As an extension of the “practicing resurrection” theme of Circle of Hope this Eastertide season, we’re using this week in Daily Prayer: Water to reflect together on the Christian path of finding our true selves in God alone.  We’re using a marvelous children’s story by Mercer Mayer to illustrate the path.  Welcome to Herbert the Timid Dragon. 

Grant, Lord, that I may know myself that I may know Thee.   —  Augustine    

Today’s Bible reading 

I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that. — Galatians 2:20-21  (The Message)

More thoughts for meditation from Mercer Mayer’s Herbert the Timid Dragon

The princess is mad! Herbert first tries an old trick: he invites her to leave.  He’s hoping to avoid more trouble. He tries to be kind, but she’s not having it!  Even though he meant to be helpful and meant to be kind, he’s disrupted by her anger. He could blame her for her bad behavior, but instead he suffers her outburst, loses sleep, and stays in the conflict. He’s trying.

Suggestions for action

The reckoning with the False Self that we all have to face, is a process.  Some people who are very irritating to us can be helpful guides to seeing more accurately who we are in our day to day lives and the ways we are trapped in our False Selves.  We try to help these irritating people to leave, but often they stay, just like the princess and we learn to face their anger, perhaps even to notice our own discomfort and disappointment.  We suffer even while we may attempt to be nice.

Go back to your journal. As you’ve been remembering moments of failure/disappointment in your life, ask God to show you where you’ve tried to reckon with others’ anger in ways that don’t work.  What can you learn? See what surfaces in your mind and write a bit about your responses.

This week’s breath prayer (carry it with you today):

 (inhale) Show me You; (exhale) show me me.