Posted March 25, 2010
Book: Following Christ: A Lenten Reader to Stretch Your Soul
Author: Carmen Acevedo Butcher
Paraclete Press, Brewster, MA. 2010. Pp. 2010
An Excerpt from the Jacket:
You’ll find life-changing wisdom of Francis of Assisi, Hildegard of Bingen, Thomas a Kempis, Richard Rolle, Benedict of Nursia, Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, the Desert Fathers and Mothers, and others. Because each was a person of fervent life and passionate prayer, their words reveal how our waiting on God, and seeking God’s will, lead to a life of meaning and joy.
An Excerpt from the Book:
Wednesday morning of Holy Week
Teachers must always adapt their approach to their audience. Of course, every teacher has points to make and principles to share, but — more than any abstract knowledge — a teacher must know the actual individuals sitting there and listening. What are their needs? How can they be reached? Where are they in their journey with God?
It is helpful to think of the minds of those listening in the audience as if they were the taut, well-tuned strings of a beautiful harp. A sensitive talented harpist will play these in different ways to create the harmony of music. If the musician used only one kind of stroke, only cacophonous sounds would result.
In the same way, anyone who ministers to others must remember that no two people are alike. Any audience is diverse — the young and old, the rich and poor, naturally happy people and those who are depressed, dedicated worker bees and diligent administrators, slaves and masters, the wise and the careless, the outgoing and the shy, the impatient and the unflustered, the kindhearted and the jealous, the genuine and the fake, the healthy and the sick, those who live cautiously because they always fear getting into trouble and those whose hearts are so hard that they never fear anything, the introverted and the talker, the conscientious and the lazy, the slow-to-speak and the angry, the humble and the arrogant, the trustworthy and the unreliable, the glutton and the one who fasts, the generous givers and those who steal. The list is unending.
St. Gregory the Great: Pastoral Care
Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane: the walking prayer
Jesus is betrayed by Judas: the choice of obedience
Jesus is condemned to death by the Sanhedrin: the purifying of self-examination
Jesus is denied by Peter: the healing of humility
Jesus is judged by Pilate: the gift of grace
Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns: the darkness of suffering and its meaning
Jesus carries his cross: the beauty of endurance
Jesus is helped by Simon of Cyrene: the necessity of friendship
Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem: the knowledge of godly sorrow
Jesus is crucified
the forgiving sacrifice
Jesus promises to share his reign with the good thief: the joy of redemption
Jesus is on the cross, with his mother and disciple below: the community of agape love
Jesus dies on the cross: the trust of listening
Jesus is placed in the tomb: the birth of courage
Jesus rises from the dead: the preparation on earth for eternal life