Some resources for the Daily Office, Bible Study, and the Daily Examen

I led an adult forum at Grace last Sunday during which I offered brief introductions to the Daily Office and the Daily Examen from the Ignatian tradition. I’ve collected some of those resources here, as well as links to the Bible and the lectionary.

The Book of Common Prayer online: https://www.bcponline.org 

The Daily Office (Morning and Evening Prayer, Daily Devotions)

Morning Prayer Rite I BCP 37

Morning Prayer Rite II BCP 75

Evening Prayer Rite I BCP 61

Evening Prayer Rite II BCP 115

Compline BCP 127

Daily Devotions for Families BCP 136

Daily Office online:

http://www.missionstclare.com/english/index.html

This site includes the psalms, readings, and canticles for each office, so you don’t need to look through the lectionary, or have a bible. Daily office app available on itunes or android.

The Daily Office podcast: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/audio-daily-office-the-trinity-mission/id604914110?mt=2

The Bible

For many years, I have used this site: http://bible.oremus.org. It offers a number of different versions, but defaults to the New Revised Standard Version (with British spelling), which is the version we use in worship.

The Lectionary.

If you want to know the readings for Sunday in advance, they are all available at The Lectionary Page: http://www.lectionarypage.net

A great resource for exploring each week’s Sunday readings is Textweek.com.

The Daily Examen

An alternative to the Daily Office is the daily examen. From the Jesuit tradition, meant to offer you an opportunity at the end of the day to look back over your day for signs of God’s presence and grace.

A brief overview:

  1. Become aware of God’s presence.
    2.Review the day with gratitude.
    3. Pay attention to your emotions.
    4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it.
    5. Look toward tomorrow.

From Ashes to Glory (the daily examen for Lent):

https://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-prayer/the-examen/from-ashes-to-glory

Lent, 2014: Resources

The liturgical calendar offers different ways to experience and worship through the seasons of the year. Christmas and Epiphany are seasons of celebration; the months after Pentecost, referred to by Roman Catholics as “Ordinary Time,” provide an opportunity to explore what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ in the humdrum of ordinary life. By contrast, Lent is a season of repentance and spiritual discipline. It calls us to take God seriously for a few weeks. Lent asks us to see ourselves in our vulnerable humanity as the words of Ash Wednesday challenge us, “Remember that you are dust and to dust you will return.”

I hope that members of Grace (and readers of the blog) will endeavor this Lent to reflect and deepen our spiritual lives. There are many ways of doing this–by reading some work of spiritual significance, adopting spiritual practices like prayer and fasting, or following one or more of the many Lenten resources on the web.

At Grace, we’ll have a bible study on Wednesday evenings (March 12-April 9) focusing on the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). You can find out more about it here, including some opportunities for following along on-line. If you can’t join us on Wednesday nights and would like to use the Sermon on the Mount for your own spiritual focus during Lent, I encourage you to get a copy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship.

Maggie Dawn offers 40 ideas for observing Lent

Nadia Bolz-Weber and the Church of All Sinners and Saints offers 40 Ideas for Keeping a Holy Lent

Lenten Devotionals:

And, of course, in a category of its own: Lent Madness!

Lenten Study: The Big Class: Making Sense of the Cross with David Lose:

Description: Whatever we say about the cross, we are also saying about God. So what does the cross mean? What can it tell us about God? How can it help us approach, understand, and know God better? In Part One of this three-part series, David Lose invites us to consider that the best way to understand the cross is through experience.

Rowan Williams on Spirituality

In an interview that included comments about some Christians’ persecution complex and his response to the question whether gays and lesbians might feel “let down” by him, Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury had some interesting things to say about “spirituality:”

Sharing a platform at the Edinburgh international book festival with Julia Neuberger, president of the Liberal Judaism movement, Williams launched a withering critique of popular ideas about spirituality. “The last thing it is about is the placid hum of a well-conducted meditation,” he said.

He said the word “spiritual” in today’s society was frequently misused in two ways: either to mean “unworldly and useless, which is probably the sense in which it has been used about me”, or “meaning ‘I’m serious about my inner life, I want to cultivate my sensibility'”.

