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Readings from the pauses August 28th — September 3rd.

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From the Daily Contemplative Pauses

Monday The times are out of joint, much twisted, recognition lost. Rhythms heaped one upon another and the ground bass heaves and struggles. I lay down athwart, take a fall, come to earth, set down tendrils of finer searching, picking out avenues to underworlds. I reach into the great nerve passway, the ladder between gravity and space-time, a hand lifted up in greeting, and peace. My finer senses spark into fire, impulse by impulse in exact instants matched, separation made null and void, and how I fall is how a tree falls, lying in the pole of force and love, locked in the directions of the planets and stars. These links between our souls are not our own and the mystery of connection outlives us, though love inscrutable is the robe flung over us. The word which springs fully formed from my soul’s deep loins, from blood, from chambers of gut and heart and lungs and mind, from the single eye of higher mind and the crown, the opening of the seven paths of light, becomes as you, beauty of your being, of you too. — Patrick Bond, 21st July 2023 rev 8/8 v 2 United Kingdom Wednesday “Attachment to matter gives birth to passion without an Image of itself because it is drawn from that which is contrary to its higher nature. The result is that confusion and disturbance resonates throughout one’s whole being. It is for this reason that I told you to find contentment at the level of the heart, and if you are discouraged, take heart in the presence of the Image of your true nature. Those with ears, let them hear this.” — Gospel of Mary Magdalene, part of Dialogue 1 Thursday “May we be so blessed as to be finished off by God. swooping down from above, welling up from beneath, to extinguish the illusion of separateness that perpetuates our fears. May we, in having our illusory, separate self slain by God, be born into a new and true awareness of who we really are, one with God forever. May we continue on in this true awareness, seeing in each and every little thing we see, the fullness of God's presence in our lives. May we learn to be someone in whose presence others are better able to recognize God's presence in their lives, so that they, too, might know the freedom of the children of God. Amen. So be it.” — James Finley, The Healing Path: A Memoir and an Invitation Friday “Through contemplative prayer we can keep ourselves from being pulled from one urgent issue to another and from becoming strangers to our own and God's heart. Contemplative prayer keeps us home, rooted and safe, even when we are on the road, moving from place to place, and often surrounded by sounds of violence and war. Contemplative prayer deepens in us the knowledge that we are already free, that we have already found a place to dwell, that we already belong to God, even though everything and everyone around us keeps suggesting the opposite.” — Henri Nouwen, In the Name of Jesus, p. 28-29 Saturday “Each religion has its own way of expressing the divine dimensions of merciful love. In my own Christian tradition the divine mercy flowing into our lives is embodied in our faith in Jesus, in whom it is revealed that God's response to us is to become identified with us as invincibly loved and one with God in the midst of our dilemma. In Christ it is revealed that God does not withhold his love until we measure up to being the awake, caring, and loving persons we are called to be. To the contrary, we see in Christ how God seeks us out, accesses us, and draws us in ever closer to God in the midst of our wayward ways, even as we continue to stumble and fall this way and that. And even as we continue to stumble, we discover that we are falling again and again into the depths of the merciful love of God, which is lifting us up and carrying us forward in unexplainable ways.” — James Finley, The Healing Path, p.162 Sunday with Catherine 'Today in the Market Place' Today in the market place, I will love you in the lemons and caress you in the smooth-skinned apple. I will laugh at the ripples of your kale body and kiss your sweet strawberry lips. I will savor every kind of seed you bear and lick the pomegranate juice dripping from my fingertips with sensuous delight. I will touch you in the firm young carrot and toss you playfully in piles of spinach leaves… I will look at your eyes in new potatoes and hold the slender stalks of green celery with their leafy tops up to the light, admiring each mist-drop still glistening there. Today in the market place, I will love you as I push the cart and sometimes junp on to catch a ride between the oranges and the onions. I will suck the sweetness from your fruit and marvel at the intricacies of your green and purple, red and yellow forms. I will feel your shiny grains of rice, and linger where you bake your bread. I will smell you, touch you, drink you, taste you, kiss you and consume you until you have become a part of me; and when I see you in a human face, my heart will feel delight, my eyes will smile their joy, and I will receive you without one hesitation, for nothing can interrupt our lovemaking. – Dorothy Hunt


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