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Beginning our discussion of The Cup of Our Life by Joyce Rupp

November 2, 2012

Thank you to all of you who have indicated an interest in discussing Joyce Rupp’s book of spiritual exercises, The Cup of Our Life.

Anyone can join in the discussion and if you haven’t yet secured a copy of the book, visit the previous post which supplies links to Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Ave Maria Press.

Today’s discussion will begin with the introduction.

Joyce Rupp believes that symbols are important tools for deepening the spiritual life. She found the cup an especially rich symbol: “In the cup I see life, with its emptiness, fullness, brokenness, flaws, and blessings.” (page 2, The Cup of Our Life)

She also writes, “The spiritual journey is like that – a constant process of emptying and filling, of giving and receiving, of accepting and letting go.”

Have you chosen your cup yet?

Mine is tall with a chip on the rim. It’s not a typical coffee cup but more like a glass in its shape. I love the smooth feel and just the physical experience of drinking my favorite brew from it.

Why is the cup you’ve chosen a favorite?

I already associate wonderful feelings with my cup. It wakes and cheers me up first thing in the morning. It makes me ambitious, eager to start the day. And it seems to unleash my creativity; I write best after that first cup in the morning.

What feelings do you associate with your favorite cup?

On page 2 of The Cup of Our Life, Joyce offers a meditation on the cup, describing first the physical appearance and melding that into the spiritual life, and the natural longing for wholeness and connectedness.

Does your life feel frazzled and disconnected? Do you feel a need to be made whole?

Joyce offers very pointed advice about the need to apply discipline to our spiritual lives. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says to “pray without ceasing;” such prayer is cultivated through deep desire coupled with a consistent, disciplined approach.

On page 7 she writes:

Wake up: Be aware, open, ready to receive.
Show up: Discipline yourself to be there!
Shake up: Be willing to have your inner viewpoint rearranged.
Start up: Get moving. Take your relationship with God into your world. Let it make a difference in the way you live.”

How can meditating on your favorite coffee cup do that? You’d be surprised …

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 3, 2012 9:38 pm

    As I read the introduction to Joyce’s book, I realized I needed to change the cup I’d chosen! Instead of the one that I use daily, I’m now choosing one that is a reminder of my deep connection to the dear friend who gave it to me. It has sat for six years on a shelf, awaiting the moment when I will be ready to release it to a grand-niece for her birthday. Why should I live either in the past or the future, I asked myself; why not bring this cup into the specialness of the next six weeks, into this present moment, releasing the past, not concerned about the future…. Why not, indeed! and so I am working with a cup and saucer of intricate beauty, symbolizing connections to both past and future, yet needing a healthy dose of staying present.
    And as I read the first day’s lesson, I also realized that my deepest yearning is for an ever-strengthening awareness of God’s transformative Love already at work in all my relationships, that I may receive Love, then share it wherever I go, whatever is “on my plate (saucer) or “in this cup” each day. May it be so…

    • November 3, 2012 9:54 pm

      Thank you for this wonderful story! I love the idea of the cup and saucer being so beautiful and your reason for using it. God will fill it, and you, with many blessings!

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