"Beyond the sorrow and disappointments in life, deep in the fabric of things, there is a blessing: the blessing of existence, of having been chosen to be...." (William Cleary, We Side with the Morning)
In sight of the risen Christ, may we offer praise and gratitude that we too, are alive!
"One of the essential messages of Easter is: Whenever we are discouraged in our faith, whenever our hopes seem to be crucified, we need to go back to Galilee and Jerusalem, that is, to the dream, to the road of discipleship that we had embarked upon before everything went wrong. In one guise, or another, Christ always meets us on the road, burns holes in our hearts, and sends us back - to Galilee, to Jerusalem, and to our abandoned discipleship. Once there, it all makes sense again." Ronald Rolheiser
Lenten Journey 2023
I offer myself as an empty vessel, opening wide to possibility and receptive to the grace of the Holy Spirit, making way for horizons not yet envisioned. (Author unknown)
One of the most moving and inspiring books I have read for Lent is THE PASSION AND THE CROSS by Ronald Rolheiser. "In the Gospel, Jesus tells us that there exists a certain secret, a hidden wisdom, which, should we grasp it, is the key to unraveling all the deep secrets of life. For Jesus, the hidden secret that holds the key to everything is the cross; the wisdom of the cross and the brokenness of the one who died on the cross. If we grasp that reality, we will have the key to understanding the rest of life; if we do not grasp that wisdom, the meaning of life will always be somewhat of a riddle to us." (From Preface)
A Lenten Journey
We invite you to return and pray with us as we journey together through this Lenten desert. We are encouraged
to walk into the desert led by the Holy Spirit, just as Jesus was.
Week 1 - One Step
I need to continually encourage myself during Lent, as I fail to live up to my expectations and goals. Teresa of Avila urges us, "to see where we are as simply another starting point for future journeying toward God. And if a person should do no more than take one step, the step will contain in itself so much power that [they] will not have to fear losing it."
I continue to take one step at a time.
Week 2 - What If
What if this hum in my head ~ this swirling energy in my body was really God entering this world in a way only I could allow?
What if this simple willingness ~ this quiet surrender, was my highest calling ~ the one thing I was born to do ~ to be?
What if I really trusted that all else was up to God, even making me ‘good’ and helping me love it all?
What if it was really this simple ~ to sit and open to His Presence, to Her Embrace, transforming every longing heart?
What if each full in-breath opened some door to Spirit’s Wind ~ each full out-breath released that healing breeze into my personal reality?
What if everything else was just pure joy of living into what had already been made new?
By Paul Lemon, Retreatant
It is not in understanding that we come to believe, but in believing that we come to understand.
Let us reflect on our own "WHAT IF?" questions.
Week 3 - Alone
Jesus was alone in the desert. Jesus was alone in the Garden, even though apostles slept close by. Jesus was alone on his Passion walk, even though surrounded by people. Jesus was alone on the cross, even though his closest few stood by. The unfathomable loneliness, rejection, and helplessness Jesus experienced give us a clue to our deepest calling, to a place where we experience the very heart of God.
"The shadows fall. The stars appear. The birds begin to sleep. Night embraces the silent half of the earth. A vagrant, a destitute wanderer with dusty feet, finds his way down a new road. A homeless God, lost in the night, without papers, without identification, without even a number, a frail expendable exile lies down in desolation under the sweet stars of the world and entrusts Himself to sleep." - Thomas Merton
Week 4 - Poverty of Spirit
Poverty of Spirit ~ Recognition of our own spiritual poverty/nothingness; an emptiness of self and total dependence on God. And Jesus showed us how ~ he emptied himself, humbled himself, made himself nothing in his complete dependence on his Father.
“My Father is at work until now, so I am at work.” (John 5:17)
“My teaching is not my own, but is from the one who sent me.” (John 8:38)
“I do nothing on my own. . ." (John 8:28)
“Who, though he was in the form of God. . . emptied himself. . . humbled himself. . .” (Phil 2:6-8)
A difficult concept to grasp and contrary to our normal way of thinking and functioning. But, as we know, Jesus turned everything upside down. He came to show us the true way. When we look at Jesus on the cross ~ alone, rejected, broken ~ “We see into the very heart of God. . .The cross reveals how vulnerability is the very path to intimacy.”
(The Passion and the Cross, Ronald Rolheiser)
Our spiritual journey is meant to lead us so deep that we embody that sentiment, "I do nothing on my own."
Week 5 - Rugged Journey
A rugged journey
we stumble along
with Jesus and his cross
we try to be stong.
The cross is so heavy
we fall on the way
but hope and love draw us
so we will not stray.
God is in waiting
for us to arrive
for here in God's heart
we are most alive.
Jesus's rugged journey led him to the cross, to death, to resurrection and glory.
These last days of Lent, may we reflect on our own rugged journey and where it may lead us.
