(A little blurb I write for the bulletin every week.)
Easter is one of two great feasts in the Church calendar. Beginning in the very early, before many of our earliest liturgical documents, Christians knew that Easter required some preparation. And so we have Lent. Over the centuries we have…
Most cultures are first-half-of-life cultures, and even sadder, most organized religion almost necessarily sells a first-half-of-life spirituality. In the first half of life it is all about me. How can I be important? How can I be safe? How can I make money? How can I look attractive? And, in the Christian scenario, how can I think well of myself and go to heaven? How can I be on moral high ground? These are all ego questions. They are not the questions of the soul.
I’m sad to say, I think many Christians have never moved beyond these survival and security questions. Even eternity is securing my future, not even a common future, or a future for humanity; religion becomes a private insurance plan for that future. It’s still all about me, but piously disguised. Any sense of being part of a cosmos, part of a historical sweep, that God is doing something bigger and better than simply saving individual souls (my soul in particular) is largely of no interest. This becomes apparent in the common disinterest of so many when it comes to Earth care, building real community, and peace and justice issues. For many Christians—stuck in the first half of life—all that is important is my private moral superiority and spiritual “safety,” which is somehow supposed to “save” me.
Once God and grace move us to the second half of life, however, religion becomes much more a mystical matter, rather than a mere moral matter. Then it’s all about union and our participation in and with God, while also seeing my actual moral weakness. Indeed, this is the work of true religion, to help us transition from stage to stage, toward ever-deeper union with God and all things.
|—||Richard Rohr (via notalwaysluminous)|
The Last Bookstore | Los Angeles, California
Must go see this.
Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man’s gift and that man’s scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the aged eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power…
A Prayer for Reconciliation (Day 409)
Almighty God, may we be marked as your own forever. Broadcast your mercy within our hearts; may they receive your guidance as a spring field absorbs rain.
Let us set a table before our enemies, and be reconciled to them, as You call us back to You again and again. Help us let go of vengeance, mindful of our own sinfulness and failure to do what we know is right. Bring us out of anger into love, and out of self-righteousness into compassion. In all we do, let it be for your glory rather than our own comfort or sense of power.
Make us fierce in guarding the weakest of your children, and vigilant in prayer for those who seek You. Anoint those who call upon with the mark of love, and gather to You those for whom we pray.
Prayer 408- Ash Wednesday
Merciful God, we come before You, grateful for your lovingkindess and forgiveness for our manifold faults. Help us to be truly repentant for all the hurts we have caused and continue to cause. Help us to be good neighbors and good friends to those we encounter. Let us remember that we are here for but a short while, and to run the race set before us with perseverance and honor. Guide the hands and hearts of your people to strive to be worthy of proclaiming your Name. Watch over your people in their times of trial, we pray, and bless them, especially those we now name.
"Learning The World"
Grief rides quietly on the passenger side
Unwanted company on a long, long drive
It turns down the quiet songs and turns up the din
It goes where you go, it’s been where you’ve been
And pushing your empty cart mile after mile
Leaves you weeping in the wilderness
Of the supermarket aisle
And in the late night kitchen light it sits in a chair
Watching you pretend that it’s not really there
But it is, so it is and you ask
Are you predator or friend
The future or the past?
It hands you your overcoat and opens the door
You are learning the world again just as before
But the first time was childhood
And now you are grown
Broken wide open, cut to the bone
And all that you used to know is of no use at all
The same eyes you’ve always had have you walking into walls
And the same heart can’t understand
Why it’s so hard to feel
What used to be true
What’s now so unreal
But it is, so it is and you say
I wish I were the wind so that I could blow away
Grief sits silently on the edge of your bed
It’s closing your eyes, it’s stroking your head
The dear old companion is taking up air
Watching you pretend that it’s not really there
-Mary Chapin Carpenter
Absolutely amazing. I love her words and her music.