I am encouraged by the spiritual deepening happening in our world. Many people are seeing the need to move beyond our usual ways of operating and are looking to enlarge themselves. People everywhere are doubling their efforts in gathering to meditate, pray and wake up. This is but one of many beautiful responses to all that is going on.
At the same time, I would imagine that many of you are tired of the intensity of the circumstances in our midst. With Covid-19 cases rising, things are opening up and then closing down, opening up and closing down. Life does not look anything like it did just a year ago and we continue to move steadily into the unknown. Now we are heading into the holidays and having to navigate this new territory. We continue to be engulfed in an ecology of systemic injustice and inequity. And in the U.S. our presidency is still in limbo.
In our pause this morning we named some of the things that we are aware of within ourselves and within our world. There was an acknowledgment of the reality of internal and external deaths, waiting in this liminal space, and a reorganization and reprioritization taking place in the lives of individuals as well as the collective. There was also an acknowledgment of all there is to be grateful for. There is deep deep suffering. . . And there is deep deep hope, beauty, and joy. . .
We must continue to cultivate our resilience and tend to our beings. This is part of our work right now. Take some time this week to ponder what specific invitations are in front of you. What is this season asking of you right now? To wait in the unknown of something and trust? To re-organize or re-evaluate your life and make some much needed changes? How might you want to enter this holiday season more awake? With more presence? One thing is for sure, the holiday season tends to be very busy. What if we were to approach it with even more reverence for the potent time that it can be? What if we let Thanksgiving be not only a time of giving thanks, but also a time of genuine remorse for the colonization that remains in American soil? What is the Divine calling you to? May your mind be open. May your heart be wide. May your body be at ease. May you re-member yourself.
Here are a some of the readings from this week: “Messenger” by Mary Oliver My work is loving the world. Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird— equal seekers of sweetness. Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums. Here the clam deep in the speckled sand. Are my boots old? Is my coat torn? Am I no longer young, and still half-perfect? Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work, which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished. The phoebe, the delphinium. The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture. Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here, which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart and these body-clothes, a mouth with which to give shouts of joy to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam, telling them all, over and over, how it is that we live forever. “Love alone is sufficient unto itself. It is its own end, its own merit, its own satisfaction. It seeks no cause beyond itself and needs no fruit outside of itself. Its fruit is its use. Love is our deepest identity and what we are created in and for. To love someone “in God” is to love them for their own sake and not for what they do for us. Only a transformed consciousness sees another person as another self, as one who is also loved by Christ, and not as an object separate from ourselves on which we generously bestow favors. If we have not yet loved or if love wears us out, is it partly because other people are seen as tasks or commitments or threats, instead of as extensions of our own suffering and loneliness? Are they not in truth extensions of the suffering and loneliness of God?” - Richard Rohr “Only when love enters the constructal givens of this world and encounters the constrictions of choice, finality, separation, tragedy, betrayal, and heartbreak do its most tender and exquisite facets begin to emerge - qualities such as steadfastness, tenderness, commitment, forbearance, fidelity, and forgiveness. These mature and subtle flavors of love make no sense in a world where everything simply flows. They are cured on the rack of time - and at that, only in the awakened heart willing to consciously bear the conditions as intentional suffering.” - Cynthia Bourgeault "Eagle Poem" by Joy Harjo To pray you open your whole self To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon To one whole voice that is you. And know there is more That you can’t see, can’t hear; Can’t know except in moments Steadily growing, and in languages That aren’t always sound but other Circles of motion. Like eagle that Sunday morning Over Salt River. Circled in blue sky In wind, swept our hearts clean With sacred wings. We see you, see ourselves and know That we must take the utmost care And kindness in all things. Breathe in, knowing we are made of All this, and breathe, knowing We are truly blessed because we Were born, and die soon within a True circle of motion, Like eagle rounding out the morning Inside us. We pray that it will be done In beauty. In beauty. Logion 48 from the Gospel of Thomas Yeshua says... Should two make peace in one house, they could speak the word, "Move!" to a mountain, and it would obey them. “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
With love, Heather