Over my somewhat short blogging experience I have written, edited and deleted some different essays. I am rebuilding my website now at a slower pace. Today I found there had been two searches of the above that brought someone(s) to my page. When I looked this up myself on Bing I found hints of an article I had written several months ago on discernment and exactly how much trust did I think I was really giving to God at that time. I had second guessed what I felt He called me to, actually struggled with it for a long time though as time has played out I am sure I have followed along and am headed in the way He wants, though – I’m still not sure what that means completely. Today – I continue to turn my trust to Him, heart, mind and soul. Personally, I am staying in prayer and listening for direction. A somewhat intense time in my life. That’s as much as I am going to divulge.
Early on in this journey I came across what I have been told (and read) is the Prayer of Discernment by Thomas Merton. In truth, I cannot remember how I came across this, I believe it was at a summer retreat that I participated in at a neighboring Parish. The retreat was held every other Sunday afternoon over the summer. It was at this retreat I came face to face with some issues that I really had not paid as much attention to up to that point. Rather than veer off point and continue on with those issues, I am going to continue on and return to those topics in other writings at some point.
The above .gif is something I installed as the background on my cell phone for several months as I tried to come to discern what God was asking me. This prayer is one of many that are used for some discerning Holy Orders, though that was not my purpose for this prayer. Others use this prayer apparently to help them through difficult and challenging times in their lives.
The mid-morning, noon and mid-afternoon verses included in the Divine Office readings today are from 1 Corinthians as noted below. I am going to inject verses 7-11 that were not included in the readings for the sake of this discussion.
Mid-morning reading (Terce)1 Corinthians 12:4-6
7. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. 8 To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom; to another the expression of knowledge according to the same Spirit; 9 to another faith by the same Spirit; to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit; 10 to another mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to another varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.
Noon reading (Sext)1 Corinthians 12:12-13
Just as a human body, though it is made up of many parts, is a single unit because all these parts, though many, make one body, so it is with Christ. In the one Spirit we were all baptized, Jews as well as Greeks, slaves as well as citizens, and one Spirit was given to us all to drink.
Afternoon reading (None)1 Corinthians 12:24,25-26
I personally don’t know anyone who has written such a list, it seems kind of ? self serving. These things are just what we do. Moms, Dads and others who help us out – right? In addition to all of the above “jobs” many of us are blessed with a marriage or other adult relationship . . .
That relationship usually comes before children in hopes of providing a really solid family foundation. This type of relationship requires work and gift of self too!
In addition to these relationships and endless list of responsibilities comes our career. What we do outside of the house to bring income “in” as a means of being able to provide for ourselves, those we love and others who also need a hand up.
For myself – God is before all of these human relationships. When I put Him first, I am able to serve Him and others as He asks us to do. Worship our Triune God – and Serve.
What does all of this have to do with the words of St. Paul? We all have many gifts. We are not limited to any one special gift of the spirt, though some may have more of one gift than another, some may really only have one or two, some may have several – and they may flex or change over time.
St. Paul’s words as taught in the church limit the abilities of everyone, whereas looking at the broader scope, maybe with the female mind – we can see how all things in our life are all interchangeable, possible, and though they may not always be as simple as a list of words on a page, they are our lives. Our relationships. Our loves. All gifts from God – who never has limited His children in any way, shape or form. All things are possible in Him.
“We thought depriving ourselves or doing something contrary to nature, will, or body would somehow please God, whereas it only made us feel “strong” and significant. Jesus never advocates either asceticism or heroism. In fact, Jesus says, “John the Baptist came along fasting and living an ascetic life and you were upset with him. Now I come along eating and drinking and you don’t like me either” (see Matthew 11:18-19). Jesus is neither a rigorist nor a legalist. He is scandalously free from these ego games” R. Rohr
We are all called by Him to serve. He does not limit our lives, He gave and gives Life. Live. His Love and the Gifts He gives us are in abundance, Unlimited but for our own minds. Faith, Hope & Love, the greatest of these is Love. Serve with Love ~ but, Live.