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I am a pilgrim
Walking by the light of the moon
In and out of shadows
Having to peer into the darkness,
To see at all.

Beckoned, I am
Urged to keep on the journey
To Press on
Knowing only dimly
And not to depend on better words.

My beating heart is a lantern,
Sure and faithful hope,
Nothing more.
Therein is the union
which claims me
An infinite horizon
Of dawning light
A smile of sunrise and cool morning

Even as it illuminates
Another day of shouting and swords
Which thrive in the afternoon glare
The heat of certitude
The holding of ground
The standing there,
The giving up of walking,
The desiring only to sleep
in the night.

Heart’s Pondering

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Thoughts Inspired by My Reading of The Way of Paradox, by Cyprian Smith
(By Way of Trying to Understand What He is Saying)

In the emptiness of my chamber,
Which is my soul,
The Ground of my being,
The Word sounds as an echo.
This withinness of God in me
IS God in me,
Because there is no longer
Anything of me in me.
And I see out with God’s eyes,
Look upon the world as other,
Yet wholly me.

(“I am not God, but I am
not other than God.”)*

If I am to pray at all,
I must say, God, empty me
Of what is false, illusory,
Unreal, so that your Word,
Continually sounding, may
Sound in me. My I give birth
In being emptied of all that is false,
To what wants to be born in me
Of You.

Prepare the home of my heart
As if it were a womb able to
Receive the seed of the Word
Sown in the universe, falling always
To the ground, sometimes on the path
Where it is trodden upon, sometimes
On the hardness of the rocks, and scorched
In the blazing sun, sometimes
Amidst the thorns where it is choked.
May I be fertile ground for you to spring
Up and yield a hundredfold. (Mark 4:1-9)

“What is the spiritual life?”, one may ask.
It is hospitality of the heart, detachment,
An empty space ready to be filled
With an echo of God’s Word.

And then I am reminded of those
Evil spirits, the roaming false self,
cast out and
Seeking once again a place to inhabit, (Luke 11:24-26)
and I say, “In prayer,
Do not ask for an empty heart
Until you have tasted God’s sweetness
And desire nothing else.”
Yet, we must ask for an empty heart
So that God’s sweetness
Already filling the universe
Can fill the space with its fragrance.

*James Finley

You Can Be the One Astounded

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Having said goodbye to you
I close my eyes
And begin the sacred journey.

I am here
Thinking once again of death.

But more, I am thinking of life,
Thoughts of death
being more about life:
Memories that could easily
Bring me to tears,
Rememberings lodging
In the heart.

In meeting God
Face to face
I know I will see God
Rushing from the farmhouse porch
With an embrace
A ring, a robe, sandals.
So joyful a return
A banquet set.

“We made it together,
Didn’t we? I so love you.
Come see your family and friends,
They’re waiting.

And do not judge yourself
Worthy or not. Let me be
The One first forgiving,
The One with the short memory,
Let me be the One who takes every life
And weaves it into song.

You can be the one astounded.”


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The day is sunny,
“But will it last?” we ask.
And hope says,
“No matter,
even if the clouds return,
The sun will shine again.”

“How do you know this?” we ask.
And hope replies,
“Do you remember?”

Anchors as Reminders (Part II)

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Life in the Spirit. When we speak of God’s presence, we include the Father who is for us, the Son who is with us, and the Spirit who is within us. We participate in this Reality through the generosity of God who made us and lives in us completely as God.  And as God does everything only in love; we are made in love, and actually have God’s heart and mind within us. And so it follows that God is consciousness within us.  God knows in us. And when our True Self is fully manifested, we are the compassion of God, the love of God for the world.

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Anchors as Reminders (Part I)

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I find that I need anchors, some key concepts, metaphors, that act as reminders of Reality for me.  Otherwise I tend to forget, or just get plain fuzzy and seem to lose my bearings.  So I need these reminders that connect me back to God, to my Source, and to Life itself; basically to everything. These are faith-based affirmations rooted in my image of God as “the one who is  able to give only love and who withholds nothing from us of Godself; the one in whom there is no condemnation.”  Here are some of my anchors.

