Deepen and Heal Your Life through Reiki Touch Healing Prayer

Cave Run Lake, Kentucky

The following is a series of seven reflections and spiritual exercises combining Eastern Reiki healing using chakra centers with Western Lectio Divina and Scripture.   

I. Introduction

When I was first introduced to Reiki, it was by a friend who wanted to put her hands on my chakras and balance my energy. My initial response was standoffish: I’m English; didn’t she understand about English people? Our personal space is about ten feet! Gosh, in my family we don’t hug even after a year of separation, and even then we keep each other at arm’s length. I had no idea what chakras were either. The idea of healing as an actual fact of hands-on contact seemed very strange. After all, in Western society inappropriate physical contact is a very serious issue.

As a Christian minister, I often pray for people. I don’t fully understand how or who or what responds, but something/someone does. I prefer to call this mystery God, but a name is unimportant. What matters is the real force at work through the prayer of intentional goodwill. This is reinforced by Jesus who not only healed the spirit, but also physically healed people. His apostles became healers too: in Acts 3: 1-10 we learn about a man who is healed from lameness by Peter and John.  They look intently at the man in the name of Jesus while telling the man to stand up and walk; his feet and ankles are made strong and he is able to walk; he begins to praise God.

As Christians, we can expect to receive spiritual gifts, one of which is the gift of healing: “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit.”                                                    (I Corinthians 12: 7-9)

Anything that heals another human being, moving them into a greater state of wholeness is a holy act of Christian love. Thus, although at first I resisted the idea of an Eastern healing technique such as Reiki, I eventually came to see it is something that leads to spiritual deepening for the practitioners along with actual healing for the recipients.

So what is Reiki?

Reiki, which means mysterious spirit, was developed by a Japanese, Dr. Mikao Usui, who practiced a mystical form of Buddhism called Tendai. He’d spent his whole life seeking the holy, had studied his native religion of Shintoism, and was also a master of martial arts. He became quite famous for the healing work he did for poor people who were victims of earthquake injuries without money to pay for medical help.

Reiki is often translated as Universal Life Energy. It can also be called Soul Energy, or Mysterious Spirit. Ki is Japanese for this energy. It holds no religious connotations but is a healing touch system. In China this same life force is called chi, in India it is referred to as prana, and Christians call it the Holy Spirit.

Research has shown that when prayer is used for healing, it seems to know mysteriously just what is needed. In one experiment, trays of bean seeds were treated in different ways. One set of beans was dried, one set was saturated with water, and a third set was left alone as a control. People prayed for the trays of beans. It was discovered dried-out beans regained their moisture, and saturated beans dried out. The normal beans remained healthy. The conclusion was that prayer brings about wholeness—a state of being God intends for us all (Weston, 29).

            There are five Reiki principles taught to western students:

1)      Just for today I will give thanks for my many blessings.

2)      Just for today I will not worry.

3)      Just for today I will not be angry.

4)      Just for today I will do my work honestly.

5)      Just for today I will be kind to my neighbor and every living thing.

      The  Reiki principles are certainly in keeping with Jesus’ two central commandments:  “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these. Mark 12: 30-32

      As Christians we are called to give God thanks, to let go of worries, to handle anger in a righteous manner rather than allowing it to fester, to be honest, to fully develop our talents, to love and care for one another, to respectfully tend to all other creatures, to cherish and guard our mother earth.

Reiki healing makes use of the chakra system which originated in India. The following chart is a brief description of where the energy center is located and the associated color of the energy it represents.

The Major Chakras

CHAKRA LOCATION COLOR
Crown Top   of head Violet   or white
Brow Between   eyebrows Indigo
Throat Throat Blue
Heart Heart Green
Solar   Plexus Base   of ribcage Yellow
Spleen Spleen/navel Orange
Root/base Base   of spine Red

Chakra means wheel and refers to energy centers that are found throughout the body. There are seven major ones used in Reiki, along with forty-two minor ones. In the West, we are now able to measure the energy frequencies of these centers.  It turns out the seven major chakras correspond to the colors of the rainbow.

Prayer coupled with Reiki healing-touch is a wonderful way to bring about restoration of health: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. When we call upon God in the name of Jesus, we are always triggering a response to bring about our, or someone else’s, wellbeing. This is not to say all cancers will abate, or broken bones will be mended without the help of physicians. God works through the medical profession too. However, prayer plus Reiki will bring about surprising results, including the ability to spread God’s love.

Reiki has helped me. To my surprise, for instance, I am now quite comfortable laying my hands on others. This is a far cry from that English woman I used to be who was shocked when my friend suggested she put her hands on me to “heal” me. One aspect of my brokenness was a need to get beyond British cultural limitations which kept me aloof: now I can readily hug others.

II. Fusing Scripture and Reiki to Heal Mind, Body, and Soul           

      “And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind.”                                      (Genesis 9: 12-15)

God is love. God is Spirit. A rainbow can be explained scientifically as the refraction of sunlight through raindrops to form the colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. But that does not describe the experience of seeing a rainbow arc across the sky and the great hope of the pot of treasure. And treasure there is.

For just as sunlight is a mixture of colors usually appearing to us as white light, so the human body is more than it seems. It is not merely physical but is a mix of energies with frequencies corresponding to the colors of the rainbow. So when we look at a human being and see only a body, it’s rather like seeing only the white light from the sun when in reality there are layers of energy.

This light and these energy layers are part of our complex nature which is so much more than just physical. That’s what Jesus through Scripture keeps on telling us over and over again. Jesus really did walk on water to show us our deeper nature transcends time and space and the merely physical. This Jesus-miracle was witnessed by people with no reason to lie, yet like us, when we are confronted with sights beyond our understanding, they probably doubted their sanity.

Up until the fourth century, Christians routinely used prayer and the laying-on of hands to heal others. This was one of the reasons for the proliferation of Christianity in those early centuries. But with the passage of time and the rise of science, we forgot the importance of God’s spiritual touch to heal us directly. It even began to frighten us, because somehow we had forgotten God’s Love always works in our best interest. During that dark medieval time when many priests were corrupt, the people were oppressed and duped by magical ideas such as demons that could hurt them, science brought hope and truth. The rational knowledge science introduced has been good indeed, for God’s truth is always good, but still there is so much more to life than mere knowledge.

