Sufficient for a Day
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Image credit: Mystical Conversation, 1896, Odilon Redon
Can a mother forget her infant,
be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
Even should she forget,
I will never forget you.
— Isaiah 49: 15
I do not even pass judgement on myself.
— 1 Corinthians 4: 3
Do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or drink,
or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more than food
and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds in the sky;
they do not sow or reap,
they gather nothing into barns,
yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are not you more important than they?
Can any of you by worrying
add a single moment
to your life span?
... Do not worry about tomorrow;
tomorrow will take care of itself.
Sufficient for a day is its own evil.
— Matthew 6: 25-27, 34
Do not worry. Do not judge. How to be in a world of turmoil, displacement, insecurity, uncertainty, helplessness, and seeming impending doom around the next corner? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life span? Is this worrying not merely adding to the collective anxiety — the unconscious milieu in which all are participating? Here is another possibility:
"Focus on Love itself. That is the royal road ... and one that is everywhere present and available to everyone. In the beginning, love is seen as dualistic, i.e., the one who loves and that which is loved. Love starts out as conditional and a feeling state, but it progresses. It becomes apparent that love is a way of seeing, experiencing, and interpreting life. Later, it becomes apparent that it is a state of being.
"Life itself becomes the expression of love, and that love is the way to realizing that one's life is love. In the final realization, the divinity of love transforms perception into spiritual vision, and the presence of God as All That Is becomes self-revealing. All existence radiates forth the divinity of its essence as creation, which is the manifestation of the love of God.
"Lovingness is a way of relating to the world. It is a generosity of attitude that expresses itself in seemingly small but powerful ways. It is a wish to bring happiness to others, to brighten their day and lighten their load. To merely be friendly and complimentary to everyone one meets in the course of a day is revealing. That this is not a commonplace attitude is revealed by people's response when they encounter it. Often, they respond with surprise or even a pleased state of shock."
— David Hawkins, The Eye of The I
A prayer into which to prepare to enter into Lent from a life lived in love:
"Dear God, these are anxious times. Tonight, for the first time I lay in the dark with burning eyes as scene after scene of human suffering passed before me. I shall promise you one thing, God, just one very small thing: I shall never burden my today with cares about my tomorrow, although that takes some practice. Each day is sufficient unto itself. I shall try to help you, God, to stop my strength ebbing away though I cannot vouch for it in advance. But one thing is becoming increasingly clear to me: that You cannot help us, that we must help you to help ourselves. And that is all we can manage these days and also all that really matters: that we safeguard that little piece of you, God, in ourselves. And perhaps in others as well. ... You cannot help us, but we must help you and defend your dwelling place inside us to the last."
— Etty Hillesum, An Interrupted Life
Etty Hillesum's last known writings were scribbled on a postcard thrown from the train that delivered her to Auschwitz. "We left the camp singing," she wrote. Etty Hillesum was put to death at Auschwitz in 1943. Her journals are an astounding testament to Wisdom.
- Listen with the ear of your heart for a word or phrase that speaks to you: What is evoked within your heart?
- Share with us in the Practice Group your reflections on this weeks readings and practice.
Extend the Universe Ahead
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Image Credit: Odilon Redon, Sita, 1893
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!
How inscrutable ... how unsearchable God's ways!
For who has known the mind of the Lord
or who has been his counselor?
Or who has given the Lord anything
that he may be repaid?
For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be glory forever. Amen.
— Romans 11: 33-36
Jesus said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
Simon Peter said in reply,
"You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Jesus said to him in reply,
"Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
— Matthew 16: 15-17
This past week we witnessed the rare phenomenon of a total solar eclipse. For a moment, tens of millions of people all over the world dropped their preoccupations with everything earthly and looked up. With child-like wonder and excitement, we donned goofy glasses or make-shift cereal boxes, we oohed and aahed, we shared pictures of our collective delight. We paused, smiled and laughed, children at play together, while shadows of half-moons danced under the trees on sidewalks, lawns, and fields.
Although the sun and moon are part of our everyday existence, on this day, we stopped to see them in a new way, in a new orientation to one another. And yet, this possibility of seeing anew the depths and riches of God's glory exists each day, in everyone and everything. What eclipses this in us?
Meditations on Seeing
"The chief thing that separates us from God is the thought that we are separated from God. If we get rid of that thought, our troubles will be greatly reduced. We fail to believe that we are always with God and that God is part of every reality. The present moment, every object we see, our inmost nature are all rooted in God. But we hesitate to believe this until personal experience gives us confidence to believe in it. This involves the gradual development of intimacy with God."
— Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart
"The problem is that the person who we think we are ... is not the authentic man or woman that we are. And not only are we not who we think we are, but other people are not who we, or they, think they are. Our judgments about our character and other people's character — and the reality of the world within and around us — are largely incorrect. We see everything upside down or from the perspective of downright ignorance. ...
"Centering Prayer reduces the obstacles in us to divine love and enlarges our capacity to engage in the intricacies of the divine dance."
— Thomas Keating, Manifesting God
"Each time the mind comprehends something, it unites the world in a way that is new; it participates in the generation of the divine Word and creates a new unity through the Spirit. ... Teilhard [de Chardin] said: 'To discover and know is to actually extend the universe ahead and complete it.'...
"Teilhard wrote that the human person 'is nothing else than evolution become conscious of itself.' ... What Teilhard indicates is that human consciousness is a Big Bang phenomenon, so that amid the complexities of human consciousness, there is a deep sense of belonging to a cosmic whole."
— Ilia Delio, Making All Things New: Catholicity, Cosmology, Consciousness
You are the Christ.
- What speaks to your heart?
- We invite you to join in the Practice Group and share with us your discoveries and reflections.
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