prayer

Thanks, all thanks, to the great, enduring, infinite love that connects us all; from which we all come and in which we all have our being.

motives

“Excessive desires for security and survival, affection and esteem, and power and control are out-of-date motives as far as the Gospel is concerned.”
Thomas Keating

There’s an interesting notion! When I remember I pray to let go of my desire for these things..obstacles to acknowledging and reconnecting with my true self…

It is for many of us, the first step…accepting that this thinking mechanism that keeps churning away is not who we are, but just a function of our whole being..a part of us that will not survive death…

But if these motives, with which we are all at least to some extent familiar, are ultimately redundant, how can we effectively let them go, and in their absence, what, if any, motives will remain?…

For myself, I am slowly but increasingly becoming aware of an abiding longing to grow closer to, know better and rest in, God..this longing is hard to articulate, but as real as anything in my experience…

most days I spend time with the Bible, both Old and New Testaments…written by people, though guided I believe by the Spirit…certain words come up again and again, hinting at some measure of the quality and nature of God…mercy, grace, faithfulness, patience, abiding love, strength, endurance, creativity, peace…we do well to sing God’s praises, ponder these qualities and pray for them ourselves…

yet I expect they fall short, as all words do…’..if you understand, then it is not God..’
so said St Augustine, in good faith…the ineffable nature of God is just that, inexpressible..unknowable…but nonetheless a real, abiding presence…

who’s counting?

In the beginning there was nothing, save the silent, inactive spirit…nothing…no time no space….all was not yet…everything had yet to begin…so in a way, everything had already ended….eternity….immeasurable…no beginning or end….no dimensions whatsoever….

our learned scientists and archaeologists have determined all kinds of time frames for when this or that began….species, climatic conditions etc…assuming for the moment that it all ‘began’ at some point in time, there then ensued a long, long time before some bright spark started counting, and the tyranny of numbers began its long history…until that fateful moment, after which moments began to be strung together, there was just the one, ever shifting moment…a small step from eternity…

I am now sitting in a pub in London…WC1…people are counting money, to pay for their 2nd or 3rd drink…its 17.28….many doubtless finished their days labours at 17.00 hours or thereabouts…they have phone numbers, house or apartment numbers, bank account numbers, bank balances, ages….they have numbers of friends, lovers, children, cousins…. we are constantly looking at the prices of things and buying them or not, an endless, tragic numbers game…weather reports list temperatures, wind speeds, likelihood of rain in percentages, and so on…doctors chart blood pressure, temperature, cholesterol levels, and months left to live!….most sports are judged numerically, as are films and music releases…if it cannot be reduced to a numerical evaluation, it may slip notice altogether…comparison is bad enough on the better/worse, richer/poorer level…once numbers move in, we’re all losers….

there is a world, or a mode of perception, that continues uncounted, mostly unnoticed, wherein everything is still in the now, fully connected and at peace….it is accessible to us all…it resides in the deepest part of each of us….I venture to say it is where God lives…

 

what to believe

Nothing changed on Calvary, but everything was revealed as God’s suffering love—so that we could change!
Richard Rohr

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love hurts….I’ve had a hard time accepting that, which has made me a little hard hearted…its too easy to close down when I’ve been hurt….I try to let it all go and remain open and accepting of everything,  but eventually some often minor increase in tragedy level is enough to pull the plug on my manufactured calm…

of course!…I still forget that none of this can I do on my own…I need to be connected, open hearted, in tune with what is unfolding…a placid participant playing his part as directed…only then am I beginning to walk in love…and as soon as I try and hang on to anything, its gone..

it feels dangerous…till I let the feeling go…just be…part of it all…an integral part…not in control, just receiving and responding….from one moment to the next you may be mortally wounded, or ecstatically touched…or anything in between…agony and ecstasy…

I am blessed with four children…my love for each of them seems immeasurable in every sense…part of that love is a deep longing to love them more…to ease their pain, strengthen their resolve, alert them to dangers, save them time…..but for their sakes I have to back off…watch them fall, get hurt, again and again…each of us has to live our own life….

our heavenly Father loves the whole of creation…he cannot but love every last detail…love is the very nuts and bolts of it all…in you as you are in me…God’s boundless, suffering love

“I will bless the Lord at all times,
his praise ever on my lips.” Psalm 34:1