The Loudmouth Protestant

January 3, 2008

The First Confirmation of 2008

As I was in Watchnight on New Year’s Eve amongst the saints and in the midst of praise and worship, a voice–presumably God’s–told me that this was the year that I needed to embark on a journey to find my authentic spirituality. Lately I have been feeling a tug to explore it and this is why I’ve been looking to contemplative practice, Daily Offices, lectio divina and other spiritual practices to find my authentic spirituality and a deeper connection with God. This search for my personal spirituality will also include attending different churches. So that those that know me don’t think I am jumping ship I am keeping my home church, but I am also going visit other churches to fellowship with the greater body of Christ that I have been ignoring. I am personally tired of segregating myself and exhausted with not necessarily feeling like I own my Sunday experience the way I should.

I received confirmation about this by way of the first book that I am reading in 2008 entitled “Monk Habits for Everyday People: Benedictine Spirituality for Protestants.” The author Dennis Okholm has this to say about Protestants learning to fellowship and worship with the different denominations of Christianity:

“…a healthy ecclesiology demands that Protestants learn from their Benedictine brothers and sisters. In Ephesians 3:14-21 Paul prays that his readers will come to know the dimensions of God’s reality “with all the saints.” This was emphasized at my ordination, as I was charged with appreciating the various traditions out of which I had come (Pentecostal and Baptist) along with the one into which I had entered (Presbyterian). Little did I know at that time that this would eventually also include Roman Catholic Benedictines. But it makes sense given the strong emphasis on eschatology (the study of “last things”) in evangelicalism: one day we will gather at the eschatological banquet, surrounded not only by God’s chosen from every nation but also by his chosen from every branch of Christianity.

…Like little children in high society who take classes from Miss Manners so that they will be ready to conduct themselves appropriately at formal dinners, we Christians might as well practice rubbing shoulders with those who will share the table at the great banquet feast of the lamb.”

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2 Comments »

  1. Thomas Merton has a ton of books about contemplation.

    Finley has a book called Christian Meditation. That’s pretty good too.

    There’s also Spiritual Exercises by St. Ignatius(?)

    Comment by Jay — January 27, 2008 @ 12:45 am | Reply

  2. Thomas Merton’s “New Seeds of Contemplation” is actually my second book for 2008 and I have found it to be an incredible blessing. Because of my work I have been exposed to Merton and the work of his ilk and I have just now started to read it for myself. I will have to check out Christian Meditation. Last year I started reading “Christian Insight Meditation” but it bogged me down and I found it be boring. The thing about endeavoring to live to contemplative life is that when you do desire it and you are just learning about it you really do need time to contemplate the contemplative life. It’s nothing to enter into too lightly. But I am loving it right now. St. Ignatius is another one I want to check out but I’ve got to get to St. Augustine first.

    Comment by Loudmouth Protestant — January 28, 2008 @ 9:57 am | Reply


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