Thursday, February 05, 2009

Devotional Reflections

My devotional practice, recently, has developed into the following rhythm; Morning prayer according to the Celtic Daily Prayer structure, following the Aidan cycle from that book, with an added reading from Chittister's "The Rule of Benedict", to reflect my new commitment to St. Brigid's Monastery.

Today's three scriptures named in CDP Aidan were Psalm 119;107, Isaiah 53:11, and Mark 1: 16-17. There was a poem by Catherine Baird (#103), and the meditation for the 5th day was the Methodist Covenant Prayer. Chittister's entry for Feb. 5 is the 8th step of humility. (Non highlighted entries are included in the Celtic Daily Prayer's website.)

Today's scriptures are about affliction, the power of taking on burdens and what you learn (. . . and he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge), and companionship (come with me, and I will make you fish for people). The Baird poem is a poem of speculation, wondering if the Earth knew what was coming for Jesus, and did it commiserate?

And Just for added measure, Chittister's Feb. 5 reading is about doing what you're told, and the Wesleyan covenant prayer is a prayer for God to do what God will with us.

Do you think that sounds like a leading?

Humility. submission. The suffering servant discovering value in the suffering.

There is pain in submission, we Americans seem to feel that more than most others in this world. But there is also pain is what we do choose, the pain of isolation. What comes through submission is membership, identification, camaraderie, and support. Suffering pain to be alone gives nothing. Suffering pain in submission is temporary, and there is something that comes after. Suffering pain to be alone only brings more pain, and no value.

We all submit to things. If we have jobs or vocations, success in them involves some sort of submission; to a boss, to a committee, to a job description. And for all of our native intelligence, our personal experiences, submission to the community of work we are in does yield wisdom about how the job we do has developed. It isn't always true that "we've never done it that way before" is an epithet. Sometimes it is acquired wisdom, and it pays for the newbie to pay attention, trying it their way, before discovering that it doesn't work. there's also the issue of acceptance, if you are new. If you come in and try it the way the established community does it before introducing innovations, you show that you value and accept the people you have just joined, which is as important as their showing you the same.

Ordinary tasks must be performed every week, just like the cows must be fed and milked. This is the work. I am a pastor, but I am in service to a congregation. Two, really, and one of them has a funeral coming on Saturday. Perhaps the teaching here is that the mundane stuff is what makes you holy. If there is less static on the radio, the song can come through more clearly, and my song is the love and grace and acceptance of God, as evidenced by Jesus Christ.

So, I will now go and address the mundane in my office!

1 comment:

  1. Suffering, submission, finding value in all of it. Yes, I'm familiar, but that is something that will be addressed in my own blog once my sinuses clear out. I am looking forward to hearing about your journey as an oblate for sure. And, I'm looking for a book of daily prayer. The Celtic Daily Prayer is in the running.