Desert Day 36: The Gateway to All Understanding …

The sun turns a key in a lock each day
As soon as it crawls out of bed.

Light swings open a door
And the many kinds of love rush out
Onto the infinite green field.

Your soul sometimes plays a note
Against the Sky’s ear that excites
The birds and planets.

Stay close to any sounds
That make you glad you are alive. Continue reading “Desert Day 36: The Gateway to All Understanding …”

Advent Day 23: Embracing The Mystery …

The lack of mystery in our modern life is our downfall and our poverty. A human life is worth as much as the respect it holds for the mystery. We retain the child in us to the extent that we honor the mystery. Therefore, children have open, wide-awake eyes, because they know that they are surrounded by the mystery. They are not yet finished with this world; they still don’t know how to struggle along and avoid the mystery, as we do. We destroy the mystery because we sense that here we reach the boundary of our being, because we want to be lord over everything and have it at our disposal, and that’s just what we cannot do with the mystery…. Living without mystery means knowing nothing of the mystery of our own life, nothing of the mystery of another person, nothing of the mystery of the world; it means passing over our own hidden qualities and those of others and the world. It means remaining on the surface, taking the world seriously only to the extent that it can be calculated and exploited, and not going beyond the world of calculation and exploitation. Living without mystery means not seeing the crucial processes of life at all and even denying them. Continue reading “Advent Day 23: Embracing The Mystery …”

There Is A Homelessness …

There is a homelessness, never to be clearly defined.
It is more than having no place of one’s own,
no bed or chair.
It is more than walking in a waste of wind,
or gleaning the crumbs where someone else has dined,
or taking a coin for food or clothes to wear.
The loan of things and the denial of things are possible to bear.

It is more, even than homelessness of heart,
of being always a stranger at love’s side,
of creeping up to a door only to start
at a shrill voice and to plunge back to the wide
dark of one’s own obscurity and hide.

it is the homelessness of the soul in the body sown;
it is the loneliness of mystery:
of seeing oneself a leaf, inexplicable and unknown,
cast from an unimaginable tree;
of knowing one’s life to be a brief wind blown
down a fissure of time in the rock of eternity.
The artist weeps to wrench this grief from stone;
he pushes his hands through the tangled vines of music,
but he cannot set it free.

It is the pain of the mystic suddenly thrown
back from the noon of God to the night of his own humanity.
It is his grief; it is the grief of all those praying
in finite words to an Infinity
Whom, if they saw, they could not comprehend;
Whom they cannot see.

—  Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit, OCD (Jessica Powers) Carmel of the Mother of God, Pewaukee, WI. More poetry from the author: The Selected Poetry of Jessica Powers

New Ways of Thinking …

If your purpose is only about you, it has no branches. If it is only about the rest of the world, it has no roots. That is why learning through the wounds in our history, the moments when our essential needs were not met in some very basic ways, are moments that stand still in our memory and moments that hold possibility for you to unfurl your gifts.  Wouldn’t it be a good joke if the worst that has happened to you holds the possibility of bringing the best in you to the community?  We become accustomed to identifying ourselves as nouns – as small, enclosed, exclusive, and local units – artist, friend, mother, victim. We spend so much time close to the canvas, carefully painting tiny dots in a Pointillist painting, that we have forgotten how to step back to get a sense of the whole. Yet is is only from this distance that we can see the overall patterns we have been creating, the verbs we have been living – creating, mothering, befriending – that are the horizons we need to move toward.  May all of your wounds and broken dreams be salved.
— Dawna Markova from Wide Open: On Living with Purpose and Passion

The ability to stand back and calmly observe our inner dramas, without rushing to judgment, is foundational for spiritual seeing. It is the primary form of “dying to the self” that Jesus lived personally and the Buddha taught experientially. The growing consensus is that, whatever you call it, such calm, egoless seeing is invariably characteristic of people at the highest levels of doing and loving in all cultures and religions. They are the ones we call sages or wise women or holy men.
— Richard Rohr from The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See

We do not think ourselves into new ways of living, we live ourselves into new ways of thinking.
— Richard Rohr from Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer