Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More on forgiveness

Forgiveness is essential for our spiritual healing. When we are willing to be forgiven, and to forgive, we are saying that there is something bigger in our lives than our hurt. When we don’t forgive, we tend to give the bulk of our attention to how we have been hurt. We focus on the things that are painful. Clearly our wounds need attention. But when we concentrate on our hurt, we learn to see the brokenness, losses, or injures we have been given as the most important things in our lives. We cultivate an attention to these wounds in such a way that over time they come to occupy the most important place in our heart.Our wound lives at the center of our heart. And this poisons our heart. We cannot love. We cannot move forward. We are in a state of profound dis-ease.

Miguel Ruiz, the author of the “Four Agreements” reminds us of our need to forgive, for our own spiritual sake, in his book “The Mastery of Love”. He writes. “There is no other way but forgiveness to clean the wounds of all the poison. You must forgive those who hurt you, even if whatever they did to you is unforgiveable in your mind. You will forgive them not because they deserve to be forgiven (I might add any more than your deserve to be forgiven), but because you don’t want to suffer and hurt yourself every time you remember what they did."

>This is a hard task… forgiving other. Maybe almost as difficult as forgiving ourselves.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


In the book Crime and Punishment there is a character name Marmeladov.  He is a drunk and a disgrace.  At one point, in an argument with a young rationalist, Marmeladov insists that he is not to be pitied   He says. . .”He will have pity on me who has pity on all men… He will summon us.  “You too come forth” he will say.  He will say “come forth you drunkards, come forth ye weak ones, come forth ye children of shame!”  And the wise and those of understanding will say:  “Oh Lord why dost thou receive these men?  And he will say, “This is why I receive them ye wise.  This is why I receive them, oh ye of understanding.  That not one of them believe himself to be worthy of this.  And he will hold out his hands to us… and we shall weep.”

Our faith walk starts when we decide to trust God.  When we realize we will never measure up to God’s expectations, but that God loves us anyway. 

When we trust in that love, that trust is the key that unlocks our heart.  So that we can be open to the sacred - open to our own place as a child of God, as one created in God’s image -  AND - so we can be open to others.   The most urgent need in our lives is to trust what we have received.