Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Words of Wisdom from The Daily Office - Part 3

NOTE:  Still catching up from the hectic summer.  I know I had promised to upload one every few days.  Let it slide, please.  If you're getting this on facebook, please follow the "view original post" link to my Blogger site so that the counter will tell me how many are actually reading this thing.  Thanks.

If you’ve been paying attention for the past few weeks, I’m sharing some of the nuggets of wisdom that I have encountered as I follow one of the suggestions Blake gave for us as a congregation to do during his sabbatical:  going through Peter Scazzero’s The Daily Office as a personal devotion book.  I’m drawing what I share with you on Wednesday nights from previous weeks’ journal entries.  From week 3, day 2:  wisdom from Thomas Keating.
The Spirit intends to investigate our whole life history, layer by layer, throwing out the junk and preserving the values that were appropriate to each stage of our human development … Eventually, the Spirit begins to dig into the bedrock of our earliest emotional life … Hence, as we progress toward the center where God is actually waiting for us, we are naturally going to feel that we are getting worse.  This warns us that the spiritual journey is not a success story or a career move.  It is rather a series of humiliations of the false self.  (Intimacy with God, pp. 82-84)
Each session poses a question, and the one following the Keating quote was this:  What false self are you struggling with that Christ wants you to die to so that you can truly live?
The fact of the matter is that we all project a self that is the one we want others to see … and most of us have been doing it for so long that the habit of doing so has become so deeply ingrained in us that we aren’t even aware that we’re doing it.  That’s what makes going down to that bedrock such a difficult thing.  And if you think you don’t do it … you’re probably wrong.
It’s not just that we hide the stuff that we know about ourselves that we know (or fear) would meet with disapproval in the eyes of those whose opinions we value.  Some of us openly display a caustic and abrasive pattern of behavior that irritates others in order to keep them at a distance.  If they can’t stand to be close, they won’t get close enough to see what we don’t want them to see.  And we bury our true self so deeply that it even hides from us.
I know I haven’t filled up the page, but …
That’s enough to think about for now.  The peace of Christ to you.


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