Tuesday, March 19, 2013


I forget who created this marvelous piece, but if you look closely the shot is full of spirit birds. And it kind of reflects what I'm thinking right now.

“You strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.” Jesus in Jesus of Nazareth. He was just a little…upset with certain Temple officials at the time. The allusion is similar to “you keep pointing out the speck in your neighbor’s eye while ignoring the four by four in your own.”

I was rereading some reviews of The Shack on Amazon and came across a comment with the curious (to me) assertion that contemplative prayer was “unbiblical.” Googling the subject led to some interesting websites.  I find this curious since the material I've read on praying the office style of prayer is all based on the Bible. Some may add a hymn or short piece for meditation but they all have at least one reading from each testament and a Psalm.

Depending on the monastery or convent the prayer cycle might go through the all the Psalms in as little as two weeks or take up to a month. And Kathleen Norris comments in Cloister Walk that the Abbey (St. John’s I think) where she’s an oblate would go through whole books i.e. Jeremiah in the run up to Eastertide, at a time. Personally, I love contemplative prayer and the Desert Fathers were praying it before it was decided exactly what the Bible was.

So, has anyone run into this and what is the basis for these opinions?

This started a discussion thread in the Creation Spirit community I joined a couple of years ago. There have been some good responses and I’ve learned a lot. Maybe more than I really wanted to.

I’ve had to take myself firmly in hand and decide that researching the critics is futile. Nothing that I or anyone else outside their communities will change their minds. I don’t really mind that we don’t agree on how to approach God/dess in prayer. It’s that they seem so…..bleak and joyless. Heck, the different authors don’t even agree among themselves. It’s an interesting world they seem to inhabit; forever seeking to correct the imperfections they perceive in everyone around them.

And on the OTHER side. The shake up in the Catholic church has brought the unbelievers out in droves. Hey, whatever floats your boat. What keeps me going is that I’ve had a few glimpses through the veil and was stone, cold sober at the time. Enough to convince me that there is more to this world than what we access with our five senses.

In their way the non believers are as dogmatic, close minded, intolerant and sometimes as downright nasty as the fundamentalists they rage against. Again, arguing with them is futile. Their shrink wrapped bubble is just as impenetrable as most conservative fundamentalist. Is there such a thing as a fundamentalist non believer? And by nonbeliever I mean those who dismiss any claims to the spiritual as so much “moonshine.” Anyway their world seems just as bleak and joyless. I wish them joy of it. But, when you spend most of your time trying to convince everyone else to be as  dogmatic and inflexible as you are, well again I wish you joy of it. 


Lisa :-] said...

The main characteristic of human beings seems to be an overwhelming selfishness. It's all about US. And when one of us finds something or believes something, we just can't seem to be happy unless everyone else finds or believes it too. I DO NOT get it.

JACKIE said...

Some of us like nice curvy country roads with lots of trees and nooks and crannies that hold out the promise of a surprise. With luck it'll be a glimpse of the goddess and not a hornet's nest. But, hey, you pays your money and you takes your chance.

Other folks like nice, straight lines. No surprises. I think sprites and hope I'm right. They think hornets and don't take the chance to find out they're wrong.

Does this make any sense at all.