A Synthesis Of My Master’s Work

Love carried by humility. Humility carrying love.

You carry a stream, an emphasis. Live it, and present it with humility.

All the greatest thinkers of history had something beautiful to say, but also something awful.

Our key verse was:

“If you will return… if you can extract the precious from the worthless, then you will be my spokesman.”

If you can live a life continually coming back to me, not too alarmed by dryness, or depression, or wilderness, if you will continue to return to me, then I will restore you. If you can extract the precious from the worthless, then you will be my spokesman.

“We believe that the task of spiritual formation is to form us. We then rub off on others; we’re always looking for the next mass program, but we are the next thing we have to do.” How do we deepen? How do we rise?

William Seymour – if we pray, and form, then maybe 100 years of missionary expansion will follow us.

“Imagined evil is extremely exciting and draws us in. Real evil is actually very boring. Imagined goodness is extremely boring, but real goodness is the most exciting thing in the world.” Simone Weil (not exact quote)

Simone Weil
From PBS, link here

French philosopher and activist Simone Weil was born into a wealthy, agnostic Jewish family of intellectuals in Paris. She studied and eventually taught philosophy, attracting attention for her radical Marxist opinions. Hoping to understand the working class, she also worked in fields and factories and even participated in the Spanish Civil War. Over time she lost faith in political ideologies and was drawn to Christianity. Her religious writings often emphasized sacrifice and martyrdom through an ascetic lifestyle, a lifestyle that Weil personally adopted and which led to her early death at age 34 from tuberculosis. In this 1943 essay, written during the last year of her life, which she spent working with Gen. de Gaulle in the struggle for French liberation, Weil makes the case for the existence of a transcendent and universal moral law, and describes the social responsibilities that accompany it.

Draft for a Statement of Human Obligation (an excerpt)

Profession of Faith

There is a reality outside the world, that is to say, outside space and time, outside man’s mental universe, outside any sphere whatsoever that is accessible to human faculties.

Corresponding to this reality, at the centre of the human heart, is the longing for an absolute good, a longing which is always there and is never appeased by any object in this world.

Another terrestrial manifestation of this reality lies in the absurd and insoluble contradictions which are always the terminus of human thought when it moves exclusively in this world.

Just as the reality of this world is the sole foundation of facts, so that other reality is the sole foundation of good.

That reality is the unique source of all the good that can exist in this world: that is to say, all beauty, all truth, all justice, all legitimacy, all order, and all human behaviour that is mindful of obligations.

At the centre of the human heart is the longing for an absolute good, a longing which is always there and is never appeased by any object in this world.”

Those minds whose attention and love are turned towards that reality are the sole intermediary through which good can descend from there and come among men.

Although it is beyond the reach of any human faculties, man has the power of turning his attention and love towards it.

Nothing can ever justify the assumption that any man, whoever he may be, has been deprived of this power.

It is a power which is only real in this world in so far as it is exercised. The sole condition for exercising it is consent.

This act of consent may be expressed, or it may not be, even tacitly; it may not be clearly conscious, although it has really taken place in the soul. Very often it is verbally expressed although it has not in fact taken place. But whether expressed or not, the one condition suffices: that it shall in fact have taken place.

To anyone who does actually consent to directing his attention and love beyond the world, towards the reality that exists outside the reach of all human faculties, it is given to succeed in doing so. In that case, sooner or later, there descends upon him a part of the good, which shines through him upon all that surrounds him.”


Sheltering Mercy: Prayers Inspired by the Psalms

Sheltering Mercy, along with its companion volume, Endless Grace, helps us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. This book contains 75 prayers drawn from Psalms 1-75, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning in the Psalms. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

This artful, poetic, and classic devotional book features compelling custom illustrations and foil-stamped hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms.