Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Deep Truth

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting
The soul that rises with us, our Life's Star
Hath had elsewhere its setting
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness.
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
upon the growing boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
He sees it in his joy.

William Wordsworth, Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood

Deep within each of us is absolute truth. Not just relative truth, the truth that we have developed as a result of living and learning as humans being, but deep truth of the universe. Divine truth. God truth. Eternal truth arrives with us at birth and quietly, patiently urges us to awaken to it by gradually opening the windows of our souls to the sacredness of life and to our belonging to Life. When we see beauty, when we feel love and joy, even in our greatest despair, truth whispers of a different reality. Truth holds us in the arms of God, who is both source and substance of truth and life, expansive and mysterious. Truth assures us of who we are and to whom we belong. Truth encourages us to embrace our humanity with reverence for each one, most especially, one's Self, the True Self, not the false self, who would have us live separate and desolate from our life-Source. But the True, The Real, the Divine Seed in each individual that remembers her Life as a gift of Holy Awakening...a "Life Star" in the words of Wordsworth. The True Self is as a droplet of pure goodness, only individuated in the mind of embodiment, but deeply and truly, a member of the vast eternal ocean of life; mists of humanity, sea foam of creation, undercurrent of the Spirit realm, the ocean of life embodies all of us in It's sacred and holy becoming.

You are not alone. No man is an island. We are made to love each other, for this is how humans weave their lattice of connectedness. From heaven you came and heaven has never left you! Heaven is the sea within which your life ebbs and flows. It is the universe that holds earth and all her sisters and brothers suspended in cosmic synergy. What a gift is our Divine Truth! One that we would never behold, were we not formed as individuals and freed to find it amidst the relative. Here is another beautiful poem that describes the same.

Go to the Limits of Your Longing - Rainer Maria Rilke

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.

Embody me.
Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.

Give me your hand.

God is with you. The entire Old and New Testament can be summed up in these 4 words. Divine Truth is everywhere, in all of life, IS life. Everything is sacred  and you, human, are capable of understanding this and behaving in such a way as to maintain and cooperate with the Holy.
May today you awaken to the light of your Deep Truth. May it break through the prison walls of your mundane existence and fill you with the Joy of Knowing that God is with you always... as you. "The eye (I) with which we see God, is the same eye (I) with which God sees us [Meister Eckhart]. When you find God within you you will find your Self within God. You are One. You, the droplet, God the ocean. We are One. Everything is Sacred.

Let this be the Peace that passes understanding. Let this be the knowing. Let this be the Truth, Peggy

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ongoing Persepctives on Being and Doing

"It is familiarity with life that makes time speed quickly. When every day is a step into the unknown, as for children, the days are long with the gathering of experience."

George Gissing, Papers of Henry Ryecroft

George Robert Gissing (1857 – 1903) was an English novelist who published twenty-three novels. From his early naturalistic works, he developed into one of the most accomplished realists of the late-Victorian era.

A little background on The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft, by George Gissing (from the preface):

"Ryecroft was a struggling man, beset by poverty and other circumstances very unpropitious to mental work. Many forms of literature had he tried; in none had he been conspicuously successful; yet now and then he had managed to earn a little more money than his actual needs demanded, Little by little Ryecroft had subdued himself to a modestly industrious routine. He did a great deal of mere hack-work; he reviewed, he translated, he wrote articles; at long intervals a volume appeared under his name. There were times, I have no doubt, when bitterness took hold upon him; not seldom he suffered in health, and probably as much from moral as from physical over- strain; but, on the whole, he earned his living very much as other men do, taking the day's toil as a matter of course, and rarely grumbling over it. Time went on; things happened; but Ryecroft was still laborious and poor. In moments of depression he spoke of his declining energies, and evidently suffered under a haunting fear of the future.

At the age of fifty, just when his health had begun to fail and his energies to show abatement, Ryecroft had the rare good fortune to find himself suddenly released from toil…On the death of an acquaintance, the wayworn man of letters learnt with astonishment that there was bequeathed to him a life annuity of three hundred pounds. He established himself in a cottage near Exeter, where he rambled in lanes and meadows, amid the stillness of the rural night. We hoped it would all last for many a year; it seemed, indeed, as though Ryecroft had only need of rest and calm to become a hale man. But already, though he did not know it, he was suffering from a disease of the heart, which cut short his life after little more than a lustrum of quiet contentment. It had always been his wish to die suddenly; he dreaded the thought of illness, chiefly because
of the trouble it gave to others. On a summer evening, after a long walk in very hot weather, he lay down upon the sofa in his study, and there—as his calm face declared--passed from slumber into the great silence.

Here was a man who, having his desire, and that a very modest one, not only felt satisfied, but enjoyed great
happiness. He talked of many different things, saying exactly what he thought; he spoke of himself, and told the truth as far as mortal can tell it."

Children know how to "be." Every moment is a new experience for them and they revel in exploring objects and circumstances that adults find mundane. The truth is, adults have cast aside the present without realizing the infinite potential of what can be learned from it. Everyday our busy-ness, like blinders, keeps us moving past perfect opportunities and moments of awe that lay, rich and full, waiting for our attention. Some of us don't even take all our vacation days. We watch TV and listen to radio or MP3 24/7. We run from one event to the next, from one goal to a new goal. Doing, doing, doing... and Sacred Life, God, Beauty are lost in the fray. We wonder why we are so short of time and bereft of Spirit.

