Dear Cathedral Family and Friends,
Part of my message last Sunday was an encouragement to make a dedicated period of time each day for slow, meditative reading of scripture. This “keystone habit,” together with prayer time that includes quiet listening, can be a powerful antidote to the forces of the world that constantly work to “pull us down.” In this email you will find some resources you may find useful in the practice of this habit.
This week, I would like to make a reading suggestion. Because we have abbreviated our Sunday worship in order to keep our in-person duration relatively brief, we have recently been omitting the second reading, usually taken from the epistles. Therefore, we have missed the last few weeks of readings from Paul’s letter to the Philippians. It is a short letter, only four chapters, containing some of Paul’s most encouraging prose, as he writes from prison with a plea for unity in the Church. He sets present difficulties in the light of Christ, and the theme of joy rises surprisingly in the midst of suffering and uncertainty. It would richly reward your slow reading over the week ahead.
Consider this passage from the reading for this Sunday: “Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
If these words sound appealing to you—calm, peaceful, meditative—then slow and meditative reading of Paul’s letter to the Philippians can help you realize them. This Sunday’s reading concludes: “Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, of there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.”
May you know God’s peace,