This summer, we had planned to offer an evening small group discussion based on faith practices. Long before the sad events in our country in Orlando, Baton Rouge, St. Paul and Dallas, and before Belgium, Nice, France, Turkey, and now this week Munich, we had planned to call it “When the Rubber Hits the Road:” Spiritual Practices for Tough Times. In retrospect, we have needed those practices for times which seem to speak more of the harm we do to each other than the good we are capable of doing. The group meets on Thursday evenings. Each week, we focus on a specific faith practice, remembering always that faith is active in love of God and neighbor. The first week, we focused on gratitude. The second on generosity. This week we are focusing on patience. Below is a sample of the format we are using: four times a day, we are checking in on ourselves, following the pattern of the daily liturgical hours prayer: morning, noon, evening, and night. Each person in the group has a practice partner/friend to whom they write occasionally of their experience.
Week 1: Gratitude
Great Website on Gratefulness: http://www.gratefulness.org/
Gratitude is a basic practice for transforming the day.
It consists simply of noticing the causes and conditions for gratitude.
This is a cross-cultural spiritual practice and can be found in every mainline tradition.
In Christianity, gratitude is a daily, sometimes minute by minute activity of giving thanks. It is the root practice for Eucharist, or holy communion, our Great Thanksgiving.
Gratitude is where we start.
Gratitude helps break open our isolation, linking us in interdependence to everyone and everything around us.
Gratitude is the foundation of spiritual growth, spiritual friendship, spiritual happiness.
What are some things in your life for which you are grateful?