By now, I trust you’ve started reading, “When The Soul Listens” by Jan Johnson. Below are a few of my reflections on the foreword to the book. I’ve recorded some quotes that really stuck out for me (with a comment under each):
“formation is concerned with the shaping of the inner life.” (p. x)
“we have souls, and… they are being formed.” (p. x)
We are so focused on shaping our outer lives but has it ever occurred to you that, I think, when we die the only treasure we will take with us is what we’ve cultivated in our inner lives? So, lets build our inner castles with serious focus!
“one of the most important (perhaps the most important) practices in the Christian life [is] contemplative prayer.” (p. xi)
Through personal practice I’ve come to agree with this bold statement. But I wonder – through your own personal practices, what would you say is the most important practice in the Christian life?
“Eternal life is not merely life after death; it is a quality of life found in our present lives.” (p. xi)
I love this because it’s a reminder that we’re not just sitting around in a ‘holy huddle’ waiting to be evacuated to heaven asap so that life can begin, but rather, we are called to embrace life here and now, in this very moment.
“… there is another way to know God: to become still, to focus on God’s presence, and to interact with God as we would with another person.” (p. xi)
This statement really sums up the whole thrust of this year’s theme – be still, pay attention, commune with God. What a privilege!
Why practice contemplative prayer? “… so that God call tell us we are his beloved.” (p. xii)
Do you know and feel that you are God’s beloved? So many people go around thinking that God merely tolerates them because of Jesus’ sacrifice. But the truth is that God loves us, and contemplative prayer is way of ‘hearing’ and abiding in that love.
I hope you are as excited as I am to get stuck into this book!?
Every blessing, Pastor Craig.