A Path & A Small Light …

First find a path, and a little light to see by.
— Anne Lamott from Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith

This is the trick to staying well, isn’t it: to feel the sun even in the dark. To not lose the truth of things when they go out of view. To grow just the same. To know there is still water, even when we are thirsty. To know there is still love, even when we are lonely. To know there is still peace, even when we are suffering. None of this invalidates your pain, but only strengthens our way back into the light. Continue reading “A Path & A Small Light …”

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Welcome Home …

I could not be a poet without the natural world. Someone else could. But not me. For me the door to the woods is the door to the temple.
— Mary Oliver from Upstream

Welcome Home

Alone in the alien, snow-blown woods,
moving hard to stay warm in zero weather,
I stop on a rise to catch my breath as the
setting sun—streaming through bare-boned
trees—falls upon my face, fierce and full of life. Continue reading “Welcome Home …”

World Weary …

God breathes through us so completely, so gently, we hardly feel it, yet it is our everything.
John Coltrane

Weary

World-weary?
Perhaps what wearies you
is not the world
but your own mind.
It’s time to make
a pilgrimage
from the furrow
in your brow
to the temple
in your chest.

Continue reading “World Weary …”

Desert Day 14: The Labyrinth, A Metaphor For Our Journey …

The most important starting point in any definition of the classical labyrinth is a description of its physical construction. It is a single circuitous pathway, leading uninterrupted to a central position.
— Jim Buchanan from Labyrinths for the Spirit

There is one way in and one way out. There is a beginning and an end. He is the Alpha and the Omega. He is not only in the center, but the whole labyrinth is in him. We are not alone. Although at times it seems like I am journeying away from the center, I am actually well on the way towards it.  In fact, it is very true that as far as direction goes, I am often walking away from the center – away from the very place I am trying to get to – wondering how I will ever get there by doing that!  But experience has taught me – on the labyrinth and in life – that as long as I keep going, one step at a time, I can trust I will get there eventually.  It isn’t only about finding God in the center; it is about recognizing that the whole labyrinth – our whole journey – is held by God, in love.  Continue reading “Desert Day 14: The Labyrinth, A Metaphor For Our Journey …”

Desert Day 06: The Law of Love …

Laws and rhythms structured ancient Hebrew culture, forming the basis for Jewish religious practice. Christianity is grounded in the same laws, which serve as moral precepts and as shared commitments that have held communities together for thousands of years. Together these laws create a structure in which human beings can work and live together; they create harmony among human beings and between human beings and God. Continue reading “Desert Day 06: The Law of Love …”

The Soul of a Pilgrim: Eight Practices for the Journey Within (Book Recommendation)

Kindle ebook is $4.99 on Amazon.com for a limited time.

The Soul of a Pilgrim: Eight Practices for the Journey Within (Kindle Edition) by Christine Valters Paintner

Continue reading “The Soul of a Pilgrim: Eight Practices for the Journey Within (Book Recommendation)”

Born of a Star (Advent/Winter Solstice) …

Return to the darkness, return
this longest night of wonder
Return

Return to the dream, return
this holy night to ponder
Deep in the night, listen
listen
Continue reading “Born of a Star (Advent/Winter Solstice) …”

Walking the Labyrinth …

Recently, I walked a labyrinth. There are many ways to walk a labyrinth. One can walk it in silent meditation, attentive to each step and breath. One can walk a labyrinth while praying a specific prayer or recalling one’s life journey. This time, as I entered the path, I felt called to pray God’s names on the way into the center, one name for each step. There are many Biblical names for God. For example, Psalm 62 names God as “rock” and “fortress.” The Gospel according to Luke describes God as a “mother hen” who is sheltering her chicks beneath her wings (13:34). As I took each step, I allowed another name for God to rise up to the surface: Redeemer, Savior, Lover, My Rock, Faithful Friend, Shield, Teacher, Spouse, Light in Darkness, Divine Gardener. Sometimes I’d repeat a name I’d already prayed, and sometimes I’d discover a new one, e.g., Heart of my Heart. Praying as I walked, I was reminded of how many ways God had been present to me in the course of my life. Continue reading “Walking the Labyrinth …”

Paris-Chartres Pilgrimage 2015 …

Greetings,

I have some exciting news.  When I began this blog almost five years ago, I intended for it to be an archive of things that I found to be inspiring on my faith journey through life. The result is a wonderful chronicle of my soul’s exploration and discovery — and history of my own seeking journey and growing through life. It has become become a treasured library of inspirational things that I am glad to be able to share, and certainly one that I often return to again and again. My original intent was to eventually include some of my own personal writing, but I have never really had the courage to do so … until now. Continue reading “Paris-Chartres Pilgrimage 2015 …”