January 3, 2001

NEW JOYS

IN MY LAST LETTER I told you that one of the pastors at my church was going to attend a silent retreat at a Jesuit monastery and that he had asked me to pray for him. When he returned, we talked on numerous occasions about our union with Christ, His life-changing ways, and naturally, about Centering Prayer.

The outcome was that for the past number of weeks a class on Contemplative Prayer has been offered during the Sunday School hour. The first few weeks were very foundational as the pastor struggled to present this brand-new "thing" he was learning about. He asked me to take the class to present Centering Prayer itself.

One class turned into two, and then into a third one shared by him. The fourth and final one was yesterday, led by a Catholic priest in the area who has been doing Centering Prayer much of his life since becoming a priest. He repeated all that I had shared and added more. He was delightful -- and brought an air of respectability with him.

The group attending has been very consistent -- about eight people, with a few others less regularly. It is clear that the Lord has been preparing me through the years, and now I can happily watch as others appear whom He has also been preparing.

To love Him is so very easy! It makes me wonder why it ever seemed so hard! Now I know that each day will bring new joys, no matter how they come dressed, and I will continue to share Him with all He sends my way.

-- Name Withheld


A CHALLENGE

EVERY DAY FOLLOWING the Day Apart I felt the Lord challenging me to invite some people to begin meeting once a week for Contemplative Prayer at my house. So, we will meet for the first time next week.

I am excited about getting this group started. I am certain that for me it is the only way to develop a deeper appreciation of how precious and treasured I am (we are) in God.

-- R.L. - Melbourne, VIC AUSTRALIA


VEILED LOVE

THESE WORDS CAME the other day: "Let the earth be silent [I guess that means us] -- the earth sings in silence." And then I remembered: "... for e'en the cloud that spreads above and veileth Love, itself is Love." (F.B. Meyer)

Each day I ask the Lord to "heal" this world/earth. The other day I had a dispute with Him over the extremes in the weather, then I apologized, because I know we've brought it on ourselves with the atom bomb, greenhouse gases and the depletion of the ozone. He just said to me, "Let's pray."

I am still learning the principle of the preciousness of the present moment. What a wonderful release and freedom -- to leave the unknown future alone. I have been extremely blessed by learning to love and to accept the present moment.

It is, also, very freeing to tell the Lord when I did NOT enjoy the present moment! My son has his Learner's Permit to drive now, so I am a "Learner" too -- I am learning to bless him every day.

I enjoy just "being" very much -- maybe too much. I find that His still, small voice is all I need. Increasingly I find the onus is mainly on God who says: "Behold, I make all things new," and that He chooses us and causes us to dwell in (or hear) Him.

Every blessing to you with His presence near.

--- H.H. - Adelaide, SA AUSTRALIA


GOD'S FAVORITE CHILD

WE ARE STILL "BASKING" and will continue until it becomes as much a part of our lives as brushing our teeth. We are trusting in God's grace to keep our hearts responsive to His calling us aside to be with Him.

Centering Prayer is what I believe God had in mind when I spoke to my friend years ago: "I believe God is bringing me to a place where I've always yearned to be, but have never been."

Now I have been shown the way into that resting place near to the heart of God. Thank you for being His channels of love, and for sharing what you have been shown. After this weekend, I feel as if I am God's favorite child, having a deeper revelation of His love for me.

-- B.G. - Dallas, TX