The strength of a church can be measured by the spiritual growth of its members and their closeness to God.
We encourage individuals to develop a devotional life of personal Bible reading and prayer, whatever their age or lifestyle.
“The Simple Path”
As we try to discover new ways of being it is important that we consider our spiritual needs as well as our physical and mental needs. As a people of prayer we are now being asked to make our homes places of prayer and we will all engage in this new opportunity in different ways. For some using online resources will be a helpful way into prayer and contemplation and both the Church of England and the Methodist Church are providing us with a rich variety of prayerful resources on their websites. For others creating a prayer space in one of the rooms where we live will provide a helpful retreat and help us to find stillness. For others it will be through music that we find a sense of peace.
It can be helpful to hear about the lives of people of prayer from the past to inspire us into ways of peace and today I want to share with you a few words about a woman who has inspired me.
Mother Teresa was a courageous missionary, an exponent of world peace, a person of prayer, reaching out with love to the poorest of the poor. We often hear accounts from people who have met her that she demonstrated a very deep love for God and that in her there was an overwhelming sense of peace. People have been drawn to her because they too want to experience this peace.
When asked about her life and way of being. She would say that it was not she who was the source of peace, but God. When asked to help others find this path to peace, she would be heard to say, why does anyone need a guide book? All we need to do is to pray and start loving one another more.
For Mother Teresa the path to faith and to peace began with silent contemplation and with prayer. Prayer that can free us from worldly concerns and that reminds us of God’s constant presence in our lives. Once we are able to accept God’s love through prayer, we will be able to share this love with others through service.
It is in silence and prayer, that we can find an empty space which only God can fill. Filling us with his love. And calling us, sending us to be channels of his peace. Mother Teresa defined six steps to creating peace in ourselves which she called the “Simple Path”.
An Indian businessman who much admired her work, once had these steps printed for her on small yellow cards. She would call these cards her business cards and would offer them to people that she met because they explained the direction of her work, her simple path. She would say that there was a natural flow from one step to the next.
Today I offer this to you; Mother Teresa’s business cards. It starts with silence and prayer.
The fruit of silence is prayer
The fruit of prayer is faith
The fruit of faith is love
The fruit of love is service
The fruit of service is peace