Faith and Feelings Part Five – Learning from outside our comfort zones

Longtime readers of my blog may remember the days before I banned comments. If you do, you will remember that I gathered a group of people who seemed to disagree with almost everything I said. I stopped comments because I didn’t have time to deal with everything they were saying, and because I found moderating very difficult. These days, that group largely finds expression through a blog written by someone who shares my surname, but despite rumors to the contrary is not related to me! If you are interested in reading that blog you can find it easily enough, though I suspect many of you have other things to do with your time. From time to time, however, a surprising agreement suddenly arrises. This happened this week with regard to my series on feelings and faith So, it may surprise both my critics and my friends, that I found a link shared on that site to something called “Ignatian Spirituality” fascinating. It reminded me that the mystics and monastics probably do have more to teach us than most of us in the reformed movement give credit. Of course we must use discernment and wisdom, and there are many pitfalls, but our fear of the unknown should not stop us giving thought to how we can pursue God. I remember for example as a young man reading Brother Laurence and finding him very helpful. Our danger in reformed circles is to dismiss everyone who disagrees with even a narrow point of doctrine as someone we can never learn from. I am more and more convinced as I get older that God calls us to learn from wherever we can, even although it is very necessary at times to expel the bathwater, we must not throw out the baby!

This series is far from over, but I am going to be taking a break from it for a few days.

If you are interested in a little trip outside your comfort zone, here is a method of prayer from the site:

1.. Pray for light.

2. Review the day in thanksgiving.

3. Review the feelings that surface in the replay of the day.

4. Choose one of those feelings (positive or negative) and pray from it.

5. Look toward tomorrow.

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