As Is The “Habit” of Some

I've been hanging out with the nuns.  Every Tuesday evening I've been attending a class on Centering Prayer at the monastery in a nearby town.  I am known for sometimes escaping to such places for retreat and times set apart for God but it has not been my practice to take their classes.

I've been sitting in a room with men and women from many different spiritual journeys.  There is the Buddhist, the meditator who own a studio, the lesbian-Christian seeker, the historian, the Catholic retreatants (sp?) and the Protestant-no-longer-gay-identified-seeker chick.  I'm in good company really.  Seeking. 

We perceive what we seek very differently.  If I refer to what THEY seek I would depict it as "god" or, maybe, "their god."  If I depict what  I seek I would simply say, "God."  For some, all prayer goes to the same place and to the same god.  All good deeds are measured the same.  All seeking will lead to the same, eventual goal.

Our teacher by video is Fr. Thomas Keeting.  He really is insightful.  I don't think HE believes that all seeking is the same and all seekers are going to find the same, eventual goal.  He is proclaiming the God who sought us first and who longs to draw us into His embrace.  THIS God made a way of approach through Jesus Christ.  This is the God that Fr. Thomas proclaims.

I wonder.  What will be perceived of me as this course of study progresses?  I thought I was there for me and Jesus.  I thought I was there to learn and I saw it that way.  Today I wonder if my seeking has something to do with the others?  Perhaps I'll be changed a bit.  Perhaps my way of seeing others will be altered.  How could I meet with God and not be changed? 

I am going to be practicing how to come near to God.  Good, I think.

I am reminded again from Philippians that "we are to be blameless, innocent children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation among whom you are seen as lights in the world." 

Will I be seen as a light?

I want to draw near to God and be illuminated by His Presence.

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6 thoughts on “As Is The “Habit” of Some

  1. My husband and I began reading Keating's books on contemplative (centering) prayer this year. We both are very drawn to Keating's work and have greatly appreciated what he's got to say and how he says it. I danced on the inside when I read this post! Makes me happy. 🙂
    One of the things I'm currently working on is an prayer along the lines of St. Patrick's Breastplate but written specifically for the Anglican prayer beads. I memorized the Breastplate this summer while I walked, and have found it to be, although not exactly the same as contemplative prayer, pretty similar in effect in some ways.
    Rambling on now, but can't help it. It's great to stumble across kindred spirits.

  2. That sounds like the Lord to me, always seeking to make learning a two way street. My only concern is that other religions don't influence your own approach unless it is to compel you closer to Christ to seek His redemptive will toward those precious people in the context of their belief.

  3. Luiseach, it is good to know that other believers find some of the same tools. I'm encouraged by your reply.
    Randy, The truth of it is that I'm not open to other approaches that are not Jesus since I explored them long ago and have rejected them to follow Him. It is strange that these others would come under specific Christian teaching like this. I feel I'm there for me because it is a step in some aspects of prayer that I am already exploring. I am now curious why I, wired as I am, am in the room with these others. I appreciate your feedback. I always do.

  4. Oh sure, to be clear, if the instructor is cool and I know you are cool … I think the whole situation is cool. Seeking the supernatural among a variety of seekers is an amazing opportunity for the Lord to do wonderful ministry.

  5. Yes, GP, I think you will be seen as a light. I think those people are fortunate to have you in their class, and I hope that it's all you and they hope it will be. I also hope you'll post on your experience again.

  6. Will I be seen as a light?
    I want to draw near to God and be illuminated by His Presence.
    I predict you will draw nearer to God as you practice His presence, and you will naturally and effortlessly show forth His Light (effortless cause it'll be His light in you — not necessarily effortless in the getting yourself in position to draw near).
    Some in your class may shrink away from it, ignore it, or be drawn to it – the Light in you. Nevertheless, they may see the true God in you as you yearn to draw near to Him… just by being yourself in your quest to draw near.
    I would think it's going to be helpful in your witness, as a Christian, that Fr Thomas Keeting believes that "THIS God made a way of approach through Jesus Christ. This is the God that Fr. Thomas proclaims."
    Please keep us posted. 🙂

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