Monday, August 30, 2010

Contemplation and Action

I hope you enjoy this link which contains a talk (audio and transcript) by Fr Lawrence Freeman of the World Community of Christian Meditation on Contemplation and Action.  He describes very wonderfully how we can live in the centre of this paradox...Most movingly, in my experience of grief, is his tackling of joy and suffering and how affliction 'pins us to the centre of the universe'...via these unexpected and unwanted experiences we can come to truly know and participate in reality with all our being.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Alive with Flowers

This plant is a Senna Artisemoides (Cassia species).  I planted it for one of our daughters a couple of years ago.  It has been flowering prolifically throughout our winter for many weeks now....making it's presence known with beautiful yellow buttercup is very welcome in our garden reminding one of nature's capacity to renew itself and come alive...if only we see.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Seraphim of Sarov

I learnt a little about St. Seraphim of Sarov (1759-1833) recently...he was a Russian Orthodox hermit and monk noted for his commitment to solitude and inner prayer. At a certain moment later in his life he opened to others more fully and began receiving enormous numbers of pilgrims who consulted with him...he is quoted as saying 'learn to be at peace, and thousands all around you will be saved'.  What a beautiful and inclusive vision of might this become our vision too?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Nurturing Links for Inspiration

I have added to this blog a list of the communities, websites and places that I have found nurturing on my journey thus far.  Enjoy the wisdom and the common spirit to be found in these links.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Wonder in the Eucharist

I sense a Eucharistic theology forming inside me the more I am drawn into both silence and the material ritual/liturgy of Eucharist. So with the risk of losing touch with the experience that informs this I'd like to share some of what is emerging....For a number of years now Quaker Meeting for Worship has been my primary contact with a local corporate body. However I have never quite lost touch with the Anglican roots that preceded it, indeed
I have continued to attend Eucharist from time to time...often finding that the depths that pull me are largely not attended to. The Quaker way and indeed the contemplative Christian path both have something to say about the Eucharistic nature of silence. I am not at all suggesting a discarding of the ritual of Eucharist. Along with Lawrence Freeman from the World Community for Christian Meditation, I simply envision a deepening when both silence and ritual dialogue with each other. In the Quaker unprogrammed tradition of meeting in silence and in other forms of contemplative prayer...holy communion is very much entered the silence the real presence...the light of Christ...the bread of heaven. We bring our bodies for blessing for we are a dwelling place of the light. This is my body...this is my blood. In the silence take and eat, be nourished, know reality more deeply, know your connection to this reality, feel it, live it. Do this as often as you remember me. Return to this silent dwelling from which all love, all justice flow. Let the silence and the words that flow from this encounter help us to remember more fully Christ who is all and in all. Awaken the slumbering Christ...the self-emptied, self-offering one. Let this awakening be a natural opening. Jesus' words at the Last Supper have a cosmic immensity...only the most enlightened human being could utter them...they are in the words of Pierre Lacout, Catholic Quaker, 'silent words'. They are not to stop with Jesus though. Only followers who had apprehended the silent depths of the holy communion would bother writing these Gospel words down for subsequent generations. We are invited to take our turn too, blessing all that we can see, emptying and offering. This is my body. We know of the interrelationship of the cosmos from science and in silence we know this truth at the centre of our being. What then stops every meal from being sacred? Every intake of food, every inhalation of air? Moment by moment let us reign in our forgetfulness. Do this as often as you remember me. Holy communion is not once per week or once per day but in the immediacy of life. Our lot is to receive the gifts that uncover, reveal and peel back, living our constant communion.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Jerusalem Prayer

Last weekend I attended an ecumenical dinner and talk at a local Greek Orthodox centre in honour of a visiting Palestinian Christian man. It was a privilege to hear of strength in the face of serious oppression and highlights the gifts of those of us largely free of conflict and breaches of human rights.

This is the content of the little prayer card we received on the night:

'Australian Churches call on the Australian people to pray for an end to injustice and violence in Palestine-Israel so that peace with justice may transform lives in that troubled land.'

The Jerusalem Prayer

(The Heads of Churches in Jerusalem invite churches around the world to pray with them)

O God,

We give thanks to you for every

community around the world that is

praying with us this day for peace.

In your unfathomable mystery and love

for all,

let the power of your redemption and

your peace

transcend all barriers of cultures and

religions and fill the hearts of all who

serve you here, of both peoples-

Israeli and Palestinian-

and of all religions.