Thursday, March 31, 2011

love thursday 03.31.11 ~ hey, beloved....


The people who know God well—the mystics, the hermits, those who risk everything to find God—always meet a lover, not a dictator. God is never found to be an abusive father or a tyrannical mother, but a lover who is more than we dared hope for.

Richard Rohr

I am truly enjoying the year of the Beloved. Everywhere I turn, I see evidence and get messages. What's amazing to me is that Richard seems to be on the same path / page this year. Every day when I get an email from him--at least lately--it's like getting a message from the Beloved.

How does it get any better than this?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

no offense...


Abbot Anthony taught Abbot Ammonas, saying: You must advance yet further in the fear of God. And taking him out of the cell he showed him a stone, saying: Go and insult that stone, and beat it without ceasing. When this had been done, St. Anthony asked him if the stone had answered back. No, said Ammonas. Then Abbot Anthony said, You too must reach the point where you no longer take offence at anything.

The Wisdom of the Desert

I have a very thin skin. Oh, that I could bear insults without wanting to retaliate and do great harm. The good news is that even though I want to do great harm, I don't. I consider this great success.

Truth is, sticks and stones and names (and other words) all hurt. I've learned to walk away, but not without wounds.

The good news is that since I have borne the brunt of such offenses, I know what it is like on the receiving end and am not so likely to offend. I can learn. I do learn. And when I screw up...I try to make amends. Too bad some things can never be taken back.

Too bad, indeed.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

do your own thing


The same Father said: If there are three monks living together, of whom one remains silent in prayer at all times, and another is ailing and gives thanks for it, and the third waits on them both with sincere good will, these three are equal, as if they were performing the same work.

The Wisdom of the Desert

There is more than one path. More than one calling. More than one vocation--even within the vocation.

I find great comfort in this teaching. We are only called to do what is before us and what we are able to do. Kind of blows that whole comparison thing doesn't it?

Hallelujah. (That should make Rojo happy! ...the Hallelujah, I mean.)

Monday, March 28, 2011

judge not

(just in case you think you are...)

An elder said: Do not judge a fornicator if you are chaste, for if you do, you too are violating the law as much as he is. For He who said thou shalt not fornicate also said thou shalt not judge.

The Wisdom of the Desert

Whooeee! I've been spending a lot of time with this one.

I remember when I was a little kid in Sunday school that I thought the same thing that elder taught. No one else seemed to think that way though. There was always a heirarchy of sins, somehow dependent upon the interpretation of those in the know. I was not in the know.

Lately, I've been watching how judgmental I can be. Not pretty. Sometimes I am getting better at holding my tongue and not spilling it all, but the judgments still rise to the surface of my mind.

I guess noticing them is progress. Holding my tongue sometimes is progress. Being uncomfortable with how often I am judgmental is also progress.

What's that they say? Progress not perfection?

Oh, I hope so.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

the wisdom of the desert


Abbot Lot came to Abbot Joseph and said: Father, according as I am able, I keep my little rule, and my little fast, my prayer, meditation and contemplative silence; and according as I am able I strive to cleanse my heart of thoughts: now what more should I do? The elder rose up in reply and stretched out his hands to heaven, and his fingers became like ten lamps of fire. He said: Why not be totally changed into fire?

The Wisdom of the Desert

I have been reading about the Desert Fathers, thanks to Richard Rohr. This particular volume is a personal selection made by Thomas Merton. It was not uncommon that a Brother would make a diary or journal of sorts full of the sayings that spoke to him personally.

Each of the recorded sayings was meaningful in a context. The Father who spoke was addressing a particular person on a specific issue or topic. Often, he was asked for "a word" to encourage, support, or teach the younger brother. So, of course, not all of the sayings speak to everyone. (This, I believe, is also true of Scripture--that there is a context that today has been forgotten...or never known...by some of those who use the Word to their own ends.)

You will see and hear more of these here. And maybe I'll find more to say than I have lately.

I love the mystical experience of the Brothers in the Desert. I love how they sequester themselves with the Beloved.

Why not be changed into fire? I mean...really.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

love thursday 03.24.11 ~ love your neighbor as yourself


Love, of course, means something much more than mere sentiment, much more than token favours and perfunctory almsdeeds. Love means an interior and spiritual identification with one's brother, so that he is not regarded as an "object" to "which" one "does good." The fact is that good done to another as to an object is of little or no spiritual value. Love takes one's neighbour as one's other self, and loves him with all the immense humility and discretion and reserve and reverence without which no one can presume to enter into the sanctuary of another's subjectivity. From such love all authoritarian brutality, all exploitation, domineering and condescension must necessarily be absent. The saints of the desert were enemies of every subtle or gross expedient by which "the spiritual man" contrives to bully those he thinks inferior to himself, thus gratifying his own ego. They had renounced everything that savoured of punishment and revenge, however hidden it might be.

