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Entering Holy Week.



Dear Ones,

 

We are entering Holy Week, the final week of this Lenten season, a time when we accompany and are accompanied by Yeshua as he walks towards his death. We stay with our practices of prayer and fasting as a way of cultivating and stabilizing enjoyment as well as repentance and self-examination with the intention of cultivating and stabilizing a climate of welcome within. These practices strengthen our capacity to stand firm with open hearts amidst the events which transpire this week and in our own lives.


We see the capacity to stand firm with open hearts in both Mary Magdalene, Mother Mary, and another Mary who also walked alongside Yeshua, reminding us that he did not traverse this tumultuous week alone. He was accompanied, presenced, witnessed, and held in love by this trinity of Mary's. I wonder if their steadfast companionship and open hearts may even have encircled his human self acting as a reminder to his human self of the reality of James Finley's often quoted words, "If we are absolutely grounded in the absolute love of God that protects us from nothing even as it sustains us in all things, then we can face all things with courage and tenderness and touch the hurting places in others and in ourselves with love." He too must have needed to continually come back to this truth in order to face what was in front of him and continue on.


As we enter this Holy Week, let us live, move and breath this paradox allowing it to sturdy and soften us even more.

 

Holy Week courage and tenderness,

Heather


If you are looking for another place to practice this week, Stillpoint will be offering Contemplative Holy Week Liturgies, you can find out more here.


 

Daily Contemplative Pauses Readings

from last week

Monday, March 18 with Heather


Reading: “Whatever you do in life will be insignificant but it is very important that you do it because you can't know. You can't ever really know the meaning of your life. And you don't need to. Every life has a meaning, whether it lasts one hundred years or one hundred seconds. Every life, and every death, changes the world in its own way. You can't know. So don't take it for granted. But don't take it too seriously. Don't postpone what you want. Don't leave anything misunderstood. Make sure the people you care about know. Make sure they know how you really feel. Because just like that...It could end.” — Ghandi


Chant: and God said I am made whole, by your life, every soul, every soul completes me (words from Hafiz put to chant by Marilyn Scott) 


Tuesday, March 19 with Heather


Breathing: breath in God saying "I love you" to you, breath out saying "I love you" in return (from James Finley) then breath in your human self saying "I love you" to your deepest Self, breath out from your deepest Self saying "I love you" in return


Chant: sink into the taproot of your heart 


Wednesday, March 20th with Heather


Reading:

Earth Teach Me to Remember" by John Yellow Lark, Ute

Earth teach me stillness

as the grasses are stilled with light.

Earth teach me suffering

as old stones suffer with memory.

Earth teach me humility

as blossoms are humble with beginning.

Earth teach me caring

as the mother who secures her young.

Earth teach me courage

as the tree which stands all alone.

Earth teach me limitation

as the ant which crawls on the ground.

Earth teach me freedom

as the eagle which soars in the sky.

Earth teach me resignation/acceptance

as the leaves which die in the fall.

Earth teach me regeneration/renewal

as the seed which rises in the spring.

Earth teach me to forget myself

as melted snow forgets its life.

Earth teach me to remember kindness

as dry fields weep with rain.


Thursday, March 21st with Heather


Reading:Some religious authorities have tried to recognize the divinity of Christ while ignoring the divinity of humanity. They have tried to make Christ different from what may be called human; but by doing so they have not been able to keep the flame alight, for they have covered the main truth that religion had to give to the world, which was that divinity resides in humanity, that divinity is the outcome of humanity, and that humanity is the flower in the heart of which divinity was born as a seed." Hazrat Inayat Khan



Friday, March 22nd with Heather


Reading: "Hope's home is at the innermost point in us, and in all things. It is a quality of aliveness. It does not come at the end, as the feeling that results from a happy outcome. Rather, it lies at the beginning, as a pulse of truth that sends us forth. When our innermost being is attuned to this pulse it will send us forth in hope, regardless of the physical circumstances of our lives. Hope fills us with the strength to stay present, to abide in the flow of the Mercy no matter what outer storms assail us. It is entered always and only through surrender; that is, through the willingness to let go of everything we are presently clinging to. And yet when we enter it, it enters us and fills us with its own life — a quiet strength beyond anything we have ever known." — Cynthia Bourgeault, Mystical Hope



Saturday, March 23rd with Heather


Reading:Lent is an invitation toward whole-heartedness.  The heart is an ancient metaphor for the seat of our whole being—to be whole-hearted means to bring our entire selves before God, our intellect, our emotional life, our dreams and intuitions, our deepest longings.  Many of us feel divided, in internal conflict between what we most desire and how we live our lives.  The ancient monks described the "cave of the heart" as that inner place where we encounter God and wrestle with our inner voices.  Instead of resisting these voices, and dividing ourselves, the desert mothers and fathers invite us to be fully present to them, to create a welcoming space within.  All of our "negative" feelings have something to teach us about ourselves and even about God when we stop running and create room in the cave of our hearts to tend to what is really happening in us. We become aware of our interior dynamics and slowly becoming attuned to the promptings of our inner wisdom and respond to life through this lens, discovering God in each moment both within and without.”

— Christine Valters Paintner 


Chant: 

Help me open my heart, so I can love all that I need to love

Help me open my heart, so I can tend all that I need to tend

Help me open my heart, so I can sense all that I need to sense

Help me open my heart, so I can feel all that I need to feel

Help me open my heart, so I can think all that I need to think

Help me open my heart, so I can tend all that I need to tend

Help me open my heart, so I can love all that I need to love

— adapted from chant Open My Heart by Alexa Sunshine Rose, Sasha Rose, & Aimee Ringle


Sunday, March 24th with Heather


Reading: Mother Mary will "follow along this week, her heart torn apart and yet her faith intact.

We have much to learn from Mary, and she will educate us if we let her. This Holy Week, I’m challenging myself and now I’m challenging you to walk along with Mary through the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus experienced his agony and was arrested, past the prison in which he was jailed, to Pilate’s court where he was unjustly tried, to the pillar at which his flesh was ravaged, up the hill over which he hauled the heavy beam of the Cross, and to Golgotha, where he was brutally murdered. Through all of that, Mary never let her faith waver.

Mary won’t be much mentioned during this week’s readings, but she’ll be there nonetheless. She’ll be present for her Son, but she’ll be there for us, too. . .

When we accompany Mary through this week, she’ll show us how to remain steadfast in our faith even when our universe is shaken. She’ll show us how to cling to God’s will even when we feel abandoned. She’ll show us how to love even when our hearts are being torn apart.

She’ll lead us to the Foot of the Cross and will show us how to await the Resurrection."

— Marge Fenelon


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