Meditations and Reflections: June 2004 Archives

Oswald Chambers

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One of the great treasures of the Church that is often lacking in the circles of protestantism that have wandered far from liturgy is the richness of liturgical prayer. And honestly, sometimes it is hard to think of things to say and pray about on my own, so I rely heavily upon Liturgy of the Hours to open up the floodgates of prayer, both petition and meditation.

However, the Protestant churches have given rise to numerous devotiionals that are nearly always better than their Catholic counterparts. My thought is that lacking liturgical prayer, God raises up for them certain people who offer the food for meditation and prayer that Catholics have as a natural part of the faith. Catholics, not needing this, aren't particularly good at supplementing the richness of the treasury of faith.

So with Oswald Chambers, about whom I know little, but from whom I have gained much refreshment and much food for thought.

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I found yesterday's mediation following on the writing of St. Cyprian below most thought-provoking. Perhaps it is meant for me alone, but the question of unity among Christians and what I particularly am doing to foster, nurture, and encourage it has been on my mind for the past couple of days (since an interesting ecumenical discussion of the Eucharist over at Disputations). Particularly, I must consider the delicate issue of how to foster unity without conceding error or becoming indifferent to the profound divisions amongst us. Nevertheless, it is crucial to enter into respectful dialogue and to share the riches of the Catholic Faith, while participating in the varied richness of Protestantism.

from My Utmost for His HIghest
Oswald Chambers

Jesusí instructions with regard to judging others is very simply put; He says, "Donít." The average Christian is the most piercingly critical individual known. Criticism is one of the ordinary activities of people, but in the spiritual realm nothing is accomplished by it. The effect of criticism is the dividing up of the strengths of the one being criticized. The Holy Spirit is the only one in the proper position to criticize, and He alone is able to show what is wrong without hurting and wounding. It is impossible to enter into fellowship with God when you are in a critical mood. Criticism serves to make you harsh, vindictive, and cruel, and leaves you with the soothing and flattering idea that you are somehow superior to others. Jesus says that as His disciple you should cultivate a temperament that is never critical. This will not happen quickly but must be developed over a span of time. You must constantly beware of anything that causes you to think of yourself as a superior person.

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Unpleasant Truths

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Yesterday, Tom at Disputations commented that sometimes you just happen to get an answer that completely satisfies the question but disconcerts the questioner. Today I had a similar sort of disconcerting experience--call it looking in a mirror I didn't want to see.

"Sin speaks to the sinner
in depths of his heart.
There is no fear of God
before his eyes.

He so flatters himself in his mind
that he knows not his guilt.
In his mouth are mischief and deceit.
All wisdom is gone."

I've read the words every first Wednesday from the time I started praying the Liturgy of the Hours. Today they decided finally to speak rather than to remain on the page, and I would rather that they had not. It makes one rather uncomfortable.

But then I suppose there is a blessing here as I recall the words of Soren Kierkegaard--"Those who are comfortable with Christ do not know Him."

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Meditations and Reflections category from June 2004.

Meditations and Reflections: May 2004 is the previous archive.

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