Thomas Merton

Loving one's neighbor as oneself--here it is again. If it is about my gain, it is not about my loving you. "...all authoritarian brutality, all exploitation, domineering and condescension must necessarily be absent."

Happy Love Thursday.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

original unity



The deepest level of communication is not communication, but communion. It is wordless. It is beyond words, and it is beyond speech, and it is beyond concept. Not that we discover a new unity. We discover an older unity. My dear Brothers [and Sisters], we are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are.

Thomas Merton

It is time to recover our original unity. One that has already been.

So be it.

And if you have never communed with a kitty...you've been missing out.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

what if it weren't politics as usual?

Do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.

Zechariah 7:10

Is it just me or does this seem to be relevant today?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

see if this doesn't twist your mind around a bit

“Do not covet your neighbor’s goods” (Exodus 20:17) is almost impossible for the world to see as a problem. We call it the 10th commandment, but none of us take it seriously, even those who want to make it a monument on the courthouse lawn. I have never in 40-some years as a confessor, heard a single Catholic confess a sin against the 10th commandment. It’s almost impossible for us to see this as a moral issue, liberal or conservative, because it is called capitalism, and is the very air we breathe, and the shape of our entire world.

Now you see why the one thing that drove Jesus to violence was when “buying and selling” (Matthew 21:12) took over the temple space! He knows it’s the end of any real depth or spiritual understanding when everything becomes production and consumption of commodities. He knows that the Great Temple, true holiness, has indeed been destroyed, and we will no longer be able to enjoy reality at the transforming level of divine Spirit or human soul.

Dramatic and exciting church reforms are merely rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic as long as our basic world view is still largely about “buying and selling.” We will make divine grace and mercy themselves into a matter of earning, losing, achieving, punishing, and meriting. The Gospel will be completely dead and gone, while we clergy will continue to discuss new translations of liturgical texts and the laity will argue about who is saved or not saved. Such a Titanic lie deserves to go under.

Richard Rohr

I have been truly enjoying reading Richard's daily meditations. I hope those of you who also get them are not bored with my reposts. I find re-reading them to be useful.

Wow. A new view of capitalism! I don't think capitalism is evil. Nor do I think it is a sin. However, when we take capitalism to heart, it becomes license for greed in many people. Therein lies the problem.

Really, doesn't scripture (no matter what religion you are) teach us to take care of each other? We are God's (who or whatever that is to you) hands on earth.

I wish I had more to share.

Happy Spring!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

three things i know to be true

1. I feel powerless and out of control when I know something to be true and I am told it is not possible--especially when the one saying it's not possible has sway over my outcome.

2. Something ate the heads off one clump of newly opened daffodils in the yard.

3. I care...and those things I care about, I take care of--people, too. And sometimes I hurt when I feel I can't do enough...can't protect...can't make it right.




What are three things you know to be true?

Right here. Right now.

Friday, March 18, 2011

power to the people



"Extremism became tolerance."

"We're gonna win because we don't understand politics."

"The power of the people is much
stronger than the people in power."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

love thursday 03.17.11 ~ embrace the shadow

Those at the edge of any system and those excluded from any system, ironically and invariably hold the secret for the conversion and wholeness of that very group. They always hold the feared, rejected, and denied parts of the group’s soul. You see, therefore, why the church was meant to be that group that constantly went to the edges, to the “least of the brothers and sisters,” and even to the enemy. Jesus was not just a theological genius, but he was also a psychological and sociological genius. When any church defines itself by exclusion, it is always wrong. It is avoiding its only vocation, which is to be the Christ.

Only as the People of God receive the stranger, the sinner, and the immigrant, those who don’t play our game our way, do we discover not only the hidden, feared, and hated parts of our own souls, but the fullness of Jesus himself. We need them for our own conversion.

The Church is always converted when the outcasts are re-invited back into the temple. You see this in Jesus’ commonly sending marginalized people that he has healed, back into the village, back to their family, or back to the temple to “show themselves to the priests.” It is not just for their re-inclusion and acceptance, but actually for the group itself to be renewed.

Richard Rohr

Only by loving our shadow are we made whole. Those parts that we reject in others? And the parts that we reject in others because we reject them in ourselves? Those are the shadow.

Without embracing our shadow, we cannot be whole. Even Peter Pan knew that.

And no more us and them. Because those we call them...they are us.

Pretty simple, really. On this St. Patrick's Day, consider loving the orange as well as the green.

Happy Love Thursday.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

feminism


I became a feminist as an alternative to becoming a masochist.

