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Sunday, March 10, 2013

All God, All The Time?

     "Brother Lawrence", born in France in 1611, experienced a spiritual awakening at age 18 when one day he took time to reflect on a tree in winter that was stripped of its leaves. Just meditating on the simple fact that these leaves would soon reappear, accompanied by an abundance of flowers and fruit, led to a deeper awareness of the providence and power of God that never left him.

In 1649, he joined the Order of “Barefooted” Carmelites in Paris. There he was assigned kitchen duty as a lay brother in his austere monastic community, an assignment he carried out cheerfully in spite of his aversion to this kind of work. His goal was to constantly "practice the presence of God" the spiritual discipline that has become associated with his name.

I've often wondered if it is really possible to live that way, a question we reflected on in our house church service last week when veteran missionary and associate member Paul Swarr led our study of the lectionary texts for the third Sunday in Lent.

I left that gathering with a new desire to have every part of my life, the "spiritual" and the "natural" alike, be lived in harmony with God's Spirit, with a far less sharp dividing line between the "sacred" and the "ordinary".

Since then I have been regularly reminding myself of the need to listen deeply to the still, small voice of God--with the third ear of the heart--so that...

every moment becomes holy
every meal becomes a Eucharist
every meeting with another an epiphany.

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