Today is a day of honoring and extending gratitude toward mother in so many different ways. Being a mother is not limited to those who have children (biological or adopted) but is about participating in the generative life giving process, nurturing growth, facilitating becoming, caring for, loving, looking after, protecting at times, developing, extending affection, offering sustenance and nourishment, and empowering another to be themselves and to recognize their interconnectedness with all of life. Of course mothering is much more than even this. Pause and take a moment to listen to what you consider mothering to entail.
We can also honor that this is a day of encompassing the whole breadth of emotional landscape from great celebration and delight to pain and disappointment with everything in between. It is good to acknowledge that it can be a complicated day for so many and for so many reasons and still there is much abundance to focus on. Today we are invited to honor and extend gratitude toward. . . our mothers (natal or not), no matter what our human experience with them may have been, positive or negative. . . our in-bodied or no longer in body biological and spiritual ancestors who have mothered and continue to mother us in some way. . . our Mother Earth who endlessly holds us up. . . God as Great Mother, Christ as our true Mother (as referred to by Julian of Norwich). . . our selves as mothers, regardless of gender orientation.
Bless you this day of celebrating and honoring motherhood,
From a few of the Pauses : Readings From the Pauses
Monday with Heather
“Oh my Lord, nothing could cause us any anxiety if only we knew you well, who are truly magnanimous towards those who put their trust in you. Believe me, my friends, it is a great blessing to realize the truth of this. Only then does one see how truly deceptive all worldly favors are, when one realizes how they impede the soul, be it ever so little, from interior recollection. Who can make you understand this? Not I, assuredly. I admit that I have more reason to do so than anyone else. Nevertheless, I am far from understanding it as I should.”
—Teresa of Avila from The Way of Prayer
Tuesday with Heather
“My prayer for you is that from the great treasures of his beauty, Creator will gift you with the Spirit’s mighty power and strengthen you in your inner being. In this way, the Chosen One will make his home in your heart. I pray that as you trust in him, your roots will go deep into the soil of his great love, and that from these roots you will draw the strength and courage needed to walk this sacred path together with all his holy people. This path of love is higher than the stars, deeper than the great waters, wider than the sky. Yes, this love comes from and reaches to all directions. I Pray that you would feel how deep the Chosen One’s great love is. It is a love that goes beyond our small and weak ways of thinking. This love fills us with the Great Spirit, the one who fills all things. I am praying to the Maker of Life, who, by his great power, working in us, can do far more than what we ask for, more than our small minds can imagine. May his sacred family and the Chosen One bring honor to him across all generations, to the time beyond the end of all days. Aho! May it be so! ”
—Ephesians 3:14-21, First Nations Version: An Indigenous Translation of the New Testament
Wednesday with Joy
“Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner. Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.”
— Tao Te Ching, #9 as translated by Stephen Mitchell
Thursday with Heather
“The personal is no longer confined to the anthropomorphized versions of itself. God is no longer an old man with a beard, and personal prayer does not mean simply plowing through a punchlist of individual petitions. But the personal itself remains. Both Teilhard and Merton draw an identical distinction between an individual and a person. An individual lives for himself alone; a person knows himself or herself as belonging to a greater relational whole. … Because of this cognizance of a greater relational whole, personhood reflects a greater degree of symbiotic unity and hence occupies a higher rung on the evolutionary ladder. The personal is for Teilhard the measure of relationality, and relationality is in turn the measure of manifest consciousness within a system. Therefore, he argues, at the highest level of consciousness must necessarily be more personal, not less so, for ‘higher’ by definition means ‘more relational,’ and ‘more relational’ by definition means more personal. This same wisdom – that the highest manifestation of the divine nature unfolds within a relational (i.e. personal) field – is the mystery at the heart of the Trinity, which now re-emerges as the quintessential mandala at the Christian nondual.” — Cynthia Bourgeault, The Corner of Fourth and Nondual, p. 73
Friday with Heather
“If Eastern versions of nonduality have traditionally tended toward the drop dissolving in the ocean, Western versions have traditionally tended more toward the ocean pouring itself fully into the drop. But even here the metaphor falls short, for it fails to take into account the wider relational field. Picture not just a single drop, but a vast ocean of drops, each one of them holographically containing the entire ocean. And now picture this ocean not as the Sargasso Sea but as the Gulf Stream, surging powerfully forward, destination unknown, propelled by its own mysterious inner current. That would be at least a beginning approximation of nonduality in Western mode.”
— Cynthia Bourgeault, The Corner of Fourth and Nondual
Saturday with Catherine
I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.
I want to free what waits within me
so that what no one has dared to wish for
may for once spring clear
without my contriving.
If this is arrogant, God, forgive me,
but this is what I need to say.
May what I do flow from me like a river,
no forcing and no holding back,
the way it is with children.
Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,
these deepening tides moving out, returning,
I will sing to you as no one ever has,
streaming through widening channels
into the open sea.
— Rainer Maria Rilke