"For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth." ~ Deuteronomy14:2

Friday, June 29, 2012

Spiritual Growth from Thomas Kelley: Ordering Our Mental Life

Ordering Our Mental Life ( from "Testament of Devotion", by Thomas Kelley)
There is a way of ordering our mental life on more than one level at once. On one level we may be thinking, discussing, seeing calculating, meeting all the demands of external affairs. But deep within, behind the scenes, at a profounder level, we may also be in prayer and adoration, song and worship and a gentle receptiveness to divine breathings.

Between these two levels is fruitful interplay, but ever the accent must be upon the deeper level, where the soul dwells in the presence of the Holy One, forever bringing all affairs of the first level down into the Light, holding them there in the Presence, reseeing them in a new and more overturning way and responding to them in spontaneous, incisive, and simple ways of love and faith.

How then shall we lay hold of that Life and Power and live the life of prayer without ceasing? By quiet, persistent practice in turning all of our being, day and night, in prayer and inward worship and surrender, toward him who calls in the deeps of our souls.

Mental habits of inward orientation must be established. An inner, secret turning to God can be made fairly steady after weeks and months and year of practice and lapses and failures and returns.
Begin now, as you read these words, as you sit in your chair, to offer your whole selves, utterly and in joyful abandon, in quiet, glad surrender to him who is within. In secret ejaculations of praise, turn in humble wonder to the Light, faint though it may be. Keep contact with the outer world of sense and meanings. Here is no discipline in absentmindedness. Walk and talk and work and laugh with your friends. But behind the scenes, keep up the life of simple prayer and inward worship. Let inward prayer be your last act before you fall asleep and the first act when you awake.

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