More Grace (12 January 2019)

Morning Encounter:

Read

God blesses those people who refuse evil advice,
and won’t follow sinners or join in sneering at God.
Instead, the Law of the Lord makes them happy,
and they think about it day and night.
They are like trees growing beside a stream,
trees that produce fruit in season,
and always have leaves.”
(Psalm 1. 1-3)

Reflect

Spiritual practices - all of them - are simply ways of opening ourselves more fully to grace. They are means of pursuing Jesus and putting our lives in his hands. To open ourselves to Christ in prayer, fasting, service, reflection on Scripture and other ways is to put down deep roots into rich soil, and the nourishment we soak up comes from the rivers of grace pouring from God’s presence. Grace makes us able to come to God, and grace is what we receive when we come. Our whole Christian life is grace, a gift, from end to end, from head to toe.

Respond

Spend a little time today reflecting on the opening verses of Psalm 1. How have you experienced spiritual practices as a means of soaking up God’s gracious presence? Ask God to help you see your prayer and service of others in a fresh light.

Midday Meditation:

“A farmer is helpless to grow grain; all he can do is provide the right conditions for the growing of grain. He cultivates the ground, he plants the seed, he waters the plants, and then the natural forces of the earth take over and up comes the grain … This is the way it is with the Spiritual Disciplines - they are a way of sowing to the Spirit … By themselves the Spiritual Disciplines can do nothing; they can only get us to the place where something can be done.”
(Richard Foster)

Evening Reflection:

“Take, Lord, and receive,
all my liberty, my memory, my intellect, my will,
all that I have, and all I possess.
You gave them to me: Lord, I return them to you.
Everything is yours; do with it as you wish.
All I ask for is your love and your grace -
these are enough for me.”
(Ignatius of Loyola)

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