the sacred way

I’ve started reading a book called the sacred way by Tony Jones. It is a book that mines the rich history of the church for spiritual disciplines that have been largely forgotten in the practice of Christianity. I think this is an important book for me to be reading right now. Lately, I have been inspired to look beyond the pre-conceived notions that we have of ‘quiet time’ [30 minutes reading a random passage and reciting to God our needs / wants etc.] and dig deeper into the past and see what has been laid out for us by the rich tradition of the Church in terms of devoting one’s self to God. I’ll be honest, my devotional life has become pretty stale. I try to do something like start from the beginning of the Bible and read it all the way through, journalling some thoughts along the way, and get sidetracked around Numbers. That has happened a couple of times. I literally lack the discipline to keep it up, and then feel bad and guilty and I’m sure everyone knows how that generally plays out. Too often I find myself reading books about spirituality and the Bible, and not enough time actually soaking it in and allowing it to shape my life. [I type that while writing about a book I am reading about spiritual disciplines … oops]. Seriously now, I am determined to adopt some age old, tried, tested and true Christian disciplines which have been passed down over the centuries, moving beyond the current devotional formula so that I may truly become a devoted follower of Christ. The Sacred Way outlines 16 such disciplines, some that I am already more familiar with than others. Tonight, I tried some lectio divina with Psalm 23, and while it was very hard to focus, I think it was a good start and I felt more at peace after wards than I did before, so that’s something. I am excited about this, and hopefully it doesn’t fizzle out like a flat can of Cherry Vanilla Coke in the way that other attempts have in the past.

Here’s one that I am feeling right now, and trying to incorporate it into my vocabulary; it’s the Jesus prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

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