All posts filed under: Spirituality

The garden within us

“Each of us has a garden inside our hearts. We can cultivate this garden, deciding, selecting, filtering, pollinating and cross-pollinating. There is nothing more beautiful than a bee buzzing peacefully in God’s garden, transforming the ordinary pollen of thought and feeling into a new ambrosia for the human soul.” – Ruth Rimm in The Lost Spiritual World        

Embracing the Shadows

“St. Teresa of Avila wrote: ‘All difficulties in prayer can be traced to one cause: praying as if God were absent.’ This is the conviction that we bring with us from early childhood and apply to everyday life and to our lives in general. It gets stronger as we grow up, unless we are touched by the Gospel and begin the spiritual journey. This journey is a process of dismantling the monumental illusion that God is distant or absent.” — Thomas Keating

Journaling as Spiritual Practice

  “For much of my own life, journal writing has been an important act of soul centering. Initially unaware of my journal’s spiritual purpose, I later fiercely claimed this writing as a spiritual practice when I realized my journal pages had become a kind of chapel for me, an intimate place that I frequented to whisper my gratitude, praise, and laments, and even, at times, a petition or two.” -Karen Hering in Writing to Wake the Soul: Opening the Sacred Conversation Within       photo credit: 2015-03-06g A path to keeping a diary — index card #writing #journaling #diary via photopin (license)

The Fire of Pentecost

“At Pentecost, initiation occurred not only at the individual level (“and a tongue rested on each of them”) but also at the corporate level. The outpouring of the Spirit upon the whole community reminds us that we are not on an individual journey but a shared one. God calls us, compels us, to attend to the Spirit in one another. “The celebration of Pentecost beckons us to keep breathing. It challenges us to keep ourselves open to the Spirit who seeks us. The Spirit that, in the beginning, brooded over the chaos and brought forth creation; the Spirit that drenched the community with fire and breath on the day of Pentecost: this same Spirit desires to dwell within us and among us. Amidst the brokenness and chaos and pain that sometimes come with being in community, the Spirit searches for places to breathe in us, to transform us, to knit us together more deeply and wholly as the body of Christ, and to send us forth into the world.- continue reading —  Jan Richardson   …

Facing Challenges

“As somebody said to me once, no matter what’s happening, something else is also true. Bad news, shock, trauma can make us feel pinned to the wall. It makes us feel paralyzed and immobile until we realize and remember that there’s another side to it. To everything that happens, there’s another side.” – Mark Matousek in Writing as Spiritual Practice     Photo courtesy of wyman H via unsplash  

Sunday’s Blessings: Prayer

“With or without speech, prayer is born of breath and bones, and hearts held open to ancient connection. It is the deepest song of the sea sounding through us. It is the oldest trace of living starlight that is buried in us and cannot be contained.” – Karen Herin in Writing to Wake the Soul Photo courtesy of Morguefile

A Prayer for Nepal

On this 4th Sunday of the Easter Season, we pause and remember our brothers and sisters in Nepal. Those who perished from the earthquake – May the Light  embrace them as they pass through the eternal threshold; And may their families find comfort in their time of sorrow. May those who were wounded be comforted in their pain and fear; May those rendered homeless find warmth and shelter from the cold nights; and may the good Samaritans who are helping in whatever way they can be blessed with strength and fortitude as they dig through the rubble. We pray that they find many survivors. Sympathies and condolences to the families of the mountaineers who perished because of massive avalanches on Mt. Everest. They who dared to climb and perished knew the dangers. Yet they persisted, hearkening to the call of the mountains. Where one  feels the pulse of nature merging with  one’s sinews. Where the wind sings songs one hears only in earth’s highest places; Where the majesty of nature abundantly nurtures the soul. May they find …

Be Thankful

  Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire. If you did, what would there be to look forward to? Be thankful when you don’t know something, for it gives you the opportunity to learn. Be thankful for the difficult times. During those times you grow. Be thankful for your limitations, because they give you opportunities for improvement. Be thankful for each new challenge, because it will build your strength and character. Be thankful for your mistakes. They will teach you valuable lessons. Be thankful when you’re tired and weary, because it means you’ve made a difference. It’s easy to be thankful for the good things. A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks. Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive. Find a way to be thankful for your troubles, and they can become your blessings. ~Author Unknown     Photo credit: Jordan McQueen via Unsplash

