Advent Day 15: Choose Joy …

Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.

Joy is what makes life worth living, but for many joy seems hard to find. They complain that their lives are sorrowful and depressing. What then brings the joy we so much desire? Are some people just lucky, while others have run out of luck? Strange as it may sound, we can choose joy. Two people can be part of the same event, but one may choose to live it quite differently from the other. One may choose to trust that what happened, painful as it may be, holds a promise. The other may choose despair and be destroyed by it. Continue reading “Advent Day 15: Choose Joy …”

Stay Where You Are …

Stay where you are. Find your own Calcutta. Find the sick, the suffering, and the lonely right there where you are — in your own homes and in your own families, in your workplaces and in your schools. You can find Calcutta all over the world, if you have the eyes to see. Everywhere, wherever you go, you find people who are unwanted, unloved, uncared for, just rejected by society — completely forgotten, completely left alone. Continue reading “Stay Where You Are …”

Advent Meditation: Finding God …

Beloved, let us love one another,
because love is of God;
everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.
Whoever is without love does not know God,
for God is love.
— 1 John 4:7-8, 12.

 

We are made of the sky’s cloth
and every thing is soul and flowering!
I open and fill with love,
and what is not love evaporates.
— Rumi from The Soul of Rumi

 

The Universe Is Love

The people who know God well—mystics, hermits, prayerful people, those who risk everything to find God—always meet a lover, not a dictator.
— Richard Rohr from Everything Belongs

 

Mercy & Love

I came across a quote from St. Thérèse of Lisieux: “The God who comes to us as an infant can only be mercy and love.” Every time we look at a Nativity scene, God reveals mercy and love. What happened on Christmas only shows us mercy and love. Continue reading “Advent Meditation: Finding God …”

Advent Meditation: Without Love …

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
— 1 Cor 13:1-7

 

In Luke’s Gospel, it is the Jewish poor, the shepherds, who first see and recognise this birth as a manifestation of God in their midst. Perhaps this reflects the experience of Luke’s community and its emphasis on Jesus’ outreach to the marginal ones. In Mathew’s Gospel, it’s the Magi, these Gentile outsiders, who see a mysterious star and follow it. They recognise that the promises made to the chosen people are being fulfilled. How unlikely that they would be the ones to see and understand, while others who are much closer to the revelation are indifferent, or even hostile, to it. Continue reading “Advent Meditation: Without Love …”

Desert Day 23: The Forgetting Of Love …

What is the origin of ‘evil’
in this non-dual reality?

The forgetting of love.
The flight from Source.

There is no force working ‘against’ love.
There is only this forgetting.
This alienation from our nature.
This imagined separation from the Whole.

When we are in pain
and cannot be with our pain,
we blame.
We attack.
We reduce others to objects.
We call people names.
We find scapegoats.
We seek revenge. Continue reading “Desert Day 23: The Forgetting Of Love …”

Advent Day 22: Not A Competition …

Seeking the face of God in everything, everyone, all the time, and his hand in every happening; This is what it means to be contemplative in the heart of the world. Seeing and adoring the presence of Jesus, especially in the lowly appearance of bread, and in the distressing disguise of the poor.
― Mother Teresa from In the Heart of the World: Thoughts, Stories and Prayers

At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ
Into the great religions of the world.
We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
We shout with glorious tongues at the coming of hope.
All the earth’s tribes loosen their voices
To celebrate the promise of Peace.

We, Angels and Mortals, Believers and Non-Believers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.

Peace, My Brother.
Peace, My Sister.
Peace, My Soul.
— Maya Angelou from Amazing Peace

Continue reading “Advent Day 22: Not A Competition …”