This little book is about miracles we can all experience: small ones perhaps, but nevertheless miracles of healing of people and pets. Such miracles take us beyond the rational, but are available to every sincere person who has the ultimate goal to help another. We are to love one another as Jesus loved us without barriers of anger, envy, greed, inferiority, self-interest, condemnation, or the myriad of other human choices that keep us from reaching our potential.

The following touch-healing-prayers are timeless wisdom from the Bible accompanied by hands-on Reiki healing.  If you follow the suggested seven devotions, you will have practiced Reiki I, the first level of healing to be used on spouses, children, friends, shut-ins, and pets, all of whom will benefit from your caring touch and prayer.

A seventy-year-old woman with such bad asthma her medications were no longer working needed help badly. Her lungs were so full of phlegm she couldn’t stop coughing. In spite of oxygen she felt weak and could hardly breathe.  In fact, she was convinced she was soon going to die. After a few intense Reiki healing sessions, her hope was restored, her breathing improved exponentially, she once again began to enjoy life and was able to reduce the steroids. Another benefit of the Reiki healing was that the excruciating pain she felt in her hip has disappeared.

Always ask permission before you begin healing other people. Not everyone will choose to accept Reiki. Don’t be offended. Continue to be loving. We can never fully know how God will work through us, but we can know any offer of healing is an offer of goodness to not only help other people, but to also help ourselves.

III. Touch-Healing-Prayers

Dear Reader, You are God’s beloved. May this journey of meditation, reflection, and healing bless you, and flow with God’s loving presence, lighting up your life in unaccountably nurturing and healing ways.                                                           Christina 

You are invited to practice the following seven Christian-prayer-plus-Reiki- techniques. Do them daily or practice one a week. Expect to spend an hour on each session. They are designed to teach you how to do a simple Reiki healing which can later be applied to other people. You will be reading scripture, following a Christian practice called lectio divina (Hall, Thelma. 36-56) which is intended to bring you into deeper contact with God, inviting God’s presence to enlighten and inform your life, healing you of both conscious and unconscious struggles.

First Touch-Healing-Prayer: Transcending Time and Space

Is the following scripture a true and realistic story?           

            So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.   The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance.    Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck       Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists. Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.         (Acts 12: 5-10 ) 

This scripture is true. God does work in ways that confound us. Peter thinks he must be seeing a vision, but he isn’t. What’s described is actually happening. How do I know this? What makes me believe this? God once taught me a lesson about time and space and prayer of the heart.

I have a necklace that my mother gave me. It has two little pearls set in a tiny gold shell on a golden chain. Mum bought it in Hawaii shortly before she died. It  is very precious to me, not because it has any monetary value, but because it reminds me of mum’s love. I took good care of that necklace, but it disappeared at a writers’ conference. My dorm room was on a college campus, and though I’d been told to always lock the door, I never did. I didn’t even realize that my necklace was gone until I got home very late.  Heartbroken, I prayed all night long. In the morning, I frantically called the college to see if anyone had turned it in, or if it was still in the room. But it was gone. Hoping that somehow I’d just made a mistake, maybe hadn’t even taken the necklace with me, my husband and I searched the bedroom and even looked in my jewelry box. Of course, the necklace wasn’t there. I couldn’t give up. I went on praying all day long. Then, in the afternoon I went up to my bedroom to look for the necklace again. There sat my sweet little necklace on top of the dresser.

God transcended time and space and returned my pearl necklace to me because he heard my prayer. Perhaps he wanted me to tell other people about this amazing love. God wants us all to be happy, healthy, fulfilled, and whole.

Your time with the Holy

1. Begin with a prayer—use this one, or choose something from your heart, seeking your heart’s desire:

            Gracious God, I come to you full of hope, remembering how your angel came to     save Peter and somehow released him from chains. He escaped armed guards            and came through locked doors. Help me also to receive your healing light and             free me            from the chains that bind me. Remove the armed and dangerous guards             who stand between me and your freedom. Throw open the doors of my heart and    mind that I might become whole and filled with your light.                                                             In the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen                

2. Read the scripture slowly again (Acts 12: 5-10), paying attention to each word and each sentence.  What is the scripture actually about? Jot down any thoughts.

3. Read the scripture again and reflect about what you have read. Does it make you remember any times when you’ve had “strange miraculous experiences” that you couldn’t easily explain?  Write them down. Draw an image. Think about your story.          

4. Pray to God, allowing yourself to freely talk to God about what you’ve read and the thoughts and/or images that have come into your mind. Ask questions just as if you are conversing with someone present. God is present and is listening.  Write if you wish.

5. Rest in God, using Reiki

      In Reiki, violet is the color of the crown chakra located on top of the head. It is associated with the spiritual and represents a connection to God’s flow.

Place one or both hands, palms-down, onto the crown of your head, and take deep breaths, gently pulling the air into your lungs, making your belly expand. Imagine white light flooding through your hands into your crown and filling your abdomen. Do not try to talk with God or pray anymore. Try to let go of your thoughts. This is a time for receiving passively the healing that God wishes you to receive. It is a time to let go of ego. It is a time to trust God that you are safe, you are loved, and you are blessed.  Spend ten to fifteen minutes. When your mind wanders, gently bring yourself back to the imagination of light cascading into your body.

6. Journaling: write anything that comes into your mind. Do not worry about grammar, spelling, syntax, or whether or not it makes sense. Just write about your experience and remember your story.  How do you feel now? What has God taught you? Do you believe the scripture is true? 

Second Touch-Healing Prayer: The Transfiguration 

How does the following scripture speak to you? 

      “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see      the kingdom of God.” About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the   appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of       lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with        Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at   Jerusalem. Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully     awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As the men were       leaving Jesus, Peter said to him,” Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” (He did not know    what he was saying.) While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. A voice came from the cloud saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” When the voice had spoken,   they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves, and told no one at that time what they had seen.   (Luke 9: 27-36 )

What is going on here? A visitation from those who have already died? Moses and Elijah, two very holy men, have come to talk to Jesus about his impending crucifixion. It makes me think about how we all benefit from comfort and support—even Jesus–from our peers. The three apostles are awed and frightened. Peter wants to build shelters. Does he think he can contain God? It is he who needs to be sheltered because he is so afraid.

