Categories
not Scripture

Life and light

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.

The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and is own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God.

— John 1:1-12, NRSV Bible with the Apocrypha

Categories
Prayers Scripture

A prayer when reading scripture

May your word fall on me and cover me;
May it root deeply in me and grow in me;
May it fill me full and bear fruit in me,
Overflowing for you.

dw

For context, look at the parable of the sower and it’s explanation in Luke 8:4-15.

I say this prayer pretty much every time I read the Bible. Why, especially now that I seem to be able to recite it without even thinking about it? What’s the point?

This prayer, even when I’m in a hurry and hardly think about it, expresses my true desire. This is what I want the reading of scripture to do to me, within me, and through me…even when I’m hurried or distracted or skeptical or depressed. No matter what is going on in me, I want God’s word to have this effect, long-term, in my life.

So I ask for it…because I know God hears and answers more faithfully than I pray or read. For this I am grateful.


  • What is your experience with reading scripture?
  • If you find it challenging, what sorts of things would help you?
  • Though I have specifically mentioned scripture, I believe God’s word can be sown in our lives at any moment of any day through the prompting and counsel of the Holy Spirit: how open are we to receiving God’s word in that form and letting it root in our lives and bear fruit?
  • I see a clear parallel between the thorns in the Luke passage and the ashes in the quote from Thomas Merton in the last post. I think these thorns and ashes, the distractions and anxieties of my life, are what hold me back, choke out the fire of God’s Spirit in me. What is your experience like?

Again, I encourage you to write down your thoughts. Why? It makes space for you to think them, decide if you believe them or not, revise them, and remember them later.

Grace and peace to you…

dw

Categories
Other Writings the real self

Thomas Merton on the ‘real self’

I consider that the spiritual life is the life of [one’s] real self, the life of that interior self whose flame is so often allowed to be smothered under the ashes of anxiety and futile concern.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

In these few words Merton has spelled out the scope of this blog:

  • the ‘real self’ God made us to be;
  • how to find it;
  • and how to fan it aflame amid the ashes of our lives.

It boils down to what I have come to believe is the good news of the Gospel:

Following Jesus leads us from our fake selves to our real selves,

from living in our heads to living from our hearts,

from advancing our own agenda to receiving the gift of His,

from thirsting for the next transient thrill to drinking deeply of eternal life.


  • What do you think of the notion that each of us has a ‘real self’ that God loves and nurtures?
  • To what extent do you feel in touch with your real self?
  • What are the ashes in your life that hinder your real self from emerging and thriving?

I encourage you to consider writing out your answers, either in a journal or in the comments section (as others have done).

Grace and peace to you…

dw