Tag Archives: Luke 8:18

Releasing Our Attachment to the Familiar (Avoiding Superficial Spirituality Part 6)


Last time I concluded with a promise to share some of the human factors involved for us to live more deeply in Jesus. I propose these neither as some sort of sure-fire formula or a bullet-point list in the order of importance. They’re just some of my own observations and aspirations about how to have a deeper walk with God.

I begin with a profound Thomas Merton quote:

“Contemplation does not simply “find” a clear idea of God and confine Him within the limits of that idea, and hold Him there as a prisoner to Whom it can always return. On the contrary, contemplation is being carried away by Him into His own realism, His own mystery and His own freedom. It is a pure and a virginal knowledge, poor in concepts, poorer still in reasoning, but able, by its very poverty and purity, to follow the Word “wherever He may go.”

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He speaks. Can you hear him?

listeningThe bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. John 3:29

As I started my arduous climb out of a time that I call my “hell of mercy,” I began feeling compassion in my heart for a certain needy neighborhood in San Francisco. I wasn’t nearly well enough to make a move into such a depressed inner-city neighborhood; nevertheless I was sensing some sort of inkling toward it. The fact that I had any impetus at all at that particular season of my life gave me hope that God was still talking to me at all. I found myself driving the half hour to the community doing what I call, “reconnaissance.” I wasn’t convinced yet that God was indeed asking me to relocate there in order to find some simple ways to serve him and help people. But it makes sense to me when I’m looking for the will of God I should pray “onsite” with as much “insight” as possible. Continue reading