Showing posts from January, 2015

Contemplating the Real Questions

Recently, I came across these questions posited by Henri Nouwen, who was one of my favorite spiritual writers from the seventies, in addition to Thomas Merton, whose centenary happens to be today. Both of these prolific writers, teachers, priests and mystics, exerted a deep influence on my spirituality. I read and reflected on these questions, finding them to be quite powerful and a useful tool, and so I saved them, because they are truly perennial questions - meant to be asked over and over again - scrutinized, masticated, authentically pondered, and even verbalized out loud, until they become so deeply internalized that they become part of the fabric of our minds, our prayers, our hearts, and our spirituality. I can think of no better questions to ask myself at the end of my day as I take time to review  events experienced and encountered, before drifting off to sleep or finishing my night prayers. As I close out the first month of this still, fairly new year, I commit to askin

Have You Been Called?

A week ago, I heard a homily by a deacon of one of the churches that I attend, and I have been thinking about it ever since. It was given in response to the reading from the prophet Samuel, where God calls him in the night, and Samuel responds with one of my favorite prayers and lines: "Speak Lord. Your servant is listening." Perhaps none of us have been called in such a dramatic way. But we are all called in many ways, and some of them can be very simple. For example, you are called: When you are a witness to someone's story, or pain - and touch someone's hand - or wipe away their tear... When you selflessly give of your time and your heart... When you witness an injustice, and decide to correct it, or do something about it - or  seek to educate others about it... When you decide that your work conflicts with your values and you make the decision to move on... When you dedicate your time, your effort, or your resources, to helping those in need...

How Can I Love Enough?

Earlier this week, I wrote an entry entitled, "Did you love enough?" Of course, the question was meant for myself:  "Did I love enough  in those situations I faced  in the past -  and am I loving enough  in these situations I am currently living?" And as I have been reflecting on those questions - and its corollary,  "Have I loved myself enough?"  I have inevitably been led to consider the following questions: "How can I love enough?"  That is to say -  "How can I love more?" And then logically, the next question to follow, is simply:  "How can I love myself more?" Needless to say, these will keep me entertained for quite some time... Though this month has not been as slow as I would have wished, I look forward to some days in the near future - hopefully ones that are not as cold as it has been thus far - where I can sit by the riverbank and explore these questions more deeply. "How c

Did You Love Enough?

"Did you love enough?" This question has been haunting me for nearly a month - ever since a friend brought it up as she reflected on her life and situation. I went home that afternoon, daring to ask myself the same thing: "Did I love enough?" Did I love enough in that situation in the past? Am I loving enough in this situation now? And inevitably that morphed into: "Have I loved myself enough?" No matter the question or its variation - the answer is always the same: NO. We can never love enough - whether it is someone else - or ourselves. Love by its very nature is expansive. There is always more room to grow. In loving others however, the key is to love without attachment, without holding on - without being needy. And in loving ourselves - we may simply just need to set boundaries and allow ourselves the right to practice self-care. We can never love enough - just as we can never meditate deeply enough. We never arrive. There is

A Soaring Spirit in the Company of Angels

I begin the year by inviting angels into my sacred space... I begin every new year with some kind of ritual... For years, I began the year by walking a labyrinth in a church. After a decade of doing this, the church no longer offered this as a possibility, so I moved on to other rituals... I believe that the energy you end a year with and the energy with which you usher in a new year colors that whole year... So - last year, and this year - I began it by inviting angels and their energy into my life... I know, it may seem silly to some. But if you don't like the concept of angels - then think of a Power greater than yourself - think of inviting in the the creative energies of the Universe. In other words, invite in whatever resonates... Angels, like Hindu deities, are simply the embodiment of divine characteristics we wish to emulate or become. And what I find fascinating is - that since I literally opened the door to my home and my heart to the angels - everything I ex

Beginning the New Year in Gratitude

A New Year arrives on the heels of another that leaves - quietly, silently... A New Year arrives, full of promise - filled with expectations - rising on the ashes of the previous one... I meditate in the cloaking darkness, descending on the evening and wrapping me in its arms - and then again in bed - and after rising - bridging two worlds, the night and the day - and two years - old and new... I reflect on the waning year and all its unexpected blessings and the creative ventures undertaken... I welcome the new one, filled with possibilities and the impending fruition of all the groundwork laid in the previous year... I end the year, and begin the new one in gratitude... i choose to surround myself with all that is positive, and life giving, and loving... I forgive myself for failings - and others for whatever I perceive might be theirs - mindful of the fact that it may be only my perception which sees it so... I invite angels and guides to journey with me, every step