Finding God's Goodness

Week Fourteen: Fortitude. Prayer

Month Four: The Virtue of Fortitude. Loving Myself through eyes of Faith produces patience.

In this season of Lent, we are called to pray, fast, and give alms as we prepare our hearts for Easter.  We develop a discerning and faithful heart, through a life of prayer. As humans, it is hard to live the faithful life we are called to live. Luckily, we are not meant to go it alone.

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Finding God's Goodness

Joy: Looking for God’s Goodness and Weekly Reflection Summary

Looking for God’s Goodness in contemplation and prayer.

Barbara Holmes begins her book Joy Unspeakable with this evocative poem, tracing the thread of creative expression from the birth of the universe through the Christian Desert Mothers and Fathers (who were dark-skinned, though they’re often portrayed as white), through slavery and the continued oppression of people of color. I invite you to read the poem aloud, perhaps a couple times, searching for and finding your own unspeakable joy.

Joy Unspeakable
is not silent,
it moans, hums, and bends
to the rhythm of a dancing universe.
It is a fractal of transcendent hope,
a hologram of God’s heart,
a black hole of unknowing.

For our free African ancestors,
joy unspeakable is drum talk
that invites the spirits
to dance with us,
and tell tall tales by the fire.

For the desert Mothers and Fathers,
joy unspeakable is respite
from the maddening crowds,
And freedom from
“church” as usual.

For enslaved Africans during the
Middle Passage,
joy unspeakable is the surprise
of living one more day,
and the freeing embrace of death
chosen and imposed.

For Africans in bondage
in the Americas,
joy unspeakable is that moment of
mystical encounter
when God tiptoes into the hush arbor,
testifies about Divine suffering,
and whispers in our ears,
“Don’t forget,
I taught you how to fly
on a wing and a prayer,
when you’re ready
let’s go!”

Joy Unspeakable is humming
“how I got over”
after swimming safely
to the other shore of a swollen Ohio river
when you know that you can’t swim.
It is the blessed assurance
that Canada is far,
but not that far.

For Africana members of the
“invisible institution,” the
emerging black church,
joy unspeakable is
practicing freedom
while chains still chafe,
singing deliverance
while Jim Crow stalks,
trusting God’s healing
and home remedies,
prayers, kerosene,
and cow patty tea.

For the tap dancing, boogie woogie,
rap/rock/blues griots
who also hear God,
joy unspeakable is
that space/time/joy continuum thing
that dares us to play and pray
in the interstices of life,
it is the belief that the phrase
“the art of living”
means exactly what it says.

Joy:  Weekly Reflection Summary

Sunday – Dead or Alive. Have you ever thought about if you are living dead or alive?

Monday – All I Need. How often do I look at the changing world around me, allowing it to create dis-ease in my mind or stir up fear in my heart?

Tuesday – Awesomeness. How awesome God is it that Your reign and glory trump everything here in this crazy chaotic world.

Wednesday – Safe and secure. “My soul shall be filled as with a banquet; with joyful lips, my mouth shall praise you. For you have been my strength, in the shadow of your wings I rejoice. My soul clings fast to you; your right hand upholds me”.  Psalm 63 Antiphonal

Thursday – Solid Foundation. How do I live in the solid foundation of joy?

Friday – Presence. And a voice came from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”  Matthew 3:17

Finding God's Goodness

Gift of Peace: Looking for God’s Goodness and Weekly Reflection Summary

Month One: The Virtue of Prudence. Valuing God and finding wisdom and peace.

Looking for God’s Goodness in contemplation and prayer.

When we seek, we find. Today provides an exercise for you to practice flexing your finding muscle. You might find goodness in the following Thanksgiving Examen as previously published here by the Center for Action and Contemplation.

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Finding God's Goodness

Week Two: Lifelong Learning. A Humble Heart

The way we learn the ways of the Spirit, including forming virtue in our soul, is through prayer. I find the most difficult part of learning the ways of the Spirit is that I get in my own way. My self-reliance, pride, or “it’s all up to me” mentality are all road blocks that keep me from where I want to be. They keep me in worry and anxiety which harden my heart. But in prayer and finding God’s goodness, I learn what it means to have the virtue of a humble heart. And with grace, I will be where I need to be.

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Guide to Goodness

Day by Day Finding God’s Goodness

With the weight of the past few years, do you feel you’ve been living the good life? How would you like to spend a few minutes each day cultivating a life worth living. Living the good life is the journey to find the divine within. It’s not so much looking outside ourselves but inviting our Creator to reveal the goodness present in the day-to-day moments of our life. Too often we are hurried, unconscious or unaware of the gifts of peace, hope and joy that are ours for the taking if only we seek the things that feed our soul such as our relationship with God. The whole of the Bible is about how we can restore and build this relationship with the Divine. God, who is always good, constantly seeks us and is ever present. It is we who turn away, following our own agenda and trying to fill a God-size hole with things other than grace and divine love.

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Gift of Goodness

Gift of Goodness – December 27, 2021

A bit of goodness to start your day.

Contemplating the Eternal Word

Beloved: What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we looked upon and touched with our hands concerns the Word of life—for the life was made visible; we have seen it and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was made visible to us—what we have seen and heard we proclaim now to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; for our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.  We are writing this so that our joy may be complete.  

1 John 1:1-4
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Gift of Goodness

Gift of Goodness – December 15, 2021

A bit of goodness to start your day.

Advent reminds us to give of ourselves and to be open to reflecting Christ’s presence in our lives, as we think about His being born in a manger in Bethlehem to redeem us from our sins so that we may share Eternal Life with Him in Heaven!

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