Friday, June 17, 2005

Saturday, June 18

The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime (pp. 93-94)

To read today's office, click here.

Centering down is an old Quaker expression for finding ourselves at the our center, a center where God meets us. There are all kinds of terms used for this: our inner self, our real self, and more importantly (from a biblical standpoint) our heart. We commune most deeply with God in our heart of hearts, when our heart says an authentic "Yes" to God's heart. When we simply tell the authentic truth about ourselves by simply handing ourselves to God.

I am impressed by the The Greeting this morning: "O God, you will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are fixed on you; for in returning and rest we shall be saved; in quietness and trust shall be our strength." There are paradoxes here: "peace" and "fixed" (a strength word), in "returning and rest" we are "saved"; and in "quietness and trust" we find "strength."

Perhaps with me you will be reminded of Brother Lawrence, who learned prayer by speaking authentically with God as a form of constant communion. His contribution to the lives of millions is "practicing the presence of God." This is what the Psalmist has in mind in our Greeting today: perfect peace comes from being fixed on God; we rest in God; we find our strength in God in a sweet quietness.

How The Divine Hours ties this into the gospel is a stroke of genius: The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light (Jesus Christ). Thus, with this stroke it is all tied together: the constancy of life, found in the presence of God, has become Incarnate in Jesus Christ, to whom we go to find rest for our soul.