Water of Life

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Week 4   Lent Today’s Scriptures: Ezek 47:1-9, 12 Jn 5:1-3, 5-16

The water that God called into being  is at the heart of all that lives.
Mindful of the many ways water affects our lives,
let us pray for our waters and for the life of the world around us.
(silence)
Lord, in Your mercy,
hear our prayer.

We ask your prayers for all people of faith,
and for the transformations in their lives that are marked by the sacredness of water:
at the Red Sea, in the Jordan and the Ganges Rivers,
in ritual baths, in the washing of feet, and in Holy Baptism.
(silence)
Lord, in Your mercy,
hear our prayer.

We ask your prayers for the leaders of nations, corporations, and communities around the world,
that they may exercise wise stewardship over the waters of their lands,
so that all people may have clean water to drink and live free from waterborne diseases. (silence)
Lord, in Your mercy,
hear our prayer.

We ask your prayers for the wisdom to shape creative solutions to conflicts over water
in the dry places of our planet, and for justice and peace in desert lands.
(silence)
Lord, in Your mercy,
hear our prayer.

We ask your prayers for the oceans, seas, rivers, lakes, watersheds, streams,
ponds, deltas, marshes, and swamps of our planet,
for the waters beneath the ground,
and for all creatures that live in the waters of the earth.
(silence)
Lord, in Your mercy,
hear our prayer.

We ask your prayers for all who travel or work at sea or on inland waterways.
(silence)
Lord, in Your mercy,
hear our prayer.

We ask your prayers for all who suffer from too much water
in the destruction of flood, storm, tsunami, and ice;
and for those people and creatures who suffer as the glaciers and ice floes vanish.
(silence)
Lord, in Your mercy,
hear our prayer.

We ask your prayers for all who thirst for water, for health, for love, for wisdom, for God,
that their cups may be filled to overflowing.
(silence)
Lord, in Your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Blessed God, in your wisdom you uphold creation
and renew it again and again.
Help us to see all water as holy water,
and all our concerns as bathed in the living water Christ gives us,
in whose name we pray. Amen.

Extract From The Episcopal Ecological Network.

Quoted with permissions from   http://foodgrainsbank.ca/

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Lacrimarum valle

Week 4 Lent
Today’s Scripture: Sam 15:13 -114, 30; 16:5-13,  Mk 51-20

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“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?”


** lacrimarum valle – latin – Vale of Tears

Quotes obtained from http://www.notable-quotes.com

Winnowed thoughts

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Week 4 Lent  Today’s Readings:  Josh 5:9-12   1 Cor 5:17-21   Lk 15:1-3, 11-32

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.


 

ert of my inertia

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Week 3 Today’s Readings Hosea 5:15-6:6 Lk:18:9-14

You are my call; my peace,

I have known You.

Your peace – sublime reassurance,

rest, acceptance, serenity trust.

 

You have taken me to You  

I chose to be embedded;

enmeshed, felted; immersed and baptised in You.

 

I thank you,        protect me God

in You is my refuge –

haven of  life, of my  security and truth.

 

To You I say    –   ‘You are my Lord’.

My happiness is in none of these sacred spirits of the earth,

nothing satisfies, nothing lasts

but ineffable embracing life and love.

 

Transcent life and light,

e(a)rt  of my inertia.

Spirit to my  spirit,

ineffable constant to my waivering,

serene sublimity to my flailing,

security, tranquility to my tussling,

reassurance to my tarrying.

 

My birthright, fullness, gift, freedom,

unbounded, limitless beyond expectation

I relate to you –   

consumation.

 

The measuring line marks out for me a delightful place,

You are my direction, my dance, my light, my gift,

my vision, my vigour, my process, my flow,

my ert –

ert of my art, You are.

 

Therefore I am being;  human and spirit with You.

You will teach me the path of life,

unbounded joy in Your presence,

forever beside You.

Thou art

Yahweh my inheritance.

 

 

(A refrain echoing from Ps 16) 

Awesome One

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Week 3 Lent Today’s Scriptures Hosea 14:2-10 Mark 12:28-34

I am praying again, Awesome One.

You hear me again, as words

from the depths of me

rush toward you in the wind.

I yearn to be held

in the great hands of your heart”.

 


 

Extract from  “The Book of Hours: Love poems to God” by  Rainer Maria Rilke*

One of my other favourite poems from Rilke is:

“Go to the limits of your longing”.  For recitation click red arrow.

