Dear Cathedral Family and Friends,
As recovery from Hurricane Sally continues and as our troubled nation moves closer to the November election, we may well have moments when we look at our reality and ask the same question asked by the people of Israel in the wilderness, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
The answer God gave to them through Moses came in the water that flowed from the rock at Horeb, the mountain of God. Yes, God is with us. The living water is available to us. Jesus said, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water’” (John 7:37-38). The living water of the Spirit, present in every heart, becomes available to us through prayer, worship, and loving relationship with and service to others.
We are bombarded day and night with a distressing stream of news and commentary so intense that it easily blocks our access to that living water. For our health, sanity, and faith, it is imperative that we keep the living water flowing. To that end, I would like to commend to you some words offered this week by Fr. Richard Rohr, as well as a message this week from our Presiding Bishop, along with some offerings here at Christ Church Cathedral that you may find helpful.
Rohr wrote this request to the subscribers to his daily meditations on Monday:
If you will allow, I recommend for your spiritual practice for the next four months that you impose a moratorium on exactly how much news you are subject to—hopefully not more than an hour a day of television, social media, internet news, magazine and newspaper commentary, and/or political discussions. It will only tear you apart and pull you into the dualistic world of opinion and counter-opinion, not Divine Truth, which is always found in a bigger place.
Instead, I suggest that you use this time for some form of public service, volunteerism, mystical reading from the masters, prayer—or, preferably, all of the above.
You have much to gain now and nothing to lose. Nothing at all. And the world—with you as a stable center—has nothing to lose. And everything to gain.
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry this week offered “A Word to the Church,” addressing how as followers of Jesus we can approach this challenging time in the life of our nation. It is available both as a video and printed text.
Finally, I commend to you the online and in-person offerings here at Christ Church Cathedral as resources for your own prayer and worship. We have delayed the start of Centering Prayer with The Rev. Marshall Craver as well as the Dean’s Bible Study due to Hurricane Sally. Both will begin this week, on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. Our Wednesday Worship of the Simple Presence has resumed, both as live stream and in-person Eucharistic worship. If you are looking a smaller service with only a few people present as an alternative (or addition) to Sunday in-person worship, you might consider attending.
Whatever form your spiritual practice takes, I encourage you to devote yourself to it intentionally and consistently in the days and weeks ahead. God is with us.
May you know God’s peace,