I once had a vision. It scared me because I thought I must be going crazy. I, like the apostles, kept it to myself for a long time. I was in the sanctuary of First Christian Church where I had begun worshipping a few months earlier. I was not a baptized Christian, but I felt myself to be a follower of Christ and took communion every week. One day, as I looked towards the pulpit, I saw a vision of Jesus standing with his arms outstretched towards me. He was not clearly visible like a solid man and I knew that what I was seeing was in my mind’s eye—not a dream, but something similar. Along with the sight of this image, I felt overwhelming love surrounding me, and I realized that I was being invited to step into the healing presence of Christ.

Visions are real phenomena, but it’s important to ascertain what might be overly-imaginative or even a psychotic moment. Visions must be evaluated by the fruits that they bear. In my case, after this vision of Christ, I immediately arranged to be baptized. So, the fruit of my vision was that the barriers preventing my commitment to Christianity were removed. It was the beginning of my Christian journey. Jesus came and directly healed me by offering me irresistible love. But I am not more special than anyone else. Christ seeks to heal us all.

Your time with the Holy

1. Begin with a prayer—use this one, or something from your heart, some grace that you would like to receive.

            Irresistible God, help to open me to the reality of your loving presence. Remove       all the barriers that I have erected to protect myself. Let me feel your healing love          so that I too may rest with unrestricted vision in your presence and come to greater understanding of who you are, and who I am in Christ.                                                                     In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen     

2. Read the scripture slowly again(Luke 9: 27-36, paying attention to each word and each sentence.  What is the scripture actually about. Jot down any thoughts.

3. Read the scripture again and reflect about what you have read. Have you ever expected to see God? How would you feel if you were with the apostles on the mountain and saw the Transfiguration? What are you thinking as the cloud descends upon you? Write down your thoughts. Draw an image. Think about what God wants to teach you through this scripture.

4. Pray to God, allowing yourself to freely talk to God about what you’ve read and the thoughts and/or images that have come into your mind. Ask questions just as if you are conversing with someone present. God is present and is listening.  Write if you wish.

5. Rest in God, using Reiki

      In Reiki, indigo is the color of the brow chakra located between the eyebrows. It is associated with intuition, creativity, and psychic insight.

Place one or both hands, palms-down, between your eyebrows over the bridge of your nose, and take deep breaths, gently pulling the air into your lungs, making your belly expand. Imagine white light flooding through your hands into your head. Do not try to talk with God or pray anymore. Try to let go of your thoughts. This is a time for receiving passively the healing that God wishes you to receive. It is a time to let go of ego. It is a time to trust God that you are safe, you are loved, and you are blessed.  Spend ten to fifteen minutes. When your mind wanders, gently bring yourself back to the imagination of light cascading into your body.

6. Journaling: write anything that comes into your mind. Do not worry about grammar, spelling, syntax, or whether or not it makes sense. Just write about your experience and remember your story.  How do you feel now?  What is one word to describe your emotion? Are you peaceful, relaxed, anxious, happy, sad, rested? How is God within this feeling?

Third Touch-Healing Prayer: In Memory of Her

What words or images in this scripture stand out? 

            Now the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were only two days away,    and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some sly way to arrest Jesus and kill him. “But not during the Feast,” they said, “or the people may riot.”

            While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.

            Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of   perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages, and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.

            “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. I tell you the truth,  wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”   (Matthew 14: 1-9) 

            In memory of her are the words that speak to me. How will any of us be remembered? There is so much I might have done and have not done, and yet Jesus isn’t so worried about the “works” this woman might have performed, or how she might have used the money for good deeds. Jesus requires so much more than superficial giving. It’s all about giving love in the way that we can.

As I learned to become a writer, I struggled with publishing rejections. It has been almost twenty years of sustained effort that hasn’t resulted in what I expected.  People whom I love have turned away from me, have thought I was crazy. I’ve lost a marriage on the way. But I’ve trusted that I must follow the process of love in my life, the love that grows me beyond self-imposed and culturally-imposed limitations.

I hoped and continue to hope to give words to others, but unless I have God’s help, my words will be superficial. God’s word is spiritual food, and that is the basis for me to write. Scripture is a roadmap to growing awareness and understanding of what it means to be united with Jesus. I never would have thought the journey of God’s love was going to lead me, a poor kid from London, a poor girl who had no understanding of God, into a rich and abundant realm of living, into becoming a minister of God’s word. 

Your time with the Holy

1. Begin with a prayer—use this one, or something from your heart about your needs:

            Amazing God, your words are powerful and real and true. Speak to me through your scripture, revealing to me the way your love wants to make me whole, and the way I might simply be in your presence, giving back to you in some small way. Help me to remember I am loved no matter what anyone else thinks, no matter what has happened to me, no matter what I’ve done that has been wrong. You love me. Me! Help me to learn to love you and to respond to your love within my life.                                                                                In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen            

2. Read the scripture again slowly (Matthew 14: 1-9), paying attention to each word and each sentence.  What words or phrases did you notice most? Jot down any thoughts.

3. Read the scripture again and reflect about what you have read. How will you be remembered? Are there any inner enemies that haunt you? How are you like the woman with the perfume? Or are you one of the people who disapprove of waste? How can you grow your talents? What do you love to do? What makes you  joyous? How can you spend yourself? How do you need to find your true expression?

4. Pray to God, allowing yourself to freely talk to God about what you’ve read and the thoughts and/or images that have come into your mind. Ask questions just as if you are conversing with someone present. God is present and is listening.  Write if you wish.

5. Rest in God, using Reiki

      In Reiki, blue is the color of the throat chakra located over the throat. It is associated with voice and expression.

Place one or both hands, palms-down, over your throat, and take deep breaths, gently pulling the air into your lungs, making your belly expand. Imagine white light flooding through your hands into your head. Do not try to talk with God or pray anymore. Try to let go of your thoughts. This is a time for receiving passively the healing that God wishes you to receive. It is a time to let go of ego. It is a time to trust God that you are safe, you are loved, and you are blessed.  Spend ten to fifteen minutes. When your mind wanders, gently bring yourself back to the imagination of light cascading into your body.

