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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Need to get to a meeting and speak to someone right away? Below is a list of online meetings and resources to help you find a meeting and fellowship.

+ Alcoholics Anonymous Online Meeting Finder
+ Overeaters Anonymous Meeting Finder
+ Narcotics Anonymous Meeting Finder
+ Al-Anon Online Meeting Finder

Daily Recovery Readings – September 24

Just For Today
September 24
A Growing Concept Of God

“The only suggested guidelines are that this Power be loving, caring, and greater than ourselves. We don’t have to be religious to accept this idea. The point is that we open our minds to believe.”
Basic Text, p.24

In a lifelong process of coming to believe, our understanding of God will change. The understanding we have when new in recovery will not be the same when we have a few months clean, nor will that understanding be the same when we have a few years clean.

Our initial understanding of a Power greater than ourselves will most likely be limited. That Power will keep us clean but, we may think, nothing more. We may hesitate to pray because we have placed conditions on what we will ask our Higher Power to do for us. “Oh, this stuff is so awful, even God couldn’t do anything,” we might say, or “God’s got a lot of people to take care of. There’s no time for me!”

But, as we grow in recovery, so will our understanding. We’ll begin to see that the only limits to God’s love and grace are those we impose by refusing to step out of the way. The loving God we come to believe in is infinite, and the power and love we find in our belief is shared by nearly every recovering addict around the world.

Just for today: The God I am coming to understand has a limitless capacity for love and care. I will trust that my God is bigger than any problem I may have.

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Daily Reflections
September 24
VIGILANCE

We have seen the truth demonstrated again and again:  “Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.” Commencing to drink after a period of sobriety, we are in a short time as bad as ever. If we are planning to stop drinking, there must be no reservation of any kind, nor any lurking notion that someday we will be immune to alcohol.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 33

Today I am an alcoholic. Tomorrow will be no different.  My alcoholism lives within me now and forever. I must never forget what I am. Alcohol will surely kill me if I fail to recognize and acknowledge my disease on a daily basis. I am not playing a game in which a loss is a temporary setback. I am dealing with my disease, for which there is no cure, only daily acceptance and vigilance.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
September 24
A.A. Thought For The Day

Let us continue with Step Twelve. We must practice these principles in all our affairs. This part of the twelfth step must not be overlooked. It is the carrying on of the whole program. We do not just practice these principles in regard to our drinking problem. We practice them in ALL our affairs. We do not give one compartment of our lives to God and keep the other compartments to ourselves. We give our whole lives to God and we try to do His will in every respect.  “Herein lies our growth, herein lies all the promise of the future, and ever-widening horizon.” Do I carry the A.A. principles with me wherever I go?

Meditation For The Day

“Lord, to whom shall we go but to Thee? Thou hast the words of eternal life.” The words of eternal life are the words from God controlling your true being, controlling the real spiritual you. They are the words from God which are heard by you in your heart and mind when these are wide open to His spirit. These are the words of eternal life which express the true way you are to live. They say to you in the stillness of your heart and mind and soul: “Do this and live.”

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may follow the dictates of my conscience.  I pray that I may follow the inner urging of my soul.

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As Bill Sees It
September 24
Give Thanks, p.266

Though I still find it difficult to accept today’s pain and anxiety with any great degree of serenity–as those more advanced in the spiritual life seem able to do–I can give thanks for present pain nevertheless.

I find the willingness to do this by contemplating the lessons learned from past suffering–lessons which have led to the blessings I now enjoy. I can remember how the agonies of alcoholism, the pain of rebellion and thwarted pride, have often led me to God’s grace, and so to a new freedom.

Grapevine, March 1962

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Walk In Dry Places
September 24
Willingness to listen
Willingness

Why is it that we’ll accept information from some people but not from others? Many people tried to advise us while we were drinking; why would we listen only to recovering alcoholics?

We can’t answer that question, except to say that most human beings are willing to listen only to certain people at certain times. That’s why business organizations have to select sales people carefully; customers will respond to some people, but not to others.

As we grow in sobriety, however, we develop the willingness to listen to people we would have once avoided. We can find wonderful ideas in all sorts of places and from all types of people. As we become more open-minded and willing, we can listen more and learn more.

My prejudices and fears of the past kept me from listening to people who would have helped me. I’ll be more open-minded and willing today.

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Keep It Simple
September 24

To speak ill of others is a dishonest way of praising ourselves.
— Will Durant

Sometimes we say bad things about others. When we do this, it makes us look bad too.

