E&W 8-11-13

Sacred Story

Encouragements & Wisdom: August 11, 2013


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Encouragements and Wisdom: August 11, 2013 (PDF).

E & W reflections are additional helps for your Sacred Story prayer journey. Reflect on them at week’s beginning or outside of your 15-minute prayer periods.



Hyper-activism, so common in our world today, is a form of violence. Listen again to Thomas Merton who comments that even those working for justice easily fall victim to this scourge of modern life:

Douglas Steere remarks very perceptively that there is a pervasive form of contemporary violence to which the idealist fighting for peace by nonviolent methods most easily succumbs: activism and overwork. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone and everything is to succumb to violence. More than that, it is cooperation in violence. The frenzy of the activist neutralizes his work for peace. It destroys his own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of his own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful. 1

Sunday is to be the main day of rest, refreshment, prayer and rejoicing. Personally, I am trying to recover this day for myself by limiting my engagement with technology. Last week, I invited you not to bring your phone to Mass. This week, I offer the idea of limiting your use of internet and email on Sunday—to an hour or less. Go for a walk, have dinner with family and friends and do things to recover the true source of inspiration in life that is rooted in faith, family and friends.


Lord Jesus, help me not to succumb to the violence of modern life. Help me find rest, especially on Sunday so I can relish the graces of
Creation, Presence, Memory, Mercy and Eternity.


See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine.
Our soul waits for the LORD, who is our help and our shield.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us
who have put our hope in you.

(Psalm 33: 18-22)




1  Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (New York: Doubleday, 1966), p. 81.