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Readings from the pauses January 1st — 13th.



Daily Contemplative Pause Readings

Monday, January 1st with Henry

"Come, come, whoever you are, wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving.

This is not a caravan of despair.

It doesn't matter that you've broken your vow a thousand times, still come, and yet again, come."

— Rumi

 

Tuesday, January 2nd with Lacey 

“It’s about exchange all the way. Everything takes place against and in a backdrop, a dynamic relational field, in which exchange is its lifeblood. And the final end product of this continuous vortex of exchange, of giving, of receiving, of dynamism, the final product of exchange is abundance. The final product of it is abundance. A sense of graciousness, of the fullness pressed down and running over the Divine Love, of the Divine Mercy.”

— Cynthia Bourgeault

 

Wednesday, January 3rd with Chris

"For A New Beginning" by John O'Donohue

 

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,

Where your thoughts never think to wander,

This beginning has been quietly forming,

Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

 

For a long time it has watched your desire,

Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,

Noticing how you willed yourself on,

Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

 

It watched you play with the seduction of safety

And the gray promises that sameness whispered,

Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,

Wondered would you always live like this.

 

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,

And out you stepped onto new ground,

Your eyes young again with energy and dream,

A path of plenitude opening before you.

 

Though your destination is not yet clear

You can trust the promise of this opening;

Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning

That is at one with your life's desire.

 

Awaken your spirit to adventure;

Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;

Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,

For your soul senses the world that awaits you.  

 

Thursday, January 4th with Lacey

Our Secret Entry

 

What is our secret entry

into Your heart?

 

We find it on the path of

letting go of what we

 

know nothing of knowing

beyond every notion of love,

 

and from light enter

the dark only to find

 

ourselves there, ever

one with You.

 

Friday, January 5th with Catherine

“At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;

Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,

But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,

Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,

Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,

There would be no dance, and there is only the dance."

— T. S. Eliot, The Four Quartets, Burnt Norton, II.. 

 

Saturday, January 6th with Chris

"Tuning Fork" by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer 

There is, perhaps you’ve felt it,

a moment when the day falls away

and your name falls away and

everything you thought you knew

falls away and for a moment

you know yourself only

as whatever it is

that continues—

your whole body abuzz

with the eternity of it—

and you quiver

as if struck by the great hand

of what is true,

becoming pure tone,

more vibration than flesh,

a human-shaped resonator

tuned to the frequency

of life itself,

and though later you might try

to dissect what happened,

in that moment you’re too abloom

to wonder how or why,

you simply are

this ecstatic unfolding

knowing the self as I am,

so alive and so infinite

you tremble like a song.

 

Sunday, January 7th with Tom

“In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all these people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like waking from a dream of separateness, of spurious self-isolation in a special world. . . . This sense of liberation from an illusory difference was such a relief and such a joy to me that I almost laughed out loud. . . . I have the immense joy of being man, a member of a race in which God Himself became incarnate. As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now that I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun. Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach, the core of their reality, the person that each one is in God’s eyes. If only they could all see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time. There would be no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, no more greed. . . . But this cannot be seen, only believed and ‘understood’ by a peculiar gift.”

 

Monday, January 8th with Heather

“There is in all visible things an invisible fecundity, a dimmed light, a meek namelessness, a hidden wholeness. This mysterious Unity and Integrity is Wisdom, the Mother of all, Natura naturans. There is in all things an inexhaustible sweetness and purity, a silence that is a fount of action and joy. It rises up in wordless gentleness and flows out to me from the unseen roots of all created being, welcoming me tenderly, salut. ing me with indescribable humility. This is at once my own being, my own nature, and the Gift of my Creator's Thought and Art within me, speaking as Hagia Sophia, speaking as my sister, Wisdom.

I am like all [human]kind awakening from all the dreams that ever were dreamed in all the nights of the world. It is like the One Christ awakening in all the separate selves that ever were separate and isolated and alone in all the lands of the earth. It is like all minds coming back together into awareness from all distractions, cross-purposes and confusions, into unity of love.”

— Thomas Merton, Hagia Sophia

 

Tuesday, January 9th with Heather

 “The Sun bums in the sky like the Face of God, but we do not know [God's] countenance as terrible. [God's] light is diffused in the air and the light of God is diffused by Hagia Sophia.

We do not see the Blinding One in black emptiness. [God] speaks to us gently in ten thousand things, in which [God's] light is one fulness and one Wisdom.

Thus [God] shines not on them but from within them. Such is the loving-kindness of Wisdom.”

— Thomas Merton, Hagia Sophia

 

Wednesday, January 10th with Heather

 “All the perfections of created things are also in God, and therefore [God] is at once Father and Mother. As Father [God] stands in solitary might surrounded by darkness, At Mother [God's] shining is diffused, embracing all [God's] creatures with merciful tenderness and light. The Diffuse Shining of God is Hagia Sophia. We call her [God's] "glory." In Sophia [God's] power is experienced only as mercy and as love.”

— Thomas Merton, Hagia Sophia

 

Thursday, January 11th with Heather

 “Perhaps in a certain very primitive aspect Sophia is the unknown, the dark, the nameless Ousia. Perhaps she is even the Divine Nature, One in Father, Son and Holy Ghost. And perhaps she is in infinite light unmanifest, not even waiting to be known as Light. This I do not know. Out of the silence Light is spoken. We do not hear it or see it until it is spoken. In the Nameless Beginning, without Beginning, was the Light.

We have not seen this Beginning. I do not know where she is, in this Beginning. I do not speak of her as a Beginning, but as a manifestation.

Now the Wisdom of God, Sophia, comes forth, reaching from "end to end mightily." She wills to be also the unseen pivot of all nature, the center and significance of all the light that is in all and for all. That which is poorest and humblest, that which is most hidden in all things is nevertheless most obvious in them, and quite manifest, for it is their own self that stands before us, naked and without care.”

— Thomas Merton, Hagia Sophia

 

Friday, January 12th with Catherine

'A Ritual to Read to Each Other' by William Stafford

 

If you don't know the kind of person I am,

and I don't know the kind of person you are

a pattern that others have made may prevail in the world,

and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

 

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,

a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break

sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood

storming out to play through the broken dyke.

 

And as elephants parade holding each elephant's tail,

but if one wanders, the circus won't find the park,

I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty

to know what occurs and not recognize the fact.

 

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,

a remote, important region in all who talk:

though we could fool each other, we should consider -

lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

 

For it is important that awake people be awake,

or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;

the signals we give - yes or no, or maybe -

should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.

 

Saturday, January 13th with Lacey

You are the future,

the red sky before sunrise

over the fields of time.

 

You are the cock’s crow when night is done,

you are the dew and the bells of matins,

maiden, stranger, mother, death.

 

You create yourself in ever-changing shapes

that rise from the stuff of our days –

unsung, unmourned, undescribed,

like a forest we never knew.

 

You are the deep innerness of all things,

the last word that can never be spoken.

To each of us you reveal yourself differently:

to the ship as coastline, to the shore as ship.

― Rainer Maria Rilke, II,2 Book of Hours

 

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