Week 6 - Beauty and Hope among the Thorns
"Jesus does not take away the sin of the world by somehow carrying it off . . . Nor does he take it away by paying off a debt to God for Adam's sin and ours. He takes it away by transforming it, by taking it inside of him and not giving it back. Jesus took away the sin of the world by taking in hatred and giving back love; by taking in anger and giving out graciousness; by taking in envy and giving back blessing; by taking in bitterness and giving back warmth . . . by taking in sin and giving back forgiveness. Our task, too, is to help take away the sins of the world. We do this whenever we take in hatred, anger, envy, bitterness and hold them, transmute them, and eventually give them back as love, graciousness, blessing, forgiveness."
(Ronald Rolheiser) May the beauty of these words enkindle hope and love in our hearts, amidst our own thorns.
ALLELUIA! LOVE IS ALIVE!
May we be fully alive in love.
May 19, 2022
"The desert is. . . the logical dwelling place for the one who seeks to be nothing but oneself - that is to say, a creature solitary and poor and dependent upon no one but God." -Thomas Merton
May 26, 2022
"It takes patience to come to know God. We must give ourselves a lifetime to do it. " ~Joan Chittister
January 11, 2021
We have moved from a most challenging year into a new on. "Always we begin again, " St. Benedict tells us.
May our spirits be strong, fueled by new hope, may our hearts be gentle and filled with compassion for others, and may our souls find comfort and peace in the arms of our God.
January 18, 2021
We are entering a new chapter of history; we begin a new story.
As the characters in this story, we can rewrite our participation in its unfolding. So, I contemplate what role I might play, what gifts I have to offer, who and what God is calling me to be and do. I will begin as Samuel did in yesterday's reading with the words, "Speak Lord, your servant is listening" (1 Samuel 3:3b-10).
February 4, 2021
I have a rock with the words "Everything Matters" etched into it. It is a daily reminder to keep watch on my thoughts and words. You have probably heard this equation: Thoughts become words. Words become actions. Actions become habits. Habits become character. Character becomes our destiny.
March 4, 2021
"We usually talk about God as the all-powerful, almighty God on whom we depend completely. But God wanted to become the all-powerless, all-vulnerable God who completely depends on us." - Henri Nouwen Something to think about this Lent.
April 4, 2021
Easter has arrived. May this holy season raise our awareness of everyday miracles, graced moments, and God's love within and around us. May we reconnect to the sacredness of life.
October 1, 2020
Many voices clamor for our attention every day. I see in myself and others how spending too much time immersed in the news and negative happenings in the world alter our focus. We can choose what we listen to, who we listen to. "The voices we spend the most time listening to in the world and inside our own minds, shape the way we see, how we feel, and what we do. When I spend time listening to people who are speaking from their deepest wisdom, I can feel understanding, inspiration, and energy nourish the root of my own wisdom." - Richard Rohr
October 4, 2020
Spending more time in prayer during these Covid months has deepened my concern for the suffering, the rejected, the poor and homeless. I read this prayer by Thomas Merton often and weep for the injustice and callousness that exist in our world. "The shadows fall. The stars appear. The birds begin to sleep. Night embraces the silent half of the earth. A vagrant, a destitute wanderer with dusty feet, finds his way down a new road. A homeless God, lost in the night, without papers, without identification, without even a number, a frail expendable exile lies down in desolation under the sweet stars of the world and entrusts Himself to sleep." - Thomas Merton
October 14, 2020
After 14 years, Peacewhisper's plastic bay window in the Dome finally succumbed to the sun's rays. It was not so easily replaced, but as of today, the Dome is once again watertight.
November 1, 2020 ~ All Saints Day
"Be with those who help your being." ~ Rumi May we learn from all those "saintly" people who surround us, who bring out the goodness in us.
November 19, 2020
Through the practice of Centering Prayer, one comes to feel more deeply the pain of others. As I mourn the recent death of my brother, I can't help but mourn the suffering of all those who have lost loved ones. May God hold them close.
November 26, 2020 ~ Happy Thanksgiving
We are so grateful for all of you and for your continued support and prayers on this Thansgiving day. ~Barb and Rick
November 30, 2020
Gratitude opens our hearts and blesses our tears, helps us see clearly and lessens our fears. Gratitude makes connections with God and with others, compels us to know we are all sisters and brothers.
During Advent, you might wait, see, and connect with the beauty and goodness around and in you. Awe and gratitutde will naturally surface.
December 17, 2020
Beauty soothes the soul and inspires the spirit. We need to find beauty, especially now amidst the struggles and suffering of this pandemic. A smile, a candle, a flower, a connection, a sunrise can bring beauty into our lives. Seek the beautiful.
December 24, 2020
What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of many. That is what love looks like. May we strive to "be love" this Christmas season. May we reach out to and lift up the lonely, the hungry, the homeless, and the hopeless.
Open our eyes
to the sacredness of all life.
Open our minds
to honor the diversity.
Open our arms
to embrace one another.
Open our hearts
to the unfolding gift of our journeys.
Open our entire being
to embody your healing, love,
and peace to the world.