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Tag Archives: humility

5 Leadership Lessons from Pope Francis

There are three main branches of the Christian church in the world today–the Roman Catholic Church, the Protestant Church, and the Orthodox Churches located primarily in the Eastern part of the world. There is much we can learn from Catholics and Orthodox believers—even though they have plenty of problems and we do not agree on a number of points. This is especially true when we consider Pope Francis. Here are a few of the top lessons I am learning from him: 1.  Humility  “I ask you to pray for me. Don’t forget!” Pope Francis says repeatedly. It is disarming. Luis Palau, a friend of his, notes in a Christianity Today article that he was always asking people for prayer. In a visit to prisoners in Philadelphia: “ I come to you as pastor, but mostly as brother. No one is perfect and without need of forgiveness.” He refrained from using the perks of his. Read more.

Top 10 Quotes from Benedict's Rule: Part 2

The “Rule of Benedict” (RB) is considered one of the classic works of Western literature. More importantly, it challenges the result oriented, numbers-driven, “strategic” leadership models that surround us. Again, I invite you to prayerfully let God speak to you his insights: 1. “The fourth step of humility is that in this obedience under difficult, unfavorable, or even unjust conditions, his heart quietly embraces suffering and endures it” (RB 7:35). 2. “Our holy Fathers read the full psalter (all 150 psalms) in a single day. Let us hope that we, lukewarm as we are, can achieve it in a whole week” (RB 18:2-25). 3. We must know that God regards our purity of heart and tears of compunction, not our many words. Prayer should be short and pure” (RB 20:3). 4. “Sleep clothed. Thus the monks will always be ready to arise without delay when the signal is given; each will hasten to arrive at. Read more.

Not Giving to Others What We Have Received for Ourselves

Recently, three other New Life staff joined me in attending a Spiritual Formation Academy, bringing home with us varied treasures. Among those riches were the following words from Bernard of Clairvaux: “We must not give to others what we have received for ourselves; nor must we keep for ourselves that which we have received to spend on others. You fall into the latter error, if you possess the gift of eloquence or wisdom, and yet—through fear or sloth or false humility—neglect to use the gift for others’ benefit. And on the other hand, you dissipate and lose what is you own, if without right intention and from some wrong motive, you hasten to outpour yourself on others when your own soul is only half-filled.” – Great Devotional Classics: Selections from the Writings of Bernard of Clairvaux, ed. Douglas Steere (The Upper Room, 1961), p.24. I have been meditating on these lines for the past week. It is true: It may sound selfish. Read more.

Not Giving to Others What We Have Received for Ourselves

Geri, along with three other New Life staff, recently attended a Spiritual Formation Academy, bringing home with them varied treasures. Among those riches were the following words from Bernard of Clairvaux: “We must not give to others what we have received for ourselves; nor must we keep for ourselves that which we have received to spend on others. You fall into the latter error, if you possess the gift of eloquence or wisdom, and yet—through fear or sloth or false humility—neglect to use the gift for others’ benefit. And on the other hand, you dissipate and lose what is you own, if without right intention and from some wrong motive, you hasten to outpour yourself on others when your own soul is only half-filled.” — Great Devotional Classics: Selections from the Writings of Bernard of Clairvaux, ed. Douglas Steere (The Upper Room, 1961), p.24. I have been meditating on these lines for the past week.  It. Read more.

When Criticized, Remember:

The Desert Fathers in the 3rd to the 5th century, following the tradition of Elijah, Moses, and John the Baptist, fled to the silence of the desert to purify their hearts in order to see God. Ultimately, they sought to save the world, and the church, from idolatry. Their wisdom has endured almost 2000 years. The next time you are criticized or slandered, remember these words from Abba John: “One day when he was sitting in front of the church, the brethren were consulting him about their thoughts. One of the old men who saw it became a prey to jealousy and said to him, ‘John, your vessel is full of poison.’ Abba John said to him, ‘That is very true, abba; and you have said that when you see only the outside, but if you were able to see the inside, too, what would you say then?’ How very true.

Reflections on the Interior Life: A View from the Monastery

We recently hosted a Trappist monk at New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, NYC named Father Williams .  What made him such a gift to us was not his eloquence, his well-crafted sermons, his cleverness, or capacity as a leader. His prayer life, his walk with Jesus, his interior life with God built over many years pulled us toward Jesus in a very different way. It was transformative to be around him. He spoke as one “with authority,” (even though he uses an I-Pad!) The following are a few of my personal summary insights out of our time together that I have been reflecting on: There is no greater gift in the universe than to have a desire for the Triune God. Loving God for His own sake is God’s heart for us. God takes us where we are, not where we are not. Contemplation is awe and wonder in the face of God.. Read more.