Friday, March 30, 2012

Thoughts by a great doctor of the Church

Artist: Ernst Hanfstaengl

I found myself thinking today of the first of the quotations I'm offering here by Teresa of Avila. Then I decided to add a few more for good measure!
“Let nothing disturb thee; Let nothing dismay thee; All thing pass; God never changes." 
“To have courage for whatever comes in life - everything lies in that.” 
“Accustom yourself continually to make many acts of love, for they enkindle and melt the soul.” 
“The feeling remains that God is on the journey, too.”
Of late, that last one has become one of my favorites. It seems that Teresa was an early process theologian.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

How you see anything

Artist: Franz Marc

I know I've used this quotation before but I can't remember where right now. It's by Richard Rohr and I think it is truly wonderful:
"You cannot earn this God. You cannot prove yourself worthy of this God. It is simply a matter of awareness. Of enjoying the awareness. Deepening the awareness. There are moments when we believe it. Then it all makes sense. Once I can see it here, and trust it, even in this piece of clay that I am, in this moment of time that I am, -- then the compliment is also passed onto you. I am able to see the divine image both in myself and in you and eventually in all things. Finally, the seeing is one. How you see anything is how you will see everything."

Monday, March 26, 2012

Letting go of attachment

Artist: Rembrandt

It was the great mystic, Meister Eckhart, who said the following:
"... we should learn to see God in all gifts and works, neither resting content with anything nor becoming attached to anything. For us there can be no attachment to a particular manner of behavior in this life, nor has this ever been right, however successful we may have been."

Friday, March 23, 2012

Deeply lovely

Beautifully, beautifully performed.

This is one of the most well known traditional chants. It has been often quoted by a number of great composers.

You will not be sorry you listened!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The mirror of awareness

Artist: Karl Pavlovich Bryullov

I have long admired the work of Anthony de Mello, the Jesuit priest, retreat conductor, psychotherapist, who died in 1987.  Today I have been spending reflective time in his little book The Way to Love: The Last Meditations of Anthony de Mello. Here's something toward the end that is very powerful and worthy of much thought:
Holiness is not an achievement, it is a Grace. A grace called Awareness, a Grace called Looking, Observing, Understanding. if you would only switch on the light of awareness and observe yourself and everything around you throughout the day, if you would see yourself reflected in the mirror of awareness the way you see your face reflected in a looking glass, that is, accurately, clearly, exactly as it is without the slightest distortion or addition, and if you observed this reflection without any judgments or condemnation, you would observe all sorts of marvelous changes coming about in  you.  Only you will not be in control of these changes, or be able to plan them in advance, or decide how and when they are to take place. It is this nonjudgmental awareness along that heals and changes and makes one grow.  But in its own way and in its own time.

Friday, March 16, 2012

A turning of the soul

Artist: Pieter Bruegel the Elder

This is by Samuel H. Miller from his book, The Dilemma of Modern Belief. I do agree. Glory. Glory.
"In the muddled mess of this world, in the confusion and boredom and amazement, we ought to be able to spot something — an event, a person, a memory, an act, a turning of the soul, the flash of bright wings, the surprise of sweet compassion — somewhere we ought to pick out a glory to celebrate."

Friday, March 9, 2012

The center of the home within us

Artist: Ferdinand Dorsch

Today I found myself pulling from my shelves a book I've actually had for a long time that's entitled Coming Home: A Handbook for Exploring the Sanctuary Within by Betsy Caprio and Thomas M. Hedberg. Here's something I found in it today that I'd really like to share with you:
Becoming the spiritual detective is an acquired skill. When we first begin the explorations of the psyche, we may feel in a strange place -- just as any new home feels strange at first. Then, with time, we learn our way around just as we are soon able to find our way around a new home in the dark. And the spiritual seeker learns how to let the inner and the outer worlds in which he or she moves become two  parts of one whole, so that they are continually informing each other. This is how we find our way to the center of the home within us, the place where God lives and waits for us.
I first acquired this book during a period of my life in which I didn't really have a home. Oh, I had a place to live but my presence there was resented and so I really didn't feel at home. Learning to rely on the knowledge that I had a home within was a big, big help.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Taking proper care of one's own soul

Artist: Charles Sprague Pearce

Here is a very wonderful passage from the works of Thomas Merton:
"The deep secrecy of my own being is often hidden from me by my own estimate of what I am. My idea of what I am is falsified by my admiration for what I do. And my illusions about myself are bred by contagion from the illusions of other men. We all seek to imitate one another’s imagined greatness.

"If I do not know who I am, it is because I think I am the sort of person everyone around me wants to be. Perhaps I have never asked myself whether I really wanted to become what everybody else seems to want to become. Perhaps if I only realized that I do not admire what everyone seems to admire, I would really begin to live after all. I would be liberated from the painful duty of saying what I really do not think and of acting in a way that betrays God’s truth and the integrity of my own soul."
This is truly a very important observation because so many church people make a huge effort to be what the Church wants them to be. And that is a soul-destroying enterprise, I would assert.

Friday, March 2, 2012

A bit of a nuisance

My friend, MadPriest, posted the following:
"Blogger is messing us about again. Recent changes to the comment facility has resulted in the disappearance of the ability to subscribe to a comment thread if you have your comment settings set to pop up window. However, it is still there if you set your comments to "embedded beneath post."

"I strongly suggest that we all change our settings to embedded. Otherwise there will be no conversations on our blogs anymore and a drastic reduction in visits.

"Thanks to Grandmère Mimi for sussing this one out for us."
So, I'm off to change all those settings right now.

(Image above from Wikimedia Commons)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Silence and laughter

Artist: Salvatore Rosa

The following is from A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward An Undivided Life by Parker Palmer:
"The soul loves silence because it is shy, and silence helps it feel safe. The soul loves laughter because it seeks truth, and laughter often reveals reality. But above all, the soul loves life, and both silence and laughter are life-giving. Perhaps this is why we have yet another name for people who can share silence and laughter with equal ease: we call them soulmates."