Easter and New Beginnings

“At the breaking of the Easter dawn May the Risen Savior bless your home With grace and peace from above, With joy and laughter, and with love; And when night is nigh, and day is done May He keep you safe from all harm.” -Celtic Easter Blessing Be willing to be a beginner every single morning. – Meister Eckhart We have it in our power to begin the world over again. -Thomas Paine It’s only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth – and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, we will then begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had. -Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

A Maundy Thursday Reflection for Writers

“We should write because it is human nature to write. Writing claims our world. It makes it directly and specifically our own. We should write because humans are spiritual beings and writing is a powerful form of prayer and meditation, connecting us both to our own insights and to a higher and deeper level of inner guidance. We should write because writing brings clarity and passion to the act of living. Writing is sensual, experiential, grounding. We should write because writing is good for the soul. We should write because writing yields us a body of work, a felt path through the world we live in. We should write, above all, because we are writers, whether we call ourselves that or not.” ~ Julia Cameron       Photo courtesy of Morguefile 

Prayer

“In prayer we discover what we already have.  You start where you are and you deepen what you already have, and you realize that you are already there.  We already have everything, but we don’t know it and we don’t experience it.  Everything has been given to us in Christ.  All we need is to experience what we already possess. “The trouble is, we aren’t taking time to do so. “If we really want prayer, we’ll have to give it time.  We must slow down to a human tempo and we’ll begin to have time to listen.  And as soon as we listen to what’s going on, things will begin to take shape by themselves.  But for this we have to experience time in a new way.”   -Thomas Merton    

Come to the Center

Come to the center of your being on a daily basis. Gather strength from these moments of powerful prayer. Invoke your highest good. Give yourself the opportunity to open up to more aspects of your BEing.   –  Notecards from the Soul, by Rosanna C. Rogacion

Slowing Down

After the flurry of activities, life deliberately provides us with opportunities to slow down and rest. If we have learned to move our focus away from the call of the material world, we are able to enjoy this time. Life ceases to be a race and begins to take on the pace of a sweet, slow dance.  

Of Candlemas and the Fallen 44

I clutched my ochre sweater as I walked through the yard this morning, relishing the second day of the coldest month in the Philippines. The northeast monsoon brings with it chilly winds coming from the Siberian High and it tends to blow strongest in February – it was 19°C during the wee hours of the morning. It’s also Candlemas, the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple and there’s a fiesta in the Parish where we celebrate mass every Sunday. According to Biblical accounts, Mary presented Jesus to God at the temple after observing a traditional 40-day purification period. At the temple, they were met by an old Jewish man named Simeon, who declared that the infant would be a light for the Gentiles – thus the event came to be known as Candlemas. It is also celebrated as the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin – the Feast of Our Lady of Candelaria, the Spanish word for Candlemas. According to the Bible, Simeon was promised that “he should not see death …

Writing is an Act of Courage

  “Writing, therefore, is also an act of courage. How much easier is it to lead an unexamined life than to confront yourself on the page? How much easier is it to surrender to materialism or cynicism or to a hundred other ways of life that are, in fact, ways to hide from life and from our fears? When we write, we resist the facile seduction of these simpler roads. We insist on finding out and declaring the truths that we find and we dare to put those truths on the page. “To get ideas and to write well, you have to risk opening yourself.” photo credit: dietmut via photopin cc

Writing as an Act of Hope

  Jack Heffron in The Writer’s Idea Book wrote: “Writing is an act of hope. “It is a means of carving order from chaos, of challenging one’s own beliefs and assumptions of facing the world with eyes and heart wide open. through writing, we declare a personal identity amid faceless anonymity. We find purpose and beauty and meaning even when the rational mind argues that none of these exist.” Have a blessed Sunday… Photo courtesy of pippalou

