Heart murmuring

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  Alex Markovich, Photographer

As we listen to our heart we hear our spirit speak.  Our heart’s life is of the spirit.  The murmuring heart is constantly in dialogue speaking to us of things not known by the mind. These very moments often leave a marked impression, but may remain hidden and mysterious.

We are body and spirit. Yet so many of us do not engage in an ongoing relationship with the spirit.  We talk about spiritualities and religions as things out there. We objectify and distance them. Yet the spirit is the life force of the body.

We must learn to be sensitive to the spirit within us, to respond and embrace the realitity of the unique way in which each of us come into being in both body and spirit. This is our wholeness; the union and acceptance of our undivided unity of spirit.

Daily we cultivate this personal relationship with our spirit and come to recognise and relate to the spiritual.   God in all cultures is Spirit.  This Spirit is the dynamic life of creation within all matter.   In this Spirit we live and move and have our being.

Most people have knowingly  had a spiritual experience, or several. These often remain dormant memories whose significance and beauty is forgotten.

I find people have difficulty in expressing the spiritual dimension of their life. The qualities of mystery and the immaterial is somewhat confounding or disarming. Without sharing, understanding and support, our interior experiences and spiritual knowing are not realised in our lives and their very gift of our capacity for transcendence unrecognized.

We may infer from a sensing, an intuition or inspiration, a flow of creativity, a serendipitious happening, that these are but adjuncts to our material world.  At another level, uncertainty may give rise to fears, scepticism and denial of the spiritual life.

Thus we conform to an outer material world without integrating our spirit. We dismiss the core of our being, which is spirit, and deny our capacity to transcend a corporeal existence.  This disconnect leaves a void of personal meaning. Accepting this spirit within, enables us to embrace a greater wholeness of our self and a greater reconciliation of our life within creation.

“Deep within myself, and because I have felt its power, I know that a real and specifically new wind has just breathed over the sould of man.   … To share in a hallowed unity, even for a split second, is enough to enable us to glimpse the future promised to our species, and to find the road that will lead us to it.”

Pierre Teilhard De Chardin’s essay “The Promised Land”

Do not be afraid to acknowledge the Spirit at work in you, gifting you with all good things, guiding you, showing you the way and speaking to your heart truth that sets you free.  As you acknowledge that you too have known this power on you,  you too have felt this mystery move in your life –  continue to let these truths be the foundation of your search for integration of the body and spirit in one with the Holy Spirit.

On the eve of the feast of Pentecost in the Christian calendar, we are encouraged to accept the Holy One in the Spirit.   Accept God’s gift to each one of us as the Spirit.   The Spirit of God is Holy  —   be not afraid  —     Let the Spirit of God come to you and grow in you that you may know how wonderfully you are made.  Let the mystery become a divine wonder… a daily gift of your life  –   a life of spirit -lived personally and openly.

Fan into a flame the truth of your lived experiences of the spirit. Let your life in the Spirit truly be at the heart of what leads you and guides you on your.  You are spiritual.

Our ability to be aware, to be attentive, to see and to hear and to intuit-all come more fully alive when they flow out of a quiet, receptive heart.  And so, our participaton in on-gloing creation is predicated on our commitment ot silence-to cultivating a listening heart and a peaceful spirit.

Judy Cannato, ” Radical Amazement”. Notre Dame, Indiana. 2006.

Our heritage is rich in traditions of spiritual awakening and guides.  Each one is called to come into this fullness of the Life in the Spirit of God. Spiritual wholeness and vitality grows within us, and within healthy spiritual communities. We are made for communion in one spirit.


Image Zen Postcard 7  by Russian Photographer Alex Markovich Photo Art WordPress, used with permission.

 

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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.

STAY WITH THEM

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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

 

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.

By


 

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

COMPASSION FATIGUE

2016-03-20 copyright creative-spiritual-directions.com. compassion

“Compassion fatigue”   – seems to me to be incomprehensible – even reprehensible.  Surely the heart does not stop caring.

How do we come to a place of “compassion fatigue”?  What is it that has shifted from caring in a tangible way, to complacency or even seeming powerless?

We become desensitized to that which would make our heart mourn or move us with compassion.  As I pondered  – I understood from a giant billboard SELF STORAGE.

As as a human rights worker, I was confronted by the term “compassion fatigue” from supporters who no longer wanted to see images of victims of human rights abuse.  The rawness of the constant suffering had become too difficult to bear.

I am not talking here of exhaustion. I understand we cannot stay in the front line of caring without support, care and respite. There is a time and a season for us.

I am talking of a turning point – a time at which we harden our hearts and deny our suffering world.  We deny our own capacity to suffer with our selves and others.  We deny extending ourselves to be compassionate to one another.

When people talk of agencies “they no longer trust” or when working with youth in desperate life situations – I am “warned” not to give too much.   Yesterday  I heard people decrying those who were speaking compassionately on behalf of the refugees.

Do we decry the voice of the poor?

Can we have ever had enough compassion?  How do we grow in mercy and compassion?

As Isaiah says let our hearts be broken…

that we may  weep with those who are weeping.

Rilke’s words talk of our God – a God of mercy and compassion -suffering with us today.

You are the poor one, you the destitute.

You are the stone that has no resting place.
You are the diseased one
whom we fear to touch.
Only the wind is yours.
You are poor like the spring rain
that gently caresses the city;
like wishes muttered in a prison cell, without a world to hold them;
and like the invalid, turning in his bed to ease the pain.
Like flowers along the track, shuddering
as the train roars by, and like the hand
that covers our face when we cry – that poor.
Yours is the suffering of birds on freezing nights,
of dogs who go hungry for days.
Yours the long sad waiting of animals
who are locked up and forgotten.
You are the beggar who averts his face,
the homeless person who has given up asking;
you howl in the storm.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke


from  “ The Book of Poverty and Death, III,18″   
Translated by Anita Barrows and Joana Macy, Riverhead Press, 1996 p.141

Seasonal Fruit

Deviant Art quaddie147289142
Week 4 Lent
Today’s Readings: Wisdom 2:1, 12-22 Jn 7:1-2, 10.25-30

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?

Are we bearing good fruit in all seasons?


Photo image used with permission from Quaddie: http://www.deviantart.com/art/Icing-on-the-Top-147289142