Like Trees Grow Together: A Spiritual Journey

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The Weeding Process

This is especially important in a world grown cold without wonder.

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Leonard J. DeLorenzo, Ph. There is program after program, book after book, blog post after blog post dedicated to making the most out of Lent, and then Easter comes and all that intentionality and focus scatters to the wind before the first week is through. Beginning the week in which Ash Wednesday falls March to the week that leads to Pentecost June , there are 14 weeks total from Lent through Easter.

There are seven books in the Narnia series. Reading one book every two weeks would mean reading a chapter or two every day. The practical considerations for taking on this commitment in liturgical time are therefore pretty straightforward: This is a commitment that requires regular but not burdensome attention.

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This commitment is more than a practical matter, though; it is also a potentially spiritual one. What it does mean is doing more than just light reading and requires just a little more work. That work is the work of conscious reflection that might, at times, invite an examination of conscience and inform how you pray.

The easiest and perhaps best way to move from light reading to spiritual reading is to do two simple things. First, to keep a reading journal and second, to engage with a reflection partner or small group. The point of a reading journal is to foster regular, habitual reflection on the moral and spiritual themes running through each of the chronicles.

Lessons From the Trees

You can also just copy down any especially telling lines or paragraphs. Then at the end of each book, take 30 or 60 minutes to write out your own spiritual reflection on the story. You might think about what sorts of spiritual qualities or character development this particular journey through Narnia has called forth. And you might reflect on those things in your own life. The point of having a reflection partner or small group is to allow this spiritual journey through Narnia to become a communal endeavor.

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If a couple or several adults including teens and young adults agree to read the books on a common schedule again, one book every two weeks, beginning the week of March 3 and concluding with Pentecost , then joining together for substantive discussions after each book would be time well-spent.

The basis for these conversations can be the reading journals each person keeps. Literary insights, personal resonances and liturgical connections may all follow suit. And please note, the following order is definitely the order in which you should read the books! These themes are all intentionally broad since the point of a spiritual journey is not to unlock some secret code. It is not the case that we are meant to decipher these stories to find the real or hidden message, and then move along as if the story was only a carrier for the thing that really mattered.

Lessons and proclamations rarely accomplish such a feat on their own; stories often lead the way. Unlike many other forms of spiritual reading that people might take on for Lent or Easter, there is an opportunity with the chronicles to form a special kind of reading community: one between adults and children.

3 I's for Spiritual Growth: Letting the Sacred Seed Grow

Taking up the practice of reading these books to or with children, especially during the liturgical seasons of Lent and Easter, will provide ample and precious opportunities for conversations about hope, adventure, fear, selfishness, generosity, trust, faith, responsibility, conversion and moral choices. Far from being just for the benefit of children, this kind of reading community also benefits adults. Lewis himself felt that way. Now that I am 50, I read them openly.

This is funny because, as a child he was craving to appear grown up and was ashamed of what delighted him.

Lessons From the Trees - Nathan Foster - Renovare

It was only when he outgrew that shame and misplaced craving that he came to embrace what he first tried to hide. The freedom of a child is the freedom to actually be moved, to grow, to delight and wonder, and to always be willing to start again from the beginning. Summary: While staying at the home of an eccentric professor during World War II, the four Pevensie children — Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter — find their way into the world of Narnia through a magical wardrobe.

Meeting both friend and foe, including a friendly faun, talking beavers, the mighty lion Aslan and the evil White Witch, the children quickly find themselves in the middle of a war to restore Narnia and take their places as kings and queens. If you pay attention, you learn quite a lot about each of them right away. This will be helpful for looking back later — at the end of this book and from the end of Narnia as a whole — to see how each one changes, for better or worse.

It is also worth paying attention to how sweet things enchant and disorient us e.

Thoughts on a New Spirituality

Summary: A year following their first journey to Narnia, the Pevensie children return to the magical land to discover that centuries have passed and war is once again on their doorstep. With the help of Aslan and Trumpkin the dwarf, the children join forces with the rightful ruler of the Telemarines, Prince Caspian, who has sided with the Old Narnians to fight his uncle, King Miraz.

Themes: Ponder what it means for the children to recover their regal manners and mission. What is it like to be summoned, to feel called? Where are the moments of trust and of trial in responding to a summons, a call? Summary: When Lucy and Edmund stay with their cousin, Eustace, all three find themselves thrust into Narnia through a painting of a ship at sea, the Dawn Treader. Captained by King Caspian, the ship and crew — including a mouse named Reepicheep — are on a quest to find the seven lost lords of Narnia.

Themes: Keep in mind the power of desire and of duty, especially in characters like Reepicheep and Caspian. The prospect of adventure runs all through this tale, and adventure begins by peering into the unknown. Summary: Eustace and his friend, Jill, narrowly escape school bullies by calling on Aslan, who whisks them into Narnia. Aslan then sends them on a quest to find the long-lost son of King Caspian, Prince Rilian, who disappeared while searching for the green serpent that killed his mother.

Themes: The question of memory spans the book and is the key to discerning truth from mere appearance. Summary: During the reign of Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter as kings and queens in Narnia, a young man named Shasta and a talking horse named Bree begin a journey to escape enslavement in the southern kingdom of Calormene. You have inherited genes and wisdom from ancestors and have your own unique and individual soul, personality, spirit and nature.

As a child you are cared for by the other unique beings that surround you. You are taught how to talk, walk, the difference between right and wrong, how to love and many other amazing things. As you grow older you gradually learn what you like and do not like and you continue to be guided, make choices and discover new things and eventually walk your own path as only you know how.

Life presents different challenges and you achieve many things and continue to create and grow into the infinite, amazing and unique being that you are. All from the Seed of You and what you do with this Seed is really up to You. You nurture it and let it flourish, grow, blossom and bear fruits. There are many ways to nourish the Seed of You. In order to know how to nurture, water and grow your seed you really need to know who you are and have a good understanding of your Self.

There are many disciplines that you can practice to help you to find presence and the time and space for Self exploration and discovery. The practice and techniques of yoga help you to slow down and find presence so you are more aware of your outer and inner worlds.

If you truly know your own seed, what it has experienced, how it has grown, you truly know your Self and you can conquer anything and grow your seed into anything you choose.

Like Trees Grow Together: A Spiritual Journey Like Trees Grow Together: A Spiritual Journey
Like Trees Grow Together: A Spiritual Journey Like Trees Grow Together: A Spiritual Journey
Like Trees Grow Together: A Spiritual Journey Like Trees Grow Together: A Spiritual Journey
Like Trees Grow Together: A Spiritual Journey Like Trees Grow Together: A Spiritual Journey
Like Trees Grow Together: A Spiritual Journey Like Trees Grow Together: A Spiritual Journey

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