Friday, February 17, 2006

Subversive shopping

How can the simplicity of Jesus Prayer Spirituality be reflected in our lifestyle? I was thinking about a concept of 'subversive spending'; our consumer advertising promotes the expectation that we'll buy top of the range products and spend more than we 'need'. How about if when we shop, we buy the simpler, 'adequate' product, and always donate the difference between the cost of that and the higher end product to those in need? Andrew

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

the three time rule...

A friend sent me a text message to say that she'd been led to pray for me for the last two days. I'd actually been having a difficult time and I feel very moved that God would inspire someone to do that for me. Nigel Mumford in his book Hand to Hand: From Combat to Healing writes, 'I pray for particular people when they come to mind, and often find later that there was a real need on that particular occasion. I follow 'the three time rule:' when someone comes to mind three times, I call or visit to see if something is wrong. Often I find that God has communicated a friend's need.' The knots on a Prayer Rope or Rosary Beads can be used to represent and remind us of those for whom we want to pray.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

How I learned the Jesus Prayer...

I think it's interesting how people come to learn the Jesus Prayer, so I thought I'd share my experience. I was 18 and studying at London University; I used to visit the Catholic Chaplaincy in Gower Street. While there I came into contact with a woman called Mary Durnan - Mary was from Canada, had retired and was using her time to travel and to volunteer.

She was kind to me, and one day she asked me if I ever woke up in the middle of the night praying. Strangely enough it had happened a couple of times recently, and she went on to ask me if I'd heard of the Jesus Prayer. Well I had read of it in Carlo Carretto's book Letters from the Desert when I was at school - I'd even hitchhiked to Morrocco wanting to get to Carretto's Hermitage in Tamanrasset Algeria; I only got as far as the Little Sisters of Jesus in Fez though!

Anyway, Mary said, 'Would you like your own Jesus Prayer, Andrew?', and she prayed for me right there and then - I think it was on the bus - for me to receive it. Later I was praying through Psalm 19 - I was taking one psalm a day at that time, and I came to the last verse: 'Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer' and I thought, 'That's it! just change the words to Jesus, my Rock, my Redeemer' and I've been praying it ever since.

It was a beautiful gift and I shall be forever grateful to Mary, who I lost contact with. Do you have a Jesus Prayer story to share? Post a Comment or email me.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

going slow...

I'm grateful to Chandy for sending me this snippet: from Mrs. Lettie Cowman’s book, Springs in the Valley (pp. 196-197), comes this interesting tale from African colonial history: 

It was a century or more ago that in the deep jungles of Africa, a traveler was making a long trek. Natives of the area were hired to carry the loads. The first day they marched rapidly and went far. The traveler had high hopes of a speedy journey. But the second morning these jungle tribesmen refused to move. For some strange reason they just sat and rested. When asked about the reason for this strange behavior, the traveler was informed that they had gone too fast the first day, and that they were now waiting for their souls to catch up with their bodies. 

There are times when our lives move so fast, that we need to slow down and let our souls catch up with us --not literally, but figuratively. God bless, Andrew