Advent Day 16: Second Sight …

When we were children, most of us were good friends with mystery. The world was full of it and we loved it. Then as we grew older, we slowly accepted the indoctrination that mystery exists only to be solved. For many of us, mystery became an adversary; unknowing became a weakness. The contemplative spiritual life is an ongoing reversal of this adjustment. It is a slow and sometimes painful process of becoming “as little children” again, in which we first make friends with mystery and finally fall in love again with it. And in that love we find an ever increasing freedom to be who we really are in an identity that is continually emerging and never defined. We are freed to join the dance of life in fullness without having a clue about what the steps are.

— Gerald G. May, M.D. from The Dark Night of the Soul

 

What keeps the wild hope of Christmas alive year after year in a world notorious for dashing all hopes is the haunting dream that the child who was born that day may yet be born again even in us and our own snowbound, snowblind longing for him.
— Frederick Buechner from Secrets in the Dark

 

Contemplative Seeing

Spirituality is about seeing—seeing things in their wholeness, which can only be done through the lens of our own wholeness. That is the key! It’s about taking responsibility for our way of relating to things rather than aiming for any kind of perfect results or necessary requirements. Once you see skillfully, the rest follows. You don’t need to push the river, because you are already in it. The One Life is living itself within us, and we learn how to say yes to that one shared life, which includes both the good and the bad sides of everything. This Divine Life is so large, deep, and spacious that it even includes its seeming opposite, death. This one, great life does not end, it merely changes. This is true in the entire physical world, and Jesus tells us it is true in the spiritual world too …

Notice how most of Jesus’ ministry is about healing people (yet I grew up in a church that hardly used the word “healing”). Notice also how many of those healings have to do with blindness, chosen blindness (John 9:41), the gradual healing of blindness (Mark 8:22-26), and the distorted worldviews that come from chosen blindness (Luke 6:39-42). Why? Because the contemplative mind is able to see fully and freely, which is to be healed of its hurts, unforgiveness, and agendas which always get in the way.

— Richard Rohr adapted from Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer

Second Sight

Sometimes, you need the ocean light,
and colors you’ve never seen before
painted through an evening sky.

Sometimes you need your God
to be a simple invitation
not a telling word of wisdom.

Sometimes you need only the first shyness
that comes from being shown things
far beyond your understanding,

so that you can fly and become free
by being still and by being still here.

And then there are times you want to be
brought to ground by touch
and touch alone.

To know those arms around you
and to make your home in the world
just by being wanted.

To see eyes looking back at you,
as eyes should see you at last,

seeing you, as you always wanted to be seen,
seeing you, as you yourself
had always wanted to see the world.

— David Whyte from Pilgrim

 

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