(This is the seventh post in our Lectio Divina Paci Lenten series. To read the introduction, click here).
READ: Philippians 4.4-8 “everything that is upright”
REFLECT: Whenever I teach centering prayer, I lead it just as I was taught. I start with guiding participants in posture: both feet flat on the floor, hands on top of thighs (palms up or down as preferred), sitting up straight and tall, but not stiff – as if there’s a string coming up out of the top of your head, holding your spine, neck and head in perfect alignment. The word “upright” brought this image of good posture to mind as I began reading this passage today.
Generally speaking, good posture is a result of well-trained muscles. It’s not accomplished by exerting a lot of strength and the results are never stiff or rigid. On the contrary, there is a fluid, effortless grace to good posture. But it doesn’t get that way overnight. Like anything worth training for, it takes time and reinforcing habit on countless occasions.
As I began to pray, I asked God which of my muscles are stiff and rigid? Which muscles am I straining and exerting? Which muscles are underdeveloped or overworked and are preventing me from being in alignment with God in a graceful and effortless way?
RESPOND: God, help us to cultivate free-flowing compassion for others and for ourselves, that we might develop strong, graceful muscles of faith, hope and love as we serve you and serve the world.
Have you been with us during this Lenten series on Philippians 4? What has your experience been like spending so much time with just one text? Do you notice a constant theme that keeps coming up during your prayer time? If so, ask God about it and tell someone what’s been on your heart – maybe a friend or loved one, maybe a professional. This is Holy Week, culminating with Easter on Sunday and the promise of resurrection and new life. What new life can you imagine?
Lectio Divina Paci is a weekly devotional guide by Audrey Hindes for peacemakers in the lectio divina form. Lectio Divina (Latin for divine reading) is a traditional Benedictine practice of scripture reading, prayer, meditation, and reflection that treats scripture as the Living Word. Lectio Divina Paci is an opportunity for peacemakers to become more in tune with the voice of the Prince of Peace.