- Sunday, February 27: Plain Talking
[link to full email]: https://mailchi.mp/coutreach/word-of-the-week-feb27
[excerpt from email]: To Practice: What do you need to grow in spiritual awareness and day-to-day compassion? Is your being well-watered and fed the influences it needs to flourish? What feeds your soul and what depletes it? Pay attention, and adjust as needed to your practice, rule of life, what you give attention to.
Sunday February 27: Plain Talking
What I need to grow in spiritual awareness and day-to day compassion is Father Keating’s famous “Presence and action within me.” Centering prayer practice feeds my soul. Daily interactions with others deplete it as I offer God’s love shipping clerk, grocery employees, etc. Continual filling and offering. I have recently added yoga as a practice and find my being well watered with this new rule of life. Happy am I to regularly prune that which no longer serves to add that which nourishes God in me and God in you. <3 linda
I concur, Caroline, Prayer Chapel time feeding my soul, as does praying the Word of the week and other “eruptions of God’s presence”. Kindred spirits, those “made of the same clay as we are” hold us as we move through human made eruptions, such as the invasion of Ukraine, white superiority, gender inequality, male domination of women. Yesterday I participated in a webinar on the spirituality of Mary Oliver, some lines in her poetry take me into God-eruptions in my life. “Someone I once loved gave me a box full of darkness, it took me years to understand that this, too, is gift”. or “Do you need a little darkness to keep you going?” or “belonging to the purpose of my life”. Glad to have read the words of Madeleine Delbrel, who some 30 years ago introduce me to the word “eruptions” in one life, though I must say with experience now taking me to a deeper place. With gratitude I step into this week.
This doesn’t exactly address these reading directly but, the readings inform my journey and the following has been coming together these last weeks.
It started out as a thrift store find. The blouse had a gaping hole at the top of the sleeve, but the fabric was good. I took it home and painstakingly patched it with fabric from another blouse. Seemingly hundreds of tiny stitches. Then, I embroidered a swirl design over it.
Thinking I was done, I wore the shirt, but looking down, I noticed several tiny frayed spots on one side of the front. Knowing that something not worth doing is worth doing badly, I decided to embroider fireflies on top to the mended spots. I love fireflies and fancy myself one.
All done with a multitude of fireflies in blue and pale yellow, I see two more emerging holes on the back. Two butterflies embroidered over those mended holes.
Meanwhile, It become clear that this shirt with all the holes which I was attempting to reclaim was a metaphor for my own state of disruption after a move, with its’ accompanying emotions.
Then, I pondered how our God takes each of us, the wounded and torn beings that we are. Some of us have been relegated to the trash heap of humanity. Failures, beyond repair. But, our God does not give up. He (she) takes us as we are and tends to us. He makes something beautiful out of something that is so broken. She so wants to redeem people, even the people doing the really bad things.
To bring this experience to a close, I embroidered the final words of God’s Grandeur by Gerard Manley Hopkins. The whole poem encapsulates my understanding of the fragility of humanity and….it’s grandeur.
On the collar, I embroidered: Aw!
Down the button placket, only barely visible, in yellow, I embroidered Bright Wings.
How lucky I was to spend a couple of weeks with the ruined shirt, making it into a prayer that I can wear and feel like a manifestation of God’s love for the world.
Kathy! I love your prayer shirt. Each time you found another hole, you saw it as an opportunity to add more beauty to the shirt. You sat with a “ ruined shirt” and discovered its grace. You invited yourself – and us – to see the Divine in the “ ruined” people, including ourselves. There the Divine is waiting for us.
The image reminds me of “ holy chaos”, Jesus (and us) being mixed up with and radically changed by our daily lives.
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