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Shambhala logo. Apple eBook Download X. Nook eBook Download X. Desert Father By James Cowan. Inner Christianity By Richard Smoley. Related Topics Christian Contemplative Classics. Details This classic of world spiritual literature is the firsthand account of a pilgrim's journey as he endeavors to live out Saint Paul's instruction to "pray without ceasing. As he walks, he recites the Jesus prayer "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me" —a prayer that is said to quiet anxiety and fill the heart with love for all creation.
But how do we plan for death? What moves someone from dying to dying well? At this point, it judges you. Christian ultimately succeeds, not due to his own perseverance or steadfast faith but due to the help of others. After leaving Vanity Fair, he joins ranks with newly-converted Hopeful.
Together they face down flooding meadows, Giant Despair, and churning rivers. Finally, with Hopeful by his side, Christian arrives at the Celestial City. Every day I'm closer to heaven, and I get more and more interested with the place, just as Christian and Hopeful did toward the end of their pilgrimage.
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So I saw in my dream, that they went on together till they came in sight of the gate. Now I further saw, that betwixt them and the gate was a river; but there was no bridge to go over, and the river was very deep.
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At the sight, therefore, of this river the pilgrims were much stunned; but the men that went with them said, You must go through, or you cannot come at the gate. Overwhelmed by the current, Christian almost drowns in the river. Captivated by the Celestial City and drifting away from Hopeful, Christian is unable to keep his own head above water.
Way of a Pilgrim and the Pilgrim Continues His Way
Here Bunyan captures a liminal space we all inhabit as we press toward the celestial shores. To be on the borders of heaven, the only thing that eases pain and fear while buoying us enough to continue that last leg well is hope. Hopeful did also endeavor to comfort him, saying, Brother, I see the gate, and men standing by to receive us;. Ah, brother, said he, surely if I was right he would now arise to help me; but for my sins he hath brought me into the snare, and hath left me.
Hopeful added these words, Be of good cheer, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole.
While we all hope for a glorious transition from this world to the next, there are many believers who will struggle with their sins and doubts, with pain and suffering, with lives left unlived. They therefore went up here with much agility and speed, though the foundation upon which the city was framed was higher than the clouds; they therefore went up through the region of the air, sweetly talking as they went, being comforted because they safely got over the river, and had such glorious companions to attend them.
The Way of a Pilgrim and The Pilgrim Continues His Way by Anonymous | LibraryThing
And then the pilgrims gave in unto them each man his certificate, which they had received in the beginning: those therefore were carried in unto the King, who, when he had read them, said, Where are the men? To whom it was answered, They are standing without the gate. To whom it was answered, You must there receive the comfort of all your toil, and have joy for all your sorrow;.