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- Each Hour a Miracle
“Christ is more than Jesus. Christ is the communion of divine personal love expressed in every created form of reality — every star, leaf, bird, fish, tree, rabbit and every human person. Everything is christified because everything expresses divine love incarnate.”
I find this line very helpful – it expresses something I accept theoretically but don’t always live into – the immensity of Christ, the all inclusiveness of Christ.
I remember as a child going to communion and thinking that when the Eucharistic minister said “The Body of Christ,” she was naming the host. Then one day, I was struck to the core when I realize “Oh no, she is naming me.” It took a third movement for me to realize she was naming herself, the host, me, the birds I heard singing, the annoying person I had recently been critiquing in my mind, and on and on and on.
Dear Adeline – Prayers for you, Cherie and your sister. Please know I am holding all of you in my heart. I too am very sorry for this loss.
“Everyone has a part to play in this world, and everyone, however conscious or unconscious, plays it perfectly.” I want to have my eyes opened to this vision. I still see through a glass darkly. The eyes through which i see are clouded by judgements and prejudices. Yet i know “Grace, the Holy Spirit, the Great Creator” have rushed in, new levels of consciousness have arisen. May metanoia and kenosis lead, as they organically do, to Love beyond measure, beyond understanding,” beyond the current vision of my cloudy mind.
One of the things that feeds my soul is time in the Prayer Chapel. Being with the people from over the Earth who gather there each week nourishes me. I am very grateful for the strength that is given to me by what is ingested during those meetings.
I can only assume that I refract various colors a different times, but I hope the main color I refract is blue. I associate blue with peace – a quiet, clear lake; an uncluttered, sun-lit sky. I know at time the water within me is muddied, the sky is foreboding. I have come to accept that I will not always refract a sunny blue, there are various shades and kinds of blues in life. Grace can gurgle up through any mud, shine through any kind of cloud cover.
When I have been in deep waters, it was generally not by choice. I prefer the alleged safety of staying close to shore. Yet what gifts I have received after being plunged into deeper waters. What beauty I have seen underwater. And I have always eventually found the ground back under my feet.
I want to follow Simon’s lead and be willing to push back out to deep waters when asked to do so. Maybe now the rhythm of the waves will help calm any anxiety I might feel.
A sentence is read at the end of each Al-Anon meeting that I particularly like – “Take what you like and leave the rest.” To me that speaks of listening to all the people in the room who speak but knowing that only some of what is said might be right for me. This notion has helped me in other settings – the understanding that others may speak using different metaphors, find other things helpful. I am to take what is fitting for me – leave what might be useful for another, but not for me.
I have three siblings – and not all of us were on the same page as we tried to reach consensus last week about an important issue involving our almost 95 year old mother. At one point, I felt the need to follow the format for discernment laid out in The Contemplative Program booklet on that spiritual practice. I prayed and formed a question that I felt would give me clarity. Then I listened. Sr. Meg Funk taught me to wait for a “confirming sign.” I always feel a bit awkward at this point in the process – as if I am imposing on God’s busy schedule! But a confirming sign did come. The next step was to guard my heart as the storm with my siblings had not quite settled. But settle it did – and we have moved on to action. I am very thankful for this practice – and, just so you know, the confirming sign came with the consolation that God did not feel I was imposing.
At times, I do not feel God is presence. Confusion, frustration, anger, fear swirl within me – and around me. Contemplative practices and communities stabilize me. And I have always found walking alone among trees helpful.
Mary Anne has been an inspiration, a mentor, an messenger of the divine to me.
I know that such people leave a handprint on our hearts, a fragrance in our souls.
Simply saying “Thank you” to Mary Anne seems inadequate – yet that is the way on the spiritual journey, isn’t it?
We are given so much more than we can ever give back – Thank you Mary Anne. God is with you –
and you will remain with me.
I too sometime find it hard to accept help, ask for help. The idea of hospitality requiring both humility and gratitude as I surrender pride is a lovely challenge for me. Thank you –
Catherine and David strung lights around an outdoor patio, set a lovely table at which six of us could sit socially distanced, and prepared a fresh meal. Drew and I brought wine, Kay and Kevin brought a pie – we sat in the open air, drinking in each others’ company. Due to the continuing threat of covid 19, the six of us had not been together for many months. What made this gathering particularly memorable was Kay’s presence. She has a debilitating disease; she is no longer able to walk, does not have enough strength in her lungs to project her voice. Yet there was, smiling and nodding in response to questions.
How did I feel that evening? Grateful – for long standing friendships, for Kay’s courage, for Catherine and David’s hospitality. Hospitality created the space where we could gather and manifest love for each other.
For medical reasons, I have been very cautious about offer hospitality to many people since March. After just a bit of deep listening, I feel moved to take some pumpkin pie to the elderly widow at the end of the street.
To stay positive – I imagine that is hard when dealing with serious health issues. You will be in my prayers, Alita.
A friend of mine recently had a doctor visit. A nurse asked her a battery of questions at the beginning of the exam -one of which was, “Have you felt down recently?” My friend said she responded a bit incredulously, ‘Yes, haven’t you?” This time of covid has shaken up my life – and sometimes i have felt sadness, a sense of grief. Yet it has also proven a time to keep vigil – to realize this is a day that the Lord has made; to watch and to listen with a new level of awareness. I have had to deal with the temptation to indulging in “mundane diversions” that numb my sensibilities. I hope that, by virtue of Centering Prayer and lectio divina, i am remaining open enough to receive Love and manifest that Love to those I encounter, mostly via zoom these days.