Contemplatives and ascetics of every age and every religion have always sought God in the silence and solitude of deserts, forests and mountains. Jesus himself lived for forty days in complete solitude, spending long hours in intimate converse with the Father in the silence of the night.
The kind of fast drawing me this season isn’t leaving behind of treats like chocolate or other pleasures. This season I am being invited to fast from things like “ego-grasping” and noticing when I so desperately want to be in control, and then yielding myself to a greater wisdom than my own.
I am called to fast from being strong and always trying to hold it all together, and instead embrace the profound grace that comes through my vulnerability and tenderness, to allow a great softening this season.
I am called to fast from anxiety and the endless torrent of thoughts which rise up in my mind to paralyze me with fear of the future, and enter into the radical trust in the abundance at the heart of things, rather than scarcity. Continue reading “A Different Kind of Fast …”
It’s difficult to make a good decision when you don’t have all the information. It’s also difficult to move forward while trying to deny part of your reality. Jesus came from a tradition that was brutally honest; just read a bit from any of Israel’s prophets to see how forcefully they spoke the truth. Jesus continued in this vein as he talked about what it really took to be people of God, to participate in the kingdom of God. Continue reading “Without Truth, People Cannot Heal (Lenten Meditation) …”
The preparation before Easter is an invitation to carve out space for contemplation as we prepare our minds and our hearts to celebrate new life through the resurrection. Before Lent begins, turn to God and ask, “What is the grace you desire to deepen within me over these next 40 days?” Continue reading “Daily Meditation For Lent …”
“Do Not Lose Heart, We Were Made for These Times: Letter to a Young Activist During Troubled Times”
My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people. Continue reading “We Were Made For These Times …”
- I commit to finding moments each day for silence and solitude, to make space for another voice to be heard, and to resist a culture of noise and constant stimulation.
- I commit to radical acts of hospitality by welcoming the stranger both without and within. I recognize that when I make space inside my heart for the unclaimed parts of myself, I cultivate compassion and the ability to accept those places in others.
- I commit to cultivating community by finding kindred spirits along the path, soul friends with whom I can share my deepest longings, and mentors who can offer guidance and wisdom for the journey.
- I commit to cultivating awareness of my kinship with creation and a healthy asceticism by discerning my use of energy and things, letting go of what does not help nature to flourish.
- I commit to bringing myself fully present to the work I do, whether paid or unpaid, holding a heart of gratitude for the ability to express my gifts in the world in meaningful ways.
- I commit to rhythms of rest and renewal through the regular practice of Sabbath and resist a culture of busyness that measures my worth by what I do.
- I commit to a lifetime of ongoing conversion and transformation, recognizing that I am always on a journey with both gifts and limitations.
On the one hand we are called to play the good Samaritan on life’s road; but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. Continue reading “Martin Luther King, Jr. on the Parable of the Good Samaritan …”
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls Continue reading “Where the Mind Is Without Fear …”
What if I am not sadness?
What if I am not grief?
What if I am not my victim’s story
Nor am I my pain?