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- My Experience with the Practice of Utmost Charity
I am listening to a book on tape about conversations between God and figures in the old testament. What i learned is that we cant know who we are … who we are to become.
Jacob tried to define who he was by fooling his father to give him the blessing that belonged to Easau. So jacob pretended to be who he was not-a spectacular false self. When jaacob wrestlrd with the angel at Jabok , he came away limping , and gifted with a new name-i think Isreal. The way God brought about this crisis for jacob suggests the our God is the ultimate trickster. Only when Jacob reconciles with Esau after his interaction with the angel, is jacob free ti be himself.
Somebody asked me recenty as i was talking about a painting i did, “are you an artist ?” My answer: I (just ) am. whether or not i am an artist is irrelevent.
at the first of the year , i wrote a reflection on “who I am.” It started out: “i am a force of nature.” Always evolving. I am someone who is always looking for God’s hand in everything. I am always asking:”what does God think about this preoccupation i am focusing on or this expenditure of energy or resources?” (Word salad, excuse me) . I am learning to be aware of myself as i go through things. At one level , i am “losing it” and at the same time i am being there for myself. And learning that when i go inside, deep into my body, if i stay there long enough , whatever is difficult to stay with, becomes a gift and everything is different. Mostly, i believe God and my true self are deep inside, waiting for me to come home.
This morning , in the first reading, there was something about God sifting us, like gold and, the fuller’s lye. Ye gods! That burns.
There is no “arriving ” . It is always going to be be challenging, this side of heaven.
Thanks, susan. This morning i am reminding myself of this intention and my dependance on God to give me the will and the way to embody it.
That said, I am reminding myself that it is ok to experience unpleasant sensations and a mind trying to create stories , that in the end , are unhelpful. I commit to holding space for it all, yet maintaining this “recognition energy”.
- This reply was modified 3 weeks, 5 days ago by Kathleen M. Kelly.
So, what is theosis, and what is recognition energy? Maybe examples from life or from the language of sciipture or other writers? Thank you!
During yesterday’s word of the week session, Helen described a dream that was incredibly moving. There is a detective series of three episodes that left me feeling the same way at the end. The main character had experienced early and irredeemable loss (seemingly) and a recent profound repetition of that loss. The final scene at the end of the story still brings tears to my eyes. The name of the series from 2015 was called :River.
I am back again. My lectio this morning was “he will baptize with the Holy Spirit”. Did that ever land. The Holy Spirit is the engine of my life. I can trust this spirit within even as I lurch, every day , from prater time to prayer time. I , in my mind’s eye , put a cool washcloth over my brow, so overworked( to what end? )
Continued-from William Butler Yeats, the Second Coming.
today, my intention is to metaphorically hold my hand over my heart, and to live from that heart space. Just for today, I don’t have to take responsibility for analyzing or thinking my way thru anything. My God will inform me which way to go, in the moment. If I choose wrongly, I will have done it with good will.
I will be clear-eyed.
From another perspective, last night, I stood outside and felt drawn into that beautiful sky full of white clouds, and stars shining out of the darkness. This reminds me of “bright sorrow”, something that unexpectedly arises in the midst of a time of disconsolation.
i still find the image creepy,
Well, I wouldn’t have this image across from my bed. It would scare me. But since it arises so much reaction in me, it stayed with me and I am mining it.
maybe, just for today, as Gerard Manley Hopkins put it, I will leave off thinking and give joy root room.
maybe that too part of her head, the thinking apparatus is in the process of blowing up , like another “big bang”. Too much entropy , to much overthinking, …The center can not hold.
I am so inadequate to respond to this week’s lesson. There is a lifetime of wisdom there to be mined. Thank you!
every morning, as I go into my centering prayer, I find myself producing tears , as one person or another comes into consciousness. This morning it was a funeral director I had a conversation with last week at a relative’s calling hours. If ever there was a witness to God’s presence and action within, this was it. The beauty of this man’s story keeps me praising God. It was so tender, I have not shared it -only with one or two who could understand.
I had an interaction with my husband yesterday that. Had me choosing to respect his integrity rather than strong arming him to do what I thought was right. He has heart disease, has cops, diabetes and has been experiencing cold symptoms sine the funeral when we had a meal with his nephew who had a cold. We had planned to go to church in Ottawa with our daughter, and in spite of the weather forecast we ventured out. 32 degrees F. Rain on the highway. I was fussing about turning back but my husband was undaunted. I went inside for the rest of the trip and was granted insight, that I was afraid we would crash and die, ultimately. In that hour, I came to the realization that yes, we could crash and die. So what? Sooner or later, yes. Why not today?
after mass we walking in freezing rain to a restaurant for soup. My dear husband did not wear the toughest I had brought for him (hat) and just had a sweater and lightweight fleece jacket on. His lack of concern for appropriate warm clothing evoked anger in me, but I was not called to protect him. His integrity was more important than weather he would up in the hospital.
I just have to let life play itself out, and not do violence to people I love in hopes of fixing them.
Questions that arose after lectio divina: what am I entrusted with today?
How could fear interfere with my trust in God and in my own ability to bring about more good today?
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.
What an amazing God we have and how amazing his friends….here.
this is what just now knocked my socks off: Absence is the form God’s presence makes in the world. Simone Weil
i wonder , as I practice surrender, will I welcome the reality that anything may happen at any moment, that something isn’t good or bad for me. It just is. And God is in the middle of what is. There (here) is where I in-tend to be. With the God (of my understanding).Posted by Kathleen M. Kelly on September 24, 2023 at 6:53 pm in reply to: Sunday September 24: Justice in the Kingdom of God #137903
Like Thomas, the line stood out for me: The first shall be last and the last shall be first.
A little background. I was raised in a traditional. Upper middle class family with parents striving to have Daddy be a success in his company. My older sister was in the junior league and married to a Harvard trained lawyer. Early on , (age 12) I volunteered at a children’s home and made it my lifelong mission to advocate for “my kids”. I wanted to be anything but a society girl.
Now, present: yesterday , my husband and I were at a gathering where one of the members of a connected family began a conversation with four of us about how terrible a man and his wife were who had been invited but hadn’t arrived (yet). When the couple finally came, the husband of the lady who started the criticizing, said to my husband: let’s get out of here so we don’t have to be with them.
ordinarily , I would fume, and later criticize them. But, the prayer rises up that those people who are rich and above everyone else will be brought low so they will be open to God’ loving care. That they will know firsthand the blessing of being poor in spirit.
Today: resentment gone; care and concern replaces it.
Reflecting on what George said: I relate to Jesus crying over Jerusalem , crying over all the suffering, lost souls,, not trying , or able to “fix”.
the other. The image I have is how Zorba tried to “help” a butterfly emerge from a crysallis. The butterfly did not survive.
It is easier to demonstrate everyday kindness, though it requires awareness of what a person may need at that moment