A Prayer and Poem For You

Good Morning  — 

The Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

For your morning time of prayer, meditation and reflection 

With you in celebrating moment by moment, breath by breath, the sacrament of life, 

Robert

Restlessness comes when we have taken in too much.  We need to empty, to clear away, to make space, space for our spirits to emerge and present the other part of us that languishes under layers of acquisition.” — Marv and Nancy Hiles

Interspirituality

Good morning!

My favorite word these days is Interspirituality –may it become a favorite of yours too. We are in need of some kind of a common ground, a mystical ecumenism, a creation centered spirituality, something that will change our lives, our world, and the future course of humanity. Folks need to stop hating and killing one another in the name of their God.

Religious fundamentalists and terrorists of all kinds threaten life here on our planet.  I invite  you to take a look at The Coming Interspiritual Age  by Kurt Johnson and David Robert Ord. The first 16 pages of the book list endorsements from hundreds of scientific experts and spiritual leaders of all faiths. Ken Wilber writes: “Get this visionary book and find out what all the excitement and enthusiasm is about. It might very well change your world.”

Brother Wayne Teasdale, Roman Catholic lay monk says: “The real religion of humankind can be said to be spirituality itself, because mystical spirituality is the origin of all the world religions.  If this is so, and we believe it is, we might also say that interspirituality —- the sharing of ultimate experiences across traditions—is the religion of the third millennium.”

The words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are applicable for us right now: “We will learn to live together as brothers and sisters or we shall perish together as fools.”

Carl Sagan also says: “A religion, old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the Universe as revealed by modern science might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths. Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge.”

We need to embrace a global holism, a world-centric understanding of our life.  We need larger minds–larger hearts. If each one of us could open our heart more, go more deeply into the mystery, we might discover a transforming union with the all in all. What do you think? What comes to you in your time of prayer, meditation and reflection? I welcome your response.

Music for your prayer, meditation and reflection–Note the call to inclusion, acceptance, a sense of mutuality

You are not the giant of your dreams nor the dwarf of your fears
You are a part of the whole with a share in its purpose.
Words found at the Shalom Mountain Retreat and Study Center

We are all sparks of the Divine flame
Blessed Be          Compassionate Be           Boldly Be

“It is writtenMy house will be called a house of prayer for all people, but you are making it a den of robbers.” – Jesus, Matthew 21:13

Everyday Miracles

Good morning everyone!

The power of welcome — so positive, inclusive, life giving for all. I hope you enjoy this music by Brother Sun Sister Moon

Some words of wisdom for you to ponder in your heart from the Rev. Forrester Church (September 23, 1948 – September 24, 2009) as printed in the March 19 reading from AN ALMANAC FOR THE SOUL by Marv and Nancy Hiles. I suggest you read this slowly and aloud to yourself. I hear  these words as a magnificent  expression of faith. All Souls Church, a great name for a church, is where Forrest served for over 30 years.

“The power which I cannot explain or know or name I call God.  God is not God’s name.  God is my name for the mystery that looms within and arches beyond the limits of my being.  When I pray to God, God’s answer comes to me from within, not beyond. God’s answer is yes, not to the specifics of my prayer but in response to my hunger for meaning and peace.

Choose life and trust life
Grow in service and love
Take nothing for granted
Be thankful for the gift
Suffer well
Dare to risk much
Consecrate your world with laughter and tears
And know not what I am or who I am or how I am, know only that I am with you.

This is God’s answer to my prayer.  There are times when God is not with me, many times.  Times of distraction, fragmentation, alienation, brokenness.  But when I open myself to God, incrementally my wholeness is restored. Perhaps that which I call the mystery of God is no more than the mystery of life itself. I cannot know, nor do I care, because the power that emanates from deep within the heart of this mystery is redemptive.  It is divine. By opening myself to it, without ever hoping or presuming to understand it, I find peace. The mystery of God will remain a mystery. That, I suppose, is as it should be.  Anything less would fail to do justice to the everyday miracles of consciousness, of love and pain, of life and death. Responding to these miracles, responding to God’s yes, I can do no other than to answer yes in return.”

If you have a moment, you might really appreciate the below. Especially those of us who are well onto the back nine of life. Forrest Church shares this final part of his journey with us.

 Every moment is a holy moment — Every breath is a sacred gift  — Do not squander a moment.

Let you heart take courage –Celebrate the sacrament of life moment by moment.

From You I receive

COMPANIONS —  COMMUNITY — COMMUNION  — SURROUNDED BY A COMPANY OF SAINTS

A good friend, Dr. Tom, wrote yesterday about the importance of friends and colleagues, leading me to think of the word companion which means  “with  bread.”  As food is required for human life, so too are companions — those who are nurturing, nourishing, encouraging,  and whose energy and presence often call forth the best that is within us, rekindling the inner spirit. 

I invite you to think of those who have companioned you in life, and maybe say a silent prayer of “Thank You” for those companions who now live on in the balcony of your life.  Looking back over your life can you call to mind the five to eight most memorable and significant people in your life?

Who are the folks who are a continuing part of the fabric of your life?

Take a few long, slow, deep cleansing breaths —  and remember.

My hunch is that there are many, many, many more…………..

May the peace of God live within you and may you pass it on, 

Robert

“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” -Albert Schweitzer

Prayers For All Military Families

Good Morning!

Prayers for all military families. One percent of our population does all the fighting and dying to keep us alive and free. We owe them a debt beyond our ability to repay.

“These are historic situations in which refusal to defend the inheritance of a civilization, however imperfect, against tyranny and aggression may result in consequences even worse than war.”
-Reinhold Niebuhr

Many of you may have read this from The Atlantic: What ISIS Really Wants.

Music for your time of prayer, contemplation and reflection

Let your heart take courage,

Robert

Return to the Land of Your Soul

Good morning                                                     

Yesterday I heard someone singing Return To The Land Of Your Soul.  I love the music and the message— just what I needed. These days there is so much haste and hurry, so many distractions, diversions and far countries, where we can get lost and forget that we are more than skin encapsulated egos. We are temples of the spirit. We are incarnations of the mystery we call God.

As someone has said, “we spiritual beings having a human experience.” I am grateful to the person who sang the song yesterday. It touched my soul bringing me home to myself. Often music awaken us to the mystery of Presence.

Let the music, words, and images flow through you,  opening   inner spaces deep within you.

Attention is more important than effort.  To be contemplative is to expose what is already in us rather than to impose anything more on ourselves.  The reality we seek comes out of us, not into us. –Marv and Nancy Hiles

If you have a moment you might listen once again to the music. There are times we need a second touch.

With you in Awe-Wakening to the Presence that has always been there within us awaiting our recognition,

Robert

Where Do You Experience The Sacred – Part Two (3/16/15)

“When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought,
‘Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.’
He was afraid and said, ‘How awesome is this place!
This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.'”
-Genesis 28:16-17

Yesterday’s Soul Nugget was entitled “Where do you experience the sacred?” I received many thoughtful responses for which I have thanked you. A friend who leaves on the Eastern Shore of Virginia took pictures of the lake and sky from his backyard. Creation pictures of our earth and nature – the earth, the air, the fire, and the water. The earth and nature are our First Scriptures – and our home ground. The earth is our Mother.

We did not come to earth, rather we came from earth. We are animated earth.

This recognition, one would think, would inspire us to have reverence for life, for the sacred, for the earth! But does it? Sometimes when I look at the earth, my eyes fill with tears of deep gratefulness for the unutterable beauty of the earth. Sometimes when I look at the earth, my eyes fill with tears of deep sorrow for we are not treating Mother Earth well and life on the planet as we know it is threatened and in jeopardy.

Please take a look at the earth, the air, the fire, and the water.

May you walk around the area where you live and may the eyes of your heart take in the awe inspiring beauty of the earth where you live. I think you too will experience the sacred where you live and move and have your being.

As the Quakers say: “Walk the earth in gladness answering to that of God in everyone and everything.”

Like our brother Jacob may we too awaken! Creation is the house of God! The gate of heaven is everywhere!

With you in awakening to who we are in God and to who God is in us.