In the midst of their earnest desire for God, wise ammas and abbas recognized how seemingly holy habits could sometimes distance them from God and one another. It was one thing to undertake a spiritual practice—fasting, prayer, vigils, and the like—for the purpose of drawing closer to God; quite another to allow these practices to become a point of pride, an occasion for competition, a source of division, or a cause for lack of hospitality to a guest. They learned that the forces they sometimes described as demons often loved to hide in the very practices that the desert folk pursued with such diligence.
—Jan L. Richardson, In the Sanctuary of Women: A Companion for Reflection and Prayer (Upper Room Books, 2010)
How can you shift your attitude when a “holy habit” becomes a point of pride rather than a way of drawing closer to God?
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But he gives all the more grace; therefore it says,
“God opposes the proud,
but gives grace to the humble.”
—James 4:6 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
We are waking, God.
We are waking,
and we pray
that we may know you
as manna in the desert,
wellsprings in the wilderness,
honey from the rock,
O God our habitation
and our way.
—Jan L. Richardson, “Prayer for the Morning,” In the Sanctuary of Women
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Aren’t sure if spiritual direction is for you? Sacred Conversation, the latest release from Upper Room Books, explains what spiritual direction is and what it isn’t. Author Marsha Crockett invites you to experience the possibility of transformation as you ponder the gifts offered by the grace of God with the help of a spiritual director. Learn more here.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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