Reflections on the journey towards wholeness; On the peace that finds us when, relieved from trying to become somehow "better", we live true to ourselves; And on the freedom found when our "belovedness" moves from a pious concept to the living breathing person we can be in the world.
There is a poison flowing through our lives at the moment, it is showing up in our families, across our society, and literally threatening the entire planet. We can all point to the symptoms, they are legion and are leading us closer and closer to a precipice none of us ought to be anywhere near. A common feature of the toxin is its ability to cause its victims to isolate behind the high walls of their tribe, to turn their back on their neighbors, to shun members of their own family, and in the end, to give up hope. All of us are guilty of this to one degree or another, the rationales and the details are interchangeable, which makes those pesky facts and realities beside the point. In every case though, the poison is the same, we seem to have chosen to respond to the existential upheaval in our lives by giving up.Read
Sooner or later we come into contact with ‘forces greater than ourselves,’ which if we’re not ready for them can sweep us up before we know what’s happened. The created world holds a litany of awesome forces –– oceans, deserts, mountains; behemoths, leviathans; the cosmos; all majestically dwarf us. Consider love, loving an other, or for that matter truly giving ourselves in love to anything, is a willing entrance into uncharted territory defined as much by what we don’t know and our deep vulnerability as anything else. Then there’s God, unknowable yet present in every moment of our lives, how are we to step up in encounters with her? Daunting to be sure, but this is the situation we find ourselves in. So is there a stance we can adopt that might keep us from being overwhelmed and at the same time set us up to be receptive to the encounter with these great forces?Read
Practitioners of Zen Buddhism wrestle with a teaching story of a master questioning a pilgrim: Dizang, the teacher, asks the pilgrim Fayan, "Where are you going?" Fayan says, "Around on pilgrimage." Dizang then asks, "What is the purpose of pilgrimage?" Fayan replies, "I don't know." Dizang responds, "Not knowing is most intimate.”Read
“We are all people...We are one family; we all live in the same house…it is better to love than to hate; it is better to be loved than divided.” - Representative John Lewis, 2016Read
A post on St. Ignatius Loyola might seem to make the above title incongruous, but a love story is at the heart of the man. Ignatius, a Basque mystic who in the 16th century founded The Society of Jesus, whom we know as Jesuits, wrote that the everyday world is the medium in which love is encountered and embraced, and that in this exchange our humanity reaches its fulfillment.Read
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” I was sitting on a beach a few years ago looking out on the ocean. There was nothing especially notable about that particular day, not one of those brilliantly clear vistas, in fact it was a warm morning with the sun making the horizon hazy and indistinct. There were a few birds flying past, a faint call off from the distance. In short, there was nothing of any postcard significance, just a warm morning along the Pacific coast.Read