This is why we med­i­tate, that we might, breath by breath, learn to live the sin­gu­lar way of life by learn­ing to die to the illu­sions born of iden­ti­fy­ing with any­thing less than God.

– James Finley 

In all my pover­ty, O God, I come to you. Even as I strug­gle to name it pover­ty—this sense of inad­e­quate response to you. For, by all mea­sures that the world gen­er­al­ly applies, I am rich. I have no phys­i­cal need. I live in lux­u­ry of pos­ses­sions, of appar­ent secu­ri­ty, of oppor­tu­ni­ty, of free­dom, of health. And yet, when I fol­low this wist­ful long­ing to rest in the lap of Thy Pres­ence, I have noth­ing to give save this often con­fused and anx­ious body of being-ness. 

There are won­der­ful invi­ta­tions before me to which I want to say Yes. But I also feel the pull of all my inad­e­qua­cies cast­ing a shad­ow over that Yes. And the ego puffs up with its hol­low arro­gance, want­i­ng the imag­ined promi­nence of recog­ni­tion and applause. My Soul then shrinks a lit­tle. There is very lit­tle sub­stance behind the façade of con­fi­dence about what I can do. So not only do I feel a pover­ty of sub­stance, I am also con­flict­ed by what is a mixed bag of motives. 

Here, in med­i­ta­tive pause, the Grace of this truth floats up on a for­got­ten melody with its Alleluias, Thou, O Lord, are a shield about me, You’re my glo­ry, and the lifter of my head.

I must learn to abide in this: it is you, my God and my Breath, Word that becomes flesh, that is man­i­fest­ing the invi­ta­tion and the Yes to it. And you must be the Guardian and Chief Per­former. I am con­tent to be the stage­hand in prepar­ing the stage and light­ing for you to be seen and known. The stage is my life and being; the light­ing is my point­ing to you and direct­ing the audience’s atten­tion to you. For now, let me rest in Thy Pres­ence and, as lovers do, adore you in mutu­al regard and delight. 

Please, once again, show me the move­ments that make for great Loving.

📚 The 2022 – 23 Ren­o­varé Book Club

This year’s nine-month, soul-shap­ing jour­ney fea­tures four books, old and new, prayer­ful­ly curat­ed by Ren­o­varé. Now under­way and there’s still time to join.

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