so?!

So today has been a plodding start. I did say Morning Prayer. I have had breakfast and a cup or two of tea. But apart from that, I have done very little. I watched some videos on TikTok about religious life in Anglicanism. It must be a TikTok thing but all the videos are about nuns – men are not smart enough to use social media. If you are interested, follow me @anchoriteexperiment. I have had an issue with my eyes that makes reading a little more complicated than usual. Yes, I should simply wear my glasses but, you know, where are they?!

I woke up this morning thinking about the Rule of St Augustine, especially the opening sentence:

Before all else, dear brothers, love God and then your neighbor, because these are the chief commandments given to us.

Augustine wrote for a group of men (who were unable to use social media!) so forgive the opening. My thoughts, this morning, were wondering if the sentence should not say, “love Jesus and then your neighbour”. I have been called a “Jesus only Christian” before and I am never sure what that means. I often feel that we hide behind a coverall term, God, to escape the responsibility of facing that God in the life and death of Jesus. Jesus says, “Follow ME”, and not “Follow God”.

Anyway …

can I just disappear?

I cannot get going today. I am tired and emotionally exhausted. Can I just disappear?

I have prayed and had a very strong cup of tea. I miss the silence and solitude. I tried reading but my mind is all over the place. The Bible Study is tomorrow but I cannot focus.

So I am surfing the net looking for nice pictures of monasteries and Carthusian cells. And listening to really bad 80s music. Maybe I go and sit outside for a little?!

Enneagram Type Nine

I watched a series yesterday about “Becoming a Mystic”. Maybe a better title would be “How to live more like a follower of Jesus”? One of the things suggested is to do the hard work of self-discovery. (Like, for example, live like an anchorite for a time and read lots of books.) So this morning, in an attempt to meet “me”, I did the Enneagram test, which I have not done previously, and I am Type Nine.

Now all of that means nothing to me. So I went where I normally go for insight, Amazon. I found some books that I can read for some more insight. I even found one that discusses vocation.

So there you go!

interior penance?

1430 Jesus’ call to conversion and penance, like that of the prophets before him, does not aim first at outward works, “sackcloth and ashes,” fasting and mortification, but at the conversion of the heart, interior conversion. Without this, such penances remain sterile and false; however, interior conversion urges expression in visible signs, gestures and works of penance.

1431 Interior repentance is a radical reorientation of our whole life, a return, a conversion to God with all our heart, an end of sin, a turning away from evil, with repugnance toward the evil actions we have committed. At the same time it entails the desire and resolution to change one’s life, with hope in God’s mercy and trust in the help of his grace. This conversion of heart is accompanied by a salutary pain and sadness which the Fathers called animi cruciatus (affliction of spirit) and compunctio cordis (repentance of heart)

Catechism of the Catholic Church

There is so much of the above to think about and meditate on. I like that penitence is interior looking for an external sign. So, being Anglican, “all may, some should, none most”. The importance is the conversion of the heart – the wholehearted turning to Jesus.

I have created a PDF for the Common Worship “The Reconciliation of a Penitent” which I think should work for Anglicans. I like that the Common Worship order has an Act of Contrition which is not there in other orders. (Happy to be corrected!)

in case …

I have been producing a podcast for the Anglican Renewal Network Australia.

In case you feel like giving it a listen:

1 July – Spirit Gifts (5): Building up the Church Anglican Renewal Network Australia

Mark finishes the Retreat. The script can be found via our blog. Please visit our website or Facebook page for more updates and information on ARNA.
  1. 1 July – Spirit Gifts (5): Building up the Church
  2. 30 June – Spirit Gifts (4): Power Gifts
  3. 29 June – Spirit Gifts (3): Word Gifts
  4. 28 June – Spirit Gifts (2): Love Gifts
  5. 27 June – Spirit Gift (1): His Spirit lives in you

Surrender to Jesus

Lord Jesus Christ,
I surrender today to you.

I give myself to you as a living sacrifice,
my soul and body,
my entire being.

I give to you all my thoughts, words and deeds,
all my sufferings and labours,
all my hopes and joys.
Above all, I give to you my heart
so that I may love only you
and be consumed in the fire of your love.

I place my trust in your infinite mercy.
I place within your hands all my cares and anxieties.
And I promise you my love and service.

Do with me what you will, my Jesus.
I desire only you.

Heart of Jesus, I surrender myself to you,
be my everything.

feelings?

Sometimes I reflect on the many things that I have heard in sermons throughout the years. For me, that includes some time in seminary.

So, I have been wondering:

Why can I not trust my feelings but I can trust my reasoning?

I cannot recall how many times I have been told that my feelings are untrustworthy but my reasoning I can trust. (And let’s assume that hermeneutics is a form of reasoning.) But how realistic is that? Or, maybe more importantly, how human is that?

Happy to read any answers!

the crowd?

They were trying to bring him in and lay him before Jesus; but finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the middle of the crowd in front of Jesus.

Luke 5:19

Today the reading at Morning Prayer was from Luke 5. I may have written about this before but I was struck by the people who cannot come near to Jesus “because of the crowd”. I wonder if the crowd here is not something like “Christendom”? Or, how often have I stopped people from seeing Jesus by being “religious”?

I have a tattoo that says, “the crowd is untruth”. Of course, it is from Kierkegaard’s “This Single Individual”. But I wonder, in the wider sense, if Kierkegaard is not making the same point as Luke? Sometimes the many can stop us from seeing Jesus clearly.

cloud of unknowing

I have been reading The Cloud of Unknowing. And I wanted to share the prayer it starts with, which is also the Collect for Purity that starts the Anglican Eucharist:

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord.
All Amen.

surrender?

After Communion yesterday I had this very strong sense that Jesus is saying to me:

I surrender justice and “being right” for love of you.

I had a sense of being called to share in the cross in a special way. Psychologically I can see where that sense originated – I have decided on a new life. But Jesus gives up everything, including any concept of justice, on the cross for love of me.

Or, of course, it could simply be the leftover wine that I drank!?