Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Oireachtas...or Love is like a little boat upon the Sea

A sea of Irish, (yes, here, everyone is Irish no matter where they came from) musicians fill the air with a celtic beat, and there's dancing everywhere; the ballrooms, yes, but also the halls and the stairs, the bathroom and the line at Starbucks, even the elevator, so they had to post this:
It's a rolling sea, waves of wigs toss and bounce, coaches counting out the steps; confident commanders guiding us all, moms bent; pinning and tieing, whisper their assurances, secure the decks...dads stand like masts; strong and steady, catching the changing winds with broad sails.  Friends and family on deck too, waiting, watching. 
There's an arm around each one...then, as if some silent signal blows, they leave the shelter of those who love them, (I see the arms still stretched out as they go, hovering momentarily to wish them well).  Off they go, their sea legs sure, to dance! 
All eyes turn to watch. Hard shoes thunder across the stage...ghillies lift them on an unseen wind, and we, the travelers on this rare ship, watch in amazement, hold our breath, until they return from the other side back to our arms.  It's quite a scene, played over and over morning til night.  It's a pericope of family life, albeit in high drama! 
I overheard one who said it well.  Picture this; a teenage boy, dressed in his dancing best, all glitter and shine, with his Da behind him, hands on his shoulders.  Country Irish, with a heavy brogue, his Da says, "Now remember lad, whatever happens in there, you're still me Jack... you'll always be me Jack."  
Yes...I cried... And thanked the Lord for such traveling companions. 

Every time you leave home
another road takes you
into a world you were never in.

New strangers on other paths await.
New places that have never seen you
will startle a little at your entry
Old places that know you well
will pretend nothing
Changed since your last visit...

When you travel,
a new silence
Goes with you.
And if you listen,
you will hear
what your heart would
Love to say.

A journey can become a sacred thing.

Make sure, before you go,
to take the time to bless your going forth,
To free your heart of ballast,
so that the compass of your soul
might direct you towards
the territories of spirit
Where you will discover
more of your hidden life;
and the urgencies
that deserve to claim you...

May you travel safely, arrive refreshed
and live your time away to it's fullest;
Return home, more enriched, and free
to balance the gift of days which call you.

John O'Donahue Benedictus

The holy land is everywhere. - Black Elk

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Meeting the Light Completely

Even the long-beloved
was once
an unrecognized stranger.

Just so,
the chipped lip
of a blue-glazed cup,
blown field
of a yellow curtain,
might also,
flooding and falling,
ruin your heart.

A table painted with roses.
An empty clothesline.

Each time,
the found world surprises—
that is its nature.

And then
what is said by all lovers:
"What fools we were, not to have seen."
 Jane Hirshfield from October Palace

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Woman, your faith has made you well

A young girl whose face shines with an interior light, moves quietly among us all weekend, and with a grace-filled humility raises her voice to sing at Mass on Sunday...does she know the song Sacred Silence...yes...she wrote it; and then Jenny Pixler sings our meditation and we open ever wider to God's grace through her gift.

A woman whose heart has been broken in sorrow and anger turns loss into light and hate into healing, though the way is anything but easy.

A woman of age and grace, tiny and mighty, affirms the feminine perspective so needed, nods her smiling approval, leads the way for us all.

A woman who was wife, is now widow; and with all her strength her arms are wide stretched as her heart is held in prayer, tears streaming her ache for yes.

What about betrayal, she asks. 

What can I do to cultivate this love, she speaks with a voice hesitant and low. 

How do you trust like this, she whispers, coming from behind as I walk toward the open road.

She talks to me over a meal, sharing her concerns about one she loves.

We sing together We n' de ya ho and I who cannot sing find my voice.

She carries a camera, a woman of vision, and helps others to see.

A young woman, tempted to keep her face toward shadow, hidden, turns to let the light touch her face and walks straighter and taller into her life.

They hold hands, twirl and jive, all smiles on the dancefloor, the freedom of movement and music moving them.

She cannot imagine Christ, comes up blank, feels her desire stronger than her experience.  Her yearning to see makes others ache for such want.

Two women sit in a corner, laughing, tears streaming down their faces at the good of it...later I see them, walking hand in hand, Martha and Mary, sisters in faith.

