10.29.2005

peregrinatio

I've been reading a book that was given to me several years ago. It's called The Celtic Way of Prayer by Ester de Waal. I was given it by some members of my church and I made a couple of early attempts to read it, but got almost nowhere.

Something called it to mind the other day and I plucked it from my shelf and began reading it again. I am finding it a very refreshing look at prayer and the presence of God in life. The prayers and blessings recorded and reflected on are powerful when I fully open my heart and mind up to them.

Early on in the book de Waal talks about the Celtic understanding of peregrinatio, a word that has come to mean "pilgirmmage" to our ears, but in fact, means something more. To be one of the peregrini is not merely to be on a journey, as if on the way to a destination. Rather, the journey is inward . Put another way, the destination is the journey. De waal writes,
Ready to go wherever the Spirit might take them, seeing themselves as hospites mundi, "guests of the world," what they are seeking is the place of their resurrection, the resurrected self, the true self in Christ, which is for all of us our true home.

Wow. It always amazes me to see the themes with which I am wrestling in my life come at me from different sides and weave themselves into a tapestry of the Presence of God. In this book God knocks at the door of my soul and whispers grace to my heart. I can think of no greater journey to set out on than one in which I seek my true, resurrected self, my true home.

Here is perhaps my favorite prayer/blessings so far, though it is only a portion:
The love Christ Jesus gave
Be filling every heart for me,
The love Christ Jesus gave
Filling me for every one.

Amen.

10.26.2005

thin places

May our praises and the prayers we pray;
lift the vale, lift the vale
between vessels of clay
and riches of heaven.
May the songs and silences of this day
thin the space between who we are and who we might become,
between who we are and who we can become.

May this place be a thin place, O Lord,
a place flowing with rivers of Grace, O Lord.
May heaven and earth come face to face;
weave them into one, weave them into one…

Take us back to the Garden, we pray;
let us walk, let us walk
in the cool of the day,
in the warmth of your heart.
May the songs and silences of this day
thin the space between who we are and who we might become,
between who we are and who we can become.

May this place be a thin place, O Lord,
a place flowing with rivers of Grace, O Lord.
May heaven and earth come face to face;
weave them into one, weave them into one…

Take us back to the cross, we cry;
let us kneel, let us kneel
under darkening sky,
knees to thirsty earth.
May the songs and silences of this day
thin the space between who we are and who we might become,
between who we are and who we can become.

May this place be a thin place, O Lord,
a place flowing with rivers of Grace, O Lord.
May heaven and earth come face to face;
weave them into one, weave them into one…

Pour out your Spirit, once more;
fill us up, fill us up
‘til we thirst no more
and thirst once again.
May the songs and silences of this day
thin the space between who we are and who we might become,
between who we are and who we can become.

May this place be a thin place, O Lord,
a place flowing with rivers of Grace, O Lord.
May heaven and earth come face to face;
weave them into one, weave them into one…

10.20.2005

on not making it to the world series

October has been a good month for me, spiritually speaking. I have been praying more and giving attention to the needs of my soul and the future of my church more than I might have been had the Cleveland Indians made it into the post-season. So, I am thankful that they did not make it. My life with God is richer because of it.

Last week I finally broke down and bought Phyllis Tickle's Praying the Divine Hours. I began using the book a week ago today and have not missed a time of prayer yet. I have been surprised at the difference it has made in my spiritual life. The book is not the key, the discipline is. Coming to God intentionally four times a day to pray specific prayers and reflect on Scripture has punctuated my day with a greater awareness of God's presence in my life, a heightened sensitivity to God's Spirit. I look forward to the few minutes I spend in the prayers for mornings, middays, vespers and compline.

And, oh yeah, I'm thrilled for Steven. He's been waiting quite a while to see the Astro's in the World Series. Enjoy it, Stevie (but I'm bettin' on the Sox).

10.13.2005

who am I?



Just to lighten things up a bit. Kenny's blog put me on to this quiz. Take the quiz yourself. Which Peanuts character are you?

weakness and strength

O God,

I am weak. I have read recently (re-read, actually) that the only true leader is strong leader. Most of the time I do not feel anything near strong. I feel embattled, defeated and useless. I go away and pray and sense your leading (I think) and then come into a conversation in which my views are so challenged that I doubt everything. I doubt you. I doubt me. I doubt my abilities and gifts. I wonder if leading is what I'm called to do, truly. I fancy a retreat center, in the mountains, where I can be a spiritual director for those who hunger for more of you.

I want to value the community process. I want go where God leads, even if the community doesn't yet see it. I am conflicted and weak. And I wonder, is a leader a leader if no one follows?