Sunday, November 29, 2009
The Liturgical Season of Advent is pure gift for me and there is no where I would rather be during Advent than in my own monastery. For this reason I try not to take a lot of outside engagements. I prefer not to travel much but to STAY PUT. Everything points to the sacredness of this season. The focus is not on shopping or even decorating. It is a season of hope for a dear world that has known far too much darkness. We focus on the coming of the Light, the approaching feast of the birth of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. I usually spend much time praying for peace during this season. Above you will see my Advent wreath with two little angels in waiting. Strange as it may seem to some people, we do not put up our Christmas tree until a few days before Christmas. Of course we leave the tree up during the 12 days of Christmas. That is when we begin (in earnest) to celebrate Christmas.
In my last post, using thoughts from the poet Dorothy Walters, I alluded to the truth that there is something in our hearts that constantly bleeds towards God. During Advent I am always drawn into this ancient yearning so difficult to describe. I ache for God.
You may remember that I gave you some messages that I would like to slip under your door. Now I am wondering if you might want to share a few messages you would like to slip under the doors of those you love in this holy season. As for me, I love finding hopeful messages under my door. Perhaps we can all take a little extra time for silence and hope.
Friday, November 27, 2009
BLEEDS TOWARDS GOD.
THAT'S WHY I KEEP WRITING,
SLIPPING MESSAGES UNDER THE DOOR.
from "Marrow of Flame"
Here are some messages I would like to slip under your door:
- It's ok to wake up laughing...and it's ok to wake up weeping.
- Gratitude is medicinal but you will need to say "thank you" more than once a year to get full benefit of the medicine.
- Forgive and the whole landscape will change. -Kathleen Griffin
- There is a depth in you that you have not yet discovered.
- Today, put on joy. The world needs it so much. No matter how many sorrows try to crowd it out, joy is a permanent resident in your soul. Happiness is a bit fleeting but joy is more stable because joy, as novelist Eugenia Price tells us is "God in the marrow of our bones."
- "There is nothing in your life too terrible or too sad that will not be your friend if you find the right name to call it, and calling it by its own name, it will come upright to your side." Laurens van der Post
- Keep vigil with your life. Guard well your heart.
- You are a blessing; let the light of your life shine on others this day.
- Practice waiting with patience and you may be surprised with new revelations.
- You are a jewel of creation.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Grateful for the sun, moon and stars that shine upon us day and night
Grateful for the silent, mystical gospel of dawn and dusk
Grateful for the friends who sit at the table of my heart
Grateful for the many faces of God, revealed to me each day
Grateful for the honest ones in my life who call me to live awake
Grateful for my family whose roots are entwined with my heart
Grateful for the raindrops that bless the thirsty earth
Grateful for everything that grows and buds and blossoms
Grateful for my passionate yearning to remain rooted in Christ
Grateful for sorrows and joys that keep me loving and living
Grateful for the one lone leaf I’ve been watching—that finally let go
Grateful for the winds in my life that blow things out of place
Grateful for the fire of life that rekindles my enthusiasm
Grateful for mentors who support my many paths to God
Grateful for poets, artists, musicians and authors who feed my soul
Grateful for the medicine of God’s Word
Grateful for the ointment of beauty
Grateful for silence and solitude that restore my heart-vision
Grateful for St. Benedict’s encouragement to balance work and prayer
Grateful for the ability to be grateful and oh, yes, grateful for YOU!
Friday, November 20, 2009
across the heavens
so you can find the one line
already written inside you.
with the beauty inscribed across the skies,
or planted upon the earth
or falling from the trees
with the beauty that is truly
already written inside us.
O God, help us to see with our inside eyes.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
full of hope
My life unfurled in a thousand, thousand
Shades of green.
Tethered by my resilience,
I inhaled each moment.
Moving with currents of air
Or playful breeze
Holding my arms open to the rain
Turning in to survive the storms
Surrounded by murmuring voices
Crescendos in the wind.
I lived the long green-ness
With all the exuberance of
And then, gradually, the nights lengthened
The air cooled
and I plunged deep into myself
Erupting into a golden flame.
Until one day
I was strong enough
To choose to
I was witnessed by one who said,
Fall is far too graceless a word
For the jubilant dance
That carries you back
into the ground of your being
Where you will always dream
In a thousand, thousand shades of green.
Monday, November 16, 2009
I have always loved this season best even if everything around me seems to be dying. When I sit ankle deep in leaves I feel like I am in a tomb that is also a womb. Sacred Compost! The other side of dying always seems like life to me even when I have to look through the dying with tears in my eyes. Autumn calls me to stop clinging, to loosen my grasp on what I think I know and embrace the beautiful unknown.
Like trees stripped bare I cry out with autumn sadness, “How can I give shade with so much gone? My question answers itself as I experience the great mystery rising up in the heart of me. With the trappings gone it is easier to see the truth of who I really am. All I have is my poverty and God’s grace and the mysterious truth is: That’s enough! It is enough for me to be poor in God’s hands. The shade I give is God’s shade, not merely my own. This is the season of transformation. We are called into the prayer of centering. Let us return to the center. We let go of everything that is not God. In the words of Meister Eckhart I pray,
THERE, WHERE CLINGING
TO THINGS ENDS
GOD BEGINS TO BE.
I put the sycamore leaf down on the holy ground. I do not even carry it inside to my personal altar. I let the altar of the earth have it.
Friday, November 13, 2009
There is a poem by Pat Schneider, The Patience of Ordinary Things, that has become part of my daily prayer. It is a reflection on the many little things that serve us each day—things we take for granted because they are so ordinary. The poem begins, “It is a kind of love is it not? How the cup holds the tea,…” and I think: Yes, it is! Poetry, like scripture, can be both read and prayed. This happens to be a poem that I pray. So now, as I behold the cup loving me and serving me by holding my tea or coffee each morning, I start thinking: What else am I missing? What are the little things that serve me each day?
I have begun to practice noticing the little things that serve me and yes…
“It is a kind of love...
- how the candle holds the wick and the wick holds the flame
- how the tree holds the branches and the branch holds the leaf
- how the earth receives the roots and the sky holds the stars
- how the book holds the stories and the pages hold the words
- how the plate holds the food and the table holds the plate
- how the walls enthrone the pictures and the pictures, the images
- how the face holds the freckles and the smiles and frowns
- how the computer keys lovingly support the fingers
- how the shoe supports the foot and the finger holds the ring
- how the earth's turning, offer us hours of light and darkness.
I could go on forever but my heart is calling me to fill the kettle with water, turn on the heat so that the molecules can began the fast dance of love to make the water hot so that the loving cup can hold the tea as I sit before the blank page of my morning work and practice patience. But before I began I sing praises to all the little things that bless me unaware each day. A quote from Coleridge winds its way through my mind: "A stream of love crept through my heart and I blessed them unaware."
Well, it was something like that. Today I would like to serve others in little ways by blessing them in secret.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
--Gail Godwin from The Finishing School.
O Ever Changing God
Protect us from congealing.
Plant deep in our hearts an intense desire
to be flexible, bendable
always open to your transforming breath,
ever flowing, flowing, flowing.
Until we flow into the sacred stream
of that Eternal Drink which is You.
Then pour us back into the world
and let the flowing begin
again and again and again.