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

Monday, February 29, 2016

Pain and meaning

When religion cannot find a meaning for human suffering, human beings far too often become cynical, bitter, negative, and blaming. Healthy religion, almost without realizing it, shows us what to do with our pain, with the absurd, the tragic, the nonsensical, the unjust. If we do not transform our pain, we will most assuredly transmit it. If we cannot find a way to make our wounds into sacred wounds, we invariably give up on life and humanity.
                                                                                      Richard Rohr, Daily Blog

faith is not about
avoiding pain

very few poets and saints
had easy lives

faith may, instead,
engage us more deeply with pain

we may participate in it
more profoundly

as, aware of the deep places within ourselves,
and awake to the precious souls around us,
we touch not only our own hurt
but that of others

in faith we see all the
misery and travail in this world
through the wounded heart
of that One
who dwells in us
who is love

Sacred Presence does not remove pain
or even lessen it
it does
transform it

and us

turning us from those who radiate bitterness and hate
into healers
wounded healers
but healers , nonetheless

As we look at auditoriums full of people transmitting hate
and feeding on pain and fear
as we deal each day with the absurd, the tragic, the nonsensical, the unjust

we know how desperate our world is for people,
and especially for leaders,
who know how to find a meaning for human suffering,
and who do not slide into the pattern
of being cynical, bitter, negative, and blaming

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Layers of nonsense

“Wherever you come near the human race there’s layers and layers of nonsense.”
                                                                        ― Thornton Wilder, Our Town

we are pretty silly, God,

underneath our facades of normalcy
there are layers and layer of complexity

there are hope and dreams
fears and resentment

there are odd little corners filled with surprises
(not all of them good)

It is safe to say our minds are not safe neighborhoods
(my mind is a bad neighborhood I try not to go into alone – Anne Lamott)

there more of us there are
the stranger it gets

and then there are the multiplier factors
and religion


layers and layers of nonsense

and yet is in the midst of all that
when the facades come down
for brief brilliant moments
we are real

that we find
the spark of the Divine
in ourselves
and in each other

there is nothing quite as wonderful as
the fellowship of
the flawed

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The one who Longs for us

" Instead, follow the creator of this world;
Who fashioned each soul from Love, and made passion the highest goal.
The time to start the quest is now.
There is no second chance
To embrace the joy, the pain,
Of the one
Who longs
For you.
- Rahman Baba (from the “RumiSaadiHafiz” FB page 2/27/2016)

we say that “God is love”
what does that mean to us, really?

we seem so confused
most of the time
somehow love and grace
get diluted among images of divine wrath

I think if we are honest
the uncomfortable truth is that Christianity has always had a bit of a love hate relationship with grace
We love it that God does not smite us (although we may struggle to believe it)
But we aren’t so sure we like the fact that God doesn’t smite them


I remember thinking, with some glee I will admit,
as I listened to some unadulterated hubris and hate spewing from
the mouth of politician...
“Well, that one will have to answer to God in the end!”
Delightedly envisioning God making this person pay
for all the ill they caused (from my perspective of course)


My capacity to love is so limited
There are moments when I am closer than others

how can we explain Sacred love?
how can we adequately describe
Sacred Love?
the longing
the pain and the joy
the ache felt by that One
who fashioned us in love,
and for love?

how do we grab hold of that passion,
and make it ours?
how do we accept it for ourselves,
and how do we offer it to others?

I believe it is all about a pattern
of embracing and letting go
being filled and being emptied

the only way to follow
the Creator of this world
the author of Love

is to experience grace and love

Friday, February 26, 2016

Filling the Cup

“There is an inmost center in us all, where truth abides in fullness;....and, to know, rather consists in opening out a way where the imprisoned splendor may escape, then in effecting entry for a light supposed to be without.”
― Robert Browning

I have always suspected
that my soul has a slow leak

for I have struggled, for as long as I can remember
feeling a profound degree of hollowness
as if somehow I was emptied out

a cracked vessel

there is a certain desperation that comes
from being in such a place

it is not that I have not believed in my giftedness
for gifts I have
it is merely a sense that everything


is constantly slipping away
leaving me gasping for respect, and value, and love
(if you have not been in this place, you may not be able to understand)

and so most of my life
has been spent, trying to fill my soul
with achievement, knowledge, affection

and I have done wonderful things
and I have done horrible things

seeking to fill that void

I have sought relief through work
and relationships
through activity and creativity

I have abused myself
and tried to use others (how does one apologize to all those one has hurt in the process?)
seeking to fill the inner cup

and still the emptiness has returned

now I sit on the edge of forever
watching the sun rise
and the glint of the golden sun on mountain snow

one who is no longer young

knowing this one thing
(I have been a slow learner)

that one can only fill the cup
from the inside....