How much happier you would be, how much more of you there would be, if the hammer of a higher God could smash your small cosmos – chesterton
One’s prayer life is often a great indicator of how their walk is. Shallow relationship with God is often a product of a lack of prayer. Intimacy with God is often a product of prayer. The quality of prayers (for a lack of a better terms) is indicative of where we are in our walk with God. If there is ever such a thing as a “profound prayers”, I’ve come across some from St. Thomas Aquinas. Such prayers could only be products of an intimate relationship with God.
Below is one of Thomas Aquinas’ prayers that I echo. Hope it impacts you, at least, as much as it impacted me.
O Lord my God, help me to be
obedient without reserve,
poor without servility,
chaste without compromise,
humble without pretense,
joyful without depravity,
serious without affectation,
active without frivolty,
submissive without bitterness,
truthful without duplicity,
fruitful in good works without presumption,
quick to revive my neighbor without haughtiness,
and quick to edify others by word and example without simulation.
Grant me, O Lord, an ever-watchful heart that no alien thought can lure away from You;
a noble heart that no base love can sully;
an upright heart that no perverse intention can lead astray;
an invincible heart that no distress can overcome;
an unfettered heart that no impetuous desires can enchain.
O Lord my God, also bestow upon me understanding to know You,
zeal to seek You,
wisdom to find You,
a life that is pleasing to You,
and a hope that will one day take hold of You.
May I do penance here below and patiently bear your chastisements.
May I also receive the benefits of your grace,
in order to taste your heavenly joys and contemplate your glory.
Be careful when you worship God that you do not worship the worship, but that you worship God Himself
Every now and then a reminder needs to be issued. The Church is not a building. Neither is it programs that are run by her. The church is not how good the music or the preaching is. The church is not how much offering comes in or does not. The church is not liturgy. The church not man’s idea, it is God’s! The church is not just about the people in it. (It is also for the people not yet in it!) The church is not made up of people ‘who have it all together’.
The church is not how well people dress up on Sunday. The church is not the stain glass or steeple. The church is not complete without you! The church is not and should not be a place where some are more important than others. The church is not and should not be a closed ‘community’ or club. The church is not how well her building is adorned. The Church is NOT complete without you!
.illustration: from outside Wordwise, in Hartebeespoortdam
What is your take on what the Church is NOT?
Perspectives are not “one size fits all deal”. The lens with which we see determine our actions. In making decisions about the lives and gifting God has given us we must be careful we’re not doing what seems God in our eyes.
Then he went on down and spoke to the woman. In Samson’s eyes, she was the one – Judges 14:7 (MSG)
In Samson’s eyes Delilah was the one… In his eyes his source of demise was for him. He obviously didn’t see her as that. What better example of how flawed our own ‘eyes’ are! The danger of seeing things through our eyes and acting on it cannot be overemphasized. Samson disregarded his father’s “eyes” and worst of all God’s eyes! Our eyes own eyes will be more riddled with blind spots and we compensate by seeking counsel from godly men and in seeking God in prayer.
Acting out of what we see with our eyes will lead us to destruction. Seeking God’s wisdom and direction and the counsel of the wise around us is the best safe guard for our lives and destiny. Our judgement alone is not sufficient to lead us into God’s purposes for us as individuals and ultimately for those around us! It is easy to go with what we see especially when it is what we want regardless! Are your desires wholly given to God? If not your eyes will lead you in a path that takes you further from your destiny and not closer.
Before you act, especially on significant things ensure that you’re not just acting on what seems right in your own eyes. Have you sought counsel from the wise? This doesn’t mean you must take and act on the counsel of many but that you at least consider that many perspectives they many bring. More importantly: have you sought God’s eyes and do you see through His eyes on your perspective and action? You can ignore everyone’s eyes but never make the mistake of ignoring God’s perspective? God’s vision is the only perfect one!
What experiences have you used your own eyes and landed you an undesired path?