Lenten Meditation THREE

In our last meditation we did an exercise which aimed at teaching you to let go. Living a life of simplicity is part of the Anglican Spirituality and we can learn from the Franciscan notion of poverty in the idea that once we feel that we own something we become possessive about it and seek to defend it and we can become obsessed with it.

When we are possessive – we can have various responses to the thing we are possessive over – I read the story of the Lord of the Rings)

And so we either love it and make it our idol or we hate is and become its slave…

When we acknowledge that everything comes from God and of His own do we give him, when we acknowledge that nothing we have is of our own making or earned, when we acknowledge that “by grace we have been saved, through faith. And this is not of our own doing, it is the gift of God not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2: 8,9) then we are able to be more focused on God than on ourselves and our property, be it intellectual property or material property, or spiritual property, our prejudices, mindsets, convictions, dogma’s.  When we see them as a gift from God we will treat them differently – and when we see them as a gift to the world as opposed to something that we are entitled to – we will use them differently.  

Denying ourselves is a form of disciple that enables us to release ourselves from any idea of possession. When we let go of something there will be a grieving, a sense of loss. If you give something to God and don’t feel any grief, then you have not really sacrificed! (that’s just a pebble in your pond – you can go away and think about).

Lent teaches us how to stop being possessive and live in humility and contentment and gratitude – I do hope that as you use that Meditation method you will experience that.

But letting go has the objective of making room for the change that God requires of us -and so when we have developed our ability to make room for God we need to know how to listen to Him, to be refilled. And there are many ways – if we trust the Spirit of God to lead us.

This meditation is one way that enables us to listen and learn from scripture.

The Method of St Francis De Sales

He was is a Doctor of the Church, of noble birth,  ordained 1591 – from the Jesuit school and was bishop of Geneva from 1602.

We call this St Francis’ 6 P’s

  1. Preparation
  2. Picture
  3. Ponder
  4. Promise
  5. Pray
  6. Pick

We are going to reflect on the text  John 3: 16-19

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

Having read the text we prepare ourselves to really listen to what the text is saying to us – and it is a lovely one to do as a first try at this method.

Recollect God’s presence and invoke the Holy Spirit.  – Easy to do when it begins with Speaking of God’s love for the world – –

  1. God’s Presence
  2. God is in all things and places, where do you experience him most obviously – imagine yourself in that place.
  3. God is in your heart – that feeling that you have in that place that you treasure – that is the description of your heart… how you feel when HEARTFELT…
  4. Jesus’ Present – now read the text again with Jesus :
  5. Jesus gazing at you – Jesus is speaking to you… how do you feel, what is your response.
  6. Jesus sitting beside you – imagine that you are next to Jesus and he is speaking to others. How do you feel? What response to others is required of you?
  7. Picture: imagine the scene unfolding in front of you. Go back and read the whole pericope form John 3 vs 1 – imagine being there experienced it first-hand. Can you relate to Nicodemus – do you have the same questions as him, personally. Can you relate to Nicodemus, do you see others struggling with what he was struggling with? What does born again mean to you? What does vs 16 – 19 mean in light of that understanding?
  8. Ponder – think about that passage carefully and quietly, become alert to specifics.  Reread: 16-19. Was there anything new? Are you living true to what you now believe the verse is calling you to?
  9. Promise
  10. how does this meeting influence your relationship with the triune God, and with your neighbour?
  11. What promise can you seek to fulfil in the Power of the Holy Spirit.
  12. Pray –  Now we give thanks to God
  13. Praise – what are you praising God for right now?
  14. Thanksgiving – what do we need to give thanks to God for ( just call out)
  15. Seek the grace to respond to the word, how do you need to respond to this reading with renewed GRACE –  for by grace you have received this promise – how do you feel about that – talking to God about it..
  16. General prayer –
  17. Pick – take a thought for the Day, to dwell on and remember throughout the day.

          Always go away from scripture with a verse imprinted on your mind – what’s yours today?

          Author: admin

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