Friday, July 8, 2011

A constant process

Artist: Félix Vallotton

I first enountered the writings of Joyce Rupp back when I was in the convent and I'm so very glad I did. I identified with her early on because she also sees spiritual direction as a kind of midwifery. I particularly like the feeling of rhythm that the following passage conveys:
...I have found the cup to be a powerful teacher for my inner life. The ordinariness of the cup reminds me that my personal transformation occurs in the common crevices of each day. The cup is an apt image for the inner process of growth. The cup has been a reminder of my spiritual thirst. As I've held it, filled it, drunk from it, emptied it and washed it, I've learned that it is through my ordinary human experineces that my thirst for God is quenched. In the cup I see life, with its emptiness, fullness, brokenness, flaws, and blessings.

A cup is a container for holding something. Whatever it holds has to eventually be emptied out so that something more can be put into it. I have learned that I cannot always expect my life to by full. There has to be some emptying, some pouring out, if I am to make room for the new. The spiritual journey is like that--a constant process of emptying and filling, of giving and receiving, of accepting and letting go.


  1. this reminds me of Nouwen's book with a variation on this title - Can you drink this cup?

  2. I was having a hard time with the zeness of the first paragraph. Give me an eraser and I'll put in a drawer. I won't meditate about the ways God or community or confession may absolve me of my sin. I have slightly more appreciation for the Celtic way repetition and of contemplating something from different perspectives. "God within me, etc." But the second paragraph I really get. "I cannot always expect my life to be full. There has to be some emptying." But, don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to be a curmudgeon. I'm just emptying the cup of my spiritual insecurities.

  3. Well, Tom, I guess one out of two ain't bad!

    (Paragraphs, that is...)

    Roberta, I'm not familiar with that particular book of Nouwen's. I must look into finding it!


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