Inspiration from the Weeks

gorgeous sky

Words written to a friend, wife, mother, a women with many responsibilities:

We possess our heaven within us since He who satisfies the hunger of the glorified in the light of vision gives Himself to us in faith and mystery, it is the same One!  It seems to me that I have found heaven on earth, since Heaven is God and God is in my soul.  The day I understood that, everything became clear to me.  I would like to whisper this secret to those I loves so that they too might always cling to God in everything.–Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity (1880-1906)

Last Sunday I began my  second year of Scripture Study with seven middle school age girls.  They are fabulous!  They aren’t particularly talkative or curious or holy but they are perfect and I am so grateful to be sharing my faith with them.  So when I came across these words of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, my heart leaped with recognition.  It is my most fervent prayer that God use me to touch these girls and build a relationship with the Divine.  The only thing is that it is not necessarily my style to whisper such wonderful news;-)  I have to remember to restrain myself with the girls while maintaining my sincerity.  Is there someone or ones that you would like to whisper this secret to?  Who do you wish knew that they possessed all that they are seeking within themselves?

and these words…

Pilgrim God,  bring my soul into harmony with you.  Let there be no false harmony in me, such as saying I want you but not really meaning it.  Give me the desire that brings my whole body into harmony with my heart, that I may become truly at one with you and with the whole of creation.  Thus you will be my companion on the way and the friend who meets me at the end of my journey.  (words of Angela Foligno)

When I read this prayer I am reminded of my yoga practice and the dance parties I have in my kitchen with Tobi (my doggie).  When I am engaged these ways I feel my whole body and my heart as one.  I offer these moments as prayers.

Just Give Yourself Away

WP_20131104_10_49_04_ProEveryday you have less reason to not give yourself away…Wendell Barry

I have missed this blog.  I have missed the reflection that has brought me here in the past and I have missed thinking about each one of you (my six followers;) as I write.  Each time I thought about the blog, there were fewer and fewer reasons to stay away, and, as Wendell Barry once said, “not to give myself away.”  And so, I am starting anew.  We shall see where we go!

I have been reading a book called, “Through Julian’s Windows: Growing Into Wholeness with Julian of Norwich” by Elizabeth Ruth Obbard.  It all started this summer, when everywhere I went and everyone I read or spoke to on spiritual matters was quoting Julian of Norwich.  I even owned a ginormous book on her but had barely cracked it open.  They say she was way before her time and had a theology that was so far beyond what she had been taught.  She was the first woman to write in her own vernacular, for common people like herself, living in fourteenth century England.  Many think she must have been a wife and mother before the Great Plague took her family, because she relates to God as mother, beautifully depicting the tender way that God parents us.

She oozes compassion and longing and I think that is what draws me to her.  Theologians and seekers who have studied her have come away with an understanding of God’s gracious nature that is unparalleled.  I don’t know about you but I could sure use that in my life.  She writes:

“Our soul is so preciously loved by him who is highest that it is far beyond the comprehension of creatures.   That is to say: no created being can fully know how much, how sweetly, and how tenderly our Creator loves us…our natural will is have God, and the good will of God is to have us.”

It is in our nature to seek Truth-God, to want to make meaning of our lives, to search for our true calling and it can’t be put on hold.  If it is then we aren’t truly living.  We are phoning it in.  Over the last year since I last blogged, I confess, there have been many days when I have phoned it in.  There have been many days when my body, mind and spirit were misaligned.  Julian would have said to me on those days, “Just keep doing it!”

She writes:  “Pray wholeheartedly, even though you do not feel like it, for it is a very profitable thing to do even if you don’t feel that way…even though you feel nothing, yes, even when you think you cannot do it.  For in times of dryness and barrenness, in times of sickness and weakness, your prayer is most pleasing, even though you may find it rather tasteless.”  She seems to say that simply placing yourself in the Presence of the Divine is enough.  Remember, the good will of God to have us…

There were days for me with no words, no energy, no enthusiasm for God, or Truth or meaning or purpose.  What remained was simple longing for it to be different.  It was a great longing.  But is was all I had.  And so I offered it, just as it was.  I didn’t know that was prayer.  Thank you, Julian.