For Sunday, August 3, 2014
Eighteenth Sunday Ordinary Time
Agape’ Meditation Practices Newsletter
Supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service
R/ The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs. The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness. The LORD is good to all and compassionate toward all his works. R/ The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs. The eyes of all look hopefully to you, and you give them their food in due season; you open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing. R/ The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs. The LORD is just in all his ways and holy in all his works. The LORD is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth. R/ The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.
Psalm 145: 8-9, 15-18
Is 55: 1-3
Rom 8: 35, 37-39
Mt 14: 13-21
The readings this week are all about God generously meeting our needs. Notice that the word is NEED, not WANT. God alone knows what is in our highest good, and it often has nothing to do with our wants. Contrary to many pop-culture self-help books on prosperity and abundance, God gives us what we need, not what we want. Just because we WANT $1Mil and just because we ask for it and just because we think the right thoughts, does not mean that God will give it to us. The invitation for us is to be open to receiving what we NEED instead of seeking after what we think we want, and trusting that what we have right now is exactly in line with what God knows we need.
How are you invited to trust that what you have right now is exactly what you need for your highest good?
Spiritual Practices – Needs vs. Wants
This week’s practice is a take on St. Ignatius’ Examen. Through this practice, you will take the time to distinguish need from want. This will be a kind of brainstorming exercise.
- On a blank sheet of paper, write down everything that you think you want. If you find you can’t come up with anything, write “I want….I want….I want….” on the paper until wants start to emerge. Perhaps you want money, success, romance, a new house, a new car, that striking outfit you saw on that lady at the department store. Just let your writing flow. What do you think you want?
- This exercise will be a little more difficult. Begin by bringing yourself to a state of quiet. Become aware of your consciousness and draw this awareness need into your body, allowing yourself to become peaceful and centered. Once you feel fully connected to your physical self and in a state of peacefulness, then ask yourself, WHAT DO I NEED? Pause in the silence and allow the answer(s) to present themselves. Then, write them down and compare them to your list of wants.
In Authentic Freedom, abundance is defined as an inner quality of peacefulness, expansiveness, contentment and joy. Abundance is measured by this inner quality and is independent of the external circumstances of our lives. In Authentic Freedom, when we seek after abundance, this is the quality we are looking for.
Where in your life are you experiencing this inner state of abundance?
What spiritual practices help you to cultivate this inner state of abundance?