me if I’m rambling…” passing a hand over his forehead.… “but Welty himself used to talk about fateful objects. Every dealer and antiquaire recognizes them. The pieces that occur and recur. Maybe for someone else, not a dealer, it wouldn’t be an object. It’d be a city, a color, a time of day. The nail where your fate is liable to catch and snag.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Our Sabbaths were days of quiet rest and delightful communion with God. Together we worshipped Him Who dwelleth not in temples made with hands. Many were the precious communions we had with Him Who had been our Comforter and our Refuge under other circumstances, and Who, having now called us to this new work and novel life, was sweetly fulfilling in us the blessed promise: “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.
Egerton Ryerson Young (By Canoe and Dog-Train)
Time and space flowed around me in never-ending circles. I delighted in each moment of day or year. I dreamt through centuries yet focused on the intimate second. I felt my strength grow until it was too great to be constrained by bark and leaf and then, as I expanded, stretching out toward the universe, I felt the shock of connection with someone who stopped to rest in my shade. This was only the first of many such communions with the human soul; so fragile and yet so brave. Now and then, as centuries passed, a special soul drew near, one who could hear my song and who, for a short time sang with me.
Tonia Parronchi (The Song of the Cypress)
Once we lose hope, we are guaranteed to lose. But if we ignore the odds and fight to create an antiracist world, then we give humanity a chance to one day survive, a chance to live in communion, a chance to be forever free.
Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist)
Listening and Answering Throughout most of the great Old Testament book that bears his name, Job cries out to God in agonized prayer. For all his complaints, Job never walks away from God or denies his existence—he processes all his pain and suffering through prayer. Yet he cannot accept the life God is calling him to live. Then the skies cloud over and God speaks to Job “out of the whirlwind” (Job 38:1). The Lord recounts in vivid detail his creation and sustenance of the universe and of the natural world. Job is astonished and humbled by this deeper vision of God (Job 40:3–5) and has a breakthrough. He finally prays a mighty prayer of repentance and adoration (Job 42:1–6). The question of the book of Job is posed in its very beginning. Is it possible that a man or woman can come to love God for himself alone so that there is a fundamental contentment in life regardless of circumstances (Job 1:9)?97 By the end of the book we see the answer. Yes, this is possible, but only through prayer. What had happened? The more clearly Job saw who God was, the fuller his prayers became—moving from mere complaint to confession, appeal, and praise. In the end he broke through and was able to face anything in life. This new refinement and level of character came through the interaction of listening to God’s revealed Word and answering in prayer. The more true his knowledge of God, the more fruitful his prayers became, and the more sweeping the change in his life. The power of our prayers, then, lies not primarily in our effort and striving, or in any technique, but rather in our knowledge of God. You may respond, “But God spoke audible words to Job out of a storm. I wish God spoke to me like that.” The answer is—we have something better, an incalculably clearer expression of God’s character. “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son . . . the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being” (Heb 1:1–3). Jesus Christ is the Word of God (John 1:1–14) because no more comprehensive, personal, and beautiful communication of God is possible. We cannot look directly at the sun with our eyes. The glory of it would immediately overwhelm and destroy our sight. We have to look at it through a filter, and then we can see the great flames and colors of it. When we look at Jesus Christ as he is shown to us in the Scriptures, we are looking at the glory of God through the filter of a human nature. That is one of the many reasons, as we shall see, that Christians pray “in Jesus’ name.” Through Christ, prayer becomes what Scottish Reformer John Knox called “an earnest and familiar talking with God,” and John Calvin called an “intimate conversation” of believers with God, or elsewhere “a communion of men with God”—a two-way communicative interaction.98 “For through [Christ] we . . . have access to the Father by one Spirit” (Eph 2:18).
Timothy J. Keller (Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God)
She pulled up to the curb in front of number 115, a boxy house with a garden so neat that people sometimes slowed down to admire it. A pruned hedge guarded the profusion of roses that bloomed from spring to winter. Each of the roses had a name. Not the proper name of its variety, but Salvatore, Roberto, Rosina- each one planted in honor of their first communion. There were also roses that honored relatives in Italy whom Rosa had never met, and a few for people she didn't know- La Donna, a scarlet beauty, and a coral floribunda whose name she couldn't remember. The sturdy bush by the front step, covered in creamy-white blooms, was the Celesta, of course. A few feet away was the one Rosa, a six-year-old with a passion for Pepto-Bismol pink, had chosen for herself. Mamma had been so proud of her that day, beaming down like an angel from heaven. It was one of those memories Rosa cherished, because it was so clear in her heart and mind.
