First Steps – January 2, 2023

 Teresa of Avila, a 16th Century Carmelite nun, once said:

“Our soul is like a castle created out of a precious jewel. There are many interesting rooms in this beautiful castle of the soul.  How do we enter? Is that a foolish question?  After all, if the castle is your own soul you are already intimate with it.  What you must realize is that there are many different ways we can exist within this castle.  You can remain with the guards in the courtyard outside the gate.  You can live your entire life and never discover what it’s like inside.”

Prayer and meditation are doorways into your castle. Routine and quoted prayers are helpful and a good starting place.  They can help form the words, and concepts, or give the food the chew on; however, authentic words come from the person and is the means to journey inside the soul. 

In this first week of the year, began the journey inward.  Make prayer and meditation a priority this year. Start small, focus on a few minutes each day, and build that foundation. Only after the foundation is laid and the daily habit is created can it be expanded to the level where one moves freely around their own castle.

 This Week’s Readings:
*Monday – Luke 11
*Tuesday – Luke 12
*Wednesday – Luke 13
*Thursday – Luke 14
*Friday – Luke 15

Prayer Requests:
*Continued blessings in the New Year 2023.
*Heal those who are sick and protect those who are not.
*Comfort those who are grieving and in distress.
*Wisdom for our leaders as they navigate through uncertain times.
*Guidance for those seeking to find their way.
*Continued Growth Inside and Outside the Walls of St. Paul UMC.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done.” – Philippians 4:6