Tending Our Spirits
Are you a “daily devotional” reader? What works for you?
Publications like “The Upper Room” or “Our Daily Bread” have been widely read for years. I believe one of the reasons they “work” for many persons is the structure, which is based upon the ancient prayer practice of lectio divina (“holy reading”). These follow the pattern of reading a short scripture passage, reflecting upon it, and offering up prayer.
For some persons, however, these publications are too restrictive, either in theological interpretation or in structure. In actual practice, lectio divina allows for a flow between meditation upon a reading (i.e., active engagement), contemplation (i.e., setting aside active engagement and simply holding oneself in the presence of the Holy), and prayer (i.e., offering up to God whatever kind of words arise). While lectio divina is usually applied to scripture, it can be any kind of reading.
As in ancient times, a wide variety of books are available for “spiritual reading.” Many are published as a one-year cycle, often selections of a particular author. More recent authors whose works are fresh, inclusive, and carry spiritual depth include Henri Nouwen, Madeleine L’Engle, Mark Nepo, and Joyce Rupp. Poetry, both contemporary and classic, sacred and secular, and from many spiritual traditions, also feeds the spirit. What works for you?
If you have a book that has nurtured you spiritually as a daily discipline, tell us about it. Provide title and author and 1-3 sentences about the style or content, and send it to Pilgrim Church at email@example.com. We will publish suggestions in this blog and in our newsletter, to help each other find new resources for our spiritual growth. We look forward to discovering new books to tend our spirits.