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, December 15, 2020

living hearts

I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  No longer shall they teach one another or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me….

                               Jeremiah 31:31-34


Discernment is an act of the heart, a way of listening with more than the mind… when we discern, we are making space for new revelation to arrive without needing to force it.  This is the soul’s slow ripening.

                               Christine Valters Paintner The Soul’s Slow Ripening, pp 95,96



How do we end up with so much hate?

How do we profoundly neglect the poor?

How do we marginalize people and treat them cruelly

How do we abuse power?

How do exclude the immigrant and refugee from our abundance?

How do we accept violence as a solution?


How do we do all of this

and do it while claiming to be aligned with the Sacred,

with God,

with Love?


Why does this faith we claim with such passion,

not make us







Why does faith become, all too often, a weapon we use on others

rather than for others?


perhaps it is because we have hearts of stone

and have tried to impose holiness

impose faith


through power and domination

through coercions

through rules, and even civil law


we have made faith rigid and cold

a matter of earning God’s love

and then, from a position not of grace, but of merit

not of peace but fear


we have shut our hearts to those who are

less (in our eyes), who are






demanding they conform

demanding they “be like us”


but true faith comes not from hearts of stone

but from hearts beating

and hearts broken


hearts broken by our own failure and pain

and broken by the pain of the world


true faith comes from the slow awakening of the heart

and the slow ripening of the soul


as the warmth of Sacred love

softens us

opens us


until our now malleable hearts have space


not only for Sacred presence

but for, all


all the pain

all the misery

all the joy

all the love

all the people


when God is in us

no longer do we have to demand

“Know the Lord!”

No longer do we have to question

“Do you know Jesus?”


for our hearts will know

and welcome the Sacred One

and our hearts will know and welcome





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