How do spiritual practices equip us to participate in God’s healing work in the world? Rich Villodas, pastor and author of The Deeply Formed Life, talks with Amy Julia about social divisions, the relationship between inner spiritual formation and outward actions, and God’s healing work within individuals and communities.
“Rich Villodas is the Brooklyn-born lead pastor of New Life Fellowship, a large, multiracial church with more than seventy-five countries represented in Elmhurst, Queens.”
Connect with Rich online:
On the Podcast:
- The Deeply Formed Life by Rich Villodas
- The Message: Eugene Peterson’s Bible translation
- Luke 3-4
- Thomas Keating, Henri Nouwen, and Jean Vanier
- Family Systems Theory
- Sexual Character by Marva Dawn
- Living Gently in a Violent World by Stanley Hauerwas and Jean Vanier
Spiritual Practices That Heal episode quotes | Rich Villodas
“It’s quite liberating—it’s very difficult at first—but it’s quite liberating when you realize, ‘I’m not a human doing, I’m a human being. I can take an extra nap. Or I can delight in or cultivate things that bring me joy.’”
“Contemplative prayer for me has been the most important element for how I think about race, how I think about the interior life, how I think about justice…the goal is to be present with God so that I can be present with myself and then be present with my neighbor. For me, contemplative prayer serves as the foundation to be present with those who are difficult to love, to be present with those I disagree with.”
“The agony of prayer is that I don’t see fruit in the moment. And I need to be okay with that.”
“Who are you allowing to speak into your life? What are the stories you’re opening yourself to? Even in the books that we read, the music that we listen to, the stories that we come across, I think that there is moving close to someone that isn’t necessarily a physical proximity. Sometimes it’s an emotional proximity. Sometimes it’s narrative proximity—trying to understand someone’s story.”
“How Christians can participate in the renewal of the world—we can see people as enemies to be conquered or see wounds that need to be healed. And that’s hard. That’s a cruciform way of living. It’s painful. It’s slow.”
Thank you to Breaking Ground, the co-host for this podcast.
Head, Heart, Hands, Season 4 of the Love Is Stronger Than Fear podcast, is based on my e-book Head, Heart, Hands, which accompanies White Picket Fences. Check out free RESOURCES that are designed to help you respond to the harm of privilege and join in the work of healing. Learn more about my writing and speaking at amyjuliabecker.com.
To learn more with Amy Julia and spiritual practices and healing:
- Love is Stronger Than Fear | Season 4—Head, Heart, Hands
- S3 E11 | The Black Church’s Gift to Christianity with Esau McCaulley
- Four Spiritual Practices That Help Social Justice Stay Grounded in Love
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