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ESV: Book of Common Prayer Daily Office Lectionary

« Prepare the Way | Main | Christmas Meme »


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Steve Arnold

Wonderful questions as we ponder our journey. I have become convinced of the fact that it is at the times that we walk in the dark night of the soul, or what feels like the valley of the shadow of death, that God's presence is fully made known. The times that have been the darkest have allowed me to see the presence of Christ.

When my wife was dying of leukemia and I had two pre-schoolers, there was a night that I was reading in the Gospel of Mark, and came to realize that in the account of the storm, the real miracle was that Jesus could sleep in the front of the boat. My prayer now is that in the storms of life I might be fully in the presence of God and be able to sleep in the front of the boat.

Our American culture would have us flee pain rather than embrace it. I agree with John Westerhoff that we can give true witness only when we embrace and feel our own pain and suffering while allowing Jesus to be the healing presence.


One of the great tragedies of so many more recent expressions of the Christian faith is the underlying assumption that if you are suffering it is because you do not have enough faith.

This neglects the truth that it is in suffering, doubt and trial that we become closer to God. These tests of our faith are necessary to our development as believers and people of God. If we are not allowed the space to doubt or the space to suffer, then there is so much we will never learn.


This is a beautifully expressed and timely entry for me. Yes, the light coming to us from the darkness. This time of year is the anniversary of a time several years ago when I spent a week in the ICU with my brother after he had been paralyzed. We prayed together "de profundis" --out of the depths-- ... God couldn't take us out of that place, but could come and inhabit it with us. That time came to be a time of profound transformation for both of us. It happened in ways that I can't even describe. Sometimes that wrenching tearing away of "reality" to something more basic, something more elemental seems to be a necessity. Even though it destroys life as we know it, it makes room for something else to come in . Something else happens if we can remain open to the possibility of God in the terrible place. Today, also the funeral for a friend who died a sudden and untimely death last Sat. What we are left with is joy -- a reminder of all that is good in life and a tribute to one who lived life with joy and much much love.

Thankyou for your blog.


This is outstanding Terry. It is what I would have wanted to say about Saint John of the Cross today if I had had the time to sit down and write it. Thank you so much.


A friend sent me Pope JPII's encyclical on the salvific potential for suffering and it changed the way I viewed suffering profoundly.

When I became a christian, I might have believed that I would no longer experience suffering. That is not true. What has changed is that the suffering I do experience is part of the transformation.

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