Published September 1, 2014
Without solitude and silence, I easily lose my self. And God. Silence gives me space for receptivity; it allows me to hear the speechless language of God and to respond with our hearts. Silence produces an inner restfulness that helps the soul to soar. The greatest malady of our time is the absence of stillness and silence. To become more and more silent, to enter deeply into creative silence, takes courage. The wordless is foreign to us. Yet God transcends language and intellect. Listen…don’t think. Deep silence is profoundly liberating.
Prayerful silence is more than a lack of words; it is a state of alert stillness. The point is not to rest, but to concentrate and focus the heart and mind on God. Beneath the appearance of passivity is an active state of attentiveness. In deep silence, we are fully awake, fully open and one with God.
To enter the silence of meditation is to enter our own poverty as we renounce words and images, as we renounce thoughts and imagination, as we renounce our concepts and intellect and we sit alert, waiting to hear from God…even if we must wait a lifetime.
Published August 28, 2014
The great mystic Meister Eckhart [1260 - 1327] claimed God doesn’t require long vigils, fasting, prayer and mortification from us. But he does demand tranquility. Eckhart urges us to flee and hide from the storm of inner thoughts. Today, he would tell us to also flee the inferno of noise that engulfs modern life. We need unruffled calmness to encounter God.
Here are two random suppositions which I think are somehow connected:
1) It has been calculated that the average American spends 15 years of his or her life in front of a television.
2) Consumerism has killed the spirit of mysticism. The rise in an interest in Tao and Zen demonstrates people are hungry for the fruit of mysticism.
Our lives are a pilgrimage to God. The key to being a pilgrim is to remain still interiorly as you journey…otherwise you are just a wanderer. Each day needs to be a pilgrimage into my own heart.
Published August 25, 2014
All creation is in the state of evolution, in the process of becoming. Incarnation transforms us by grace, changing us into what we were made to be: love. We are instruments of incarnation…calling forth a new creation. We are mothers of incarnation by giving birth to the word of God by the way we live and work. The incarnation, life, and death of Christ teach not to place any limits on forgiveness and sharing. The mystery of the incarnation deals with the stuff of life—and the choices we make. God is with us…every moment of every day. If we forget that, we are doomed. Only in silence can you hear the vast, boundless depths of the Spirit speaking more and more clearly about the unlimited love and mercy of God. Be still. Be quiet. Be.
Published August 22, 2014
Spirituality is essentially a journey in which we move from what we are to what we will be; it is a journey to weakness. We truly learn to live when we begin to explore our weaknesses. Every experience of weakness is an opportunity of growth and renewed life. Weaknesses transformed by the reality of Christ become life-giving virtues. I was becoming smug about my spiritual progress when I was knocked off my high horse by this thought: I still harbor aspirations beyond Christ.
Spiritual life involves struggle and effort. Anyone who wants to love distrusts whatever is easy. The spiritual life does not lift us out of the human condition, with its misery, problems, confrontations, pain and difficulties. Oh but if it did. The spiritual life plunges us more deeply into our humanity. It would be nice to sit in church all day, our hands clasped in prayer, drinking in the ecstasy of the Lord. But that is unrealistic; we must enter into the marketplace, walk the alleys of commerce. We must help each other out of the ditches we fall into. It is in the streets of life, that we encounter God. Everything human is divine.
Oh how we long to find God in some moment of spiritual ecstasy, looking for the Divine in some spectacular or extra-ordinary event. Yet God comes to us, if we are to believe—fully believe—what scripture says, in a humble disguise, in unexpected places. God comes to us poor, hungry, thirsty, diseased, imprisoned, alone and lonely. God comes to us in a homeless old woman forced to use a public street for a toilet. God comes to us in people, places and ways that make it difficult for us to see Him or receive Him. We don’t find God where we expect or want to find Him.
Published August 19, 2014
We need each other to become whole. Human convergence comes through love. Love unites what has become fragmented and isolated. And in our unity we still keep our individuality, with each gift of life creating a beautiful particle that helps form the whole of life, the full body of Christ. God is unity. God pulls us out of our isolation by showering us with the grace to see that our lives and gifts must be put to the service of others and all of creation. Through acts of sharing and serving which shall move toward union. In reaching out to others we are reaching out to God.
We have not yet begun to tap the powerful and sacred energies of love, as Christ asks us to do, even to the point of loving our enemies. Through love we shall evolve to what we were created to be…fully realized children of God and heirs of heaven, which can be materialized right here on earth.
Published August 16, 2014
Clean and Whole
In God, there is no trace of vengeance, not even for a split second. Wrath and vengeance are human traits. God knows nothing of wrath because wrath is a turning away from peace and love. Wrath is born from a failure of wisdom and goodness on our part. God is the goodness that cannot be wrathful. Julian of Norwich said, “If God were vengeful for even a moment we would never have life, place or being. In God is endless friendship, space, life and being.” The Church was dreadfully wrong to say that sinners are sometimes worthy of blame and wrath. God neither shames nor blames us; God only loves us and always sees us as clean and whole. And, no matter how hard we resist it, God constantly showers us with the grace to see ourselves as God sees us. It is in our capacity to forgive that is a true sign of our holiness. When we forgive others, we are overcoming our own imperfection, selfishness, smallness, and spiritual ignorance and becoming more aligned with God’s love.
Published August 13, 2014
In our obsession with happiness we easily forget that depression is part of the human condition and that all sorrow need not be numbed with antidepressants such as Prozac. No pill can get to the root of the multidimensional causes of depression.
It’s in failure and rejection that we’re given the chance to truly face our inner demons.
In the space of life’s darkest moments, wisdom and light begins to flow.
What we need to become whole is hidden in our brokenness.
The loud drumbeat of fear and anxiety can be quieted by contemplation.