6. Journaling: write anything that comes into your mind. Do not worry about grammar, spelling, syntax, or whether or not it makes sense. Just write about your experience and remember your story. Does God speak to you through imagination? When was the last time you sang in the shower? What letter would you write to yourself? What letter would God write to you?

Fourth Touch-Healing Prayer: Blindness—literal, not only a metaphor

How does the following scripture make you feel? 

            They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village.  When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you  see anything?” He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t go into the village.”                                                      (Mark 8: 22-26) 

Some people begged Jesus to help the blind man. There is such warmth in the caring and the help we receive from other people. I once prayed for a woman who had matricular degeneration and was going blind. It hurt me to think of her (or me) living without sight. My heart is joyous to know and realize that God works through my prayers and the prayers of all people. This lady underwent a new medical procedure, and later told me that it improved her sight enough for her to see again, darkly perhaps, but nevertheless far more than before. I am grateful to doctors and nurses and health-care workers. They are a part of answered prayer.

Your time with the Holy

1. Begin with a prayer—use this one, or seek a grace of your choosing:

            Healing Lord: open my eyes to see your truth. Open my heart to feel your living presence. Open my mind and release all the pains and hurts of the past. Open my soul so that your loving grace will flow through me to heal other people.              In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen     

2. Read the scripture slowly again  (Mark 8: 22-26), paying attention to each word and each sentence. How do you feel about the blind man? Was he always blind? Are you blind in any way? Close your eyes and imagine how it feels to not see. Now open your eyes. What do you notice around you?

3. Read the scripture again and reflect about what you have read. Do you ever feel lonely? Do you long for more intimate relationships with your husband, your family, or your friends? Have you ever begged Jesus to touch you? What do you wish you could see better?

4. Pray to God, allowing yourself to freely talk to God about what you’ve read and the thoughts and/or images that have come into your mind. Ask questions just as if you are conversing with someone present. God is present and is listening.  Write if you wish.

5. Rest in God, using Reiki

      In Reiki, green is the color of the heart chakra located over the heart. It is associated with trust and love.

Place one or both hands, palms-down, over your heart, and take deep breaths, gently pulling the air into your lungs, making your belly expand. Imagine white light flooding through your hands into your head. Do not try to talk with God or pray anymore. Try to let go of your thoughts. This is a time for receiving passively the healing that God wishes you to receive. It is a time to let go of ego. It is a time to trust God that you are safe, you are loved, and you are blessed.  Spend ten to fifteen minutes. When your mind wanders, gently bring yourself back to the imagination of light cascading into your body.

6. Journaling: write anything that comes into your mind. Do not worry about grammar, spelling, syntax, or whether or not it makes sense. Just write about your experience and remember your story.  Did you notice how your hands felt over your heart? Did they get warm? Often, when healing energy is flowing, there is a sensation of heat. 

Fifth Touch-Healing Prayer: Obedience to God 

How does the following scripture motivate you? 

            The apostles returned. They reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took      them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida, but the   crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them           about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing. Late in the       afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to    the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.”

            He replied, “You give them something to eat.”

            They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.” (About five thousand men were there).

            But he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.”      The disciples did so, and everybody sat down. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.          (Luke 9: 10-17) 

The Twelve Disciples believed Jesus and were obedient. They distributed the bread and the fish to groups of people and everyone was fed, and the leftovers exceeded the original loaves and fishes. I wonder if I would be able to trust God to increase the bread to feed so many? “You give them something to eat,” Jesus says so simply, and they immediately think of going into town to buy supplies, but that’s not what Jesus meant. He was their supply of food. They did trust him but weren’t yet able to believe they could rely upon him.

We must learn to be still and listen. That’s not so easy for busy people working, raising children, running here and there and everywhere, and yet if we are to hear God, we have to listen to him when he is talking to us. We have to learn to pay attention. We have to learn how to be present to each moment of each day, aware that God is in that moment, longing to feed us something tasty.

Your time with the holy

1. Begin with a prayer—use this one, or spontaneously pray for a specific need:

            Abundant God, you supply me with nourishment so much greater than mere food. You also take care of my physical wants. How might I take care of the physical wants of other people? How am to obey your call to my life? How am I to give to other people? I ask because I know you will not only fill my head with ideas, but will empower my life with the energy that moves me to try new things, love anew, and do work that glorifies you, for it is in the name of Jesus that I pray. Amen.            

2. Read the scripture slowly again (Luke 9: 10-17), paying attention to each word and each sentence. What is the scripture actually about. Jot down any thoughts.

3. Read the scripture again and reflect about what you have read. How has God fed you in your life? In what ways have you developed your talents. Have you gone to school to study? Do you want to learn more? Does your work make you joyful in spite of  frustrations?  Could God be calling you to other tasks? What stops you from changing? How can you deepen your current job (including being a mom and housewife) so that you are God-inspired?

4. Pray to God, allowing yourself to freely talk to God about what you’ve read and the thoughts and/or images that have come into your mind. Ask questions just as if you are conversing with someone present. God is present and is listening.  Write if you wish. 

5. Rest in God, using Reiki

      In Reiki, yellow is the color of the solar plexus chakra located at the base of the ribcage. It is associated with work and power.

Place one or both hands, palms-down, over your abdomen, and take deep breaths, gently pulling the air into your lungs, making your belly expand. Imagine white light flooding through your hands into your head. Do not try to talk with God or pray anymore. Try to let go of your thoughts. This is a time for receiving passively the healing that God wishes you to receive. It is a time to let go of ego. It is a time to trust God that you are safe, you are loved, and you are blessed.  Spend ten to fifteen minutes. When your mind wanders, gently bring yourself back to the imagination of light cascading into your body.

6. Journaling: write anything that comes into your mind. Do not worry about grammar, spelling, syntax, or whether or not it makes sense. Just write about your experience and remember your story.  What words or images from the scripture stick with you? How do they relate to something practical that you routinely do?

Sixth Touch-Healing Prayer: Suffering 

What does the following scripture make you remember? 

      Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I   will be healed.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your       faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed from that moment.                (Matthew 9: 19-21) 

A beginning of my healing came during a time of suffering. My husband of over twenty-six-years left me. I’d known, as women often do, that he was having an affair. I finally confronted him on Christmas day. That’s when he told me about another woman. She was pregnant with his child. How can I ever convey the brokenness of my soul that was revealed? I was childless, in my forties, and thought my life, clearly mapped out (comfortable, easy, not particularly challenging) was over. I remember rage overcoming me and helplessness and hopelessness. Then one day, as I walked in a beautiful field unable to see the green grass or smell the air or enjoy the squawking blue jays, I fell to my knees and I prayed for God to teach me how to forgive, to teach me how to understand, to teach me how to live again.  He did. He will for you too.

Your time with the Holy

1. Begin with a prayer—use this one, or remember a prayer you’ve prayed before, or choose a psalm to pray:

            God of infinite healing love, I am grateful that you are always present. In a crowd of people, you turn to look at me, turn to look for me, especially when I am hurting and lost. I call upon you now to release me from the wounds I am unable to heal by myself. I call upon you to restore me to a path of holiness. I call upon you to give me spiritual health that frees me to love you, to love all those I meet, and to bring restoration to others in the best way I am able. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen              

2. Read the scripture slowly again (Matthew 9: 19-21), paying attention to each word and each sentence.  What is the scripture actually about. Jot down any thoughts.

3. Read the scripture again and reflect about what you have read. Imagine you are watching the woman as she approaches Jesus.  Or perhaps you are the woman approaching Jesus. What or who is in your way? How are you hurting? What do you most hope Jesus will do for you?

4. Pray to God, allowing yourself to freely talk to God about what you’ve read and the thoughts and/or images that have come into your mind. Ask questions just as if you are conversing with someone present. God is present and is listening.  Write or draw if you wish. 

5. Rest in God, using Reiki

      In Reiki, orange is the color of the spleen chakra located over the navel. It is associated with emotional issues.

Place one or both hands, palms-down, over your navel, and take deep breaths, gently pulling the air into your lungs, making your belly expand. Imagine white light flooding through your hands into your head. Do not try to talk with God or pray anymore. Try to let go of your thoughts. This is a time for receiving passively the healing that God wishes you to receive. It is a time to let go of ego. It is a time to trust God that you are safe, you are loved, and you are blessed.  Spend ten to fifteen minutes. When your mind wanders, gently bring yourself back to the imagination of light cascading into your body.

6. Journaling: write anything that comes into your mind. Do not worry about grammar, spelling, syntax, or whether or not it makes sense. Just write about your experience and remember your story.  What has God revealed to you? What do you need to do in order to begin healing the suffering of your life? Do you need to seek forgiveness from God? Do you need to let go of bitterness and forgive someone else? Ask and you will receive.

Seventh Touch-Healing Prayer: Resurrection

What do you smell or see or feel as you read this scripture? 

      On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.   (Luke 24: 1-8) 

How often do we bring spices that are intended to cover up a smell—we want to superficially remove the stench of our discomfort. But what we really need is to allow God’s permeating Spirit to fill us. After I accepted baptism, my spiritual life began to skyrocket. It wasn’t all easy. It was frightening at times to learn how much a part I played through unaware behavior and wrong choices in keeping myself on a path to death. We all are participants in the fall of Adam and Eve. We are all a part of lost humanity in need of restoration. But in the New Covenant of the risen Christ, we are freed to be filled with something more fragrant than any perfume. We are freed to be filled with the awesome power of the Holy Spirit.

Wholeness will be something different for each and every person. One aspect of my wholeness is to have become a Reiki healer. It has freed me from believing life is merely physical. It has connected me deeply to the holy. It has led me along a path of life which gives comfort to others.

My current husband, Philip, has often been my guinea pig and we’ve both benefited by becoming closer. After major back surgery, when we’d just gotten home from the hospital, Philip could hardly walk and was heavily sedated. The doctors told me to be certain to keep his feet warm, because circulatory problems could be dangerous. I managed to get my good man into bed where he fell fast asleep. His ankles and feet were freezing cold. There was no way I could wake him, no way to get him to move his feet. So I prayed and I laid my hands, palms-down, on his feet. Within minutes his ankles and feet warmed up and never got cold again throughout his three-month recovery.

Your time with the Holy

1. Begin with a prayer—use this one, or seek a grace of new life for yourself in your own words. Pray from your heart:

Amazing God, you understand all, you give all, you never hold back, you send angels dressed in lightning cloth to remind us that after death there is resurrection. I don’t know when my final resurrection will come, but I know you are love, and love is always healing. Help me to fully open to your love, to let in the white lightning of your Spirit so that I might be immersed in a life that brings me and all whom I meet loving- presence, healing and wholeness.

In the name of the most Holy, Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen. 

2. Read the scripture slowly again(Luke 24: 1-8), paying attention to each word and each sentence.  What is the scripture actually about. Jot down any thoughts.

3. Read the scripture again and reflect about what you have read. What are  the spices that you are carrying? How do you intend to use them? How have you experienced fragrance in your life?         

4. Pray to God, allowing yourself to freely talk to God about what you’ve read and the thoughts and/or images that have come into your mind. Ask questions just as if you are conversing with someone present. God is present and is listening.  Write if you wish.

5. Rest in God, using Reiki

      In Reiki, red is the color of the root chakra located at the base of the spine at the genitals. It is associated with survival, sexuality, and birth

Place one hand, palms-down, just below each hip, and take deep breaths, gently pulling the air into your lungs, making your belly expand. Imagine white light flooding through your hands into your head. Do not try to talk with God or pray anymore. Try to let go of your thoughts. This is a time for receiving passively the healing that God wishes you to receive. It is a time to let go of ego. It is a time to trust God that you are safe, you are loved, and you are blessed.  Spend ten to fifteen minutes. When your mind wanders, gently bring yourself back to the imagination of light cascading into your body.

6. Journaling: write anything that comes into your mind. Do not worry about grammar, spelling, syntax, or whether or not it makes sense. Just write about your experience and remember your story.  Are there memories surfacing that need to be healed? Allow yourself to experience these feelings and memories. Trust that God is present with you and will keep you safe.

IV. Final Word

The resurrection is a literal truth that we can trust.

Jesus has been crucified, a death so horrible that many being executed in this way went mad on their crosses. Now, after three days, when dead bodies are decaying and stinking, Jesus’ body cannot be found by the women. There is no odor. The angels tell them that Jesus is alive. Alive! What hope there is for us to know that Jesus lives! He lives! He transcends the physical death we all fear so greatly, and he comes back just as physical as before only somehow better and stronger.