Sally Kempton

You don't know how true this is.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

update: after the weekend


(i'm packing up homemade salted dark chocolate peanut clusters
to send with my sister on her journey this week
--the boys are hanging out)

Mom is still here. I'll take her with me to meet with the sisters and cousins in a couple of days and then my sister will take her home.

Had a great weekend with my sister. We laugh. It is good. I'd like to be selfish and have her with me for the whole week...but then so would everyone else she came to visit. So, I'll share.

I made the peanut clusters and we still have a bag of unopened M&Ms. We're pacing ourselves. Probably, they will be gone by the time my sister heads home.

I am sore, but Mom & I saw the chiropractor today and he is very good at what he does. I think he will have us back in dancing form before too long.

The appointment for the estimate on the car is Thursday...Love Thursday.

Yep. Laughter definitely helps.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

weekend list...not necessarily "top"

Mom is here visiting.

Sister arrives this morning.

I found a source for dark chocolate peanut M&Ms.

Got rearended yesterday. Am hoping that I am not too sore to move in the next 24 to 48 hours.

It's amazing how much damage can happen to a body in a low speed collision--human or auto.

I am sure that laughter is going to be the best medicine.

Friday, March 11, 2011

honesty



The world is moved not only by the mighty shoves of the heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.

Helen Keller

And to all the honest workers out there. Happy Friday. If I am not mistaken, unions have been responsible for the 40 hour work week and the weekend. Enjoy it while you can, my friends.

Emphasis on honesty. If only those in power were so honest.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

love thursday 03.10.11 ~ for one and all

(i love his big paws)

Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both.

Eleanor Roosevelt

If it is not just, it cannot be love.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

pipe dream

An email going around says that this device was made from farm equipment at University of Iowa and now resides at the Smithsonian. Actually, according to snopes.com, the device doesn't exist in real life, but is a computer animated music video entitled "Pipe Dream."

Whatever...

I think it's cool...



Tuesday, March 08, 2011

long love

When two people relate to each other authentically and humanly, God is the electricity that surges between them.

Martin Buber

Yesterday was my sister and brother-in-law's anniversary. My brother and his wife celebrated 40 years of marriage this year. Today is Mom and Dad's anniversary.

They were married 62 years...almost 63 when Dad passed. This is their 64th.

Ours is a family of long love and commitment. It's a good legacy. Thanks, Mom and Dad.

Monday, March 07, 2011

use it well

(happy 41st anniversary--i didn't take this photo)
The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.

Jack London


That's my sister and her husband. This is their 41st anniversary. Unfortunately, he is no longer here, but their bond remains...'cause that's how love is. We never know how much time we have. Use it well.

The countdown begins. My mom is here visiting and my sister will be here at the end of the week. I may be counting down the days, but I am using them well in the meantime.

May you all be so loved.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

enhancing the freedom of others

To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.

Nelson Mandela


Saturday, March 05, 2011

surely, spring is coming


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go.


Dr. Seuss
Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Gnomes in the spotlight of the sun.

Daffodils about to pop their heads open.

Squirrels coming to beg.

Temperatures in the 50s...almost.

Jonesing for a trip to the islands.

Starting to look for bamboo shoots.

Wanting to get clean up projects done.

Daylight when I get up.

Daylight at the end of the work day.

(By the way...Daylight Savings Time next weekend!)

What are your signs of Spring?

Surely, it's coming...isn't it?

Friday, March 04, 2011

nuff sed

As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.

Abraham Lincoln

Happy birthday, Mom. I could not have had a better mother. I love you and I am so glad you are coming for a visit. You're The Bomb!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

love thursday 03.03.11 ~ letting go

We fear nothingness. That’s why we fear death, too. I suspect that death is the shocking realization that everything I thought was me, everything I held onto so desperately, was finally nothing.

The nothingness we fear so much is, in fact, the treasure and freedom that we long for. We long for the space where there is nothing to prove and nothing to protect; where I am who I am, in the mind and heart of God, and that is more than enough.

Spirituality teaches us how to get naked ahead of time, so God can make love to us as we really are.

Richard Rohr
"...so God can make love to us as we really are."

I know that some of you have seen this already because you told me about Richard's daily meditation, so I know you receive it. This, however...this is what I am talking about in the year of the Beloved.

I don't want to just be loved. I want to be the beloved of the Beloved.

Here's the thing--we all can. All at once.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

even rhinestones reflect more light than many in political leadership in the world


I never let a rhinestone go unturned.

Dolly


Lately I am tired of all the heaviness in the world--wars, revolutions, lies, cheating, greed, evil. All of it--I am sick of it.

It must be time for some frivolity. Dolly always cheers me up. I don't like rhinestones, but I do love Dolly and her sense of humor.

And The Sorcerer's Apprentice--the new one--is worth watching.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

liberation

Every time we liberate a woman, we liberate a man.

Margaret Mead