Our friends worry what we might say about them behind their backs. They’re afraid to trust us. We become known as gossips.

The things we say about other people tell a lot about us. We are kind or unkind. We gossip or we don’t. This doesn’t mean we have to say everyone is wonderful all the time. As we work our program to see ourselves better, we begin to see other people more clearly too. We see their strong points and their weak points. But we can know these things without gossiping about them.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me see others clearly, and in their best light. Let me bring out the good in others.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll list the people I’m closest to at work, school, and home. I’ll think of how I talk about them to others. Am I kind?

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Each Day a New Beginning
September 24

Woman must not be awed by that which has been built up around her; she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression.
—Margaret Sanger

Let us not stifle ourselves any longer. Let us dare to dream and realize those dreams. Let us dare to take risks, having faith that to advance in any respect implies taking risks. Fortunately, we have the support of the program and one another to cushion the fall, if it should come. But more important, we have one another’s example to inspire us as we contemplate our own agenda for self-expression.

Many of us for far too long passively watched others move forward. No longer need we be passive observers, but the familiarity of no action, no choice making, and irresponsibility, makes passivity attractive at times. We must remember responsible choices, for only those make possible our very special contributions.

Not every day do we awaken with the strength needed to “do our part.” But the strength will be available just as quickly as we call for it. Alone, we are strugglers; however, we have a ready partnership, and it guarantees us guidance, wisdom, and strength when we ask for it.

I have so much to offer other women. And I need another’s example. Every expression of my strength will boost another woman’s strength. I will give.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
September 24
He Sold Himself Short

But he found there was a Higher Power that had more faith in him than he had to himself. Thus, A.A. was born in Chicago.

The day before I was due to go back or Chicago—it was Dr. Bob’s afternoon off—he had me to the office and we spent three or four hours formally going through the Six-Step program as it was at that time. The six steps were:
1. Complete deflation.
2. Dependence and guidance from a Higher Power.
3. Moral inventory.
4. Confession.
5. Restitution.
6. Continued work with other alcoholics.
pp. 262-263

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
September 24

Tradition Three – “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.”

A member gives us a vivid glimpse of those days. “At one time,” he says, “every A.A. group had many membership rules. Everybody was scared witless that something or somebody would capsize the boat and dump us all back into the drink. Our Foundation office* asked each group to send in its list of `protective’ regulations. The total list was a mile long. If all those rules had been in effect everywhere, nobody could have possibly joined A.A. at all, so great was the sum of our anxiety and fear.

pp. 139-140

*In 1954, the name of the Alcoholic Foundation, Inc., was changed to the General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous, Inc., and the Foundation office is now the General Service Office.

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Xtra Thoughts
September 24

“Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host.”
–Maya Angelou

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
–Dale Carnegie

“Life is too short to spend your precious time trying to convince a person who wants to live in gloom and doom otherwise. Give lifting that person your best shot, but don’t hang around long enough for his or her bad attitude to pull you down. Instead, surround yourself with optimistic people.”
–Zig Ziglar

“He who asks a question is a fool for a minute; he who does not remains a fool forever.”
–Chinese Proverb

“It takes time to build a corporate work of art. It takes time to build a life. And it takes time to develop and grow. So give yourself, your enterprise, and your family the time they deserve and the time they require.”
–Jim Rohn

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
September 24
GOD

“God is not a cosmic bellboy.”
– Harry Emerson Fosdick

My understanding of God is within the context of freedom. God is involved in His world but He allows it an autonomy. We are not puppets on a string. When things begin to go wrong, God does not interfere and make changes (usually) without our cooperation. God reveals the extent of His love by allowing us a creative responsibility in our lives.

For years I did not understand this. I thought that if I prayed enough, He would answer all my prayers and come to my rescue. When He didn’t, I grew confused, angry and resentful. What was I doing wrong?  Where was God in my life? He didn’t love me. Why wasn’t God my cosmic co-dependent?

Today I love his detachment. Today I grow in my freedom. Today I cooperate with His miracle.

Lord, thank You for allowing me the freedom to fail.

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Bible Scriptures
September 24

“The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”
Job 33:4

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.
Philippians 3:7-9

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Daily Inspiration
September 24

Each of us has important gifts to share and things to do. Lord, may I be valuable to those that need my value and do what I can to make a joyful difference.

Prayer may not always change a situation, but it will always change us. Lord, I accept Your answers to my prayers because I know that they will always be right and, in Your wisdom, best for me.

