- Sunday November 12 – The Practice of Vigilance
– Prayerfully re-read these passages again in the manner of Lectio Divina, perhaps aloud so you can feel them with more of your senses. What opens your heart?
– Wisdom’s qualities are pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy, impartial, and sincere. Pagola and Keating speak of those wise people of tireless hope that society needs. What practices and people ignite hope, fan the flames of endurance, and shine wisdom in your life?
– You are invited to remember who you are by listening and gazing upon this beautiful YouTube video called ‘Sit Around The Fire’ (8 Minutes) with Ram Dass. Notice where it leads you and what opens up for you.
You may find the full email reflection here: https://mailchi.mp/coutreach/word-of-the-week-nov12
I think specifically of Pope Francis. His desire to open our faith-structure to all really brings this concept home for me.
For me, contemplation must be met with action. I find when I don’t, God gives me regular reminders (anxiety, fears). The action side also helps to quiet the constant self depreciating behavior I tend towards.
These passages remind me of Martin Luther King Jr. ‘s “long arc of history”, humanity’s journey towards harmony with all creation. The journey often has its fits and starts but we mustn’t lose sight of The Way. I am also reminded of indigenous people and their continual return to the ancestors – both human and non-human – as a source of wisdom. There is hope and wisdom in our history and in our natural world. As we emerge from a time in silence, let us be ever vigilant in noticing these sources of hope and wisdom.
To discern rightly, for me, in this moment, I need to be focused on the one thing necessary. During my centering prayer this morning, concerns and analyses and pictures in my head kept me fragmented. Coming out of that I dropped back , down further , to a level of quietude:. Eventually, Walter Wink’s definition of prayer rose up in me:” Prayer is waking God up, setting God free , giving this famished God food and this thirsty God water….following this God wherever God goes” (probably somewhat inaccurate). So the ministry, the reaching out , has to be tethered to this presence of God, felt or unfelt , in the core of my being.
The word “vigilance” activates my hyper vigilance (from childhood trauma) so in the ear of my heart, I hear God saying: “it’s ok, you can relax, if you don’t get it right, I’ve got you”. Yes, I hear that all the time from my God, “I’ve got you”. I make little reminders (drawings) of my child self in free-fall and God catching me.
Good to have Father Keating’s words as a reminder to allow myself to be in the present moment, whatever the present moment holds. “Patience is hope in action. It waits for the saving help of God without giving up, giving in, or going away.” I have an image of sitting at the foot of God’s throne, smiling and waiting, just smiling and waiting. Forever, if need be. Patience is hope in action. <3 linda
Powerful pray experiences began with the image this week. I was totally enveloped by this image, spontaneously saying out loud: Oh, this is me! A wave of despair washed over me, quickly, from fear to it is okay, the blindfold, the chain, connected to the source of deep listening, position of both hands, this is my life, grounded on this earth as well as grounded and enveloped by the cosmos? by a felt sense that today I am naming as Wisdom. I met this Wisdom that came more and more alive to me with the common lectionary readings from the book of Wisdom this week, especially.( Ws 7:22-8:1) Word after word flooded my whole being, “fashioner, holy, unique, subtle, more mobile than any motion, ….” Willing to plumb new depths of despair I found the real HOPE. Twenty years ago I read, pondered, re-ponded, got friends to ponder, where we shared our pondering. The book was Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope” (Joan Chittister). Watts image brought me face to face real hope. I call George a kindred spirit. My ego self has gone through huge conversion and today is okay when huge volcanic irruptions took me right back to me childhood home, when I, the big girl, learned not to ask for help. Two powerful episodes this week, one asking a friend to bring me a 2024 daily planner from office. The city responding to a sewer problem, closed off my street. When she finally found how to get to me, I felt so responsible for her loss of time. My descent into “oh, no” was short lived when I realized this will make a great story when we gather for lunch. I can just feel the laughter, the teasing, which makes for healthy staff interchanges. The other a situation of huge injustice for fragile group of senior persons. I got the ball rolling ( no descent this time) by going to the source through an email, to get out the info we needed for a gathering next week. I hate confronting people who are remiss in their responsibilities. A few or (more than a few) Welcoming prayers in the days to come will assist my ego-self in letting go, becoming more and more okay with deep listening to the Fashioner, unpolluting, … TRUSTING the POWER of that BREATH, (Ws 7:22-8:1).
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