RESURRECTION

copyright Richard Campbell ResurrectionGawguun and Birrigun – RESURRECTION            by  Richard Campbell.

In talking* of his paintings aboriginal artist, RICHARD CAMPBELL,  said:

 “We all have a spiritual connection, we’re all brothers and sisters, with the animals, the trees, rivers and rocks, we all belong to one big God – call it Christ, we call it Birrigun, we are all one in God.”  He said: “… that although you are from different nations of the world, it is important to recognise Christ and the connection between Aboriginal spirituality and bible stories.’

The use of the colour blue denotes the sky where the birds are and the water. The dots and die hands in the painting represent the elders and (the Holy Spirit). The journey symbol in the tree trunk denotes how the elders are buried in the roots of the tree and their spirit rises up through the branches. It also signifies Richard’s journey with the Holy Spirit.

The tree is the Murribi tree, for the Gumbayngirr people, all things happened around dial tree. The dead were buried in the tree and the people believed that their spirits of the elders rise through the tree through the brunches and go out into the Dreaming.

When Birrigun died he went into spirit and then into the Dreaming and after his resurrection through the Murribi tree he appeared to his people as the Southern Cross, that is the journey of Birrigun. in Gumbayngirr his name means the southern cross, he was the champion for the Gumbaingirr people like Jesus is to Christians.

When Birrigun’s mother – Gawguun buried him in a Murribi tree it was scaled with a rock so (hat no aminals could get into the burial site. Every year at the same time she would visit the site to mourn him (this is at Arakoon at South West Rocks. NSW, Australia) but one year the elders noticed she did not come. Instead they saw a brolga dancing around the tomb and they believed it was her spirit. Her tears for her son fall into the coolamon which is the feminine symbol because it is the vessel of life, carrying water, food and babies. It is painted with markings just the way that Richard’s father taught him when he was a boy.

 It is important to let people around the world know that there was a religion of spirituality in Australia before we were colonised by white people.” These paintings “show the way Aboriginal people lived – by the law of the land. You’ve got to look after everything; humans, animals, the environment and the land….”(They) show the message of Christ himself: of good will.”

The description of this artwork and aboriginal story comes directly from Australian Catholic Ministries, Lismore 2008 archive.

Richard Campbell was born into the Dhungutti tribe, near Bowraville on the North Coast of NSW, in 1956.  For more information on the artist visit ACM Sydney website.

*Adapted from extract of editorial produced by Elise Dalley from PROJECTeye interviewing the artist.

These images(commissioned for Sydney World Youth Day, 2008), are the property of Aboriginal Catholic Ministries, Sydney. The copyright of these images is retained by the artist and this article is presented under Creative Commons provisions to respect and affirm the work of the artist and his intentions in a particular context.

 

Arise

Created with Microsoft Fresh Paint

 “Look!

though night still covers the earth

and darkness the peoples,

on you Yahweh is rising and over you 

his glory can be seen.”

 

Isaiah 60:1-2


Image copyright - Inset artwork Grief by artistaeli, used with permission.

Mystery

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YOUR POWER SOURCE

Knowingly or unknowingly, we live a faith filled life.

The plumb line cannot measure the depths of mystery in which we exist.

As children and in some cultures  – mystery, the unseen and the life of spirit are the context of our experience.  Reality is, we are each  part of something beyond ourselves and our comprehension.  We swim in the unknown.

“The point of diving in a lake is not immediately to swim to the shore, but to be in the lake. To luxuriate in the sensation of water. You do not work the lake out; it is an experience beyond thought. Poetry soothes and emboldens the soul to accept mystery. “

Quote from the character John Keats in the movie "Bright Star". 

This quote speaks to me of our choices in our attitudes particularly to our spiritual life. Do we want to grab and capture everything, name it, define it and somehow be in control of it?  Is our approach to mystery one of conquest as we seek to taste the mystery ?

There is a wry paradox in trying to explain or detail the eternal ever present mystery. It seems so deficient that we should trade the magnitude of the wonder of the unknowable for a set answers of history, science or doctrine.

Rarefied are the species who wait expectantly on faith and providence –  or enter  the realms of the intangible.  Yet countless scientiests, spiritual wayfarers, contemplatitives and creatives attest to the reality and fullness of a spirit led life.

The mind is but a visitor;
it thinks us out of our world.

Each mind fabricates itself.
We sense it limits,  for we have made them.
And just when we would flee them, you come
and make of yourself an offering.

I don’t want to think a place for you.
Speak to me from everywhere.
Your Gospel can be comprehended
without looking for its source.

When I go toward you
it is with my whole life.

Extract from Rainer Maria Rilke – “Love poems to God”

Be still and know that I am God.

Gradually we become more present and receptive to our God -the One who cannot be named or contained.

To be open to God is to be open to the Mystery of our being, beyond limits.


 

FURTHER READING:   I recommend to you today Dylan Raines who is about to commence a walk for water in 3 days.   …    He has a  most interesting blog on using meditation to make yourself happy.

Extract from Rainer Maria Rilke’s Book of Hours:Love Poems to God    Translated by Anita Barrows & Joanna Macy.

 

Watch and pray

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5th Week of Lent
Today’s Readings: Isa 43:16-21 Phil 3:8-14 Jn 8:1-11

 

40 DAYS OF BLOGS      I have laid the foundation for personal reflection and direction.

I will continue to post regularly, but not daily.   I allow  a new spaciousness to enter as I become attentive and watchful.

Blessing you in this time as we  watch and pray.

 

 

Well of wisdom

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4th Week Lent
Today’s Scriptures: Jer 11:18-20 Jn 7:40-52

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/

 

 

 

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

Laudate Si

‘Praise be to You, Lord’  …words of St. Francis

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Week 4 Lent Today’s Readings: Exod 32:7-14 Jn 5:31-47

“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.