I Believe – October Special

It’s not ready yet, but it turns out that’s not a big deal. What? I’ve enrolled I Believe: A Year of Reflecting on One’s Faith in the Kindle Matchbook program. However, just before preparing to release the news I found out that I was a month too soon. Not in enrolling, but in when you can see it.

So, beginning in October, if you’ve purchased the book from Amazon you can download the Kindle version – FOR FREE!

That’s right. And it doesn’t matter when you purchased it. So you don’t have to buy them together or think, ‘Rats! I bought the paperback last year.’ You’re still eligible.

I’ll mention it again when it actually goes live.

John

Lent – Day 35

This week the hope is that sometimes your change is second nature, accomplished without thinking about it. Today is the Feast of St. Joseph. He’s touted as a great worker, but I haven’t read much about him. I wonder what a piece of his carpentry work would fetch today? My guess is an unbelievable amount. In this Lenten practice, this is our last week of focusing on what we are changing, as next week is Holy Week, and we spend that time in reflection without action. I think once something becomes second nature, automatic, we achieve that same level.

J

Lent – Day 23 – Examination vs. Reflection

I had a dream last night that I was pleading with a group of politicians to look out for what was best for the country, not just their party. Although a lot of them seem to be older than me, they act like they are from the ‘Me’ generation. (I think I was before that…I think.)

Then I read this morning’s poem, Divided, and was amazed that it was about that very same thing. (And no, I had not read it the night before or the day before, if you’re wondering.)

I also realized, after reading the thought for the day, that there is a difference between examination and reflection. I considered this because I’ve been struggling with saying out of one side, ‘don’t judge where you are’ and then asking you to reflect on what is happening. How is that not judging? Well, to me, the difference is this: Examination is a head activity, where you are evaluating and inspecting what you’ve done and coming to a conclusion, a judgment. Reflection, however, comes from the heart. It is not judgmental; it is more a sensing of where you are, what you’ve experienced. Rather than analytical it’s experiential.

We’re taking action this week, maybe not all the time, but some of the time. We’re in the process of changing, which may include episodes of old behavior mixed with the new. As we become more immersed in the present moment, we become more aware, and reflect as we live, rather than in hindsight. It truly opens one’s eyes to life.

J

Lent – Day 19 – Sunday 3

The discovery period is over. You should now understand how you want to change your response in the given situations. My guess is you are already using the new response, at least some of the time. I think this is the beauty of being deliberate. The more you become aware of the present moment, the more naturally you respond to it.

And when they say, ‘Time flies,’ I think it flies fastest when you are focused on the moment. You don’t realize or think about time anymore, and thus when you look up, so much time has passed and it has seemed to be nothing. I imagine that’s the way it is when we are reunited with God. We become present to the moment and to our creator, and time loses all meaning.

I think that happened to me this weekend, which is why I missed several posting days. I had read the reflection for the day, but missed posting something here. I look forward to the coming week.

J

P.S. I was made aware of another prayer site that is excellent, and includes daily prayers, here. I find it very familiar in some cases to my own thinking.

Lent – Day 14

In a discussion yesterday someone pointed out two extremes – altruism and psychological egoism – and we talked about them, about how easy it is to do something that looks good and bask in the glow of praise from others. And it is difficult, when the adulation comes, to deflect it, accepting the thought without letting it puff you up.

“You should be proud,” is often heard from others when you do something worthwhile; yet, how opposite this is to Jesus’s teaching, to Buddha’s teaching. (And probably to others, as well.) When you focus on God, and focus on shining God’s light, then the need for praise, for boosting yourself up, diminishes. If you’re capable, it might even vanish if your focus is complete.

As you discover what to do instead of what you were doing, don’t judge the action on how it would make you appear, but rather how it fits in with your personality. If you try to do something that is not you, like an extrovert trying to keep quiet, you’re bound to meet with disappointment. Here we are working to reveal who we are in a way that does not glorify ourselves, because when we reveal who we really are, what we are doing is glorifying God.

J