In the philosophy of the poet – love ushers forth from a well of wisdom. From the contemplative heart we receive lived wisdom as from the sage.
We listen to our journey as it has been lived through their lives. Their truths are our truths – in shadows and in light. They speak of what might have been; the seen and the unseen. They birth in us new ways of saying, of being, of naming and of seeing.
David Whyte explores the Poetry of Compassion in the recording below. In it he talks of the inner journey, and the search to find your own way. He explores our capacity to embrace all of self, including our darker side and grief. He brings gentle connections to, as he says, “restore our personal innocence” and be compassionate with ourselves.
By recitation of poetic works from Mary Oliver and Pablo Neruda, and his own poem – “The Well of Grief” – he evokes and opens for us a deep relationship to the words and imagery of the inner journey.
This recording is 37 min.duration, but may be stopped at short intervals between various poems. I highly recommend the full recording on the site below.
However, you may choose to listen in intervals of five minutes or so.
David Whyte visiting Australia April 24 – May 3 http://www.davidwhyte.com/
I am noticing how I have moved the page axis towards creation a little more lately -thanks to a blog by Dylan Raines – campaigning for people in desperate need of water. (I like the pun in his name and life call! 🙂 God has a sense of humour! too ).
Picking up on his blog stimulated my focus over the last few days in prayers for water and Si Laudate.
‘Inspiring’ is not too big a word. But is a “handsome” word.
I like it because it is the infilling of the Spirit moving in us as we listen. Consequently, our actions are in response to the promptings which we do not let fall into fallow ground.
What is spiritual direction if it is not listening in our daily life to what the Spirit is saying and responding. “If today you hear his voice harden not your heart” constantly reverberates in me.
and Ephphata…. the Aramaic word – be open.
What strikes me about Dylan’s “campaigning” is the vigour and conviction which he brings to it.
Each of us is called: to love God and our neighbour – with all our heart, with all our mind and all our being/soul. (Matt 22.35)
There is no confusion in this. To live in the way of passion is to live a life of compassion. With passion, we live with suffering; we live in the embrace of self and others in the true fullness of life. Passion literally means suffering. The fire of passion is fuelled by love of God and others. Love suffers in compassion for the other. May it be manifest in our lives.
A reflection may be – “By their fruits you shall know them” (Matt 7:16).
Which spirit are we listening to and what fruit is it bearing right now?
“Laudate Si” provides a new platform for dialogue in the world and a new commissioning for the church.
I am convicted by Pope Francis’ treatment of relationships between poverty of heart and matter, technology, greed, individualism, consumerism, real common good and ethical horizons.
Our intimate connectedness with all creation in space and time brings a new perspective to our ethics and behaviour.
Moral reflection calls us all to ecological conversion.
Ecological theology crystalises moral accountability in the light of connections between injustice and exploitation.
It contrasts the sacrament of creation with sacrilege in the degradation and destruction of the environment, species and human dignity and integrity.
Pope Francis states: “This conversion calls for a number of attitudes which together foster a spirit of generous care, full of tenderness.
First it entails gratitude and gratuitousness, a recognition that the world is God’s loving gift, and that we are called quietly to imitate his generosity in self-sacrifice and good works.”
He calls us to take seriously our responsibilities as custodians and kin in the sacred universe “stemming from our faith and capacities”, to examine and amend our lifestyle and become educators and activists in a world in need.
Elizabeth Johnson says:
“This perspective brings social justice and ecological care into a tight embrace.”…
“Love, as Jesus enfleshed and enacted it, is the meaning encoded at the heart of the universe itself.
The loving God’s original and ultimate intent is fullness of life – not just for a slice of the world – but for all, including poor human beings and all living creatures.”
Ongoing destruction of God’s good earth, bears the mark of deep sinfulness.”
Pope Francis. Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home. An Encyclical Letter on Ecology and Climate. St. Pauls Publ., Vatican City, 2015. Aust. Edition. p.97
Quote by Elizabeth Johnson, author of “The Cosmos: An Astonishing Image of God”. Published in Origins, Vol.12/96, Sept.
‘I require a You to become. In becoming I, I say You. All actual life is encounter.’
‘The Thou encounters me by grace — it cannot be found by seeking. But that I speak the basic word to it is a deed of my whole being, is my essential deed.’
P O E T W R I T E R T H E O L O G I A N S C H O L A R
P H I L O S O P H E R
I wish to introduce new footholds for the spiritual journey. Whilst we may feel the spiritual defies our attempts to express our inner sensing, or grasp the ineffable; Martin Buber’s life works exhort us to embrace our relationship with the spirit, as the essence of the journey.
“When two people relate to each other authentically and humanly, God is the electricity that surges between them.”
His many works give us a new dialogue of inclusive relationship between human and other … Most particularly he speaks of the sacred relationship of “I and Thou”.
“Spirit is not in the I but between I and You. It is not like the blood that circulates in you but like the air in which you breathe. Man lives in the spirit when he is able to respond to his You. He is able to do that when he enters into this relation with his whole being. It is solely by virtue of his power to relate that man is able to live in the spirit.”
Being consciously engaged with our spiritual life centres us in our full humanity.
“Power and Love” by Martin Buber
I shall concern myself anew about the boundary
Between the love-deed-Yes, and the power-deed-No
And pressing forward honour reality.
We cannot avoid
Cannot escape the compulsion
To afflict the world,
So let us, cautious in diction
And might in contradiction, Love powerfully.’
‘As we live, we grow and our beliefs change. They must change. So I think we should live with this constant discovery. We should be open to this adventure in heightened awareness of living. We should stake our whole existence on our willingness to explore and experience.’
These quotes by Martin Buber were retrieved on 8.3.2016 from https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/539106-ich-und-du
ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS REFERENCED ARE:
" I & Thou" by Martin Buber Walter Kaufmann translator) NY: Charles Scribner 1970
"Martin Buber : An Intimate Portrait" by Aubrey Hodes, Viking Press 1971
“Let your hearts be broken, not your garments torn”. Joel 2:13
If you be drawn to a quiet place of hidden truths and reflective shadows, be not afraid.
“Receive the storm that repentence brings. Let the holy winds toss you to and fro.
You will be awakened to new depths as you wrestle with the life forces within and what seems like violence at first will lead you gently into the eye of God where all is calm and quiet like the eye of a hurricane.”
Quote from: “A Tree full of Angels: Seeing the Holy in the Ordinary” by Macrina Wiederkehr. OSB.
“Sacrifice to God is a broken spirit,
A humbled contrite heart you will not spurn.” Ps 51:17
For you shall find the inner truth of who you are to God and who God is to you.
“O God help me to believe the truth about myself – no matter how beautiful it is!”
Quote from: “Seasons of the Heart” by Macrina Wiederkehr. OSB. (Order of St. Benedict) Religious, author, poet, spiritual director.
Highly recommended further reading: http://macrinawiederkehr.com/ and details of her books and articles. Her lenten blog is titled: “To what are you nailed?”
We are all called to be winnowers… to cast aloft our dreams and thoughts, to winnow with the Spirit. Discernment, like winnowing, is a gift which enables us to sift the motives of our heart; to raise up our inner most thoughts and find the wisdom of our way.
Ernest Larkin helps us appreciate it. He says:
“Discernment has two focuses: process and problem.
It is a process insofar as it is progressive awareness of the movements of the spirits in our counsciousness. …
The “spirits” are thoughts, desires, and affective moods, which are the telltale signs of the Holy Spirit or opposing influences. …
Discernment is mindfulness, recollection, centredness. It is being aware of what is going on spiritually.”
In this season of Lent, in the Christian tradition, we are called to look inward and examine our hearts and practices, in the light of God’s word. It is a particular time in which we turn our attention to the questions of our heart and let ourselves explores some shadows.
In the silence of our hearts we may let some of the bigger questions arise … What is the best I can do at this time?
Can I explore more deeply choices available to me and be open to new directions or possibilities?
Larkin continues in a very practical way, noting process and problem work together:
“Discernment as problem solving is interpreting the spirits in order to determine God’s will. Where are these feelings and sentiments tending?
Are they moving the person toward or away from God?
What behaviour and choices are they suggesting?
Discernment is concerned … with the trajectory or orientation. Where are they pointing?
We are called to live beyond rote rules and in accord with God’s particular will for us.
God’s project for me is that I become the unique person I was created to be. Discernment is the tool for the process.” *
It takes courage and support to look at our shadows, to explore our choices and to choose growth. A spiritual director or Christian companion is invaluable in being there for you to carry your thoughts and dreams through the process of discernment.
Quoted extracts from “What to Know about Discernment” by Ernest E. Larkin. O. Carm
Published in Review for Religious, 2001. pp.162-3. Published Society of Jesus St. Louis. Missouri. US Central and Sth Province. Archives can be accessed . through http://cdm.slu.edu/cdm/ref/collection/rfr/id/559
Recommended Reading:“Silent Presence”, Ernest Larkin. Dimension Books. N Jersey. 2000.