 

To view all the words and other poems please go to:  

http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/Poets/R/RilkeRainerM/Iamprayingag/index.html

 

Recommended Reading:

  “In the Company of Rilke:

Why a 20th-century visionary poet speaks so eloquently to 21st century readers yearning for inwardness, beauty & spiritual connection.”

by Stephanie Dowrick,  Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest. NSW.  2009

“Awesome God” can be found in Rilke’s “Book of Hours” translated by Joanna Macy, Author Anita Barrows.  Riverhead Books, Penguin. NY. 1996.*

Inner sense

Week 3 Lent Today’s Readings: Deut 4:1,5-9 Matt 5:17-19

The-WoesW

Innocence

in a sense

is like incense      ….   innocence…  

it rises up and offers something of its very being

to inner sense

innocence   –   seemingly elusive   yet

my inner sense

in a sense  –  it touches me  …  I behold it,

in a sense – I perceive its vapour,

I am in sense  arising  inner sense

an incense

to my being in innocence.

I wrote this verse as the word ‘innocence’ invited me this morning to ‘feel out’ its dimensions within me. In rising awareness of the work of Michael Leunig – artist, poet, philospher and officially declared Australian Living Treasure in 1999,   I sought out an image and had NO knowledge of what follows.  All within me blossomed as I discovered a gem -an extract follows from:

 “Ideas of Spirituality, Art and Innocence”  by Michael Leunig*:

“Why do I choose to put together this wonderful holy trinity of spirituality, art and innocence?  … The simple truth is that I believe these things are treasures that matter hugely to the health of the individual and society…

I have come to understand my spirituality as an ongoing internal lyrical state of consciousness, semi-consciousness and unconsciousness in which I find meaning, comfort, refuge, inspiration, mystery and strength. …

With spirit, one is able to have and hold many feelings, and live a felt life. The spirit supports and negotiates between our feelings, instincts and intuitions …

I cannot help but think that a rich and confident spiritual life is a form of genius.  …

The spirit lies at the heart of our character and personality; our individual, divine self, which is one of the greatest treasures we will ever have access to. …

Any thoughts of spirituality lead me quite naturally to the idea of art because in my view, and in my experience, art is an aspect or an expression of our individual spiritual reality.

I make the point that mystery is not confusion, rather it is an enchantment of the imagination and spirit. Indeed art is a spiritual project.  …

In essence, spirituality and art are interwoven in their raw searching, in their expression, in their courageous unknowing, in their joy and darkness and in their radiant innocent strength which finds its way into the human heart. …

A direct link to the wondrous, innocent experiences of childhood might, in mature age, be called mature innocence.  … I have found some of my most meaningful, useful and joyous work there. It is my studio within my studio. We might also understand mature innocence as mindfulness.”

I encourage you to visit the site for his full essay given as keynote presentation at 10th Dialogue Australasia Network Conference, 11 April 2015.  http://www.leunig.com.au/ideas/spirituality-art-innocence?showall=1&limitstart=   Words and image provided with gracious courtesy of Michael Leunig.

What is God waiting for?

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Week 3 Lent
Scriptures: Exod 3:1-8,13-15 , 1Cor 10:1-6,10-12 Lk 13:1-9

God is always there for us  …   waiting for our    ………………..

(Your chance here to  put in an answer  ….  what comes to your mind?)

Over these last few weeks of Lent, the children have been singing as part of our liturgy. I always find it uplifting particularly as their songs are so fresh and new to me.

However,  twice lately I have been jarred by the words of a song they sing… and it left me thinking quite seriously….  Each time  I noticed the disturbing affect on me as I read the words and heard them sing:

“God is always there for us…waiting for our crime”.

Do you believe that?   I certainly don’t…  that was the source of my concern.  What sort of a version of God do we have?    Worth  thinking about further I pondered.   Who is your God ?  –  Do we believe in a God of Mercy and Compassion?  After deliberating over the two occasions I raised it with the co-ordinator who agreed to check the typing. I found the unofficial website with lyrics had  this version also.

Still perplexed, I contacted the songwriter  who confirmed indeed the words are ” waiting for our CRY!”

Now the merciful God whom I knew I could turn to has appeared in the song, not the God of judgement and condemnation.

It may be simple, yet so many times little typos like this can be either amusing or misleading.  In this case I am glad to have the children, and the child in me, know that God is waiting for our cries.

May it be in this season of Lent we can keep examining our images of God and discover the truth and depth of Divine Mercy.

The Lord is kind and merciful   …        Psalm 102: vs. 1, 4

The Lord is compassion and love

Slow to anger and rich in mercy