One

the face of the one.jpg

There is one body
and one Spirit,
just as you were called to the one hope of your calling,
one Lord,
one faith,
one baptism,
one God and Father of all,
who is above all
and through all
and in all.

Ephesians 4:4-6

There is one earth,
And one universe, embracing it.

There is one great expanse of beauty,
And of joy, and … overwhelming terror.

There is one, common, suffering,
That invades every soul,
And pulls it low.

There is one deep loneliness,
Born of separation and pulling away.

And there is one deeper reconciliation,
That will not let us go.

There is one cross,
That holds us all in its deadly grip.

There is one life,
Spilled out to enliven all that is.

There is one hope,
That holds me up.

There is one love,
That flows to me,
That flows to you,
That unites us all.

There is
Beneath it all,
Within it all,
One.

 

[photo by Jes per cc 2.0]

Mother’s days

mother 2.jpg

How does a baby know
Just what it takes to grow
From a tiny seed of love
Into a new embodiment of God?

Hubris, it seems, to think
That God, herself, might be held
In such a tiny hand.
Except that the gift of God, herself,
Is surely that – the offer of deep embodiment.

How does a mother know
Just what it takes to love this new life
Into deeper being;
Two weave a love between them
Strong enough to grow them both?

Love, itself, seems to draw the answer forth
Not in words or rules or dictates
But in quiet and joyful responsiveness
To the interplay of coos and cries
And mutual nourishing.

How is it that an old woman knows
Just what it takes to grow into a warm and welcome maturity?
How to let go of previous strengths and struggles
In order to find new channels of life within?

How does she learn the rhythms
Of a loving universe
Even in a season of growing frailty or loss?
How is God, herself, reflected even there?

It is the mystery of universal love,
That leads the way –
The love of all the universe,
The heart, the hope, the truth,
Of all that is.

For God, herself, is mother to us all,
Even as She is born anew in each of us,
In all of us, together,
In all the infinite span of life in Life.

[image modified from photo by Irina Patrascu Gheorghita per cc 2.0]
I was reminded that last Sunday was Mother’s Day in the UK.

the space between the words (2)

whispered wisdomSometimes, 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.

Here’s an addition to this collection, added 1/28/19:

Matt Fitzgerald.png

“Let beauty be beauty, don’t worship it. Let your family be your family, don’t expect everything from them. Let work be work, don’t let it define you. Let our nation be our nation, not something to kill for.

Let life be what it is: a beautiful gift full of trouble, days of joy and contradiction, expiring in our hands. Life isn’t everything. We shouldn’t try to wring eternity from existence.”  – Matt Fitzgerald [as posted here]

Image of Franz Kafka

 

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]

 

Hannah Bonner

 

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]

 

 

Frederick Buechner

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]

 

 

photo of Richard RohrJesus 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]

Anticipatory Gratitude

thanksgiving dinner.jpg

Looking forward to giving thanks.
It is an interesting exercise.
It holds blessings
And hidden challenges.

There is a grace in preparing food
In anticipating the laughter and hugs
In remembering the favorite delicacies
And simple dishes of past years.

Making the cookies that grandma made;
Fixing the ‘right’ dressing
Or the green bean casserole
These are all are a kind of sacrament.

They honor family
And weave a tapestry of memory
And help to keep the place at the table
For those who no longer attend.

But we must remember
In the remembering
To actually be at the meal
With those who actually come.

There is no confection,
There is no perfection
(Even if perfection were possible)
That is better than presence.

So, I pray that I will remember
To attend to the family
More than the meal.
To let the mess become a miracle.

For that is the way of grace.

[photo by terren in Virginia per cc 2.0]