Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Page 56 (Spiritual Direction)

Well, a few intrepid souls were willing to face down that snarling dog in my previous post, but I figure it's time for something a bit lighter.

The most recent meme making the rounds: pick up the book nearest to you (no cheating; you can't replace Danielle Steel with Dostoyevski), turn to page 56, and copy down the fifth sentence.

When I read that challenge, I was in bed with the laptop and three books tossed around on my cozy red fleece blanket. From page 56 of the closest one:

"The first point to be made is an obvious one: It is not finally helpful for prayer or Christian living to base it on a delusion."

The book is
The Practice of Spiritual Direction by William A. Barry and William J, Connolly; the context is their discussion of the relevance of modern scriptural scholarship to spiritual direction.

There must be many novice spiritual directors who have come to adore the work of William A. Barry, S.J., perhaps starting with
Letting God Come Close: An Approach to the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises. I have so many page corners turned down in that one that I might as well go ahead and memorize the whole thing.

It's a lot better than memorizing Greek paradigms.


Anonymous said...

From Francine Prose's "Reading Like A Writer"

"Read your work aloud if you can, if you aren't too embarrassed by the sound of your own voice ringing out when you are alone in a room."

You asked and this was nearest the computer, a pc because I have no laptop.

This caused me to think about how very little my voice rings out alone in a room when I am in prayer. God knows what I say even when it does not ring out, but would it sometimes have more meaning and be reinforced in my own soul if it were aloud? Praying in the company of others is done silently or aloud, should we do both when we are alone?

I often utter a quick and grateful "Thank you Lord" aloud when I find a parking spot, a seemingly mundane use of gratitude, but a heartfelt one.

Considered next to the many serious situations that have occurred in my life, a parking space prayer may be insignificant. When I think about our feelings of desperation somewhere around the third week after our house burned and the utter hopelessness at that time of ever getting life back together, of the forever lost memories of our children's early years, parking spaces are not of import. Watching the people in California who come back to the devastation of losing the place they called home and knowing that in almost every one of them it will be at its worst at three weeks after the event, a little silent prayer goes up. Perhaps it should be spoken.


Carol said...

I heard a bit of GG's sense of humor in this post! HOORAY!!!!! Glad you aren't missing Greek!

Joan Calvin said...

I didn't post a comment on the dream cause I thought you had done a great job of exegeting it. I suppose I should have posted that. My prayers are with you.

Quotidian Grace said...

From "Understanding the Koran: A Quick Christian Guide to the Muslim Holy Book" by Dr. Mateen Elass (a Presbyterian pastor)

"In 5:115-18, the disciples ask Jesus to petition God to send down a banquet from heaven for their nourishment and reassurance they are on the right track in following Jesus."

You wanted a random sentence, right? I got to meet this author last week at church and bought the book. It's a very helpful primer and I'm planning a review when I finish it.

All that memorizing really impresses me!!

RevDrKate said...

"But in finding your emotions, do not lose yourself, but find yourself instead." From I Can't Get Over It: A Handbook for Trauma Survivors by Aphrodite Matsakis, PhD. And I am totally going to go find that Ignation book by Barry as I decided recently that this was going to be my Advent practice (and likely beyond), based on a little comment somone made recently on my blog that got me thinking. :)

Stratoz said...

OK, so let me get this, I should open and start reading one of his books that I have collected here and there

as for page 56.. it's a long rambling sentence about The Art Ensemble of Chicago in "The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD"

and quit talking about becoming a spiritual director... its getting things stirring, again. ;')