Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Photo: Corn Cobs

Poem: Scott Cairsn

She said God. He seems to be there
when I call on Him but calling
has been difficult too. Painful.

And as she quieted to find
another word, I was delivered
once more to my own long grappling

with that very angel here-still
here-at the base of the ancient
ladder of ascent, in foul dust

languishing yet at the very
bottom rung, letting go my grip
long before the blessing.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Photo: Gourds

Spirituality: Arthur Symons

Peace waits among the hills;
I have drunk peace,
Here, where the blue air fills
The great cup of the hills,
And fills with peace.

Between the earth and sky,
I have seen the earth
Like a dark cloud go by,
And fade out of the sky;
There was no more earth.

Light fills the hills with God,
Wind with his breath,
And here, in his abode,
Light, wind, and air praise God,
And this poor breath.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Photo: The Lord Gave the Word

Poem: C.S. Lewis

Here the whole world (stars, water, air,
And field, and forest, as they were
Reflected in a single mind)
Like cast off clothes was left behind
In ashes, yet with hopes that she,
Re-born from holy poverty,
In lenten lands, hereafter may
Resume them on her Easter Day. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Spirituality: Ignatian Contemplation

After we have positioned ourselves in prayer, we typically begin our prayer time with Scripture, which tells us the ongoing story of God’s love relationship with us. Scripture roots us in charity and launches us into the heart of prayer, which is conversation. We place ourselves before God to receive mercy. We ask God to “See me, feel me, hear me, and to know what I am feeling.” We ask God to feel what we feel, in order to experience God’s solidarity with us. It is natural then to tell God how we feel.

When we really, truly contemplate Jesus in Scripture, something extraordinary happens. As we fix our eyes on him and his behavior, all the stuff on October 11, 2015 comes rushing up in front of our eyes. Naturally, we try to dismiss those thoughts because we want to focus upon Jesus and not ourselves. What is happening though is that Jesus is bringing up all the stuff of our lives to look at with him. All the stuff that remains in our unconsciousness is able to come to the surface. This is the stuff of prayer where we will grow in comprehension, acceptance, and love of self. This is the personal domain of prayer. We begin to learn of the unique ways Jesus relates to us. The tenor of his voice, his facial gestures, and his behaviors become familiar to us and we can detect those patterns in future prayers. Prayer becomes very satisfying once we get over the fear of encountering ourselves in the silence. Remember that fear is not faith. Silence, which at first seems frightening will be something for which your seek more often as you grow in appreciation of yourselves and in love for Jesus.

Photo: Flowers that capture the sun

Spirituality: “Lavishness and Fertility of Nature” by John Muir

One is constantly reminded of the infinite lavishness and fertility of nature – inexhaustible abundance amid what seems enormous waste. And yet when we look into any of her operations that lie within reach of our minds, we learn that no particle of her material is wasted or worn out. It is eternally flowing from use to use, beauty to yet higher beauty; and we soon cease to lament waste and death, and rather rejoice and exult in the imperishable, unspendable wealth of the universe, and faithfully watch and wait the reappearance of everything that melts and fades and dies about us, feeling sure that its next appearance will be better and more beautiful than the last.