small and ordinary “I”

It’s a gift to joyfully recognize and accept our own smallness and ordinariness. Then you are free with nothing to live up to, nothing to prove, and nothing to protect. Such freedom is my best description of Christian maturity, because once you know that your “I” is great and one with God, you can, ironically, be quite content with a small and ordinary “I.”

No grandstanding is henceforth necessary. Any question of your own importance or dignity has already been resolved from the inside out—once and for all. Such salvation is experienced now in small tastes, whetting our appetite for eternity.
– Richard Rohr

Franciscan Feast of The Stigmata

FB_IMG_1568764509726.jpgToday Franciscans around the world celebrate the Feast of the Stigmata, remembering the wounds of Christ imprinted on the body of St. Francis. The event is symbolic of Francis’s life. He suffered greatly and was profoundly misunderstood but his unwavering commitment to a God of unconditional love marked his life. Saints are not made in stain-glass windows. They are forged in the fires of rejection, displacement, perseverance and darkness because God is being born within. To live in Christ is to bear the weight of the world in evolution.

– Ilia Delio

a little seed

One way you keep holding on to an imaginary power is by expecting something from outside gratifications or future events. As long as you run from where you are and distract yourself, you cannot fully let yourself be healed. A seed only flourishes by staying in the ground in which it is sown. When you keep digging the seed up to check whether it is growing, it will never bear fruit. Think about yourself as a little seed planted in rich soil. All you have to do is stay there and trust that the soil contains everything you need to grow. This growth takes place even when you do not feel it. Be quiet, acknowledge your powerlessness, and have faith that one day you will know how much you have received.
– Henri Nouwen

blur close up focus ground

Photo by Gelgas on Pexels.com

found drawing – January 16, 2017

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“And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation – some fact of my life – unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake.” – AA Big Book

stop searching
stop thinking
stop trying

the way out
is there

found drawing – 12.22.2016

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hours after
winter solstice

the day I wanted to die,
tried, and failed

I had failed at success
and succeeded in failure

today and every day
I am grateful for life

(… Some speak of the future
My love she speaks softly
She knows there’s no success like failure
And that failure’s no success at all…)
– 
Bob Dylan, Love Minus Zero/No Limit

sheep or shepherd?

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(photo: Greene, ME – January 2019)

Then Jesus told them this parable:  “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?  And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders  and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’  I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
– Luke 15:3-7

humble enough

When you accept what you have, you see all you have received is more than enough and you are overwhelmed. I desire other things because I fear to be content with what I have, I fear it is inglorious. in the last few days I have seen what matters is to be humble enough to admit I am content with just this. Leave the rest to God.

Thomas Merton, journal entry, September 7, 1958

holy people

The greatest gift of centered and surrendered people is that they know themselves as part of a larger history, a larger Self. Their life is not about them! They are just one lovely instance of a Much Larger and More Wonderful Life, the very life of God.

Holy people are in one sense profoundly conservative, knowing that they only stand on the shoulders of their ancestors and will be shoulders for the generations to come. They are only a part of the Eternal Mystery of God unfolding in time, and yet they are a part!

Yet these same people are often quite liberal and reforming because they have no private agendas or self-interest to protect. They are unattached to any superior self-image or inferior self-image or any career or promotion. Such freedom! It is all about God for them, and they are just along for the ride. Such seeming contradictions held inside of the same person usually make it into a very wild ride. Contemplatives are often the most daring and wonderful combination of radical traditionalists and go-for-broke progressives at the very same time.

– Richard Rohr