Susan Wiggs (Summer by the Sea)
The fathers do affirm a broad set of theological propositions that have remained central to Christian orthodoxy across almost all denominational lines. Ramsey specifically lists belief in a triune God, the fully divine and fully human natures of Christ, the redemptive efficacy of Christ’s death on the cross, the absolute authority and infallibility of Scripture, the fallen condition of humanity, the significance of baptism and Holy Communion, and the vital importance of prayer and a disciplined spiritual life. “Belief in these things, which the fathers unanimously proclaimed, even if they proclaimed them in different ways, continues to be the distinguishing mark of Christianity to this day.
Christopher A. Hall (Reading Scripture With the Church Fathers)
When I, at 6:00 am arise for Prime, I join all the other Benedictines and fixed-hour pray-ers in my time zone. For those few minutes and regardless of where we physically are as individuals within our time zone, we are together in the communion of our prayers. The words we speak to our God are the words that have been raised only an hour before in the time zone just to the east of us; and when we are done, they are the words that will be raised before Him by our fellow Christians in the time zone immediately to the west of us, until the globe itself has been circled by our prayers and each day brought to its ending so another may begin. It is the communion of the saints horizontally and across all space.
Phyllis Tickle
Smiling, Hearba offered her palms to the woman in greeting. “I thank you,” she said, when the greeting was completed, “for your kindness in coming to help us find our way about in this huge nid-place on this long day, which has left us quite exhausted. But perhaps you should quickly show us where we are to eat and sleep, as the night rains will soon begin and you will be unable to reach your own nid-place.” “You do not understand,” Ciela said. “My nid-place is here. I am assigned. You will find that with your special duties and responsibilities as the parents of a Chosen, you will have little time for such tasks as nid-weaving and food preparation.” “Valdo?” Hearba said questioningly, clearly asking him to intervene, and Raamo easily pensed her distress at the thought of sharing their nid-place with a stranger. But when Valdo responded by offering his thanks to Ciela, Hearba tried again. “We have always cared for our own—” she was saying when Ciela interrupted. “You have never had the care of so large a nid-place,” Ciela said, “nor the many responsibilities of a Chosen family. I think you will find that you need my help.” “Who is it that sends—” Hearba began haltingly, and then paused, troubled that the stranger might find her thoughtless and ungrateful. “By whom was I assigned?” Ciela asked. “By the Ol-zhaan. There is a helper assigned by the Ol-zhaan to the family of every Chosen, as I have been assigned to you.” Hearba bowed her head to signify her acceptance of the wisdom of the Ol-zhaan, the holy leaders of Green-sky. In the days that followed, Raamo remained with his family in the new nid-place. Just as before, his father and mother went daily to work as harvester and embroiderer, and Pomma returned to her classes at the Garden. But there were many differences. The D’ok family members were now persons of honor, and as such they found many differences in old familiar situations and relationships. People with whom they had long worked and played—friends with whom they had, only a few weeks before, danced and sung in the grund-halls, beloved friends with whom, in their Youth Hall days, they had once daily practiced rituals of close communion, even those with whom, as infants, they had once played Five-Pense—all these now stepped aside to let them pass and even asked them for advice in important matters—as if they had suddenly become authorities on everything from the nesting habits of trencher birds to the best way to cure an infant of fits of tearfulness.
Zilpha Keatley Snyder (Below the Root)
It is a very great trial to many of us to be unable to get every day to Holy Communion. But to bear quietly with our weakness, because it is His will, pleases Him a great deal more than the most fervent Communion we ever made.
Catholic Way Publishing (The Catholic Collection: 734 Catholic Essays and Novels on Authentic Catholic Teaching)
Prayer is the peculiarity of all real Christians now. They pray, for they tell God their wants, their feelings, their desires, and their fears; and they mean what they say. The nominal Christian may repeat prayers, and good prayers too, but he goes no further. Prayer is the turning point in a man’s soul. Our ministry is unprofitable, and our labor is vain, until you are brought to your knees. Until then, we have no hope for you. Prayer is one great secret of spiritual prosperity. When there is much private communion with God, your soul will grow like the grass after rain. When there is little, all will be at a standstill, and you will barely keep your soul alive. Show me a growing Christian, a going-forward Christian, a strong Christian, and a flourishing Christian, and I am sure he is one that speaks often with his Lord. He asks much, and he has much. He tells Jesus everything, so he always knows how to act. Prayer is the mightiest engine God has placed in our hands. It is the best weapon to use in every difficulty and the surest remedy in every trouble. Prayer is the key that unlocks the treasury of promises and the hand that draws forth grace and help in time of need. It is the silver trumpet that God commands us to sound in our time of need, and it is the cry He has promised always to attend to, even as a loving mother attends to the voice of her child. Prayer is the simplest means that man can use in coming to God. It is within reach of all – the sick, the aged, the infirm, the paralytic, the blind, the poor, and the unlearned. All can pray. It avails you nothing to plead lack of memory, lack of learning, lack of books, or lack of scholarship in this matter. As long as you have a tongue to tell your soul’s state, you may and ought to pray. Those words, ye have not, because ye ask not (James 4:2), will be a fearful condemnation to many in the day of judgment.