He comes back to tell us, even when we are deaf, dumb, and blind to his message, that we don’t need to be afraid of anything, that in Him, and through Him, by opening ourselves to Spirit, that we too can and will transcend time and space. Jesus is a bridge between us and God so that we can be restored to health and life. Jesus gives us guidance, through scripture, through his actual presence within us, through the Holy Spirit. This force is real and empowering and entirely personal, for it knows what we need and what we don’t need. But we have work to do. We can’t continue to walk the road of death: the same old road of our former habits. We must open up to the Holy, listen, obey, and begin a new journey, practicing the holy disciplines of prayer, fasting, healing, and seeking God in all we do and all we are. Once we are truly able to be quiet, God’s will can be heard, and new life will fill us. God’s energy will flow through us like rivers of healing water.

Join now with me and others reading this book. In God’s Spirit we are in some mysterious way all One.

Loving and Perfect God: How we sing and rejoice to know the truth about your love. Help all of us to discern your purpose for our lives more and more that we might live fully. Help us to love You our Lord God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our minds. Help us give everything with passion, nourish our brains with learning, and teach us to reach out fully to others without fear for ourselves.

            It is in the name of Jesus we pray.                                                                   Amen.


References and Suggested Reading List

Bradford, Michael. 1997. The Healing Energy of Your Hands. Freedom, CA: The Crossing Press.

Ellis, Richard. 2002. Reiki and the Seven Chakras. London: Vermilion.

Hall, Thelma, r.c. 1988. Too Deep for Words. New York: Paulist Press.

MacNutt, Francis. 2000. The Prayer that Heals. Notre Dame: Ave Maria Press.

Sanford, Agnes. 1991. The Healing Light. New York: Ballantine Books.

Weston, Walter. 1998. Healing Others. Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads.

 

Scripture is from BibleGateway.com  NIV, Zondervan Press.

A recommended Reiki site from which some of the Reiki information was taken is

www.reiki-evolution.co.uk

mailing address:          Reiki Evolution, 5 Rose Lane, Spalding, Lincs., England, PE11 3RN

***

These exercises are published as an Appendix in my Kindle e-book: Ziggy, a Little Book of Healing–miracle and memoir, Reiki healing–true miracle of dog’s healing and how his life interacted and taught the author much about herself and God.                               $3.99

http://www.amazon.com/Ziggy-Little-Book-Healing-ebook/dp/B006ZZ9MLM/ref=sr_1_6?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1368364115&sr=1-6&keywords=Christina+St+clair

 

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Lenten Spiritual Practices: Seventh Wednesday in Lent – April 16, 2014

“If the angel comes it will be because you have convinced her, not by your tears but by your humble resolve to be always a beginner, always beginning.” Ranier M. Rilke

***

Contemplating this quote from a poet who lived 1875-1926, I was naturally curious about his origin and train of thought. He was considered an intense lyrical poet (a mystic to many), focusing on “the difficulty of communion with the ineffable age of disbelief, solitude and profound anxiety.”

I am immediately reminded of the trials and resolve that I continue to experience in my spiritual journey to the heart of Jesus, that place that only my heart can know. As I recognize the path I am walking, seeing the stepping stones in place (or needing to be placed), I am reminded of the trials of learning to ride a bicycle. I just get up from the fall and do it again and again until I get the feel for it. Balancing while pedaling will not come by simply asking, I must practice the intricate movement patterns in order to feel that moment of connection.

I realize that some of the characteristics of being human, allows me to slip into complacency, so I must be willing to repeat, to get up and try again, those practices that reconnect me to the truth that my heart longs for. I must be willing to begin again, with patience and the knowledge that practice will enhance the journey, with absolute belief that my heart rests with Jesus.

Prayer practice: Look at the path your journey to the heart of Jesus is taking. Look carefully for the mary signs of complacency, disillusionment and solitude, and pray for the resolve to pick up and begin again.

Mary H. Malamisura. WVIS Associate Spiritual Director: Intern mary@enjoybeing.com

from West Virginia Institute for Spirituality: http://wvis.org/

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Lenten Spiritual Practices: Sixth Tuesday in Lent – April 15, 2014

 pam“Who shall give back this time if we waste it?”

Dorotheus

***

 I attended the Journaling workshop at WVIS a couple of months ago.  I enjoy the concept of journaling.  I also enjoy looking at journals and looking at books and magazines about journaling.  It’s much easier than actually finding the time each day to write.  Sr. Carole had an extensive bibliography of journaling resources and I noticed one was already on my Amazon wish list. Of course, I purchased it and began to read it.  I read it before starting to journal and just reading the book had an immediate impact on my thinking.

The instructions were to set an intention to have God’s wisdom come through the writer, in order to bring clarity to bothersome situations.  One of the last suggestions in the book was to write the story of your life.  I thought I would start a decade or so ago, and enumerate facts and perhaps some of the feelings involved.  From the moment I sat at my desk with pen in hand, I have been on a journey I never expected. I didn’t get the first word written about my story.  Instead, I wrote about the story I tell myself about me.  That led to why that story was so important, not just for me to live with, but for others to realize as well. As one may expect, it had more to do with my ego than my authentic self.  By detaching from my ego, I was able to understand myself without the mask.   I was able to understand my contribution to all the things in the world which I blamed others for. And for the first time, I was able to feel what I had always read intellectually, that I was loved by the Creator and I am ok the way I am.

Since I have been journaling for only six weeks, I can only imagine what I will continue to uncover.  All it takes is a spiral notebook, a pen, and a lot of courage. The results are worth it. Good luck.

Pam Steelhammer. WVIS Associate Spiritual Director: psteelhammer@gmail.com

from West Virginia Institute for Spirituality: http://wvis.org/

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Suffering of the Beloved

suffering2

I find myself thinking about suffering in a new way–my brother is very ill with septicemia and pneumonia. One lung was severely damaged. The other was clear. It seemed to happen very fast but no doubt he’d been getting weaker since minor prostrate surgery a few months ago. The surgery relieved a problem he had urinating, but he has not bounced back as we had hoped, and has been very low energy-wise, constantly falling asleep.

