Prayer and Worship

Prayer and Worship

Prayer and Worship

Prayer and Worship

Excerpt

"Blessed are those drowsy ones for they shall soon nod to sleep ."-- Nietzsche

In a conversation that I had recently with Alf Ahlberg, the head of a workers' folk-high school in central Sweden, he told me of a recent visit with a young worker who was hostile to Christianity. He asked the young man whether he disagreed with Christians because they worked for peace and justice in the world. "No!" He asked him if he was opposed to Christians preaching neighbor-love in the world. "No!" There was a pause, and then the young man continued, "I guess that what I resent in Christians is not that they are Christians, but that they are not Christian enough!"

Unless I am mistaken, the ruthless honesty of Christian youth today would lead them to accept this word of diagnosis "not Christian enough" as well deserved. For they are not blind to the "nothing in excess" attitude in contemporary liberal Christianity. Nor are they unaware of the fear that most Christians would experience if they actually received the very power for which they have prayed.

Jesus and his friends tramping the roads of Galilee; Bernard of Clairvaux and his twenty-nine companions knocking at the door of the despairing reformed Benedictine congregation at Citeaux ready to enter and sustain it; Francis of Assisi and his devoted handful of daring confreres rebuilding San Damiano and discovering that security of fellowship that replaces security of possessions; the loyal lay-friends of Gerard Groote and Florentius Radewyn living together, supporting themselves by copying manuscripts . . .

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