Begin with gratitude

“To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us—and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him. Gratitude, therefore, takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.”


Quote: Thomas Merton

Contemplative Monk – Facebook

A New Year…

Do everything as far as you can
for love and you will see what you are capable of!
One can make more progress this way in a year,
than in ten by the way of fear.

 

 

St. Mary Euphrasia

from Gratefulness.org

 

nights filled with thin places

 

“A thin place is where two worlds meet, where heaven kisses earth and eternal time brushes against ordinary time.”
Liz Budd Ellmann

We meet a time of transitions. Days to nights, earthly to sacred and back to earthly. Grounded in all that makes us human, we find ourselves in a series of moments when the air is thin and our vision sharpened.
Shepherds, Innkeepers, Wise ones from afar and terrified Kings, we join them all to witness a birth. A birth that stirs spirits with hope and promise. A birth that stirs egos with threat and tragedy.
The space between heaven and earth has grown thin. The divine was so close that eyes were opened and bodies charged with wonder and truth. A baby was born whose purpose was realized as he drew his first breath. The promise of a coming Messiah had been on the lips of prophets for many years.

Today we move quickly as did Joseph from his dream. An angel came to warn that his newborn was at risk of being killed by an enraged king. He led a donkey carrying Mary and the baby out into the night toward Egypt. 

A place to live in safety until Herod was no longer a threat.

Yet as they travelled away, I wonder if they could hear the cries of mothers watching their young sons killed at King Herod’s command. Today the Church remembers The Holy Innocents. First born sons put to death because Herod saw Jesus as a threat to his reign.

We witnessed these deaths just as we witnessed Jesus birth. The veil had thinned. God’s presence was real and the world knew it to be true.

‘A thin place is where two worlds meet…’ We are living through a time where the air is thin and vision sharpened. Rejoicing and revolting, we experience these stories as the foundation of our journey.

These nights – they are filled with thin places.

 

Where light begins

WHERE THE LIGHT BEGINS

A Blessing for Christmas Day

Perhaps it does not begin.

Perhaps it is always.
Perhaps it takes
a lifetime
to open our eyes,
to learn to see
what has forever
shimmered in front of us—

the luminous line
of the map
in the dark
the vigil flame
in the house
of the heart
the love
so searing
we cannot keep
from singing,
from crying out
in testimony
and praise.

Perhaps this day
will be the mountain
over which
the dawn breaks.
Perhaps we
will turn our face
toward it,
toward what has been
always.

Perhaps
our eyes
will finally open
in ancient recognition,
willingly dazzled,
illuminated at last.
Perhaps this day
the light begins
in us.


Quote: Jan Richardson
from Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons

Image: “Where the Light Begins” © Jan Richardson