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Readings from the pauses May 15th — 21st.

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From the Daily Contemplative Pauses

Monday with Heather

Prayer of those who dwell in a monastery of the heart

“Loving God, You who dwell in our hearts, make for us a cave there in which to hear your voice more distinctly, feel your care more tenderly, understand your will more clearly, and come to know your presence at every moment of our lives with new clarity and new courage, with new faith and new urgency.

Enable us to grow in …ways that make us compassionate co-creators of a world in process, creative keepers of the human community, loving listeners to the heartbeat of the world, caring sisters and brothers to its wounded and bringers of peace to a world in distress.

Let us sink into your Word, let us nourish it to life, let it lead us beyond the burdens of the day so that we may become the people you desire us to be. Give us hearts where all may enter in, ears to hear your call, hands to do your will, voices to sing your praise and soul enough to recognize You in everything we do. This we ask through the intercession of all the faithful monastics who have gone before us and through the grace of the living God. Amen.

Tuesday with Heather

"Stand still in that which is pure, after ye see yourselves, and then mercy comes in. After thou seest thy thoughts and temptations, do not think, but submit, and then power comes in. Stand still in that which shows and discovers, and there doth strength immediately come. And stand still in the light, and submit to it, and the other will be hushed and gone, and then contentment comes."

— George Fox, 1652 put to chant by Paulette Meier

Wednesday with Heather

"It’s one thing to say prayers, but it’s something else to be a person of prayerfulness.

Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister explains: Prayerfulness… is the capacity to walk in touch with God through everything in life. It is the internal awareness that God is with me – now, here, in this, always. It is an awareness of the continuing presence of God. It is my dialogue with the living God who inhabits my world in Spirit and in Mind.

Prayerfulness sees God everywhere.

Prayerfulness talks to God everywhere.

Prayerfulness submits the uncertainties of the moment to the scrutiny of the internal eye of God. It trusts that no matter how malevolent the situation may be, I can walk through it unharmed because God is with me…

Prayerfulness is fostered by the simple consciousness that God is. That God is near us at all times. That God is closer to us than the breath we breathe. That God is available, a silence in the midst of chaos, a voice in the midst of confusion, a promise at the center of the tumult.

If I ask and I listen and I reach out and fill my heart with the words of the One who is the Word, then I will be answered. Somehow the path will become clear."

Thursday with Ali

A Morning Prayer

This is the day that lies before me.

These are the hours. This is my life.

I lift myself up to ask for blessing from above

And bow down to ask for the blessings of the earth.

I take these gifts with thanks and open my heart.

I let go of my past and what has gone before

And reach forward to my future.

I turn to those things I am looking for,

But also to those I do not expect and are yet unknown.

May the road of this day be good.

This is my life.

Everything starts with little seeds.

Bring them together and let them grow.

Let them blossom.

But everything that blossoms decays and falls to earth.

Take care of what is inside

And be ready to open up.

All that was yesterday is past.

All of today lies ahead.

Trust your strength and sweetness,

[and your capacity to face it all.]

A new day is awaiting you.

— Paula D’Arcy

Friday with Heather

We have to be candles, burning between hope and despair, faith and doubt, life and death, all the opposites. That is the disquieting place where people must always find us.

And if our life means anything, if what we are goes beyond the monastery walls and does some good, it is that somehow, by being here, at peace, we help the world cope with what it cannot understand.

— William Brodrick

Saturday with Angela

"Old Maps No Longer Work"

I keep pulling it out –

the old map of my inner path

I squint closely at it,

trying to see some hidden road that maybe I’ve missed,

but there’s nothing there now except some well-travelled paths. they have seen my footsteps often, held my laughter, caught my tears.

I keep going over the old map but now the roads lead nowhere, a meaningless wilderness

where life is dull and futile.

“toss away the old map,” she says “you must be kidding!” I reply.

she looks at me with Sarah eyes and repeats “toss it away.

It’s of no use where you’re going.”

“I have to have a map!” I cry, “even if it takes me nowhere. I can’t be without direction,”

“but you are without direction,”

she says, “so why not let go, be free?”

so there I am – tossing away the old map, sadly fearfully, putting it behind me. “whatever will I do?” wails my security “trust me” says my midlife soul.

no map, no specific directions,

no “this way ahead” or “take a left”. how will l know where to go?

how will I find my way? no map! but then my midlife soul whispers “there was a time before maps

when pilgrims travelled by the stars.”

It is time for the pilgrim in me to travel in the dark,

to learn to read the stars that shine in my soul.

I will walk deeper

into the dark of my night.

I will wait for the stars.

trust their guidance.

and let their light be enough for me.

— Joyce Rupp, Potter's Inn


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