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Speaking to the Soul: Rise and Fall

Speaking to the Soul: Rise and Fall

Easter Week, Year One

[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]

 

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:
Psalms 97, 99 (morning) // 115 (evening)

Micah 7:7-15

Acts 3:1-10

John 15:1-11

The spiritual life is sometimes described as a lofty ascent: a contemplative or mystic climbs higher and higher, advancing in the mysteries of intimacy with the divine. Spiritual practices help us rise to higher and higher levels of wisdom and love.

But there’s another way to think of the spiritual life. Rather than continually rising, we might merely rise and fall, rise and fall, over and over again. That’s the shape of the life of faith described in today’s first reading. The prophet Micah declares simply, “when I fall, I shall rise.”

When we fall, we shall rise. That’s a resurrection faith. Not, “I will rise and rise and rise.” Not, “IF I fall, I will rise.” Rather, our life of faith will take the form of fall and rise, fall and rise, rinse and repeat. And our spiritual lives may not be separable from our personal lives, our professional lives, or our health. In all of these integrated aspects of life, we will fall and rise, fall and rise.

A resurrection faith may not enable us to scale vast heights. A resurrection faith will pick us up after a fall. Falling and rising may not feel like making progress, but it just may draw us closer to the divine after all.

Lora Walsh blogs about taking risks and seeking grace at A Daily Scandal. She serves as curate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and as director of the Ark Fellows, an Episcopal Service Corps  program sponsored by St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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