Welcome to the Online Lenten Book Club!
During these six weeks of Lent, we are reading and reflecting on the classic on prayer, Pray To Your Father in Secret by Jean Lafrance. For more information about the book club, visit this blog post.
Week 2, Section 1 - The God of Dialogue
Fr. Lafrance urges us to walk in the steps of God’s people in Scripture. As Moses discovered, God isn’t accessible through our minds: he is mystery. Moses, Elijah, and the psalmist all knew the feeling of failure and isolation that we experience in our lives. But our fulfillment lies in the mystery of God’s grace.
When you begin to long to know God better is when you realize that you’re already drawing closer to him. The more the Spirit is within you, the more your desires and hopes will align with the Spirit.
God is a mystery to us, and much of God’s interactions with humanity remain mysterious. Don’t gloss over those interactions or ignore them; even when God is behaving in inexplicable or inconsistent ways, you can remain intimate with him. Even when God manifested in fire and thunder, those who saw it experienced it as gentleness. God didn’t just create us and then leave us; the story of salvation is the story of God wanting to live in every person’s heart. Instead, God gifted us all with minds, with the ability to think: and this is the whole person that God created out of love.
God shows himself through human metaphors that we as humans can understand. So to see God in the face or life of another is to truly see God. And when you open yourself to God in that way, God creates changes in your heart.
You don’t ask God to come to you; it is he who draws you in to himself. “Prayer is that special moment when you contemplate the love of the Father drawing you to life as his son or daughter.”
For Reflection & Discussion
- Do you feel that you’re familiar with most of God’s people in the Bible? How does this chapter call you to read the Bible more often and connect more with the people living the story of salvation?
- Why is this chapter called "The God of Dialogue"?
- What is your prayer life like currently? What are your hopes and desires?
- Fr. Lafrance says that you must stand at a distance from God but also understand that you are close to God. How do you understand this apparent contradiction?
- How can you find intimacy and gentleness in God when you don’t understand what he is doing?
- Rushing around doesn’t give us grace. We all know that but we still do it. What are some ways you can think of slowing down in your life?
We invite you to share your insights and answers to these questions
in the comments area below.
Lenten reading plan:
Week 1 Introduction and Preface
Week 2 The God of Dialogue
Week 3 The Way of Salvation
Week 4 The Working Out of Salvation
Week 5 The Dialogue with God
Week 6 Conclusion
Study Guide written by Jeannette de Beauvoir. © 2017 Daughters of St. Paul. All rights reserved.
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