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A Day At A Time
September 24

Reflection For The Day

Everybody wants to be somebody;  nobody wants to grow.”  Goethe.

I ask myself sometimes, as we all do;  “Who am I?”   “Where am I?”  “Where am I going?”  “What’s it all about?”  The learning and growing process is usually slow.  But eventually our seeking always brings a finding.  What seem like great mysteries often turn out to be enshrined in complete simplicity.  Have I accepted the fact that my willingness to grow is the essence of my spiritual development?

Today I Pray

God give me patience and the perseverance to keep on hoeing the long row, even when the end of it is out of sight.  The principles of The Program are my almanac for growing, even more than the harvesting.  The harvest will come, abundant enough to share, if I can stick to my garden tending.

Today I Will Remember

Getting there, not being there.

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One More Day
September 24

To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming is the only end of life.
–  Robert Louis Stevenson

Mountain climbers, river rafters, and marathon racers all face the “challenge of a lifetime.”  We have heard that phrase before, but may not have realized that our challenge of a lifetime would take a different form.

We all face challenges as we move through adulthood.  In some instances — pain or illness, for example — we must face the obstacles placed in our way.  We cannot choose to ignore or avoid them.  One of our biggest challenges is that struggle to maintain a positive mental attitude.  This is easier said than done when altered health patterns change lifestyles, but we can be on guard to think about “wellness” before “illness”  and to remember we have been facing challenges all along.

I face challenges every day — some public, but many private.  I Will try to do my personal best.

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One Day At A Time
September 24
The Future

When I look into the future, it’s so bright it burns my eyes.
–Oprah Winfrey

I receive the gift of abstinence one day at a time. I am relieved from the obsession to eat one day at a time. With the help of my Higher Power, I can live life on life’s terms… one day at a time.

As my recovery builds and builds, I start to imagine all the possibilities for my life. Things I never had the confidence or emotional stability to pursue are options for me. Now that I am free from the despair and self-destruction of overeating, there is space to actualize new adventures. But before I become overwhelmed or grandiose in my thinking, the Program gently reminds me that it is STILL just one day a time.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will work my program so that I have a future.

~ Christine S. ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – September 24

“Touch not the poisonous firewater that makes wise men turn to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.”
–Tecumseh, SHAWNEE

It’s not an accident that firewater is also called spirits. Firewater affects our judgments. The Great Spirit created a set of laws and principles by which we are to live our lives. When we have problems we should pray and ask for the wisdom of these laws. If instead we turn to liquor, our judgement will be affected. It is the decision and choice made under the influence of booze that causes us to be fools. We need to learn to lean on prayer and not on the spirits of alcohol.

Great Spirit, teach me to pray. Let not one drop of liquor touch my lips today.

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Journey To The Heart
September 24
Your Healers Will Come to You

The people, the ideas, the resources you need to heal will come. They’ll appear on your path. Sometimes you’ll think it’s almost magical. Sometimes you’ll resist, saying, That can’t be right. It’s too easy. But your healers will come when you need them, when you’re ready.

You can trust the universe to send healers to you, but also trust yourself. Some of the healers and resources you encounter may not be right for you. Trust yourself to know what’s right. And remember, healers aren’t your source of power, they merely assist you in claiming your power. They come to help, to bring their gifts to you so that you can find yours.

Just as your healers will come to you, the people you are to bring healing to will appear in your path when it’s time, when it’s right. Trust yourself to make decisions regarding those with whom you share your gifts. Your heart will guide you if you listen.

Let yourself receive the healing you need. Let yourself share your healing gift with others. Find the balance that’s right for you. Trust yourself and the wisdom of your body, mind, and heart about what feels right, who feels right, and when it works for you.

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Today’s Gift
September 24

Notice the difference between what happens when a man says to himself, I have failed three times, and what happens when he says, I’m a failure.
—S. I. Hayakawa

What happens to us when we call ourselves names like “failure” or “dummy”? We feel we’re no good and never will be. We want to stop trying because we think we’ll flub up again.

But what if we begin to use different words to describe the same results? It won’t change the results, but it will change us. And it will change the way we see our actions and ourselves.

Just by changing the words we use we can feel better about ourselves. Saying, “I’ve failed three times,” means we’ll try again and again and again until we succeed. It means we know God doesn’t make any failures or dummies. It means God is always with us, loving us and helping us, even when trying seems difficult.

