tools and disciplines

Spiritual tools

“What are the tools you use most in building your spiritual life? Living in a spiritual way is a lifetime job. There are always areas that need repair and new plans to incorporate into the design. So, having the right tools helps. Tools like curiosity and compassion. Like honesty and open-mindedness. There are basic tools like listening and study. There are specialized tools like discernment and meditation. Learning to use the tools from a mentor makes sense and practice is a given. Take care of your tools and they will take care of you: simple spiritual advice.”

Bishop Steven Charleston daily Facebook post

Bishop Charleston again offers us his tried and true well-used toolbox for a spiritual life. I am reminded of another manual to accompany Charleston’s toolbox for the spiritual life written by the Quaker, Richard Foster called Celebration of Discipline, The Path to Spiritual Growth. Foster’s classic offers a smorgasbord of a variety of rich spiritual disciplines. Foster divides thirteen disciplines into three categories, inward disciples of prayer, fasting, meditation, and study in the Christian life, the outward disciplines of simplicity, solitude, submission, and service, and corporate disciplines of confession, worship, guidance, and celebration. His book is one to read and re-read and become tattered, frayed, and worn with falling apart pages as we return to it over the years to try different spiritual disciplines that may work best in different stages of our life.  God speaks to us in so many voices. Foster teaches us about thirteen of God’s well-known languages.