Sunday, March 01, 2015

Close to the heart of God

I've picked up another faded and very 80s-looking copy of Richard Foster's 'Celebration of Discipline: The path to spiritual growth', which intermittently throughout the last12 years has helped me enormously, has given me respite.

Though published in 1978 and reprinted many more times in the 80s, I find it just as relevant, if not more so, in the much crazier 'now'. And nothing smells nicer than the pages of an old book... 

Foster writes, and I've quoted the following here before, but again I've needed to read it, today:

"In contemporary society our Adversary majors in three things: noise, hurry, and crowds. If he can keep us engaged in 'muchness' and 'manyness,' he will be satisfied. Psychiatrist C G Jung once remarked, 'Hurry is not of the Devil; it is the Devil.'

"If we hope to move beyond the superficialities of our culture--including our religious culture--we must be willing to go down into the recreating silences, into the inner world of contemplation. In their writings, all of the masters of meditation strive to awaken us to the fact that the universe is much larger than we know, that there are vast unexplored inner regions that are just as real as the physical world we know so well. They tell us of exciting possibilities for new life and freedom. They call us to adventure, to be pioneers in this frontier of the Spirit. Though this might sound strange to modern ears, we should without shame enroll as apprentices in the school of contemplative prayer."

As for me, personally, I want to be called to adventure. I want to be close to the heart of God.

[The photo is of one of a series of stained glass windows that light up the dark and sometimes foreboding but short Mill street - where the street lights never seem to be working. Mill street runs down the side of the Old Biscuit Mill and from it I turn left into Bromwell str. to get to my building, Here I always feel that I'm being welcomed home, especially on cold and wet and blustery Cape winter evenings.]

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