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Evening Prayer – 15 August 2018

The sun has set and the Vesper Lights flicker and glow

With the setting of the sun

We lift our humble prayer

For your children who fear the darkness

For your children who have been abandoned

For your children who have been marginalized

For your children who live in fear

For all of your children we pray

Dona Nobis Pacem

Grant Us Peace

A wee prayer from the heart of your Padre…

Live Gently – Christine Valters Paintner

“Each choice you make about how to live gently on the earth makes a small impact . . . these small choices are then woven together with the choices others make until they are woven into one large tapestry of expanding love and compassion.”

Christine Valters Paintner, PhD  The Self-Study Online Retreat ~ Water, Wind, Earth and Fire: Praying with the Elements

Violence and Our Failure to Love – Thomas Merton

As I look at the world around me… as I hear politicians bray and rattle their sabers… as I watch them send other people’s children off to die… Merton’s words from the 1960’s ring true like the words of a Prophet…

Violence rests on the assumption that the enemy and I are entirely different: the enemy is evil and I am good. The enemy must be destroyed and I must be saved. But love sees things differently. It sees that even the enemy suffers from the same sorrows and limitations that I do. That we both have the same hopes, the same needs, the same aspirations for a peaceful and harmless human life. And that death is the same for both of us. Then love may perhaps show me that my brother is not really my enemy and that war is both his enemy and mine. War is our enemy. Then peace becomes possible… — Thomas Merton (Introduction to the Vietnamese Translation of his book No Man Is an Island)

Evening Prayer – 14 August 2018

The sun has set and the Vesper Lights flicker and glow

A day of meetings and contemplation

A time of ministry and reflection

In the midst of it all, Lord you were present

A time simply to be present

For our community

For our nation

For our world

For all I lift this humble prayer

Dona Nobis Pacem et in Terra

Grant Us Peace on Earth

A wee prayer from the heart of your Padre…

Wisdom of the Seasons – Christine Valters Paintner

“One of my passions is helping people reconnect with the wisdom of the seasons.  Spring, summer, autumn, and winter each have particular gifts and invitations.  Paying attention to the rhythms of the natural world helps us to recognize the place within us that calls for blossoming, fruitfulness, releasing, and resting.”

Christine Valters Paintner, PhD The Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom

words: how faith, listening and receptivity help birth a fresh creative flow

Welcome back, Joy! The Spirit’s work is within your writing!

Poetry Joy

words, faith , listening and creativity

Words are intransigent at times. They reveal a resistance to being marshalled onto the page with military precision. Instead they resemble watchful dancers, waiting in the wings, ready to leap upon the stage when they sense the timing is right for them,  and hopefully alighting with style, beauty and grace. Maybe you can relate?

That’s how it can seem when the creative well runs dry and the easy flow we’ve been accustomed to becomes a mere trickle. Try as we might, words refuse to cooperate, leaving us hungry for their return. Resting ourselves and our words seems wise. Then we grow into their future potential, as well as ours.

As a poet I am used to the way words speak to me, hum with a greater resonance, sing out their potential, ask to be paid attention to, seek to be picked, sifted and joined together while they dictate the metre…

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(The Art of) Listen / Speak

A beautiful reflection, Ally!

soul kindling

listen speak

Each summer, my senses are heightened to the art of listening and speaking. With my kids on summer break, our home becomes a cacophony of words. Some words are joyful, some are pointless and some are ugly. I listen. I speak. At times, I respond. At times, I react. I bungle both (listen/speak) on a regular basis. I ask myself, “What does it mean to listen with depth and honor the other? What words are actually needed and how can I respond with mindfulness and compassion?”

To listen and speak with love
is a spiritual practice.

To an artist, the art of listen/speak is of utmost importance. Listening (especially internal) becomes the fuel for one who does creative work. Speaking is a gateway to utter dreams, ideas and passion. When both are engaged, it spurs us to action. When one or both are cut off, it’s incredibly difficult to move…

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