Let it fly. …

The trick, it seems, is to be able to hold both things very close – the gratitude and the misery – and then, with a semblance of faith, to let them fly.

Quote- Elizabeth Aquino
Photo – Jeremy Ricketts


Listening in silence…


The message behind the words is the voice of the heart. Rumi

It seems that I have had much to say recently on the topic of actions and intentions. At the moment it appears, we have plenty of examples in our world that warrants this type of reflection. As I read articles in other venues, I am aware that these topics are on the minds and hearts of many people.

Words are very powerful tools. They can build up or tear down. They can bind us together in security or sprinkle dust of anxiety. We find ourselves at a point in history when many public words are thrown around to create confusion and instill fear. And this is their intention…

Actions leave large impressions on those who witness them. They can encourage people to share goodness by example or carry anger and fear to their extreme. We find ourselves at a point in history when actions are rising in danger, giving permission for the spread of hostility and fear.

These words and actions appear larger than life attempting to destroy trust and community. It is the result of power and greed. We experience those with great power (a power we have bestowed) to tower over those who have little power (a position that has been forced). It is a situation that continues to grow as our culture is overwhelmed with the noisy distraction of talk.

So I ask – Where are the quiet places? The places that allow words to be used only when necessary and the heart’s intention is understood. The places where we begin with trust and build communities designed to care for one another because we believe it is the good and faithful thing to do. Where are these places?

Maybe this is the most important question now. If these quiet places are not found in obvious and welcoming forms then the noise that is dismantling our communities will continue to be successful toward its goal. Are we able to create environments where people can come to find rest from the noise and re-member the importance of trust and compassion? Can we help the great and the small not only talk with one another but work together to show another way of living and serving in this world? I am convinced it can be done and even more certain that people are longing for the invitation to act on the ‘voice of the heart’.

What do you think?! Have you found examples of this happening? Share what you think, what you know and where we can go to see these quiet places in action.

Well of grief

 For anyone who has  lived through the loss of multiple loved ones, I would venture a guess that the emotion they experience grows more intense as time goes forward.  I reflect on this as I prepare to say “goodbye” to a dear friend – a man well along in years and yet vibrant in spirit to the end.

The words continue to roll up my mind, “I am sad, like it’s happening all over again.” From my work I have learned that grief is cumulative. Today the reserve holding my grief feels as if it could overflow. I am sorry for this gentle man’s death. Even though I knew he was  becoming weaker and  beginning to surrender his quality of life, it was difficult to let him go. His daughter, Beth, was my best friend and companion. We traveled the road together for many years sharing interests in the work of spirit and health and valuing the love of family. Her death came unexpected and too early. I painfully experienced the grief of her loss and watched many others do the same, including this man, Bill – her father.

“I am sad, like it is happening all over again.” I imagine grief’s well deep and filled with soft, thick cushion. It protects from injury–it helps to carry painful sadness when it cannot be carried alone.

As a priest I am aware that death is not the end.  We profess to believe that life’s richness continues beyond the grave. So with confidence I know, Bill is once again with his beloved daughter, catching up on all the news and feelings – saved for sharing since they were separated by her untimely death.

The well of grief is deep but never filled with darkness. Within it rises the bright light of spirit–within it stirs the song of creation. The more years added to life, the more opportunities we are given to stand near grief’s well–receiving its comfort and finding strength from its light and song.  May we remember to offer peace when others join in this journey .

when words of prayer feel far away…

in this season of litanies — few words can comfort our helplessness as we experience the world ‘unsettle’ in so many ways. i share this litany with you. thank you, Christine.

Earthquake in Japan – how do we pray?

(click on words above)

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