I see her standing tall in the treehouse (built by my husband and son years ago), looking out at the expanse, and wonder what her thoughts are standing there, when I see her bow her head down, lean on the rail, and I pray.

A woman walks up to read Gods word, shoes off, her quiet walk known by me, her life intent, that God be glorified.

She runs, literally, to reconciliation; last but not least...for the least is the greatest in the kingdom of God.

Women carrying their loves and losses, children and husbands, hurt and hope in their hearts.  Carrying them to Galilee, to the mountain top.  They never travel alone.

Hands reach out to help, console, create, hold tight, share strength and consolation, snap and clap and fold together in prayer...

All of us, daring in our newly recognized communion, to reach out and open wide the door to faith together.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Let My Love Open the Door to Your Heart

 In the liner notes of Townshend's Gold (Remaster) CD, he refers to this song as "Jesus sings."
  Pause the playlist at bottom right to enjoy this song!
I spent the weekend up in the mountains with a group of women,
daughters all, willing to stand together, in a place set apart
to let the love of Christ open the door to our hearts.

With the Church's call in Porta Fidei, we were nudged
to contemplate what that door was like for each of us at this particular time in our lives...

Was the call interior, to receive Christ's love more deeply in our own personhood?

Was it a threshold call to trust in that in-between place with our eyes fixed on Him?

Was it a beckoning forth, to set out on pilgimage, to follow in faith where Love leads?

Like those old keys that would work in just about any door, we considered a way of opening, entry, passage. 

K Know the Word
Oh not to memorize chapter and verse to cite impressively but to know the sweeping story of God's love, the heart of God revealed in sacred story and living know Christ the Word, even as I am known.  As in the biblical sense to 'know man' , so to know Christ, fleshy and real, with authentic intimacy and love beyond know that Word in the prayer of the heart, to be so knit together in love that the story of scripture and the life of faith is experienced as an immersion in the living loving truth of longer just God's story, but my story lived out daily in acceptance, faith and humility (humus: of the earth, to deeply receive the life God gives and then, grounded in Him, to offer it back fully and free)

E Live Eucharist
Eucharisteo - To truly receive Christ, body soul and divinity with open hands; swallow it; believe. TRUST. Bread of Life broken in the One Life laid down in love for us all and for our salvation.  To Live Christ, indwelling, through the gift of that sacred meal we share, but also through His spirit now in us; Real Presence.  Test yourselves daily to see if you are living by faith...perhaps you yourselves do not realize that Christ Jesus is in you- St Paul to the Corinthians.  In our Blessing.  In our Brokenness.  In our Sharing.  Be the Body of Christ His Word and our Faith tells us we are.  Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice of praise.  And be ThankfulFor All I Thank Him; embody the gift and joy which is at the heart of all (greek charis/chara) we have been given.

Y  Be You
Be the child of God that is your true identity, uniquely you, in this time and place.  Be a saint on The Way, a blessed one whom God has gifted to the world.  Be honest with yourself, TRUST to let God in to your truest self (whom God already knows for God alone sees the heart) You know...the one who gets angry and giggles in those inappropriate moments, who likes to dance but is too shy to do it, who holds love and fear tightly in her hands.  Fall in love and follow Christ because of love, live your YES in the middle of mystery.  Be wholly holy: whole, sound, happy, dedicated to religious use; coming from and going toward God.  That makes everything along the way (aka YOUR LIFE) ripe with the possibility of encounter, healing, joy, gratitude, love, mercy, hope, salvation. 

Faith isn't something you put on, like your Sunday best, but rather a living Sabbath, the daily habit of grace; to worship (at it's simplest - to give worth, value, trust to something) in the extraordinary ordinary moments we call life, God; Who is Love. 


Let Your Life Sing

For Jenny...For Us All

I have great faith in all things not yet spoken.
I want to free what waits within me
so that what no one yet has dared to wish for
may for once spring clear
without my contriving.

If this is arrogant, God, may I be forgiven,
but what I need to say is this:
may what I do flow from me like a river,
without anger, without timidness,
no forcing and no holding back.

Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,
these deepening tides moving out, returning,
I will sing You as no one ever has,
streaming through widening channels
into the open sea.

Ranier Maria Rilke