Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ash Wednesday - Humility and Trust


 
 
The Journey of Lent is a Wilderness journey. In the wilderness, survival resources must be carefully rationed. One of the rituals observed in Lent is fasting, a discipline intended to simulate the scarceness of the wilderness.  Some people fast from meat, or soda, or TV. The long- practiced spiritual discipline of fasting is designed to empty one’s self, to reduce one's neediness, in order for the Spirit to keep and fill you. The symbolism of fasting is that doing without your most basic needs, food and water, is an act of trust and submission. We submit our most basic needs in trust that God will provide, much like the ancient Israelites trusted God in the wilderness to provide the manna needed to sustain life.
 
From a psychological standpoint, submission in trust is called humility. Psychologically, humility is to let go the idea that you are in ultimate control of what you think you need for comfort and happiness, be it material or intangible. We like to think we control our circumstances as well as our attitudes and perspectives, but very often we do not. And very often, the attitude we choose is not an attitude that reflects the benevolent love of God…either toward others or toward our self.  In ecclesiastical language we call humility or self emptying kenosis. Fasting is a symbol of kenosis or self emptying, which is essentially the willingness to reduce your neediness – physiological and psychological – to humble yourself in a gesture of trust and prayer before God. It is no mistake that the root of humility is humus – dirt, soil (ashes) – the same root as human. It is in the Wilderness of humility that we accept our humanness – our inability to count on anything but God to provide everything we need.

“But know this,” says YHWH: “Return to me with all your heart, with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Tear open your heart not your clothes!” Return to YHWH your God, who is gracious and deeply loving as a mother, quick to forgive, abundantly tender-hearted – and relents from inflicting disaster." Joel 2:12.

“And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8

Peace be with you on the Lenten journey ~ Peggy

Artwork from faithinallah.org

 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Morning Prayer


Matins.

I.
Somewhere out at the edges, the night
Is turning and the waves of darkness
Begin to brighten the shore of dawn.

The heavy dark falls back to earth
And the freed air goes wild with light,
The heart fills with fresh bright breath
And thoughts stir to give birth to colour.

II.
I arise today

In the name of Silence
Womb of the Word,
In the name of Stillness
Home of Belonging,
In the name of the Solitude
Of the Soul and the Earth.

I arise today

Blessed by all things,
Wings of breath,
Delight of eyes,
Wonder of whisper,
Intimacy of touch,
Eternity of soul,
Urgency of thought,
Miracle of health,
Embrace of God.

May I live this day
Compassionate of heart,
Gentle in word,
Gracious in awareness,
Courageous in thought,
Generous in love.

John O’Donohue, Eternal Echoes, Exploring Our Yearning to Belong
 
Blessings of peace, love and joy to all on the cusp of this glorious new day! Peggy