For my birthday Mike got me a prayer book that I’d been wanting called The Better Part: A Christ Centered Resource for Personal Prayer by John Bartunek.
I ended up liking it so much I thought I’d do a post on what it’s all about. It’s written by a Catholic priest, but any Christian could use it as a daily meditation tool.
Format – The first section is a detailed guide to Christian mediation. Basically a how-to. And it breaks Christain meditation into 4 categories: concentrate, consider, converse, and commit. The second (and main) section is divided up into small units including a passage from the Gospels and a four-part commentary based on the same four themes throughout the book: Christ the Lord, Christ the Teacher, Christ the Friend, and Christ in My Life. It’s easy to commit to reading and meditating on one of these units a day.
Additional Guidance – After each small unit there are also questions if you were to use it in a group setting. There are also suggested Catechism readings after each unit for further examination. Two indexes are included. One list the units in the order in which the Gospel passages appear throughout the liturgical year. The second lists them in relation to virtues of the spiritual life.
This book has a lot to offer. The first section of the book I found to be very beneficial. It’s a great reminder of things to remember while praying to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your prayer time. Think of it as a miniature ‘how to pray better’ boot camp. Having that part to refer back to while reading through the small units will be handy.
So if you’re in the market for a personal prayer resourse, check this one out. 🙂
One of my favorite prayers is the Desiderata poem by Max Ehrmann. The entire prayer is so helpful to me, but I’m particularly drawn to one of the first few lines:
“Avoid loud and aggressive person, they are vexations of the spirit.”
A vexation of the spirit sounds like something I really don’t want to be. Vexation meaning something that provokes irratibility, anxiety, or distress.
I wouldn’t say that I surround myself with people under this classification, but when I read this I always hope that I’m not falling under that classification either.
Before that line is this:
“Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.”
I think if I’m able to do this I can avoid being a vexation of the spirit. 🙂
And the last paragraph always brightens my day:
“Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be; and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul. With all its shams, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Stive to be happy.”
Ever had a day when you’re stressed or anxious? Me neither. 😉 I have a board on pinterest (here) dedicated to inspirational quotes and I thought I’d share some of my – of the moment – favorites:
The last one is where I got the title of my blog from, but right now I’m really liking the first one: Freely you have received, freely give, Matthew 10:8. Sometimes if things aren’t going my way I get frustrated because I feel like I’m not getting something that I deserve. Reading that verse is a good reminder that I’ve already been given so much; being alive is a privilage. Putting my desires aside can feel like giving up, but more and more I realize that it opens my eyes to the things in life that really matter.