Naming for Spiritual Freedom and Greater Service

Quaker Mystics

In the initial post in this series, I offered that the first step toward “naming the spiritual condition of the world” is to name our own spiritual condition. I argued that our spiritual condition is important as it affects our ability to help accomplish God’s purposes. In the second post, I used physical fitness as an analogy for spiritual condition and concluded the post suggesting that our “body composition” is the element that most affects the other aspects of our spiritual condition. In this post, I discuss naming as a tool for improving one’s spiritual condition, as it changes our “body composition.”

When I started writing these posts, I thought that we needed to be able to describe our spiritual condition. Now, I believe that what we need to do is discover a means rather than accomplish a particular end. I believe that we are being called…

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“Does anything …

“Does anything unite this diverse group beyond our common love and humanity? Does anything make us distinctively Quaker?

I say yes.

Each of us has different emphases and special insights, but wherever Friends are affirming each other’s authentic experience of God, rather than demanding credal statements, we are being God’s faithful Quakers.

Wherever we are seeking God’s will rather than human wisdom, especially when conflict might arise, we are being faithful Quakers.

Wherever we are affirming the total equality of men and women, we are being God’s faithful Quakers.

Wherever there is no division between our words and our actions, we are being faithful.

Whenever we affirm that no one – priest, pastor, clerk, elder – stands between us and the glorious and mystical experience of God in our lives, we are faithful Friends.

Whether we sing or whether we wait in silence, as long as we are listening with the whole of our being and seeking the baptism and communion of living water, we will be one in the Spirit.”



Val Ferguson

Fifth Month 24

As Light Is Sown

… You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. … – James 2:14-26 (NIV)

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We have here one of the instances where a New Testament author presents an interpretation that can be standing at odds with the Hebrew Bible text it is invoking. Return to the Genesis passage and you will not find Abraham called God’s friend or even righteous. Yet in Genesis 22:16-17 the angel makes clear that Abraham is being blessed for not withholding his son. Or is it more accurately (verse 18, Everett Fox translation) “in consequence of your hearkening to…

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Sit with God

Silence Teaches Us Who We Are.


I have been practicing centering prayer for a few months now. This practice has helped me better understand who God is. Of course what I think I know is most likely a mere sliver of what He really is. Centering prayer is a practice that leads to contemplative prayer.

For me, right now God is a presence. I simply want to sit with Him. I simply want to ask Him questions and wait. Here is what I think I have been hearing:

I am always with you.

My peace is always with you.

I am in everything – people, earth, trees, mountains, waters.

I love you.

Be present wherever you are. Listen and observe. Use all of your senses.

Love others. Do not judge.

Keep sitting with Me.

Keep asking Me questions and wait for the answers.

And so I will keep sitting with Him.

Will you silently sit with…

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