Friday, 28 June 2013

Passionate Spirituality with Benedict 1 Wisdom

Almighty God, give us
Wisdom to perceive you
Intelligence to understand you
Diligence to seek you
Patience to wait for you
Vision to behold you
A heart to meditate upon you
A life to proclaim you;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord
Who lives with you 
and the Holy Spirit
One God now and forever.     A prayer of St. Benedict

Passionate Spirituality – means everyday encounters with Jesus.
Do we have these? Do we want them?
Do we sometimes fail to recognize God's moment with us?
Can we train ourselves to recognize them more often?

St. Benedict wanted to develop a way of approaching God in our daily lives. Through Work, Rest and Play. I'm surprised he didn't invent the Mars Bar! We are looking at his prayer which asks God to help us to develop our sensitivity to His presence.
Wisdom – Intelligence – Diligence - Patience - Vision – Meditation – Proclamation are all part of this spirituality.

We need Wisdom to perceive His presence.
Light enters the eye and an electro-chemical impulse is produced by the retina to stimulate the occipital cortex of the brain. But this raw data needs to be interpreted by the brain. It compares it in a millisecond to patterns held in the memory so that we become conscious of what provoked the response previously. That perception is what we call “sight”.

We need wisdom – the awareness of the presence of God. The “fear of the Lord”. And the more we know the patterns of God's activity – the more wisdom we have – the more we will be aware of His presence. Where do we see these patterns? First of all – in Jesus. Read the stories. Also in the testimony of others – Benedict and your Cell or small group. And in our own experience too. Look at this story: Mark 5:21-43

The woman was “incurable”, a hopeless case. The girl had become incurable, a hopeless case. There is some “resentment” here. – “Spent all her money”, “why bother!” but also perseverance in hope. “If I just...”
Don’t be too quick to limit what Jesus can do.

How can you perceive – meet - God this week? Keep D.R.Y!
Determined: Woman: ill for 12 yrs! Not put off by the crowd,ignoring the urgency of her “betters”, knowing what she wants. Jairus: putting his beloved daughter forst, waiting for Jesus to deal with this mad woman, deaf to the bad news, willing to trust Jesus word “Do not fear”. e.g. determination: “You’ll go on and go on until you go on”as my Mum used to say in exasperation at my importuning. Jesus responds to those who are determined. Do you know what you want of God today?

Risky: the 4-letter word. Faith to be made well is true faith for Mark. Not doctrinal purity. Woman: Unclean but risks touching. Jairus: risks approaching this unrecognized teacher, risks leaving a dying daughter. Take a prayerful risk with God this week – how else will you know if he’s there? Speak, visit, invest, pray! Jesus responds to those who risk reaching out. Do you believe that God can and will do what you want?

Yourself: Jesus meets people face to face. Just a faceless, nameless woman - but He wanst to acknowledge her in public “Who touched me?”. At the home of  Jairus: “He took her by the hand.” He calls her by her name. A name says  "This is me".
Jesus calls us by our name – the real, now, you. As you are. It's personal.
Are you willing to trust yourself to Jesus today?

Almighty God, give us wisdom to perceive you. Amen.

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