The night holds no terror for me resting under God’s wings – antiphon from Compline (night prayer)

I posted the following on Facebook four years ago today. I don’t know why. Did I know in my gut that I was so near the end of my rope and that I would hit rock bottom – hard – some five months later? 


Richard Rohr ~
When we come to the end of our rope and hit rock bottom, we are not dashed but fall into God’s hands. It is here at our lowest that we discover our true source of power, the indwelling Holy Spirit. Many years ago, during a hermitage in Arizona, I had a particularly strong sense of the Holy Spirit, the One who is fully available to all of us “if we but knew the gift of God” (John 4:10). I slowly composed this prayer–imagining many names and movements of the Spirit–to awaken and strengthen this Presence within you. Recite it whenever you are losing faith in God or in yourself.

Pure Gift of God

monochrome photo of dark hallway

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Indwelling Presence
Promise of the Father
Life of Jesus
Pledge and Guarantee
Defense Attorney
Inner Anointing
Homing Device
Stable Witness
Peacemaker
Always Already Awareness
Compassionate Observer
God Compass
Inner Breath
Mutual Yearning
Hidden Love of God
Implanted Hope
Seething Desire
Fire of Life and Love
Truth Speaker
Flowing Stream
Wind of Change
Descending Dove
Cloud of Unknowing
Uncreated Grace
Filled Emptiness
Deepest Level of Our Longing
Sacred Wounding
Holy Healing
Will of God
Great Compassion
Inherent Victory

You who pray in us, through us, with us, for us, and in spite of us.
Amen, Alleluia!

addiction happens

Addiction happens when we no longer want to feel our feelings. Addiction happens when we don’t want to know our own thoughts or feel our own pain. But you know what? Addiction doesn’t work. in the long run addiction brings ten times more pain than you would experience by accepting the legitimate pain of being a human being. Religion needs to be teaching this upfront and without apology. – Richard Rohr

complicated system of paths

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Nocturne

Last night
in the dark
my heart
kept me
awake.

Last night it
kept me awake
searching
for hollows
and histories

headlights
on an island road.
Last night
in the dark
a car horn 

echoing in my chest,
crying
like a cat
in a darkened
stair,

my heart kept
me awake.
Outside,
security lights
stayed on.

Outside,
the lights were
on, the branches
still, and not a single
breath of air.

Last night
in the dark
my heart
kept me
awake.

lighted candle

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Christmas at Spring Harbor

late December
    locked up tight
    like a cloister door
a splinter of light
    opens the sky
    a crack before 

the nurse with red hair
    is there with your
    meds saying
for God’s sake
    close the door and
    put on your clothes

I wake to doze while
   beyond the walls
   it’s Christmas

 
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what I read this morning

And yet, each time we are on the way to follow our addiction, there seems to be a second of clarity when we see what we are doing and where we are going. We feel a flash of freedom, and then, if we neglect it, the darkness of our addiction descends again, and we go onward to our “fate” like sleepwalkers.

(Grateful that I’m no longer sleepwalking)

language of descent

The language of descent is either learned by mid-life (normally through suffering and the experience of powerlessness), or we inevitably move into a long day’s journey of accusing, resentment and negativity, circling our wagons as the hurts and disappointments of life gather round us: “I am right and others are wrong. I have a right to my judgments and I will continue to use valuable energy to justify them.” I have visited too many old men and retired priests in nursing homes to doubt this common pattern. When mid-life no longer allowed them to ascend or to deny their dark side, far too many men shut down or kept running. The price is a world of men who do not age well, who are emotionally, spiritually, intellectually unavailable – or just eccentric. These are the dads, priests and leaders we all laugh about but seldom take seriously.

– Richard Rohr, from The Wild Man’s Journey