Love and Truth – Advice from Friends

I’m currently reading the “Advices & Queries” of the Yearly Meeting of the Quakers in Britain. I very much wish to quote a few sentences that resonated deeply in me:

1. Treasure your experience of God, however it comes to you.

2. Hold yourself and others in the Light, knowing that all are cherished by God.

3. The Religious Society of Friends is rooted in Christianity and always found inspiration in the life and teachings of Jesus. How do you interpret your faith in the light of this heritage?

4. Remember the importance of […] all writings which reveal the ways of God.

5. As you learn from others, can you in turn give freely from what you have gained? While respecting the experience and opinions of others, do not be afraid to say what you have found and what you value.

6. Are you open to new light, from whatever source it may come? Do you approach new ideas with discernment?

7. Worship is our response to an awareness of God. […] In worship we enter  with reverence into communion with God.

8. Try to find a spiritual wholeness that encompasses suffering as well as thankfulness and joy.

9. Be honest with yourself. What unpalatable truths might you be evading? When you recognise your shortcomings, do not let that discourage you. In worship together we can find the assurance of God’s love and the strength to go on with renewed courage.

10. Receive the vocal ministry of others in a tender and creative spirit.

11. Pray that your ministry  may arise from deep experience, and trust that words will be given to you.

12. Meetings for church affairs: Remember that we do not seek a majority decision nor even consensus. 

13. Do you respect that of God in everyone though it may be expressed in unfamiliar ways or be difficult to discern?

14. Each of us has a particular experience of God and each must find the way to be true to it.

15. Think it possible that you may be mistaken.

16. Children and young people: Do you invite them to share their insights with you?

17. When experiencing great happiness or great hurt we may be more open to the working of the Spirit.

18. Refrain from making prejudiced judgments about the life journeys of others.

19. Marriage: In times of difficulty remind yourself of the value of prayer, of perseverance and of a sense of humour.

20. Family: Do you recognise the needs and gifts of each member of your family and household, not forgetting your own?

21. Live adventurously. When choices arise, do you take the way that offers the fullest opportunity for the use of your gifts in the service of God and the community? Let your life speak.

22. Responding to divine guidance, try to discern the right time to undertake or relinquish responsibilities without undue pride or guilt. Attend to what love requires of you, which may not be great busyness.

23. Are you able to contemplate your death and the death of those closest to you? Accepting the fact of death, we are freed to live more fully. In bereavement, give yourself time to grieve. When others mourn, let your love embrace them.

24. Bear witness to the humanity of all people.

25. Remember your responsibilities as a citizen.

26. A simple lifestyle freely chosen is a source of strength.

 (The numbering above is mine, just for the purpose of this list. The quotes can be found in Advices & Queries, somewhere between point 1 and 42. Text changed to italics also just for the purpose of emphasising points on this list.)

 

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