I think our class last night was excellent. We started with Mass in the Chapel, and then ate a fantastic meal compliments of some great ladies. The class itself was a presentation that I found on the internet from one of the most interesting and spiritual people I've ever met. We watched a presentation made by the Rt. Rev'd Donald Parsons, VI Bishop of Quincy (ret.) to last month's meeting of Forward in Faith North America. His topic was "Ascetical Theology and Practice in the Light of the Oxford Movement", and it was brilliant.
His primary focus was on two aspects of our spiritual life: prayer and the development of a rule of life. Bishop Parsons illuminated the need for a balanced prayer life as only he can do. Holding up a different finger on his hand, he counted off five types of prayer and gave illustrations of their benefits to our continued walk with God.
1st Finger: Petition - Please God give me a bicycle.
2nd Finger: Intercession - Please God give her a bicycle.
3rd Finger: Penitence - Please God forgive me for stealing that bicycle.
4th Finger: Thanksgiving - Thank you God for this bicycle.
5th Finger: Adoration - God you are great, and you make a swell bicycle.
He finished with a compelling explanation of why we should adopt a rule of life, including many practical examples of how it continues to develop over time. He cautioned against trying to take on too much, too fast. Begin slowly and deliberately and grow toward a practice that will allow us to be available to God's Grace.
This is, after all, the key to any kind of spiritual life: remaining available to God's Grace. He makes it available, every day. It is up to us to be in the best position possible so that we can receive it and live our lives according to His Will.
I wish I had said that.