Simply put, “For Ignatius, the ebb and flow of consolation and desolation is the normal path of the Christian life.” There will be times of consolation – when there is a sense of noticeable, personally experienced growth or blossoming, when God’s presence seems close and the means of grace seem easy and quick at hand. There will also be times of desolation – similar to the “dark night of the soul” – when, whether from wrongdoing, or attacks of the enemy, or times of struggle or challenge, God’s presence seems distant or even simply absent, when our growth seems stalled or the habits that sustain us feel unusually heavy.
“I do not always understand the mystery of prayer, but I know its power.”
Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to South Korea and visit some of largest churches in the world: Kwanglim Methodist Church with 85,000…
My sister, after years away from the faith, came home to Christ in the Lutheran church. The transition back into the church world, while…
Simplicity isn’t easy. I used to think that “simple” and “easy” could always be used interchangeably, like when asked about a particular task that…
Observing Holy Week has had a significant impact on my life. There are many different ways I could mark my growth as a follower of Jesus Christ, but a major part of my growth as a Christian came when I started to attend Holy Week services. Attending worship on Thursday and Friday of Holy Week is a highlight of my year as a follower of Jesus. Attending these services has prepared me to celebrate – really celebrate – the news that Jesus Christ is risen.
Christians may forget that Advent marks the beginning of the Christian calender year. It entails celebrating two events simultaneously: Jesus’ first coming and his second coming. The lectionary texts during Advent orient themselves more towards the latter, and it might be worthwhile to suggest that we do likewise.
It’s high time that we get back to celebrating the Christian New Year with as much anticipation as watching the ball drop at Times Square.
The Body of Christ can’t be reduced to a series of zeros and ones. This is why a nursing home resident may watch sermons on their television but still ask to be wheeled down to the weekly worship service in the multipurpose room. This is why that same resident may request that their pastor bring them communion occasionally.
Tapping into the means of grace as a channel to have divine power and grace made available 24/7/365 is a comforting and empowering promise upon which Christianity rests. But it doesn’t quite tell the whole story or describe the importance of rhythm, the need for ebb and flow in our lives. Humanity is, after all, created for work for six days and rest on the seventh.
The spiritual life cannot be sustained at full tilt. Seasoned disciples know that growth and strength come from periods in the desert.
“How is memory significant for us as God’s people? Why is it important for us to remember, and what specifically should we remember most?”