Reading: Pages 26 to 55 (Imperatives 17 through 32)
As we enter into week two of our discussion we want to express such gratitude to each of you who are journeying with us, and have shared and/or listened with such grace and honesty. It is a source of encouragement, just as Henri’s honest sharing is such a source of encouragement.
As we open up a new set of imperatives this week, it is worthwhile to reiterate that these imperatives were written in a very raw time in Henri’s life. A number of people last week suggested that they expected more from Henri, or were surprised that he didn’t seem more solid in his aspects of his faith. Remember, as Henri explains in the introduction, he was in a time of “intense purification,” not intending to be leading or teaching anyone else. You’ll find the powerful and solid insights that came out of this time in Henri’s The Return of the Prodigal Son (pxviii). What is so powerful about this text, and what we can so clearly learn from, is his desire to draw closer to the heart of God even during the most difficult of times.
This week we again offer the following process to follow as you reflect on the readings, but of course you are always welcome to share in your own style.
- Briefly look over the 16 imperatives assigned to this week (17 through 32), either by simply reading the title or by lightly skimming the text. Don’t feel you need to read them all. Remember Henri’s advice on p xxi…too much salt can spoil a meal!
- Select a few (perhaps 2 or 3) imperatives that stand out to you, and read them thoroughly, perhaps several times.
- The thought or concept that stands out to you
- How does it relates to your personal experience? Look at your experience with the benefit of Henri’s insight. Does that help you to see things differently or to know yourself better?
- What is God speaking to your heart? What do the Scriptures say?*
- How you will respond? Carefully (prayerfully) consider how your heart responds to the insights gained during your reflection. Are there small steps you can take to incorporate these insights and to move toward spiritual freedom in your life? Perhaps you would like to write your own Spiritual Imperative.
- Please share with the group to the degree you are comfortable
Very much looking forward to hearing from you,
Ray and Brynn