What can I change my thinking about today?

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The Language of Letting Go
September 24
Allowing Ourselves to be Needy

We can accept ourselves as people who have needs – the need for comfort, love, understanding, friendship, and healthy touch. We need positive reinforcement, someone to listen to us, someone to give to us. We are not weak for needing these things. These needs make us human and healthy. Getting our needs met – believing we deserve to have them met – makes us happy.

There are times, too, when in addition to our regular needs, we become particularly needy. At these times, we need more than we have to give out. That is okay too.

We can accept and incorporate our needs, and our needy side, into the whole of us. We can take responsibility for our needs. That doesn’t make us weak or deficient. It doesn’t mean we are not properly recovering, nor does it mean we’re being dependent in an unhealthy way. It makes our needs, and our needy side, manageable. Our needs stop controlling us, and we gain control.

And, our needs begin to get met.

Today, I will accept my needs and my needy side. I believe I deserve to get my needs met, and I will allow that to happen.

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More Language Of Letting Go
September 24
Make conscious contact

God must become an activity in our consciousness.
–Joel S. Goldsmith

God is not separate from this beautiful world that he created. He is the creative force behind everything we do. He is the sunrise, the moonrise, the tides, and the eclipse. He created us from nothing, and we are special for no other reason than that we are.

When we let go of our separateness and welcome the fact that we are a part of the universe, an amazing thing happens: we see we are a part of the glory of the universe.

God is more than a great father standing judgementally above looking down with a mix of love and anger at his creation. We were created in God’s image. We are a part of God, and a part of God’s spirit resides in each of us.

We are a part of universal consciousness.

Today, whether you are feeling down and sad or joyous and free, take a moment and get in touch with the part of God that resides within you. You’re a part of something bigger than all the petty victories and losses in your life. Enjoy your uniqueness; embrace your universality,too. Find comfort and humility in all that is.

See God in your life and in the world. Pray. Meditate.

Make conscious contact with your God.

God, help me make conscious contact with you today.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
September 24

Life is painting a picture, not doing a sum.
—Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

As we go about our activities, we will have a richer day when we think of ourselves as painting a picture instead of keeping score. Rather than woodenly completing a task, we might approach it as something that can be made interesting. Instead of driving to work or riding the bus only to reach our destination, we might think of this routine as part of the picture we paint today. When a friend makes a comment, we might think of it as another brush stroke in our painting and join in with him, rather than making a game or contest, which we must try to win.

Many of us men were taught that success means having the highest score. So we have become compulsively competitive – always trying to be right, always striving for more financial security, or always pushing ourselves for some new achievement. Success may not be coming out on top. When our lives are lived as rich and interesting pictures, we find our rewards are far deeper and more lasting.

May the picture I paint today be one I will carry with me and appreciate.

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Daily TAO
September 24
STYLE

An old man sits on a granite step.
He plucks a treasured guitar.
The strings throb with feeling;
He needs no audience to open his heart.
A boy enthusiastically wants to learn his style.
“Style?” asks the man slowly. “My style is made of
The long road of life, of heartbreak
And joy, and people loved, and loneliness.
Of war and its atrocities.
Of a baby born.
Of burying parents and friends.
My scale is the seven stars of the dipper.
The hollow of my guitar is the space between heaven and earth.
How can I show you my style?
You have your own young life.”

Everyone has their own style in life. The old have perspective. The young have vigor. We can learn from each other, but we cannot have what the other generations possess. We are each shaped by our generations, and to transcend the limitations of our time is a rare occurrence indeed.

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Daily Zen
September 24

If you desire to attain enlightenment, you should steadily walk the Way with a resolute heart, with courage, and be fearless in whatever environment you many happen to be. Destroy every evil influence that you may come across; for thus you shall reach the goal.

– Sutra of Forty Two Chapters

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Food For Thought
September 24
Accepting Where We Are

Wherever we are when we come to this program is where we begin. Some of us have further to go along the road to self-actualization than others. No one of us ever arrives in this life. There is always more work to be done.

Believing that our Higher Power has a plan for each of us, we accept the place where He has put us right now. We do not expect to stay in this place, but it is a necessary part of our growth and development. We cannot move on until we understand where we are now and how we got here.

Our Fourth Step inventory gives us an opportunity to examine past actions, which have led to our current situation. We may not like what we discover, but an honest appraisal of our weaknesses and faults as well as our strengths is preparation for constructive change. Accepting where we are frees us from morbid obsession with the past and enables us to move on into the future.

