Archive for September, 2011

Going back home

Approaching our true home from whence we came, we see that we’ve always been home. Our physical birth seems to separate us from each other and from God. But the truth is, we never left home. The sacred depths of love, both human and divine, let us glimpse this truth. The persistent cycle of life’s losses and gifts pulls us into deeper understandings of what lies beneath surface reality. Until now, we couldn’t see as clearly. Now we know. Coyote’s howl and our inner longing call out for something we have never lost.

— Nancy Copeland-Payton, “Sacred Presence in the Losses of Our Lives”, Presence, Vol. 17, No. 3, p. 37


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a deep gnawing with sharp teeth

eats at my soul

dull or sharp it never leaves but whispers and shouts

for my attention

listen it sas

listen, I am speaking your truth

do not fear the silence,

the dark whispers

they are the God breath of new life.

— Sister Teresa Jackson, OSB

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A space of one’s own

Two aspects of growing older appear at first glance to be similar, but they are actually very different: loneliness and solitude. Loneliness is a painful lack of connection with others. It can come upon us whether or not we are with people. It is the sense that there are no others with whom we share the kind of understanding that lifts us out of isolation. Those who are lonely describe the feeling as akin to that of an atom adrift in the universe or as the conviction that no one really cares. …

Solitude is also a way of being alone, but as a spiritual practice it can be one of the gifts of later life. It is a space or time apart, but one held and sustained by a sense of connection and peace with oneself and others. It feels good. Such time apart creates and renews us.

— Kathleen Fischer, Autumn Gospel, p. 47

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Glimpsing eternity

As I leave the trauma room to somehow tell a young wife that her husband has died I’m pulled into a room to deliver a baby whose wet black hair is already crowning into this world. I suspect death and life, constantly juxtaposed, are separated by much less than a wall between emergency department rooms. In the great inhalation and exhalation of the cosmos, they are really one word: death-birth. Experiencing death-birth opens a fissure in our everyday world through which we glimpse eternity.

— Nancy Copeland-Payton, Presence, Vol. 17, No. 3, September 2011, p. 33

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I am with you

It knows no distance

in miles, nor time

ticked off in seconds,

but the instant

the heart is pierced

with a real knowing

that we don’t suffer alone.

It’s a sweet,

comforting thing,

the way the energy

of compassion,

instantly wires itself,

and we see it

as if it’s standing

right before us.

It’s in a word, a voice,

a look, a touch,

or maybe

just plain silence.

But we get it,

when somehow,

love mysteriously takes over,

gently stroking

our jagged edges

with the true meaning

of the words,

“I am with you.”

— Wendy Romero, in Presence, Vol. 17, No. 3, September 2011, p. 15

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Something beautiful

There is a place

where rain,

it falls upon the earth at night;

the ground,

its tireless ways,

collects it into thirsty pebbles;

and time becomes lost in any eyes that will hold it.

The slightest word dissolves it.

Some say there is nothing out here worth believing in,

nothing to hold onto.

I say maybe.

Maybe the entire rhythm of the universe

is locked away inside each droplet,

and if I stand here long enough, noticing,

at least one tiny particle will break open

wide enough for me to catch it,

all wet and shining from the morning,

full, and glittering with promise.

— Sarah Rehfeldt, in Presence, Vol. 17, No. 3, September 2011, p. 45

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Making a transition is like entering another country. At the border we stand between receding landscapes and as yet unexplored territory. It is a spaceless, undefined place, sometimes called “a neutral zone.” One woman calls this period “supervising the chaos”.

— Kathleen Fischer, Autumn Gospel, p. 33

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