For every human to meditate on.


What a historical week here in the United States. There is so much to celebrate and I think everyone agrees that there is a lot of healing ahead of us. There is still a need to allow our hearts to be broken and grieve. We need to make space so that we can move forward together.

At the inauguration Amanda Gordon offered this country a poem that speaks to this and is worthy for every human to meditate on. It is below in the readings and I encourage you to work with it in lectio divina or audio divina this year. Here is a link to listen. Let it continue to speak to you as you listen from your heart.

The contemplative life is also about healing and making space for that which is seemingly contradictory. It is about making our life our prayer so that our stillness and resting in God is not separate from all that we do but rather a pervading posture that infuses everything. Side note, as you continue to engage the practices that help support this aim I want you to know that you are welcome to join the ‘collective contemplative pauses’ for any part of it, even if you aren’t able to join at the start or stay the whole time.

May you be anchored.

May you be surrendered.

May you be connected.

May you be free.

May you trust the invincibility of your own heart.

With love,

Heather

Here are a some of the readings from the ‘collective contemplative pauses’ this week:

“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”

— Martin Luther King

‘Blessing for the Brokenhearted’

“There is no remedy for love but to love more.” — Henry David Thoreau

Let us agree

for now

that we will not say

the breaking

makes us stronger

or that it is better

to have this pain

than to have done

without this love.

Let us promise

we will not

tell ourselves

time will heal

the wound,

when every day

our waking

opens it anew.

Perhaps for now

it can be enough

to simply marvel

at the mystery

of how a heart

so broken

can go on beating,

as if it were made

for precisely this—

as if it knows

the only cure for love

is more of it,

as if it sees

the heart’s sole remedy

for breaking

is to love still,

as if it trusts

that its own

persistent pulse

is the rhythm

of a blessing

we cannot

begin to fathom

but will save us

nonetheless.

—Jan Richardson

‘The Hill We Climb’

When day comes we ask ourselves,

where can we find light in this never-ending shade?

The loss we carry,

a sea we must wade

We've braved the belly of the beast

We've learned that quiet isn't always peace

And the norms and notions

of what just is

Isn’t always just-ice

And yet the dawn is ours

before we knew it

Somehow we do it

Somehow we've weathered and witnessed

a nation that isn’t broken

but simply unfinished

We the successors of a country and a time

Where a skinny Black girl

descended from slaves and raised by a single mother

can dream of becoming president

only to find herself reciting for one

And yes we are far from polished

far from pristine

but that doesn’t mean we are

striving to form a union that is perfect

We are striving to forge a union with purpose

To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and

conditions of man

And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us

but what stands before us

We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,

we must first put our differences aside

We lay down our arms

so we can reach out our arms

to one another

We seek harm to none and harmony for all

Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:

That even as we grieved, we grew

That even as we hurt, we hoped

That even as we tired, we tried

That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious

Not because we will never again know defeat

but because we will never again sow division

Scripture tells us to envision

that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree

And no one shall make them afraid

If we’re to live up to our own time

Then victory won’t lie in the blade

But in all the bridges we’ve made

That is the promised glade

The hill we climb

If only we dare

It's because being American is more than a pride we inherit,

it’s the past we step into

and how we repair it

We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation

rather than share it

Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy

And this effort very nearly succeeded

But while democracy can be periodically delayed

it can never be permanently defeated

In this truth

in this faith we trust

For while we have our eyes on the future

history has its eyes on us