Would God …

Would God be diminished if I lived a question….

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What would happen if I pursued God?

If I filled my pockets with openness,
Grabbed a thermos half full of fortitude,
And crawled into the cave of the Almighty
Nose first, eyes peeled, heart hesitantly following
Until I was face to face
With the raw, pulsing beat of Mystery?
What if I entered and it looked different
than anyone ever described?
What if the cave was too large to be fully known,
Far too extensive to be comprehended by one
person or group,
Too vast for one dogma or doctrine?
Would I shatter at such a thought?
Perish from paradox or puzzle?
Shrink and shrivel before the power?
Would God be diminished if I lived a question
Rather than a statement?
Would I lose my faith
As I discovered the magnitude of Grace?
Oh, for the willingness to explore
To leave my tiny vocabulary at the entrance
And stand before you naked
Stripped of pretenses and rigidity,
Disrobed of self-righteousness and tidy packages,
Stripped of all that holds me at a distance from you
And your world.
Strip me, O God,
Then clothe me in curiosity and courage.

This poem   “Stripped by God” © 2007 by Rev. Cynthia Langston Kirk  is quoted in   “Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity”.   Her blog and web link are here.

I am really interested in Cynthia Langston Kirk.  A poet, story teller, fabric artist and an inspiring Christian minister involved in Piecing Stories Ministries and a retreat leader. (Wow that ticks lots of my boxes.)   I find that poetry is a way of praying and saying deep things from the heart.  It connects my fragmentary intuitions with some tessalated thoughts and makes new patterns from my heart, my prayer and my way of being and breathing life.    I travel through poetry touching the surface and the cracks of things and allow myself to hear new sounds which are resonating in some deeper place within.

I was introduced to her work through the Conference of Spiritual Directors on the occasion of their 30th Anniversary.   As a member I attended the recent national gathering and support their great work and bless them.

You might be interested in exploring the book –

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Breath of Life

First century Aramaic Lord’s Prayer  translation into English

www.thenazareneway.com Aramaic Lord's prayer

 Abwûn –

O cosmic Birther, from whom the breath of life comes,         

who fills all realms of sound, light and vibration.

May Your light be experienced in my utmost holiest.   

Your Heavenly Domain approaches.

Let Your will come true in the universe (all that vibrates)

just as on earth (that is material and dense).

 Give us wisdom (understanding, assistance) for our daily need,

detach the fetters of faults that bind us, (karma) like we let go the guilt of others.

Let us not be lost in superficial things (materialism, common temptations),

but let us be freed from that what keeps us off from our true purpose.

From You comes the all-working will, the lively strength to act,

the song that beautifies all and renews itself from age to age.

 

–  Amên  

Sealed in trust, faith and truth. (I confirm with my entire being)

 

The fresh offers us so much. When we have a new perspective we often find new insight.  I find the translation of the Lord’s Prayer above is full of such beauty and depth.

Meditation, contemplation, theology, cosmology and science have opened us to a wider gaze and sensitivity to our place in the universe and our connection and belonging.   We are opened to respond to an ever changing image of our notion of God and rethink our narratives of a God who cannot be contained, nor conceived or imagined, yet is present to us in all of creation.

Our fresh daily bread comes to us from new sources of life daily. We are nourished from the mystery of a dynamic life ever emerging. Present day revelation unfolds new wonders of creation itself and sources of divine emmanation. I am inspired by the ways in which we experience the Spirit at work in an ever expanding universe and in the hidden presence of the Word.

We are truly blessed, that in our day, we are coming to know the universe story as an unfolding mystery of transformation over 13 billion years.  We are awakening to new realities and connections with a meta story.

May this translation of the first century Aramaic Lord’s Prayer bring to you light and communion with all that we are as children of the Cosmic Creator and assist each of us to expand and grow in the life of grace unfolding.


 

Further background to the context of this and other  Aramaic translations and history of the Lord’s Prayer visit the highlighted website.

Perishable earth

David Steindl-Rast walking
Brother David Steindle-Rast OSB 
 GRATEFULNESS AND UNIVERSAL BELONGING

In this ‘Earth Week’ I wanted to link gratefulness to our perishable earth and so I am sharing the wisdom of Brother David Steindle-Rast OSB.

I have been listening to his TED talk of late and his ‘On Being’ interview.  You may be one of the 6 million people who have already heard this talk. If so I hope you still enjoy it as you follow his suggestions of Stop, Listen and Go..

The second talk, with link below,  is from last year’s talk “Faith, Mysticism and Prayer”.

