Enlightenment 

It is not the answer that enlightens but the question.
EUGENE IONESCO

Servanthood

The Magdalene's Gift -- Ruth Councell

The Magdalene’s Gift — Ruth Councell

 

” God’s compassion is a compassion that reveals itself in servanthood.”

Henri Nouwen

Jonathan Daniels – Still with us this day-

imageToday in the Episcopal Church commemorates martyr, Jonathan Daniels. Bright with the light of faith and social conscience he joined a growing voice for civil rights in the 1960’s. After hearing Martin Luther King speak, he left seminary to share in the work of social justice in Selma, Alabama. He was arrested in Ft. Deposit, Alabama, in 1965, and was shot dead six days later in Hayneville, jumping in front of Ruby Sales, a young black activist who a deputy sheriff had intended to kill.

From his writings we learn of his deep faith and commitment to equality. Listen closely – he was witness and leader in the Civil Rights Movement of the ’60s. He is present everywhere we cry out ‘black lives matter’ today.

He writes, “I began to know in my bones and sinews that I had been truly baptized into the Lord’s death and resurrection… with them, the black and white men, with all life, in him whose Name is above all the names that the races and nations. We are indelibly and unspeakably one.”

O God of justice and compassion, you put down the proud and mighty from their place, and lift up the poor and the afflicted: We give you thanks for your faithful witness Jonathan Myrick Daniels, who, in the midst of injustice and violence, risked and gave his life for another; and we pray that we, following his example, may make no peace with oppression; through Jesus Christ the just one, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen (from Lesser Feasts and Fasts – Episcopal Church)

The Heart’s Whisper

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In the stillness of the quiet, if we listen, we can hear the whisper of the heart giving strength to weakness, courage to fear, hope to despair.

Howard Thurman

Diving deeper

 

Photo from Gregory Colbert

Photo from Gregory Colbert

“Perhaps the goal
Is not to spend this day
Power skiing atop an ocean of multitasking.
Maybe the idea is to swim slower
Surer
Dive deeper
And really look around.
There is a difference between
A life of width
And a life of depth.”

Excerpt From: Because There Is Not Enough Time, “A Permeable Life: Poems and Essays” – Carrie Newcomer

 

St. Clare

Francis and Clare – Grace Cathedral, San Francisco

Place your mind before the mirror of eternity.
Place for soul in the brilliance of heaven.
Place your heart in the figure of the divine substance.

Transform your entire self into the image of the Godhead so that you too may feel and taste the hidden sweetness that God has reserved for his lovers.

On this feast day of St. Clare of Assisi, I offer this poem/prayer for all of us who may find it challenging to sit in quiet – to meditate or pray. Clare gives us an image of what meditation can be. 

In its simplicity, one step at a time – may we go to God in mind, soul and heart – to see ourselves in the mind’s mirror filled with the warm light of heaven and the sweetness of God’s love.  

(prayer found within a letter written to Agnes of Prague. St. Clare Prayer Book, author – Jon M. Sweeney)

Let It Be

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This is one of my favorite prayers. It is found in the ‘New Zealand Prayer Book’. I re-discovered it while closing my computer and letting go of the unfinished work of this day. An unlikely place and perfect timing.

“There is never enough time in a day” – I do not know if this is truly a quote but I am certain that it is deep within my understanding of time and work. It is a statement that we as a society have come to believe as truth.

What does it mean to run out of time? Deadlines are always before us but even after they have arrived, time moves ahead. Whether we meet the dreaded deadlines or not, the next minute arrives and we are greeted with options for how we face the future. 

We cannot change the motion of time. But we do have choices. Can we release our clinched hands, letting go of our attempted grip on time? Can we relax long enough to observe a passing moment – what it brings and what it takes away? 

This prayer reminds us of a simple truth. What is done is done and what is not done remains so. How do we learn to ‘let it be’?