May I accept where I am as the best place for me to be today.

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Faiths Checkbook
September 24
The Life-Giving Stream

And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live.
(Ezekiel 47:9)

The living waters, in the prophet’s vision, flowed into the Dead Sea and carried life with them, even into that stagnant lake. Where grace goes, spiritual life is the immediate and the everlasting consequence. Grace proceeds sovereignly according to the will of God, even as a river in all its windings follows its own sweet will; and wherever it comes it does not wait for life to come to it, but it creates life by its own quickening flow. Oh, that it would pour along our streets and flood our slums! Oh, that it would now come into my house and rise till every chamber were made to swim with it! Lord, let the living water flow to my family and my friends, and let it not pass me by. I hope I have drunk of it already; but I desire to bathe in it, yea, to swim in it. O my Savior, I need life more abundantly. Come to me, I pray Thee, till every part of my nature is vividly energetic and intensely active. Living God, I pray Thee, fill me with Thine own life.

I am a poor, dry stick; come and make me so to live that, like Aaron’s rod, I may bud and blossom and bring forth fruit unto Thy glory. Quicken me, for the sake of my Lord Jesus. Amen.

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This Mornings Reading
September 24

“For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek Him; but His power and His wrath is against all them that forsake Him.”
—Ezra 8:22.

A convoy on many accounts would have been desirable for the pilgrim band, but a holy shame-facedness would not allow Ezra to seek one. He feared lest the heathen king should think his professions of faith in God to be mere hypocrisy, or imagine that the God of Israel was not able to preserve His own worshippers. He could not bring his mind to lean on an arm of flesh in a matter so evidently of the Lord, and therefore the caravan set out with no visible protection, guarded by Him who is the sword and shield of His people. It is to be feared that few believers feel this holy jealousy for God; even those who in a measure walk by faith, occasionally mar the lustre of their life by craving aid from man. It is a most blessed thing to have no props and no buttresses, but to stand upright on the Rock of Ages, upheld by the Lord alone. Would any believers seek state endowments for their Church, if they remembered that the Lord is dishonoured by their asking Caesar’s aid? as if the Lord could not supply the needs of His own cause! Should we run so hastily to friends and relations for assistance, if we remembered that the Lord is magnified by our implicit reliance upon His solitary arm? My soul, wait thou only upon God. “But,” says one, “are not means to be used?” Assuredly they are; but our fault seldom lies in their neglect: far more frequently it springs out of foolishly believing in them instead of believing in God. Few run too far in neglecting the creature’s arm; but very many sin greatly in making too much of it. Learn, dear reader, to glorify the Lord by leaving means untried, if by using them thou wouldst dishonour the name of the Lord.

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This Evenings Reading
September 24

“I sleep, but my heart waketh.”
—Song of Solomon 5:2.

PARADOXES abound in Christian experience, and here is one—the spouse was asleep, and yet she was awake. He only can read the believer’s riddle who has ploughed with the heifer of his experience. The two points in this evening’s text are—a mournful sleepiness and a hopeful wakefulness. I sleep. Through sin that dwelleth in us we may become lax in holy duties, slothful in religious exercises, dull in spiritual joys, and altogether supine and careless. This is a shameful state for one in whom the quickening Spirit dwells; and it is dangerous to the highest degree. Even wise virgins sometimes slumber, but it is high time for all to shake off the bands of sloth. It is to be feared that many believers lose their strength as Samson lost his locks, while sleeping on the lap of carnal security. With a perishing world around us, to sleep is cruel; with eternity so near at hand, it is madness. Yet we are none of us so much awake as we should be; a few thunder-claps would do us all good, and it may be, unless we soon bestir ourselves, we shall have them in the form of war, or pestilence, or personal bereavements and losses. O that we may leave for ever the couch of fleshly ease, and go forth with flaming torches to meet the coming Bridegroom! My heart waketh. This is a happy sign. Life is not extinct, though sadly smothered. When our renewed heart struggles against our natural heaviness, we should be grateful to sovereign grace for keeping a little vitality within the body of this death. Jesus will hear our hearts, will help our hearts, will visit our hearts; for the voice of the wakeful heart is really the voice of our Beloved, saying, “Open to me.” Holy zeal will surely unbar the door.

“Oh lovely attitude! He stands
With melting heart and laden hands;
My soul forsakes her every sin;
And lets the heavenly stranger in.”

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