His talk are quite inspiring. He discusses our place in the universe and our immersion in the mystery of all life.    In his words we are ‘enfleshed’ in the universe. He talks about our breath being the spirit of creation within us and within all creation. He focus all things around an attitude and intention to gratefulness which he sees at the heart of our human development and which affirms and connects us in our personal sense of belonging.  has been involved in inter-religious dialogue for decades and I find his talks heartening as we see the bigger picture he paints for us.

I hope you may find time to listen to each of the talks.  The Ted talk is about 13 minutes.

Finally I am including the text of a poem by Rilke which is Brother David refers to as one he finds most poignant.

Rainer Maria Rilke

“we are continually overflowing toward those who preceded us,
toward our origin, and toward those who seemingly come after us. …
It is our task to imprint this temporary, perishable earth into ourselves so deeply,
so painfully and passionately,
that its essence can rise again “invisibly,” inside us.
We are the bees of the invisible.
We wildly collect the honey of the visible,
to store it in the great golden hive of the invisible.”

 

 Faith, mysticism and prayer  is accessed  from Religion and Ethics Newsweekly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

STAY WITH THEM

copyright creative-spiritual-directions.com   homeless
THE FACE OF HOMELESSNESS

I have heard it said  ‘Let them Stay’….  but this is not enough.

I have heard my heart say…Stay with them.

What I know as I have wondered and pondered over these days, there is no answer outside of us. We are the ones they look to. We are their hope. We hold within us the difference they need now.  Whoever they are.  I say  Stay with them. Let us not leave them.

All meditation of presence is nothing if we cannot abide with the other.

All our voice …  gestures –  empty intoning chants and gongs  – if we have not the love to stay and be with those who this day want us to be present to their plight…whatever it is and whoever is present to you this day.

Life is about our action and our witness of how have we stayed present to the other.

How did I build and grow in relationship with the other.  Did I go out to the stranger … did I go without those resources they seemed so much to need …   empty…

I am not called to go with the answer, I am called to be the answer.  My heart and faithfulness to my other self is all that is needed.

I was once in a war zone, and heard and saw the cries of the people.   They pleaded with me to tell the world… to tell “America”…they thought if only they “knew”, things would change.  Although I felt convicted I needed to make a difference, in being a change agent, all my responses were to me of little comfort or assurance.  Although having some capacity;  I knew not how.  I knew I was bereft and powerless. But I was still open.

When I met with a priest and community elder very early the next morning…  he came to me…He put his arm around my shoulder and embraced me gently and simply said…’if they wanted to be here they would be…if X organisations wanted to be here, they would be.’    You are here.  Stay now.  You are with us … You came to us as you are.  This is enough.

I felt Jesus with me in that moment and that assuring touch.

And so Jesus simply says in the face of no answers,  in the face of insurmountable obstacles, distress and unfathomable circumstances: “Stay with them….  Go out and meet them.  Go out beyond yourself and enter their world.   Abide with them.”

They want to be known at heart with you. One with you.  Share your bread of life.  Share the little you have with them.  Go forth.  It is enough.   You are enough.

Do not lobby and posture on how to let them stay.

You already have the answer.   It is a matter of the heart … my heart …

Ephphata    be open yourself .  You are enough.  You can go to them.  You can remain in the face of their struggle, with them; present to bear with them.  We make space in our hearts to remain with them.

At the heart of the matter in companioning, spiritual direction and counselling,  in loving as a Christian and a Jew  –  is the imperative  –  go out to the stranger …  make a place for them in our heart.

I do not want to be the clanging bell of meditation, but the silent sitting fully present to, and with my other who is seeking me.  May I be found fully present to the other.

Be not afraid for we are a small light in the darkness and the darkness will not overcome.

Do not worry who goes with you.

You are not alone.  copyright creative-spiritual-directions.com   homeless

Homeless

 

PONDER AND WONDER

daysW

Cartoon used with permission Michael Leunig

Time draws in on us

Maybe we can draw up time   to ponder and wonder

Just maybe it is time    to make time   to have time

Take time to wonder and to ponder

Allow wonder to take you to a new place

Allow it to be   …   in you and with you

Allow a space  where wonder is

and becomes a realm of your reality.

Ponder and Wonder     ….  

graces to be received and felt within.

 

 

HOLY TRIDUUM

creative-spiritual-directions.muse du Louvre.com DESCENT fr cross
“If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”  Jn 14:19

 

Let me descend into your heart.

Descent from the cross.


A triduum is a three-day period of prayer, usually in preparation for an important feast or in celebration of that feast. Triduums recall the three days that Christ spent in the tomb, from Good Friday until Easter Sunday.

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“Descent from the Cross”   ivory 1270 -1280  Muse du Louvre.