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How Then Might We Claim a Life of Freedom in the Present?

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Living in the present with hope takes a great deal of faith, and perhaps that is why so few of us actually do so with any regularity. It takes faith to declare in each moment that this moment is new and fresh. To push off from the past into the present means to leave behind the past.  In God’s eyes it is already forgiven.

If, however, what we have created in the past represents a rubble of chaos and discord, there may be some necessary healing both in our own life and in the lives of those we may have harmed. But acknowledging in faith that we have been forgiven by God just may be the greatest incentive to seek, whenever possible, forgiveness from others. There is no clean slate. There is rather our moving into the present armed, as it were, with the deep sense that all can be well, and that all will be well. Otherwise, there can be no hope. Otherwise, we condemn ourselves to walk a road of self-recrimination and self-loathing, and we can offer nothing to others in terms of invitation to forgiveness and healing for them as well.

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Praying from Square One

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Whenever we talk about the Christ we must remember that we are talking about ourselves because we actually participate in the Christ as members of the cosmos which is the body of Christ. That is how broad and inclusive Paul’s notion of the Christ is. So let us look at this for a moment in terms of how we pray.

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Stepping into the River of Abundance

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Abundance is a relative term.
What defines enough?
When do I have enough
In order to feel comfortable enough
to start giving freely?

Is it possible that
if we are not willing to give our last penny freely,
that we might never be ready
or willing to give
From the abundance of having millions?

There is a correlation
between knowing abundance and faith,
Resting in faith,
Having our eyes centered on the divine abundance
Which is the very Source of all giving,
Shared love in the Trinity
complete and generous outpouring
of giving and receiving, and then
dynamic giving more
To each other, with nothing of self withheld,
an outpouring of love
A flowing river
never blocked,

Flows out to us
As God’s generosity,
As the pattern of life itself.
incorporating us
in that flow
within which
there will always be enough
For us and for everyone around us.
Because as we give, we are filled.
Like a bucket that has reached its capacity,
And overflows,
Even while continuing to be itself filled.

When we offer no resistance
We are conduits
of a current of love.

But we can stop the flow.
And once we do,
life ceases to be lived fully in us.
Because life cannot flow through us.
Is this the meaning of alienation, of sin.
Having received from the abundance of God
Freely given to us,
we try and keep this abundance for ourselves.
Absenting ourselves from the ongoing flow of life
Which continues on around us
Wherever it finds surrender.

It takes great courage to step into the river
And take our part in this flowing.
It is the power
of being powerless,
the giving up
of having to initiate anything;
allowing instead life itself to be received in us
And given out; mediums for
the generosity of God to enter the world
As life given for us.
and passed on.

It takes faith to know that God
Cannot be outdone in generosity,
An experience of what it feels like to
Let God be done in us.
And become ourselves
an invitation to join in the great dance.

Might this be the only purpose of creation,
of each of our lives,
to be a witness to the love of God
Poured out in everything,
Shimmering energy of a love whose
Nature only wants to give of itself?

Will the purpose
then be accomplished by
our Entering the river
and ondergoing the
baptism of joining the dance
of offering no resistance to the flow
Which is meant to energize us
And then be given to energize others?

Living As We Do within Our Collective Illusions

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We have for so long thought of the human person as a separate entity, as not really being connected to any whole, but rather existing outside of the whole.  As such, we have only considered ourselves from the perspective of sin, because sin represents and is indicative of our life influenced by and lived under the illusion of our being separate from the whole.

It appears that most Christians have lived their entire life in the darkness of illusion, even while they have professed to be living in the light of Christ.  In this, Christians are no different from those who know nothing of Christ Jesus. They are no different from those who profess belief in any other religious tradition, but who also live under the illusions of the false self; in short, who also live without the consciousness of our unity in Christ.

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