Sunday, July 19, we continued month seven of our nine month study on the Fruits of the Spirit. Our focus for July is the fruit of Faithfulness. This week we looked at how we cooperate with the Spirit to allow faithfulness to grow in us. Faithfulness is already in each of us and its growth is a process. Faithfulness grows as we allow the Spirit to teach us to be aware of the reality that is seen beyond what we see with our eyes.
When we see God's reality beyond our present circumstances we can be faithful in the midst of our lives. We become faithful in the midst ofthe "good" times, the "bad" times and the everyday mundane times. God invites us, as He did the disciples, to "come and see" and to "stay awake and pray" (John 1, andLuke 22).
It is so easy in our culture to be blind to God's reality and to allow ourselves to be lulled into the ever climbing social ladder, consumerism, meaningless activity and relational neediness. All these leave us afraid, anxious and sorrowful- which make it impossible to "stay awake and pray." The Spirit is inviting us instead to become receptive, and consent to God's presence in all things.
Below are two practices that might help you engage with the Spirit related to faithfulness.
Pray the welcoming prayer daily or as often as you can.
The Welcoming Prayer
Welcome, welcome, welcome.
I welcome everything that comes to me today
because I know it's for my healing.
I welcome all thoughts, feelings, emotions, persons,
situations, and conditions.
I let go of my desire for power and control.
I let go of my desire for affection, esteem,
approval and pleasure.
I let go of my desire for survival and security.
I let go of my desire to change any situation,
condition, person or myself.
I open to the love and presence of God and
God's action within. Amen.
Call to love exercise- Anthony De Mello
"How could you go about creating a happy, loving, peaceful world? By learning a simple, beautiful, but painful art called the art of looking.
This is how you do it:
a. Every time you find yourself irritated or angry with someone, the one to look at is not that person but yourself. The question to ask is not, "What's wrong with this person," but "What does this irritation tell me about myself."
Do this right now. Think of some irritating person you know and say this painful but liberating sentence to yourself: "The cause of my irritation is not in this person but in me." Having said that, begin the task of finding out how you are causing the irritation.
b. Initially look into the very real possibility that the reason why this person's defects or so called defects annoy you, is that you have them yourself. But you have repressed them and so are projecting them unconsciously into the other.
This is almost always true but hardly anyone recognizes it. So search for this person's defects in your own heart and in your unconscious mind, and your annoyance will turn to gratitude that his or her behavior has lead you to self-discovery.
By Babs May-Clark