Reading: The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom
“Remain Anchored in Your Community” to “Claim Your Unique Presence in Your Community” (pages 45 to 69)
True love between two human beings puts you more in touch with your
deepest self. It is a love in God . . . . God’s love is all the love you need,
and it reveals the love of God in the other. So the God in you
can speak to the God in the other. This is deep speaking
to deep, a mutuality in the heart of God,
who embraces both of you. (p.64)
On behalf of our Lenten community, I want to express our gratitude for another week of thoughtful, meaningful, and inspiring comments on Henri’s spiritual imperatives. I know that the thoughts posted here prompt me to go deeper in my own reflections. It is also a blessing to see our virtual Lenten community continue to grow closer together.
We are midway through our Lenten journey and this week we are reading and reflecting on the middle 12 of Henri’s 62 spiritual imperatives. My heart was draw to the quotation above taken from “Let Deep Speak to Deep.” Henri describes the profound reality that the (Spirit of) God present in me can speak to (or encounter) the (Spirit of) God present in another. For me, this is a key to understanding God, ourselves, and our relationship to others. As we read in Scripture, “God is love and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” (1 John 4:16). In our polarized world, unfortunately including the church, a necessary, and at times difficult, first step for me is to allow the God that is in me to see the God that is in the other. For if I do not recognize another person as my brother or sister, I will not hear and be open to what is said when deep speaks to deep. This is an area where I know I struggle and it is a cause of loneliness for me, another key theme throughout our Lenten discussion. Which of Henri’s imperatives are touching your heart this week?
As we have been doing, during this Third Week of Lent you are encouraged to read and to reflect on the this weeks’ spiritual imperatives and share whatever touches your heart, issues arise, or insights you gain in the readings. This group is here to listen, encourage and support each other. Once again, here is a possible process you might consider.
- Briefly look over the twelve imperatives assigned to this week (pages 45 to 69), either by simply reading the title or by lightly skimming the text. Don’t feel you need to closely read them all. Remember Henri’s advice on p xxi…too much salt can spoil a meal!
- Select a few (perhaps 3 or 4) 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 in this imperative? Has God touched your heart in other ways about this thought or concept (e.g., Scripture, spiritual reading, through another person)?
- 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 extent you are comfortable. You might consider sharing on a single imperative per comment. If you have a second or third imperative that was meaningful to you, submit separate comments for each. As always you are invited to continue building our community by responding to what others have shared.
As always, you are encouraged to share whatever touched your heart during the week while reading Henri’s spiritual imperatives and the comments of others. I’m confident that our rich and spirit-filled discussion will blossom and be fruitful as we continue our Lenten journey together. Once again, thank you to all that have joined us. You bless us by your presence.
Peace and all good.