Sunday’s Blessings: Pope Francis on Real Love

“Real love is about loving and letting yourself be loved. It’s harder to let yourself be loved than to love. That is why it is so difficult to come to the perfect love of God. We can love Him but we must let ourselves be loved by Him. Real love is being open to the love that comes to you. The love that surprises us. If you only have information you are not surprised. Love surprises because it opens a dialogue of loving and being loved. God is a God of surprise because He loved us first. God awaits us to surprise us. Let us allow ourselves to be surprised by God. Let us not have a computer psychology that makes us think we know it all. All answers on computers – but no surprises. The challenge of love. God reveals himself through surprises.” —Pope Francis, in an impromptu speech delivered at the Univeristy of Santo Tomas in Manila on January 17, 2015 photo credit: Kris Krug via photopin cc

Praying through the Storms in Our Lives

All over our country -the Philippines- the atmosphere reverberates with prayers as millions and millions of Filipinos continue to pray over the weekend. The Philippines is the third largest Catholic country in the world, and millions of Filipinos head for the churches on Sundays. This Sunday though, some of the churches in 47 of the country’s 81 provinces are serving a different purpose, and people are praying specifically for their safety. Thousands have flocked to churches which are stable and sturdy enough to withstand the fury of Typhoon Hagupit. “The strongest storm of the year anywhere on the planet is zeroing in on the Philippines,” a CNN broadcaster announced, “and we’re talking about Super Typhoon Hagupit,” she explained. Foreign correspondents have begun arriving since a few days ago to cover the arrival, stay and departure of Hagupit, which has made its first landfall late Saturday evening. On November last year, millions of Filipinos prayed that they would be spared from the fury of Super Typhoon Haiyan, which, according to meteorologist Jeff Masters, was the strongest typhoon to ever make …

Simply Blossom

  The small, fragrant white blossom is the national flower of the Philippines. The sampaguita (jasminum sambac) is a hardy shrub with a multitude of blossoms at any given time.  As a young plant, the sampaguita is fragile and the blossoms oftentimes appear singly. A single, tiny flower the size of a big coin looks lonely. I couldn’t help but feel how we too, sometimes look lonely when we are alone.  When our size, color or lonesome state calls attention, we feel vulnerable and fragile. This tiny flower is so fragrant, that even if there is only one blossom, there’s a hint of its fragrance when the wind blows. We can be like that too, no matter how different we are from the rest, no matter how small we feel – or how alone we seem to be.  When we are true to ourselves and allow ourselves to be, we will simply blossom.

Sunday’s Blessings

Originally posted on A Soultender's Journal:
Wabi-sabi is an aesthetic of poverty and aloneness, imperfection and austerity, affirmation and melancholy. Wabi-sabi is the beauty of the withered, weathered, tarnished, scarred, intimate, coarse, earthly, evanescent, tentative, ephemeral. . . Wabi-sabi is a broken earthenware cup in contrast to a Ming vase, a branch of autumn leaves in contrast to a dozen roses, a lined and bent old woman in contrast to a model, a mature love as opposed to infatuation, a bare wall with peeling paint in contrast to a wall hung with beautiful paintings. –Crispin Sartwell in  Six Names of Beauty ? Textured with isobel and 2810

Sunday”s Blessings

Originally posted on A Soultender's Journal:
Concentrate on the goal of meditation. Do not listen with your ear, but listen with your mind; not with your mind but listen with your breath. Let hearing stop with your ear, let the mind stop with its images. Breathing means to empty oneself and to wait for Tao. -Chuang Tzu ? Think of it – we are being told that through breathing, we can awaken to a transcendent level of consciousness and merge with the universe. What could be easier than breathing? Who doesn’t do it? Yet we are afraid to breathe – to really let the universe in and ourselves out. To do so, we must give up control. We must stop breathing and let the universe breathe through us. We must trust things as they are. So it is with cultivating the Tao in every aspect of our lives. We must stop doing and let the universe do us. -Laurence G. Boldt in the Tao of Abundance ? ?

