Monday, January 31, 2011

Too Small

One of the unsettling encouragements of serious spirituality is to face up to things that scare and disappoint us. The key is often first finding courage to face up to our own less than ideal realities.

Jesus is scary in this way when he says, "Unless you lose your self, you'll never find your self."

Both readings for lectio this week have to do with this losing and finding, one more directly than another.

Sometimes we live in ways that are too small, and in places that focus and develop only a part of who we are. When we do, the life in us may become squeezed into a shape that is not our own. We may not even realize that this is so. Despite this, something deep in us that holds our integrity inviolate will find ways to remind us of the breadth and depth of the life in us and assert its wholeness. –Rachel Naomi Remen, My Grandfather's Blessings

West Wind #2, Mary Oliver
You are young. So you know everything. You leap
into the boat and begin rowing. But listen to me.
Without fanfare, without embarrassment, without
any doubt, I talk directly to your soul. Listen to me.
Lift the oars from the water, let your arms rest, and
your heart, and heart’s little intelligence, and listen to
me. There is life without love. It is not worth a bent
penny, or a scuffed shoe. It is not worth the body of a
dead dog nine days unburied. When you hear, a mile
away and still out of sight, the churn of the water
as it begins to swirl and roil, fretting around the
sharp rocks – when you hear that unmistakable
pounding – when you feel the mist on your mouth
and sense ahead the embattlement, the long falls
plunging and steaming – then row, row for your life
toward it.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Radical Opening

Lectio for January 24

The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, "Look, here is the Lamb of God!" The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, "What are you looking for?" They said to him, "Rabbi" (which translated means Teacher), "where are you staying?" He said to them, "Come and see." -From the Gospel of John

It doesn't matter how far we think we've gone. It is our willingness to open radically and repeatedly just now that characterizes this journey. --Jack Kornfield

Most people guard against going into the fire
and end up in it...
If you are a friend of God
fire is your water.
You should wish to have a hundred thousand
sets of moth wings,
so you could burn them away, one set a night. --Rumi