Married Monasticism

A lovely post about everyday monasticism for non-monastics.

http://ethikapolitika.org/2015/03/26/married-monasticism/

[As always, I haven’t checked the whole site and can’t vouch for everything in it, please use your own discernment]

The New Monasticism Gets Older, But Will it Grow Up?

This post is a year old, but I saw it for the first time today and thought it worth sharing.

“The New Monasticism Gets Older, But Will it Grow Up? by Greg Peters”
On Protestant, evangelical monasticism.

I thought this quote from John Henry Newman was particularly interesting:

“Clergymen at present are subject to the painful experience of losing the more religious portion of their flock. . . . They desire to be stricter than the mass of churchmen, and the church gives them no means.”

We prefer the word ‘spiritual’ over ‘religious’ these days, but the same is true nevertheless.

Does the longing for deeper devotion than the churches offer resonate with you?

http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2014/03/the-new-monasticism-gets-older

[The link above will take you away from us, as I haven’t figured out how to open a new tab via my mobile! So please do bookmark us before you go!]

Streams in the Desert

I picked up a second-hand book in the freebie section of my local Christian bookshop this week:

Streams in the Desert (volume 1) a series of daily devotional readings collected by Mrs Charles E Cowman.

I share part of today’s reading:

“Often the Lord calls us aside from our work for a season, and bids us be still and learn ere we go forth again to minister. There is no time lost in such waiting hours.

Fleeing from his enemies, the ancient knight found that his horse needed to be re-shod. Prudence seemed to urge him on without delay, but higher wisdom taught him to halt a few minutes at the blacksmith’s forge by the way, to have the shoe replaced ; and although he heard the feet of his pursuers galloping hard behind, yet he waited those minutes until his charger was refitted for his flight. And then, leaping into his saddle just as they appeared a hundred yards away, he dashed away from them with the fleetness of the wind, and knew that his halting had hastened his escape.

So often God bids us to tarry ere we go, and fully recover ourselves for the next stage of the journey and work.”

So often we want to rush God, and we run and rush ahead of His plans. Today, let us breathe deeply and slow down, so we can catch up with the slowness and stillness and align ourselves with God’s plans and purposes in His timing.

Celtic Night Prayer

The interconnectedness of things often makes me smile, and it is funny the way you sometimes stumble across things in old, familiar places.

Take Root and Write was originally a network encouraging Christian women writers that I was a member of several years ago as an aspiring writer. The company was later sold to a fledgling missionary organisation, focused on witnessing to Jewish people, if I recall correctly.

I came across this page on Take Root’s blog this evening, which quotes from the Northumbrian Community, when I did a search for ‘Celtic Night Prayer’:

http://itsourblog.typepad.com/take_root_devotions/2011/08/celtic-night-prayer.html

I assume it is the same organisation as it has the same logo. I haven’t followed it since the original network closed down, so I can’t recommend it (or otherwise); it seemed to have evolved into a magazine and publishing house at one stage, but judging by some of the broken links and empty pages, it doesn’t look like an active ministry anymore, which is sad. But it’s interesting to note how far and wide the interest in Celtic Christian spirituality reaches, and interesting too to note that somebody else has the twin interest of Jewish Christianity as well, even if they haven’t specifically linked the two together.

The peace of all peace
Be thine this night

In the name of the Father, and of the son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen

Early Jewish Believers’ View of Jesus

Looking at the Creeds, which determine the nature and essence of God, putting God into a box that we can understand, reveal a very Greco-Roman logical way of thinking, whereas the Jewish mind is accustomed to holding mystery and paradox in a tension without the need to explain every detail.

This post by Derek Leman on early
Jewish believers’ view of Jesus as God but reluctance to say so in so many words is interesting, and we look forward to reading his new book when it comes out.

http://www.derekleman.com/musings/careful-but-confusing-language-about-yeshua-as-divine-messiah/

Trading the Vibrant Life of Jesus for a Ritualistic Religion Called Christianity.

I stumbled across this great article today on the Franciscan ‘Companions of Jesus’ community website.

I have been contemplating recently the difference between an intellectual and an experiential, relational view of Christianity. I’m not sure where ritualism fits into that spectrum, but I can understand why people might be tempted to substitute ritualism for authentic experience, or to seek authentic experience by way of ritual.

http://www.scjesus.org.uk/design-and-features/menu-styles/main-menu/resources/sermons-articles/bait-and-switch-by-wayne-jacobsen#top

“The life of Christian community isn’t found by sharing religion together, but by embracing a journey of growing relationship with him that transforms us by his grace and power.”

Look to the Rock Whence You are Hewn

I would like to share a sermon preached in the Cathedral Church of St. Nicholas, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, in 1887.

The Celtic Mission of Iona and Lindisfarne
http://m.biblestudytools.com/classics/joseph-barber-lightfoot-leaders-in-the-northern-church/mission-iona-lindisfarne.html

It is interesting for historical interest to note that Celtic Christianity was already being re-explored in the Victorian era.

What was the reason for the phenomenal success of the Celtic church? “It was the power of earnest, simple, self-denying lives, pleading with a force which no eloquence of words can command.”

Times have indeed changed, but as the preacher said, “The simplicity, the self-devotion, the prayerfulness, the burning love of Christ, which shone forth in those Celtic missionaries of old, must be your spiritual equipment now.”

Contemplate on these things. How can you weave them into your daily life? They are certainly worth pursuing.

– Simplicity

– Devotion

– Prayerfulness

“Then, when your work is done, and another generation shall have taken your place, it may be that some future Bede will again trace in words of tender and regretful sympathy the undying record of a Christ-like life and work.”