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

 

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HOLY TRIDUUM

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“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.

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.

 

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

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) 

An invitation

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Week 2 Lent  Today’s Scriptures: Jer 18:18-20   Matt: 20:17-28

Recently I was as asked if I won $1m how would I spend it?

Maybe  Lent is like that…  We are reminded that we are being invited to share in a great gift of graces and a new life. How will we spend Lent?

Lent is a time where we can  ponder on the true treasures we desire, our deepest yearnings and longings  and cry out for grace to truly seek after these.   The graces of healing, forgiveness and peace are at heart of our deepest desires.     All things can be changed and made new.

I make 3 offerings:   

A meditation:

An extract from short essay by Fr. Daniel O’Leary entitled “Forging in the Smithy of the Soul –Sometimes we must sweat blood to stay faithful”. *

In part he says :  “We endeavour to short-circuit the relentless call of Christ. We want to equate the increase in our religious behaviour during Lent with growth in holiness.  There is, however, no cheap grace.   …

In our mistaking of the outward ego for the inner essence we are unknowingly denying ourselves the possibility of any radical conversion.    …

In Lent we grow by dying. There is no other way. In this dying we recognise the false face we’ve grown used to, the daily lies we tell, the thoughts of deception that crowd our minds, the infidelities we do not commit only because we might get caught, the lovelessness of our lives parading as shallow compassion, our collusion with conformity, our fear of beauty and big dreams….  p.28-29

I recommend the full very short essay, contained in “Already Within” by Fr. Daniel O’Leary and his weekly reflections at: http://djoleary.com/pages/general.htm


A song   “And So”  by Kirtana    from her album “Unseen Grace.”

According to Wikipedeia  kirtana is Sanskrit for “praise; eulogy” and is call and response chanting in India’s  devotional traditions.  It involves hymns, chanting or mantras to musical accompaniment.


An image/prayer

Some days ago, I strolled among some gums and grasses quietly pondering and there before me was this short prayer – in the photo at the top of the page.  Just as it came to me…I give it to you- the Invitation to Repentance….

Sacred Thresholds

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Week 2
Lent Gen 15:5-12, 17-18, Phil 3:17-4:1, Luke 9:28-36

Sacred thresholds seem to me to be somewhat of a  quandary?

Oxford dictionary defines  thresholds as “Limits of counsciousness, limit below which a stimulus ceased to be perceptible”.

How open are we at these entry points to the Spirit?

How open are we to perceiving and receiving spiritual encounters?

Do our thresholds  protect the sacred within or  defend against the unknown transcendent “Other”?

Have our thresholds in fact become strongholds of the mind barring our way to the unseen?

Daniel O’Leary reminds us: ” Do we forget that our senses are ‘the threshold of our soul’? “Listen, my child,” St Benedict wrote at the beginning of his Rule, “with the ear of your heart.”

Admitting the Spirit within every moment of our lives, is opening the portal of our senses to acknowledge the faith we profess.   It is opening and trusting the sensing of our heart to discern the Divine in all things.

Faith is the intentional act of seeking to find the Presence.  The intent of the seeker is to live in the Presence of the Spirit expecting and acknowledging the reality of the realm in the Spirit.

It is in  opening  the thresholds that we can behold things so differently. The cosmic connections, the mystical insight and understandings arise from a sensitive heart yielding to Truth beyond our human limits, which convicts and enlivens us.

Contemplative prayer enables us to grow in the practice of living in the Presence.

Asking questions is an important part of any spiritual journey.  It helps us clarify our direction and seek the path which is most relevant to us.  As we listen to questions which arise in our hearts we take courage to step into the unknown.   Questions open us to the unknown.  Let us ask and receive, seek and find.

Giving voice to your questions is letting the light shine on your darkness.


Suggested resources may include  –  Weekly reflections and interviews with writer, spiritual director and priest    Fr. Daniel O’Leary’s website  Begin with the Heart  – http://djoleary.com/pages/weekly.htm   

Author – of  “Thresholds of the Soul” and  “Windows of Wonder”.