He added: “Speaking from the Christian tradition, the idea that being spiritual is just about having nice experiences is rather laughable. Most people who have written seriously about the life of the spirit in Christianity and Judaism spend a lot of their time telling you how absolutely bloody awful it is.” Neuberger said she found some uses of the word self-indulgent and offensive. Williams argued that true spirituality was not simply about fostering the inner life but was about the individual’s interaction with others.

“I’d like to think, at the very least, that spiritual care meant tending to every possible dimension of sense of the self and each other, that it was about filling out as fully as possible human experience,” he said.

Asked by Neuberger whether he felt organised religion encouraged the life of the spirit, he replied: “The answer is of course a good Anglican yes and no”. While it can pass on the shared values of tradition, it can also operate as simply “the most satisfying leisure activity possible. It can also be something that you use to bolster your individual corporate ego.”

The entire report is here.

Julian of Norwich, May 8

Today we commemorate one of the great mystics and visionaries of the Christian tradition. Julian has become enormously popular in recent decades because her theology is well-suited to twentieth and twenty-first century sensibilities. Some quotations from her Revelations of Divine are widely disseminated, like these:

All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.

 

What, do you wish to know your Lord’s meaning in this thing? Know it well, love was his meaning. Who reveals it to you? Love. What did he reveal to you? Love. Why does he reveal it to you? For love. Remain in this, and you will know more of the same. But you will never know different, without end.

My Good Friday homily this year concluded with these words.

She is beloved for her deep devotion to Jesus Christ, the infusion of the love of God throughout her works, and for using maternal imagery for God.

For all her appeal to contemporary people, she remains elusive to modern scholarship and elusive to all attempts to appropriate her for contemporary spirituality. We know very little about her that doesn’t come from her own writings. While there’s evidence that she was popular in her lifetime (Margery Kempe describes a visit to her, and several wills mention her), we are certain of neither the date of her birth or her death. Her works survived only in several manuscript copies–suggesting that there was relatively little interest in her writing after her death. It was only in the twentieth century that scholars and then the wider public began to take an interest in her writings.

Contemporary readers of her Revelations may be inclined to overlook her vivid descriptions of the sufferings of Christ as well as her own stated desire to suffer. For example, here she describes the moment of death:

“After this Christ showed me part of his Passion, close to his death. I saw his sweet face as it were dry and bloodless with the pallor of dying, and then deadly pale, languishing, and then the pallor turning blue and then the blue turning brown, as death took more hold upon his flesh. For his Passion appeared to me most vividly in his blessed face, and especially in the lips. I saw there what had become of these four colors, which had appeared to me before as fresh and ruddy, vital and beautiful. This was a painful change to watch, this deep dying, and his nose shriveled and dried up as I saw; and the sweet body turned brown and black, completely changed and transformed from his naturally beautiful, fresh and vivid complexion into a shriveled image of death.

Her writings are rich in detail and in theological insight that bear close study and meditation. But ideas, images, or themes that may seem appealing in the twenty-first century should not be extracted from the context that inspired her–a deep devotion to the passion of Christ and a spirituality that began in the attempt to enter into the passion as fully as possible. Her visions of Christ’s suffering helped her to experience his pain, profound grief at his suffering and death, and as she reflected on those experiences, she began to understand the depth and power of Christ’s love.

(all texts from Julian of Norwich: Showings. Classics of Western Spirituality. 1978)

 

Random web finds related to spirituality

Is Pope Benedict XVI going to canonize Hildegard of Bingen?

The Jesuit Style:

From his own experience, Ignatius deduced a series of methodological and pedagogical principles that will be characteristic in the way he acted when trying to assist men and women to find their way, in other words, helping them to achieve freedom and be responsible for their own lives. A major event was particularly important to the newly converted Ignatius, an enlightenment that transformed him during a stroll along the banks of the Cardoner, a river that flows in the neighborhood of Manresa. “The eyes of insight started to open. He didn’t have a vision, but he understood and learnt several things, spiritual as well as others concerning faith and words, and with such a huge enlightenment that all these things seemed to be new.”

A “one-nun show” on the life of Catherine of Siena, written and performed by Bill Murray’s sister (yes,that Bill Murray).

I suppose for all those despairing of the future of Christianity, and of Roman Catholicism, these three are witnesses to the rich streams of Christian spirituality that can’t be controlled or destroyed by hierarchies or institutions.