In November last year, I attended four interactive lectures on the spirituality of novelist Jane Austen. They were presented by the Rev Preb Paula Hollingsworth, a sub dean of Wells Cathedral, who is also our Anglican parish vicar in my village of Priddy. She has been invited to write a book on this subject and her discourse on a ‘virtue centred approach to ethics’ has fired my imagination.
In New Church terms, my understanding of virtue based ethics centres on a person’s ability to consistently discipline and regulate herself internally; to behave in principled ways to support the neighbour through her external behaviour. In our case, these principles are informed by our Swedenborgian teachings, an open rational mind with a developed conscience and most importantly, a willingness to love the Lord and be led by Him. In essence, I’m describing our moral compass.
Continue reading Re-Education is Part of Regeneration
Now that I have found my voice at 50, how can I work with the Lord to strengthen it?
I was not aware until recently that the Lord has placed me in various groups for just this purpose. I’m reading poetry in a group, singing in a choir, co-ordinating two New Church small group studies and more. Even this blog is a group effort! How did this happen and why?
As to the how, I have been pro-active in engaging with activities that support my well-being and interests. I’ve put myself out there, spoken up and taken the initiative to make myself useful to others. Without end-gaming. The flow I now find myself in is heart-warming and affirmative. I catch myself doing, rather than over-thinking where things might be headed. There is new resolve in my daily endeavours and purpose to my steps. I can’t see the future, but I can feel the current carrying me forward. For a long time, I’ve been afraid to reach out to life and suddenly, it’s reaching out to me. I’m in the swim of the Lord’s Providence.
Continue reading Strengthening My Voice