Sometimes, in reading other’s words, a phrase rings so very true that it expands my soul and feeds my journey. For me, these are among the ‘thin places’ that the Celts acknowledged – places where the space between the mundane and the holy is whisper thin.
I hope they will brush your soul with grace, and, perhaps, stir us all to action, as well.
“Art, like prayer, is a hand outstretched in the darkness, seeking for some touch of grace which will transform it into a hand that bestows gifts,” Franz Kafka – [as quoted here by Maria Popova – photo by per cc 2.0]
Tears were not weakness when falling from her eyes, they were what courage looks like when it takes a minute to breathe.” [Hannah Bonner-photo and quote used with permission]
“One of the blunders religious people are particularly fond of making is the attempt to be more spiritual than God.” – Frederick Buechner; photo by Carl Van Vechten [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]
“Jesus did not come to change the mind of God about humanity (it did not need changing)! Jesus came to change the mind of humanity about God.” – Richard Rohr – [Image cropped from photo by Festival of Faiths per cc 2.0]
[From time to time I will add to this collection, placing the new phrase at the top of the list.] [photo at the top of the post by Pearl Pirie per cc 2.0]
On the edge of change
In the swirl of this, still new, millennium
So much is urgent and hopeful, yet full of tragedy and despair.
All the institutions of the old order,
Economics, education, religion, civics,
Seem in helpless disarray.
Yet there are sprouts of green amid the rubble.
There are prescient urgings and faithful actions
Calling a new world community to life.
What is this, emerging among us?
Could it be a new turning toward each other?
Could it be that a new world is rising, expectantly, in our midst?
So much change, yet so much deep coherence.
It reaches beneath the chaos to sing grace.
My heart is captured by this hopeful, unifying song.
Fingers crossed … I dare believe it might be true.
It certainly is true to my dearest hopes
And ushers in a belief worth believing.
[photo by Pamela Machado per cc 2.0 … Even creative commons is part of this emerging.]
I’m off to the mountains.
My soul longs to absorb the colors of the wild;
To sit in the presence of the mountain
And let it sink its roots into my heart.
The touch of that deep quiet has faded
And needs to be renewed
So that I, too, might be renewed.
The attention of my soul is too easily distracted
By the flash and dazzle of the market
And the vitriol and terror of the news.
So, I will sink my feet into the numbing cold of a stream
And let my soul sigh before a columbine.
I will relish the quiet conversation of friends
Whose voices carry the whisper of the divine.
I will remember the solid grace of solitude
And the gift of mutual interdependence.
I am grateful to be able to make such a pilgrimage,
In the company of others whose hearts are open to its peace.
There are no guarantees on the mountain,
Except that it is there – deeply, powerfully there,
And its gifts of beauty and grandeur and challenge and grace
Play upon the wind and call me to its depths.
I’m off to the mountains to store up images of hope
To feed my soul and smooth the edges of my anger
And give me a bit of grace to share.
I go in hope and confidence that it still has gifts to share;
That my heart will still be open;
That its terrible beauty will do its work in me, again.
I’m off to the mountains.
[so … no posts for a bit.]
The world has never had a good definition of the word liberty, and the American people, just now, are much in want of one. We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name — liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names — liberty and tyranny.
— Abraham Lincoln
The tyranny of self, of course, leads to the tyranny of others.
When self rules – at least the self that wants it all –
There is no freedom.
Once again the mystery –
Giving is receiving.
An open hand liberates.
[photo by Thomas Hawk per cc 2.0]
For the gift of time,
The gift of timing
I give thanks.
For the moment, at least,
There is no hurry,
There is only now.
Somehow I must still my heart
Somehow, I wake to you.
I feel the whisper of your embrace,
And long to know it deeply.
I come, though I know not how.
I release myself to you,
And gratefully receive you, in return.
I am a single stitch
That helps to hold creation
To the heart of Christ.
In this, in this –
I find my hope and purpose.
Somehow it makes a difference.
And I am glad.
[photo by Cara Louise Horne per cc 2.0]
The chief thing that separates us from God is the thought that we are separated from Him. – Thomas Keating
As I wake to this new day,
As I yawn and rub my eyes and peer into the breaking dawn,
I begin to see the edges of things, coming clear.
And, today, there is a subtle shift in vision.
I begin to see the heart of things, as well.
Within the frame of morning,
I begin to see a shimmer of your presence.
I begin to imagine your smile upon the dawn,
Your fingers brushing the edges of the grass,
Your hope rising upon the horizon.
And it is here that I begin to know
That imagination is not mere fantasy
But the early sign of the gift of entrainment
The fruit of practice
The pattern behind the patterning.
Rote practice is not the key,
But a continual turning of the heart toward you,
The intention – not to do the work, but to be open to it –
Has begun its work in me.
And that is what dawns on me this morning.
I am so grateful.
[photo used with permission from Mike Bizeau’s beautiful blog – nature has no boss]
My true self –
The self I long to meet
The one where I fit nicely in my own skin
And equally well in my community,
As if we are suited to one another
The one where goodness is not fake
But a natural expression of a maturing soul,
And where continuing growth is the sure future
The one where I can embrace the flawed reality
That is both where I live and who I am,
And still find peace and beauty … and firm hope
The one where I dare to join the dance
That is the world’s becoming,
The very echo and response to the Holy Three.
This is the self you call me to be.
This is the self I will become.
This is the dance of life.
[photo by Karl-Ludwig Poggemann per cc 2.0]
[thanks to Richard Rohr’s daily meditations]