J.C. Ryle (The Duties of Parents: Parenting Your Children God's Way)
Hour by hour, we build our relationship of love with God, beginning with days and nights of intercourse with Him through His word, worship, praise, and communion as we lay before His feet intercession for those around us.
John M. Sheehan (Purgatory; A place of pruning Book 1)
The conversion of Russia was a huge geopolitical prize for Orthodoxy: to this day, Russia remains the single largest Orthodox communion in the world. Russia is also the only religious link the Orthodox Church possesses to a major world power.
Graham E. Fuller (A World Without Islam)
The air around me was damp, dew clinging to the grass and the leaves, and at the head of the grave the small star fruit tree, struggling out of being a seedling. I wasn’t sure why Aunty Kavita had picked a fruit tree that would feed on Vivek’s body. Uncle Chika probably would have selected something else, like a palm tree. Did she look forward to the day when it would actually have star fruits hanging from its branches? Would she pick them and eat them as if she was absorbing him, bringing him back inside where he’d come from? It would be something like Holy Communion, I imagined, body and blood turned into yellow flesh and pale green skin, bursting with juice. Or maybe she would never touch the fruit—maybe no one would—and they would fall back to the ground to rot, to sink back into the soil, until the roots of the tree took them back and it would just continue like that, around and around. Or birds would show up and eat the fruit, then carry Vivek around, giving life to things even after he’d run out of it himself.
Akwaeke Emezi (The Death of Vivek Oji)
Zephyrinus, the bishop of Rome, that he had "admitted adulterers unto repentance, and thereby unto the communion of the church." But that church proceeding in her lenity, and every day enlarging her charity, Novatus and Novatianus, taking offence thereat, advanced an opinion in the contrary extreme: for they denied all hope of church pardon or of a return unto ecclesiastical communion unto them who had fallen into open sin after baptism; and, in especial, peremptorily excluded all persons whatsoever who had outwardly complied with idolatrous worship in time of persecution, without respect unto any distinguishing circumstances; yea, they seem to have excluded them from all expectation of forgiveness from God himself.
John Owen (The Life and Works of John Owen (55-in-1))
Lord Jesus, thank You for loving me so unconditionally. I stand on Your unfailing promise that no weapon of sickness formed against me shall prosper. Thank You that nothing the enemy brings against me, whether it is sickness, fear, or any kind of oppression, has power over my life. My eyes are on You, Jesus, and I will keep declaring and resting in Your finished work. Amen.
Joseph Prince (The Healing Power of the Holy Communion: A 90-Day Devotional)
Since the day that our forefather and mother were exiled out of the garden of Eden, we’ve been lost, trying to get back in, trying to find oneness with each other and the Lord, trying to find communion, our way home. We’ve been trying to be found. The truth is that without Christ, we are utterly alone, and our attempts to fill our hours with goodies or texting or work or even ministry are simply futile attempts to assure ourselves that things aren’t so bad after all. But at the end of the day, in the middle of the night, and at the end of our lives, without the love and work of Jesus Christ, the God-man, we are alone and we know it—and it terrifies us. Every one of us is standing on that darkened stage, condemned, lost and wandering, needing to be found.
Elyse M. Fitzpatrick (Found in Him: The Joy of the Incarnation and Our Union with Christ)
I AM CALLING YOU to a life of constant communion with Me. Basic training includes learning to live above your circumstances, even while interacting on that cluttered plane of life. You yearn for a simplified lifestyle so that your communication with Me can be uninterrupted. But I challenge you to relinquish the fantasy of an uncluttered world. Accept each day just as it comes, and find Me in the midst of it all. Talk with Me about every aspect of your day, including your feelings. Remember that your ultimate goal is not to control or fix everything around you; it is to keep communing with Me. A successful day is one in which you have stayed in touch with Me, even if many things remain undone at the end of the day. Do not let your to-do list (written or mental) become an idol directing your life. Instead, ask My Spirit to guide you moment by moment. He will keep you close to Me.
Sarah Young (Jesus Calling Morning and Evening Devotional)