The doctors were running tests trying to find out what was going on with him.

Then he took a turn and was admitted to hospital through the emergency room. I wasn’t there, but I surmise he could not breathe–a terrifying condition. He was not expected to live and indeed a few days ago he almost died. When he revived, we were all so relieved to have him back.  I wondered if he had crossed into another plane of existence, crossed the Jordan, and had chosen to come back–for us.

Joyce Rupp writes, “When Joseph Campbell described the journey of transformation, he wrote of coming through the dark cave into a new springtime of life. The important dimension he includes is that when people come out of pain into newness of life, they always bring an “elixir” or a gift with them. This gift is meant not just for themselves, but for the transformation of the world.” (Joyce Rupp, the Cup of Our Life. Sorin Books: Notre Dame: 2012. P. 104).

I found myself in church on Palm Sunday wanting to weep for the suffering I know my brother is enduring.  Yesterday, he managed to sit in a chair and talk to his friends and family, but could hardly walk across the small hospital room to go to the bathroom. Now he is intubated being helped to breathe by a respirator. He is such a good friend to me and I love him so very much.

Palm Sunday in the season of Lent is the week before Christ’s passion–the time when Jesus will be crucified.  His physical suffering will be immense.  No doubt his emotional suffering, too, at having to leave behind his beloved friends and family is also deep and wounding.  Yet, he, Jesus, has chosen this path. He could have evaded the authorities whom he knew hated him. He could have gone to Egypt and not to Jerusalem to ride into town on a donkey of peace.  But he didn’t.  He bravely faced, albeit sweating blood at the prospect, his death.

Jesus endures suffering for others, so we are told, but what does such helplessness and pain of a man nailed to a cross mean to all who suffer for others through choice or even through circumstance? When Jesus says whoever cares for the least of these is caring for me is true.  Because the sacrifice of the person suffering is a gift to others who reach out to help and are deepened by this experience. Nurses, doctors, caregivers work hard to bring healing and longevity out of love with a small L.  Love with a big L is the suffering of Christ whose dying births a religion of hope and theological deepening that will reach across the desert and the seas to many people and many nations.

My brother, hardly able to breathe, was chatting only yesterday, trying to be cheerful, attempting to help others feel better–this is also a message of holiness. My brother continues onward for us (as perhaps your brother, sister, mother, father, friend does), and wants to make sure everyone is cared for.  His family stands by, hoping, aware of our own mortality, aware of the love we feel for him, aware of all he did for us throughout his life.  We are also aware of his imperfections and his struggles.  In his humanness we recognize our own, and love him all the more. My brother taught me much, including the meaning of generosity.

How many times do we stand near our loved ones unable and unwilling to let them go, clinging to them, while they might be ready to leave this life, and yet stay for us?  Perhaps they are afraid to die and that is why they live on through excruciating medical procedures and who knows what, but love is a force greater than death.

Rupp continues about what we can do to help: “God is always extending compassion toward us, loving us through the many ups and downs of our journey. We, in turn, are meant to offer this compassion to others. Life is a constant cycle of giving and receiving. The divine gift of love that we receive is meant to be shared.” (Ibid. 104).

Jesus suffers on the cross, and when we are sick or wounded or poor and unloved, we suffer with him because we become the vehicles for others to love us enough, to love us for no reason, to simply love.

Christ teaches us about suffering, and also about the hope on Easter day of resurrection.  He lives. He lives.  Jesus won’t be physically present to his family and friends any more, but his spirit of love, his teachings, his gift of friendship, his generosity of spirit–all will endure forever within us and through us.

My brother lives on too, and I am happy to say the prognosis is positive with hope for his physical recovery.

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Lenten Spiritual Practices: Sixth Monday in Lent – April 14, 2014

         Isaac

“A feeble drip that keeps on dripping softens the hardest stone”        St. Isaac of Syria

 

 

 

 ***

A gentle persistence softens the hardest of hearts. This is what comes to mind as I read this verse from St. Isaac.  So where does the hardest heart reside?  Do we see it in others?  Do we see it in ourselves?  Are we the persistent drip or is that really God speaking to us in His gentlest voice?

I am reminded of Elijah in the cave listening for God, but God does not come loudly, God comes in a gentle breeze.  In today’s readings we hear the words of Isaiah “he shall bring forth justice to the nations, not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street.” a gentle persistent drip maybe.

We are called to be Christ to all we come into contact with on our life’s journey.  Do we speak to them in a Christ-like manner, gentle but persistent with the intention of softening that heart that is hardened by life’s circumstances.  We can be that feeble drip that softens the hardest stone if we but let ourselves become Christ to others.

Prayer Practice:

As we prepare for the resurrection of Jesus the Christ on this Easter let us pray that our hearts be softened so that we in turn may be that which softens the hardest of hearts.

Thomas J. Soper. Candidate Deacon Formation Program, Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston: thomassoper@suddenlink.net

from West Virginia Institute for Spirituality: http://wvis.org/

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Lenten Spiritual Practices: Sixth Sunday in Lent – April 13, 2014

“You are the clear light that is clearer than any light and deeper than any depth; enlighten my darkness.”  Gertrude of Hefta  1256-1302

***

One of my favorite household chores is to clean windows and mirrors.  I find great personal satisfaction in getting them to squeak and shine.  I love to step back and admire the clarity of light and vision that sparkles through a spotless window or in a sparkling mirror.  I am amazed how the right cleaning products and a little elbow grease can bring new light into a room.

During this Lenten season I reflect on the times in my life that Jesus has brought clarity and depth of light into my darkened soul with a brightness that surpasses anything I could humanly clean.  In this liturgical season of darkness, may each of us experience the grace, love, light, and forgiveness of God through the death and resurrection of our savior Jesus Christ.

