Thursday, April 19, 2018
“If you put a spoonful of salt
in a cup of water
it tastes very salty.
If you put a spoonful of salt
in a lake of fresh water
the taste is still pure and clear.
Peace comes when our hearts are
open like the sky, vast as the ocean.”
Our souls are salted with many things
and when our souls are tiny
constricted due to ideology
when our lives are squeezed down
by social norms
we can so easily lose our humanity
but worse, our divinity
the sacred image we carry
sometimes beyond recognition
and we become unable to give
to offer compassion
how do we open our hearts?
how do we throw open the windows of our soul
to the wind of the Sacred?
We notice the stars
We gaze in wonder at the mountain
And celebrate the sky
We dance in the dust
And the mud
And the snow
We throw our arms wide open
And embrace the Sacred
As She/He/It comes
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Make ready for the Christ, Whose smile, like lightning,
Sets free the song of everlasting glory
That now sleeps, in your paper flesh, like dynamite.
Thomas Merton, “The Victory,” The Collected Poems of Thomas Merton (New Directions: 1977), 115.
When God gives of Godself, one of two things happens: either flesh is inspirited or spirit is enfleshed.
We carry the sacred
In our flesh
Ready to explode
To be felt and seen
By a watching world
So the all creation waits
For spirit enfleshed
To make itself known
And waits, and waits, and waits
As we, inspirited flesh
Struggle still with dissension
Fear, and greed
The wounds we carry in this sacred flesh
our reminder of the cross of our humanity
perhaps it is time
for us to put aside childish things
and to “grow up into our incarnation” (Rohr)
and finally reflect
the image and likeness of the One
from whence we come
Monday, April 16, 2018
“Part of me suspects that I'm a loser, and the other part of me thinks I'm God Almighty.”
― John Lennon
“The ego is the false self-born out of fear and defensiveness.”
― John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
There are times that I suffer
If truth be told, most of the time
I create my own suffering
Or rather, my ego does
The ego is that part of me that wants to be significant,
important by itself
separate and superior.
I notice the ego asks a lot of questions!
Am I enough?
Am I safe?
Am I important?
Am I noticed?
Am I valued, appreciated, respected?
Do people like me?
Find me attractive (or even sexy)?
Do people see me as competent, and effective
There are problems with the ego
It is fragile, always being insulted
And always, it seems, it is defensive and self-protective
It can’t help itself
When I am upset about how someone has treated me
When I am worried about how I am coming across
When I see slights everywhere
When I believe people are evaluating, judging me
So much of my fear
My sense of being rejected
Comes from my ego
Instead of believing my identity and worth
Are based upon whether I am tall enough, thin enough
Handsome enough, rich enough
I just realize that my value is inherent
That I do not have to be defined by those things
Perhaps what I need to remember
Is that I am a broken and blessed Child of God
One God values so much that God draws near
And claims me as God’s own
Child of God
Child of God
Child of God
Perhaps that awareness is all that I need
“All great spirituality teaches about letting go of what you don’t need and who you are not. Then, when you can get little enough and naked enough and poor enough, you’ll find that the little place where you really are is ironically more than enough and is all that you need. At that place, you will have nothing to prove to anybody and nothing to protect. That place is called freedom. It’s the freedom of the children of God. Such people can connect with everybody. They don’t feel the need to eliminate anybody . . .”
(Richard Rohr, Healing Our Violence through the Journey of Centering Prayer)
And perhaps, secure in being loved
Perhaps, being free
I won’t have to suffer
At my own hands
“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.”
Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
Is it true
That we find our joy in what we love?
What if we love the wrong things?
What if we love power
Is our treasure our true treasure?
It has also been said
That where our treasure is our heart will be also
Perhaps it is more true that our heart follows
treasure, rather than that our hearts create treasure
Treasure it appears can capture, and bind
And subdue the heart
Or perhaps what we treasure reveals our hearts
I was thinking the other day about our nation
And where it puts its “treasure”
If our heart is where our treasure is, what does that mean
Where does most of our treasure go?
If where our heart is, there is our treasure
Does that mean our heart is in war (since the majority of our money goes to the military)?
Is our heart is prisons?
In border walls
It is a conundrum
To think that our “treasure” is in such things
Since our heart as revealed by our spending
is found in such things
It seems that there must be a better place to put our hearts
Better places to creature, or discover, our treasure
What if our treasure were people?
If our hearts were in people
Would we not be putting our resources, our energy, our focus
Caring for the poor?
Helping the vulnerable?
Would not such acts of kindness
And service be what we treasure?
But lest I pontificate
What does my calendar reveal?
My check book?
Where do I put my heart?
What do I consider my treasure, really?
Something to think about
In the dark