Archive for December 29th, 2022

The Loving Gift of Jesus

Written by author Norman Shawchuck (1035-2011), Methodist bishop Rueben Job (1928-2015), and contemporary author Robert Doherty. This is an excerpt from their book “How to Conduct a Spiritual Life Retreat.”


The basic foundation for all spiritual growth is God’s loving gift of Jesus. Through God’s promises and initiatives, God assures us that we are already loved just as we are. We don’t have to go anywhere or do anything to gain God’s love. This love is unconditional and unmerited. To fall into the hands of God is to fall into the arms of unfailing love (Micah 7:18-19). There is a divine initiative in our every encounter with God. Even before we knew our Creator, God loved us. Even before we turned to look toward God, God was moving toward us. Our faintest yearning for God is assurance that God is already longing for us. Our first feeble step toward God is possible only because God has already been moving toward us, drawing us nearer by the divine magnet-heart of love.


Today’s prayer is from Irenaeus of Lyons (130-??), a Greek bishop and theologist noted for his role in guiding and expanding Christian communities in the southern regions of present-day France.

I appeal to you, Lord, God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob and Israel, You the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Infinitely merciful as You are, it is Your will that we should learn to know You. You made heaven and earth, You rule supreme over all that is. You are the true, the only God; there is no other god above You.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ…and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, grant that all who read what I have written here may know You, because You alone are God; let them draw strength from You; keep them from all teaching that is heretical, irreligious or godless.

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