Sunday’s Blessings

Originally posted on A Soultender's Journal:
Life presents us with many paths along our journey. Sometimes the pathways are lovely and make us feel good. Some pathways are are rugged and look hard to traverse; while others are just – well, ok. When we are presented with a new pathway, life asks us to make decisions. Do we proceed along the path we are currently treading or do we stop and take the new one being presented to us? It is almost always easier to go down the familiar road, but the fact that we are being presented with a new pathway means that we are up to the challenge of exploring a new journey, a new way of Being. The next time a new pathway appears before you, know that you are being presented with the prospect of a new journey – and that you have everything you need to face the challenges presented by the new path. Everything you need is within you. ?

The gift of time

Time is endless, it lasts forever. Why do we oftentimes run out of time? We squander time when we are not present where we are. Mindfulness is an art that we all can learn.  Mindfulness allows us to enjoy the freedom of time. When we are mindful, we experience time. Once we choose to experience time, it lovingly stretches to embrace us.  It unfolds and expands and we find that we have all the time we need, we just don’t know it. Time is not expendable. It is not limited. If you can dance with time, it can be stretched to infinity. Time is always here, it will never disappear, so there is no need to grab it. Time is of the essence, we are told. Time is essence, I now know. Time heals, time allows us to unfold our wings. Time is our friend. When we choose to be mindful,  time indulges us, and time waits for us.

We are part of the organic whole

“Once we not only recognize but experience ourselves as inseparable parts of the organic whole, it’s no longer possible to make excuses for our indulgent and destructive lifestyles, to accept the dispiriting domestication or complete extinction of other life forms.  When we feel the earth as an integral and continuous part of ourselves, we no longer protect the dying rainforests as a botanical source for medicines or as a “scenic resource,” as something other than us. We know them deeply and completely.  They are our lungs – to save them is to save ourselves.  And as they are the lungs of the planet, we are the conscience.” – Jesse Wolf Hardin/Lone Wolf Circles

Hope

Hope helps us build emotional muscles. When life presents us with pain, hope presents itself as an alternative to despair, depression and giving up. Hope helps us find the threads of faith within our soul. It shows us that we have the capacity to believe in something or someone greater than pain. Hope opens the door so that we can allow faith to come into our lives and view the circumstances of pain and tragedy from a different perspective. Hope is always there. But it is not always easy to hope. It takes a long time to understand hope. Photo courtesy of Morguefile

Spirituality pervades all realms of our being

Sometimes people get the mistaken notion that spirituality is a separate department of life, the penthouse of our existence. But rightly understood, it is a vital awareness that pervades all realms of our being. Someone will say, “I come alive when I listen to music,” or  “I come to life when I garden,” or “I come alive when I play golf. “Wherever we come alive, that is the area in which we are  spiritual. And then we can say, “I know at least how one is spiritual in that area.” To be vital, awake, aware, an all areas of our lives is the task that is never accomplished, but it remains the goal. — Brother David Stteindl-Rast in The Music of Silence Photo courtesy of Morguefile

Sunday’s Blessings

“I think that creativity is about reaching to the soul, connecting to the inner Self so totally that no difference exists between inner and outer, good and bad, reality and fiction, past and future. Everything rests in the utter and magnificent I AM. “I remember once working at my typewriter, deep in thought, when I glanced up at the tree outside my window, and for a startling moment I was the tree – no separation – and also the air between the tree and me, the glass of the windowpane, the story I was writing, paper, typewriter, and myself. “Satori, I thought, and with the naming, which constitutes a movement back into conscious Mind, I wrenched our of that sweet stated, and I was looking at the page again, marveling at what had happened, and how to reach that suspension of time and Self again…” –Sophy Burnham, For Writers Only Photo: Morguefile

Sunday’s Blessings

Sunday is the first day of the week.  We begin by taking pause. We take time to breathe and allow our souls to come forth.  Sunday is soul day. We give our souls time and permission to manifest its nature, to make us feel its presence and allow its essence to permeate our being. We take pause on Sunday and listen to the inner pinings of our soul.  We invite the sacred to speak to us and guide us through the week ahead. On Sundays, we merge with the Sacred.  We allow Sacredness back into our lives – oftentimes forgotten in the busy-ness of the days gone by. Sundays remind us that the material world is but an aspect of our lives – it is not the be and all of our human existence. A blessed Sunday to one and all. “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Photo: Morguefile