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    A happy day for marriage equality.

    Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 11:26 AM [General]

    As I listen to the news of today’s Supreme Court decisions on marriage, I’m practicing praying the news with two prayer questions.  I’m sharing in bullet form how I’m answering so far.  As the day goes on I expect I’ll continue to ask and answer, to continue to pray.  Others are praying with these questions, too.

    God of love, what would you have me learn?

    1. The decisions reflect a definition of persons.  Gender or sexual orientation alone is not a definition of personhood.
    2. The decisions reflect the country’s rethinking of relationships of persons and the definition of marriage.
    3. The decisions are not a restriction of marriage, not an erosion of heterosexual marriage; rather the decisions broaden the definition to include persons whose rights have been denied.
    4. The decisions grant benefits to couples in relationship.

    God of compassion, how would you have me respond with compassion?

    1. Treat all people with respect. 
    2. Affirm the manifestation of love as it appears in loving relationships.
    3. Affirm my own relationships of love.
    4. Give thanks for all those people who love me and share that love with others.

     

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    Spiritual Practice: Keep a Journal

    Sunday, June 23, 2013, 4:13 PM [General]

    Keeping a journal, a record of events of the day, both the external events and the internal ones, can be a very helpful experience.  It is a relatively easy thing to keep a record of the external things—what happened during the day, who you talked with, the weather and so on.  Sometimes it is not so easy to be aware of the internal events.  Here are four questions to help you focus within.  You might answer one each day or all four each day for several days.

    • What was the best part of the day?
    • What was the worst part of the day?
    • What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
    • What are you worried about tomorrow?

    Peace and Blessings!
    Bob

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    Spiritual practice for the week: Learn From Past Experience of Forgiveness

    Sunday, June 16, 2013, 7:47 PM [General]

    Jesus refused the label others tried to put on an unnamed woman in today’s gospel story (Luke 7:36-50).  Others labeled her a “sinner.”  He acknowledged many deeds she had done that missed the highest ideal.  He offered her forgiveness, a second chance, an opportunity to change and to grow into the image he held of her.  

    Jesus offers us the same opportunity, rooted in God’s extravagant love for us.  As we move into Jesus’ ideal for us, we extend the same opportunity to others.

    Here’s a spiritual practice for the week:  Learn From Past Experience of Forgiveness

    Look truthfully at one hurt you have been able to forgive.  What steps did you take to get there-— confess your contribution to a conflict, make amends, change behavior, let go of a label?

    What feelings did you have to let go of--anger, denial, guilt, shame, or embarrassment?

    Imagine what it would be like to live in forgiveness of another hurt.

    Peace and Blessings!

    Bob

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    Spiritual Practice: Give Thanks for Diversity

    Sunday, June 2, 2013, 7:19 PM [General]

    Sometimes outsiders of scant faith outmatch our performance.  They bring us back to the basics. Then may we, re-grounded in faith and renewed in love, begin to demonstrate that gracious tenacity which can make hope become reality and bring love into situations where even the strong fear.

     

    Jesus marveled at the faith of a Roman Centurion, a man thought by most of his contemporaries as a person outside of the community of faith.

     

    Think of some of the most important lessons you have learned in life.  Or think of a skill you have that you value highly.  Ask yourself:  Who taught me that?

     

    Ask these questions, too:  Who is the model of virtue for me?  Who are the influential people in my life?

     

    Are some of the people you thought about different from you--different nationality, different ethnicity, different race,  different religion, different age, different gender, …?  Could they have contributed to your life if they were not different than you?  Give thanks for the diverse people who have contributed to your life.

     

    Peace and Blessings!

    Bob

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    Spiritual practice for Trinity Sunday: Look for things that come in threes

    Sunday, May 26, 2013, 4:43 PM [General]

    Pay attention to what is around you. Today, especially look for things that come in threes. What can you learn from these things about the mystery of the trinity? St. Patrick, for instance, used a shamrock to teach about the trinity. In what ways do the things you observe manifest as one?

    Peace and Blessings!
    Bob

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