Tag: daily office

An Interesting Thought


Today I visited the Episcopal Cathedral here in downtown Phoenix for morning prayer. It was really good to walk through the liturgy with others (who are way more experienced with it than I) and out loud. The cathedral is one of my favorite spiritual spaces in the city. The architecture represents Phoenix well, a historic stone building built with a Spanish mission motive. They have a brilliant courtyard in the center of their space that contains a labyrinth and some really artistic stations of the cross. I have a feeling I will be spending a lot of time there in 2009.
After morning prayer, I was chatting with a guy I met name Matt. Matt is the head of youth and young adults for the Arizona Episcopal Diocese. As we talked of the spiritual traditions we were raised in, we realized we both came from protestant, evangelical, conservative backgrounds. He than asked me what led me to come to Morning prayer at an Episcopal Cathedral. I explained to him my recent draw to liturgy as the primary spiritual rhythm of my life. I acknowledged that I didn’t yet fully understand why I’ve been interested in more liturgical forms of faith. He said something interesting:

You can come to faith in the protestant tradition, but you can’t grow to depth there.

These are words that will roll around in my head and heart for a while. I am not sure if it’s that simple, but I certainly can relate – the ways and postures of faith in which I was raised seem to be less than a complete expression. They lack a complete picture of God in an over-zealous attempt to understand him intellectually. Liturgy is void of the attempt of figuring out God and full of the ackowledgment of what we know of Him. Something about that resonates deep within my soul.

Spiritual Rhythms

trinityThis New Year I am attempting to dive deeper into the life and rhythms of a contemplative. I am confronted with my inability to live my commitment to Jesus as the priority in which all else of my life is built around. I am tired of making space to nurture my spiritual self only when family, work, hobbies, etc allow. Instead I want to more deeply explore spiritual rhythms at the core of my life. Here’s how I am attempting this:

The Daily Offices – a daily rhythm of 3 spaces (morning, midday, & evening) carved out and reserved to “be” with God. In my rhythms, morning prayer resembles the devotional time of my evangelical tradition, midday prayer is shorter and heavily liturgical, and evening prayer is flexible with times spent in prayer as a family, and others in solitude.

Sabbath-keeping – a weekly rhythm of rest.  I am trying to explore what rest looks like (and doesn’t look like for me) and then to create a 24hr space in which to dwell in that rest.  My hope, prayer, and intent is that these times give me space for contemplation and appreciation to accompany the rest. What I don’t want in this rhythm is a pharasaical-sort of discipline, but intead a relaxed committment to honestly pursue the activites that give me rest spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, and relationally.

A Rule of Life – a holistic rhythm of living in which I attempt to live in balance of the committments I’ve made.  In my case, these commitments are to the ways of Jesus, the ways of community, the ways of Justice, and the ways of creativity.  At times this means giving intention to the commitments in which I’ve neglected and other times it means creatively rethinking my actions and words to better reflect these core committments of my life.

As I explore these individually and communally (with the communitasPHX folks), I am convinced that this sort of rhythmic intention of spirituality is vital.  It gives true expression to our words and hopes.  It provides a discipline to our commitments.  And it provides us ways to pursue Jesus in the demands and chaos of everyday American life.  I’m working on establishing these ways as a part of “a symbolic order” in which people from distant geographies can experiment and explore with the way of life together.  More on this to come.

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