It was so great to have Chris Heuertz with us last night! Chris led us in an examination of why we practice. I appreciated his teaching that we engage contemplative practices specifically because we are bad at them. We struggle with living contemplatively, and we struggle to engage the world around us with compassion. So, we practice. We don’t beat ourselves up or heap shame upon ourselves, we slow down and engage the practices that open us to God, the one who forms us
Chris then led us in a lovingkindness contemplation. With 1 Corinthians 13 as a guide we prayed, “May I be full of faith. May I be surrendered to hope, and may I be aligned with love.” Chris guided us through a six-part contemplation, praying these words for ourselves and others in our lives.
This week, will you continue to engage this lovingkindness contemplation? Let’s carve out fifteen minutes each day this week to repeat this prayer,
“May I be full of faith. May I be surrendered to hope, and may I be aligned with love.”
Practice this contemplation in six movements:
- First, we hold ourselves in God’s presence with this prayer. We may choose to hold it for our inner child, for a vulnerable part of ourselves.
- Second, we speak this prayer for someone who taught us in word or in deed what it means to be compassionate.
- Third, we use these words to hold someone we love dearly or someone who loves us dearly in God’s loving presence.
- Fourth, we speak this prayer for someone we don’t know or don’t know well.
- Fifth, we hold someone who is difficult for us, someone we have disagreed with, or someone who has hurt us in God’s presence with this prayer.
- Finally, we pray this prayer for all of humanity.