Monday, November 28, 2011

Our Deepest Fear —Marianne Williamson

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other
people won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of
God that is within us.

It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

—Marianne Williamson

Matthew 5:14-16  “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Give Thanks in All Circumstances

Gratitude is the ascending reflection of descending grace."~ Beverly Novak

Gratitude is the foundation of the communion of souls, and also its highest reward. That's why eu-charist means thankfulness. Derived from Greek, eu - good, charistia - grace, or εὐχαριστία (eukharistia, “gratitude, giving of thanks, blessing of good grace”) and circular in movement, gratitude is its own experience…both a means and an end. Gratitude is an entry point to the awareness of blessing and the flow of grace. When shared in relationship, gratitude permeates our being and our doing, as we are perpetually grateful 1) for the opening of our heart, 2) for stepping into the flow of thanksgiving, 3) for the fruits that we enjoy in communion (in "good grace") with each other. We lift our grateful hearts in reverence and humility to the eternal spirit of providence and possibility for the experience. A circle of gratitude, a reflection of grace.

Gratitude is an opening for the expression of love in the world, as it necessitates a posture of humility. One cannot be truly grateful without also being humble. So, be thankful in all circumstances, for to be thankful is to find the blessing, to identify the Good, receive the grace, and return the gift, in gratitude. And so the circle continues. A means and an end.

“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratitude that makes us happy.” Fr David Steindle-Rast

Holy Creator in whom we live and breathe and have our being, We give thanks for your eu-charist, your “good grace.” May it illuminate our hearts and minds, so that we recognize ourselves as instruments of your peace.  May our lives be one continuous prayer, rising like incense, as we breath the fragrance of Christ into the world. Keep our hearts humble and grateful in all circumstances, allowing the gift of love to flow forth from us freely, as givers and receivers of your goodness. May our cups overflow with abundant joy in Christ Jesus, the means and the end – the beginning and the ending – the first and the last, a circle of continuous, eternal, life-giving peace.  Amen
A blessed Thanksgiving to all! Peggy
This is part of a message on 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: Rejoice always,  pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is 'thank you', it will be enough." ~ Meister Eckhart.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Who do You say I am?

The Invitation - Oriah Mountain Dreamer
It doesn't interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dreams
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life's betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your
fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
be careful
be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn't interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after a night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

I have always loved this poem because it speaks of knowing someone for who they are rather than what they do or where they come from. It speaks of knowing someone's essence rather than their external qualities. What can we really tell from the outside? It can totally misrepresent what lies within. Some people (intuitives) can see within a person in the first few minutes of meeting. Its almost like they can look within before they see what is without. Its because they "see" first with the heart and then with the eyes, rather than vice versa. Intuition connects hearts first.

Jesus (and all spiritual masters) ask us to see with the heart before we see with the eyes. They implore us to see each other as reflections of self - human to human with the same vulnerabilities, the same courage, the same tenderness, the same neediness, the same potential, the same worthiness, the same Godliness. When Jesus said, "Love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself." he meant Love becomes and reflects love. When I Love God, I become as God, who is love, and I extend that love to all whom I encounter and we become Love together in God. This is how the Christ concept works. Christ gathers us all in love through love.

Who are you at your essence? How will you be known? How will you seek to know others? Several people asked Jesus at one time or another, "Who are you?" He often replied, "Who do you say I am?" Who do you think he was hoping they would see? A barefoot nomadic teacher and social radical? Or the greatest example of love a human can fathom? The Christ incarnate. And how do you think Jesus "saw" people? As reflections of himself?

May you be blessed with eyes that look within; eyes that see from a heart that is open and vulnerable to the hearts of others. "It takes one to know one," they say. May love recognize itself through you. Peggy