"I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your error and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven." Matt 18:3

May the wise words of George Gissing, the simple story of Henry Ryecroft remind you that a contented heart will take you, as a sail, through winds of strife and change and lead you to calm waters of abundance. May you understand that a peaceful mind will hold fast the reigns of integrity in the most trying times. May you rest in the knowing that wisdom comes only through  a life of mindful moments in which a presence of self  can be realized and integrated into a reality of acceptance, and that the purest joy is found in the wondrous gift of the ever expanding Moment of Now. In the words of Robert Mulholland, "Let your 'being' determine your 'doing.'

Peace, Peggy

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Meditation - Take a Moment

In the Old Testament hāgâ (Hebrew: הגה), means to sigh or murmur, but also to meditate. When the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek, hāgâ became the Greek melete. The Latin Bible then translated hāgâ/melete into meditatio. The use of the term meditatio as part of a formal, stepwise process of meditation goes back to the 12th century monk Guigo II.

Meditative practices are common to all spiritual paths. To meditate is to stop "DOING" and to simply "BE" with yourself, with God, with peace. Being is essential to balanced living. It is through the refreshment we receive in being that we have energy and mindfulness in our doing.

Robert Mulholland, in his book, Invitation to a Journey says, "We need to live as though being determines our doing, rather than as though doing determines our being."

There are so many forms of meditation. Christian practices include lectio divina (slow, contemplative scripture reading), chant, centering prayer, labyrinth, Taize, breath prayers, praying the rosary (prayer beads), mandala coloring - all are ways of quieting the busy mind and resting in God, practicing presence.

I hope you will take a few minutes to watch this beautiful video, savor the quotations that you see within, and let your mind take a rest in the

Peace and Presence to you! Peggy

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Deep Peace, a Gaelic Blessing

Deep Peace of the running wave to you

Deep Peace of the flowing air to you

Deep Peace of the quiet earth to you

Deep Peace of the shining stars to you

Deep Peace of the gentle night to you,

moon and stars pour their healing light on you

Deep Peace to you.

Wishing you serenity and peace deep, deep within...breathe in....may the sacred breath of the ancestors flow into you and fill you with the wisdom of being. Breathe out...may the earth lie warm under your feet, the sun shine radiance upon you, and the night cover you in a blanket of tranquility. Breathe... Deep peace my lovely friends! Peggy

Video - Ashana, from the album Beloved - on Youtube by mkolinm

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Guardian Angels

Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
to whom God's love commits me here,
ever this day,
be at my side
to light and guard,
to rule and guide.

I love this prayer. My my boys learned it when they were very young in Catholic grammar school and taught to me. It is so simple and succinct: light, guard, rule, guide. Perfect.

The word angel comes from the Hebrew mal-ak, translated to Greek, angelos, meaning messenger. St Thomas Aquinas pointed out that we can only define angels by what they do, not what they are. Traditional thought about angels is that they are agents or messengers of divine will. I think they are intuition, personified.

If you think about it, I am sure you can relate to times in your life when angels had a hand in the direction you took, or in calming your fear, or giving you hope.

I had a friend in high school, Leslie. We were only friends our senior year because we both moved to PA that year and only for that year. Leslie came from Kansas, where she had found the love of her life, John. She was bound and determined to return to KS after we graduated to marry John and live in the peaceful KS country on a farm. They would have 2 boys, she would say, and they'd wear overalls without shirts underneath and blissfully carry out the farm chores. This was Leslie's dream and she recounted it to me many times during that senior year.

When we graduated, Leslie's family left PA and mine stayed. However, in August that year  I decided to go to college, in Kansas, for completely ridiculous [spontaneous teen aged] reasons. I travelled to Emporia, KS, arriving a week early to take the ACT, so as to be officially admitted. The first semester of my freshman year was rather tough, being so far from home. But I was an Army kid and had moved alot, so I did not have trouble making new friends. By the spring I had met some great kids and I went on to complete my college in KS. I remain in KS today, 37 years later, living with my husband of 28 years, Paul, and two sons in the country on a farm.  Leslie's dream, my message. No plan on my part, but I know that I am here in KS for a reason, for many reasons, some of which have been revealed and others that are still to come.

I have met many angels. You have to be awake to your intuition to find them. Some come to you through other people or creatures. Often you realize them after you have lived through their messages, like my Leslie experience. But angels will also guide you proactively, intuitively, if you are aware of yourself. Angels are agents of truth, guides of the spiritual journey.They often speak from within, rather than from without, appealing to our inner wisdom and illuminating the great body of truth that each of us already holds, in part from having descended through so many generations. But angels also connect us to the divine eternal spirit within which we live, and move, and have our being.

As my meandering Spirit began to resolve, another angel led me to my dear friend and mentor, Sister Therese, a Benedictine Sister who nurtured my deep heart, my mystical being, with writings of Julian of Norwich, Teresa of Avila, St John of the Cross, and the desert fathers, among others. She taught me and prayed with me in a way that enlivened and refreshed my Spirit in the beauty and rich wonder of these writers of the interior life. She guided me to a program of spiritual direction and I savored every year of it until I graduated with my certificate. I remain reverently indebted to Sr Therese and to the Benedictine sisters of Mt St Scholastica, in Atchison Kansas, who continue to guide and love me with generous hospitality. Sr Therese spends a great deal of her time serving the city parish where we met, Guardian Angels Church.

Today, may your angels speak to you from within and from without. Listen! God's voice is eternally whispering to you on their wings: lighting your path, guarding your well-being, helping you to discern the truth, and in these ways, guiding you closer to your life in Christ, your most authentic and loving you!

Peace and the Angels be with you! Peggy
Poem: Author Unknown