Prayer Practice of the day:

Light a candle and allow God’s shining light to penetrate through the darkness of your life.

lake Leanna Lake. WVIS Associate Spiritual Director: leannalake@verizon.net

from West Virginia Institute for Spirituality: http://wvis.org/

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Lenten Spiritual Practices: Sixth Saturday in Lent – April 12, 2014

“All the flame and glowing in heaven and earth burns and shines

 through God alone.”    Mechtild of Magdeburg 1207-1282

***

Fire burns and shines.  Burning causes hurt and pain, turns things to ashes, and destroys. We reflexively recoil when we get too close to fire.  On the other hand, we love things to shine and to glow.  We want our teeth to shine, our shoes to shine and we prefer sun shiny days to cloudy ones.  We might describe someone as glowing when they exude joy, happiness, or contentment in their demeanor.  The oppositeness of these two aspects of fire seems to parallel life.  Life is both/and a mixture of sorrow and joy, a melding of suffering and peace.  It is because the wood burns in my woodstove that I feel the warmth that gives me comfort in my home.  We are sometimes burned by our own pains and difficulties, but these can also bring about growth and newness.  A forest that has been burned to the ground is now fertile for growth and newness — and God is in all of it.  What sustains us in the burning and what helps us notice and celebrate the shining and the glowing, that is God.  

quick

Prayer:  Help us to remember to ask for awareness of your presence in all things, to seek you during the difficult times and to give thanks during the times of shining and glowing.  Amen.

Mary Quick, M.A. WVIS Associate Spiritual Director: quickmar@gmail.com

from West Virginia Institute for Spirituality: http://wvis.org/

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Lenten Spiritual Practices: Sixth Friday in Lent – April 11, 2014

Evag“Join to every breath a sober invocation of the name of Jesus and the thought of death”

Evagrius the Monk   346 – 399

***

Evagrius a monk and probably a priest was born about the middle of the fourth century.  Some of his teachers were Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa and Gregory the Theologian.   He was influenced by their lives and writings and became a monk.  He became a philosopher, not only in word but also in his life.  He lived as a solitary in a cell in Egypt.  He died here in 399.  He wrote different works on the spiritual life both for monks and the ordinary lay person.  These writings are still relevant today for those trying to live a spiritual life and grow closer to God.

I became acquainted with Evagrius several years ago in my search in how to improve my prayer life.  The “Jesus Prayer” an eastern from of prayer long known in the east and now popular in the west.  I was introduced to it by a friend.  The Jesus Prayer soon became a major part of my prayer life and practice.  St. Paul tells us that we should pray always.  The constant invocation of the Divine Name of Jesus, either as a single word or as part of a short prayer, derives according to tradition, from apostolic times.  “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God have mercy on me a sinner.”

Evagrius tells us “Join to every breath a sober invocation of the name of Jesus and the thought of death with humility.  Both of these practices bring great profit to the soul.”  Daily I use this form of prayer sometimes with my lips, sometimes with my breath and sometimes with both together.  I find great peace and joy.  Driving along in the car, walking on the street, setting alone in a chair, lying in bed (when I can’t sleep), when I am tempted this beautiful prayer assists me.  Sometimes I use part of the prayer or just one word “Jesus”.  The name of Jesus is sweet and good for my soul.

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy on me a Sinner.”

Deacon David Wuletich. WVIS Associate Spiritual Director: deacdew@suddenlink.net

from West Virginia Institute for Spirituality: http://wvis.org/

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Lenten Spiritual Practices: Sixth Thursday in Lent – April 10, 2014

“Wanting to do something and being unable is, in the eyes of God WHO sees our hearts, as though it were done.”   St. Mark the Ascetic from 226 texts

***

There is a struggle in me to accept good intentions as faithfulness.  They say “the road to hell is paved by good intentions.”  Who among us has not experienced the intended kindness, undelivered when we needed it?  As a community with many physical, economic needs around us, a thoughtful kind word seems to fall short.  I remember Charles Schultz’ Peanuts cartoon where Snoopy is freezing cold, at the brink of death.  Charlie Brown walks by noticing Snoopy’s plight with sympathy.  Charlie is bundled up in warmth and comfort.  Charlie then walks by wishing Snoopy good things, without offering a hand.  The world watches us and judges Christians as hypocrites when our actions fall short of our spoken intentions.  Jesus himself addresses hypocrisy in the Pharisees in today’s Gospel reading.  “And if I should say that I do not know him, I would be like you a liar.  But I do know him and I keep his word.”  John 8:55

From a young age, my parents taught me that doing right is an important extension of our faith.  However, as I live through my years, I have discovered my own limitation in doing.  Many times I have intended more than I delivered.  My own failure reminds me how badly I need God!  Then, God shows such love for me, seeing into my heart.  This same God forgives me for thinking that I can do or be it all.  And God loves me as though it were done.  Sometimes, later, God fills me with his intentions and equips me then for doing so.

Prayer Practice for the day:

In a quiet place, let go of your distractions.  When ready, answer a knock at your door to find jesusatdoorJesus.  Welcome him into your space.  Give him your intentions.  Offer him your dis-ease and guilt.  Hear and feel his forgiveness and love for you.  Listen to what he has to say to you.  Enjoy each other’s company a while.

Rev. Elizabeth S. Mallozzi. Director of Mission and Pastoral Care, The Shores at Wesley Manor, UMHNJ: beth.mallozzi@gmail.com

from West Virginia Institute for Spirituality: http://wvis.org/

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Lanterns for Dark Nights

lantern

During the up and down time of serious illness of our loved ones, when we feel lost and helpless, we so need comfort.

My brother’s recent serious illness had me crying, aware that he might die.  Of course, I hoped he would live and thrive and continue his marvelous presence in the world.  But I did not know.  We never know when those we love, or we ourselves, will face illness, disability and death.

Here is a beautiful Amy Grant song inspired by psalm 119: 105

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ig8dO3VVayw

Lyrics:

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.

When I feel afraid,
And think I’ve lost my way.
Still, You’re there right beside me.
Nothing will I fear
As long as You are near;
Please be near me to the end.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.

I will not forget
Your love for me and yet,
My heart forever is wandering.
Jesus be my guide,
And hold me to Your side,
And I will love you to the end.

Nothing will I fear
As long as You are near;
Please be near me to the end.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.
And a light unto my path.
You’re the light unto my path.

Songwriters: GILL, AMY GRANT/SMITH, MICHAEL WHITAKER

Here’s another version of Your Word is  a Light unto My Path Thy Word – Maranatha Singers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SLHWFpSlq4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Miscellaneous, My novels and writings, Reflections for Lent, Spiritual Practices, Verde (Contemplation) | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment