Antiphons – call and response to the sacred text

 

Antiphons—responses to the Beloved in scripture

 

l. Luke 19: 1-10

I want to free what waits within me

I want to sing you as no one ever has

May what I do flow from me like a river

Streaming through widening channels to the open sea

 (paraphrase of rilke)

 

2 . psalm 50/Luke 19

I only know you in my heart, o love

by honoring the Love that you declare for me

I welcome Your desire to stay in me

May You Be here by dwelling in my being.

 

3. Luke 12: 35-40

May I be open to Your presence in this day, o love

I light this candle so that I can see you

In the darkness, may you find me opening

As I await your coming here to Be in me

 

3. acts 17:16-34

may I carry this truth with me through this day, o love

that you are with me in each moment

may my silences and songs be filled with reverence

as I receive and bear you into being

 

4. Colossians 4:2-18

may I be present to your prayer within me love

may I be mindful of your yearning

may I breathe what labors to be born in me

as I cry out may I proclaim your beauty

 

your thirst for being never dies in me

from deep, You stir me into being

these urgencies of heart relay Love’s messages

reminding me who I am meant to be

 

my yearning is Your yearning to be free in me

my prayer Your yearning to be sung

mystery of Christ, proclaimed in my humanity

in chains, I bring You into being.

 

5.Psalm 91/rilke paraphrase

I yearn to be held in the great hands of your heart, o love

oh let them take me now into your holiness

I place these fragments of my life into your heart, o love

For You to spend however you desire

 

6. I cherish this place where we meet as sacred, love

I welcome you inside to make love to me

Come fill me with your loving presence

That I may overflow with what you’re birthing

 

7. may I soften at your touch, o love

may I open at your touch, o love

may I expand at your touch, o love

may I flow from your touch, o love

 

8. Matthew 23:1-12

May I hear the whisper of Your Being in this song, o love

May you be the Song singing within me

Open me to You that I may flow from You

Receiving You how’ere you come before me

 

May I Be Love throughout my day

May I see Love throughout my day

May there be no here nor there, no better/worse

May my Being and my doing be as One.

 

9.  Thessalonians 2

O my Love, may the One who comes into my home

Build up my house

So that what is birthed in me

Is you.

 

Evensongs

 

9. Response to Song –Beautiful darkness/matthew 25

 

you come into the dark of my unknowing, Love

I can but trust I’m sacred to You

When I can’t see you, you behold me

Cradling the light I am within your holiness

 

10.Though it is dark, o love, my heart’s awake

I yearn to sing you, love, to flow into you

Of you, for you, to you, in you, I sing

May you receive my song into your silence

 

11.  My song in your silence

My silence in your song

We sing

 

 

 

13. 1 Peter 1:3-9

May I embrace the glorious joy of being in Love with life.

May I hold this secret tenderlyl

For my soul is saved through this embrace

May my soul deepen in peace

May my soul expand in understanding

May my soul overflow in Love

May I bring forth this truth into my days

May I flow from this opening in me

May I bear love and compassion into being

May I welcome all in the name of Love

May I face the darkness and see light—waiting to shine on me as I on it.

May I fall into the abyss of unknowing, into the arms of Love

May I know nothing

May I trust only the mystery of love.


 

J: I stand at the threshold and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.                                                           (Rev 3:20)

 

T: I slept, but my heart was awake. A sound! My beloved is knocking. “Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my perfect one                               (Song of Solomon 5:2)

A: Blessed is the one who listens to me,
       watching daily at my doors,
       waiting at my doorway. For whoever finds me finds life.      ( Proverbs 8: 34-35)

V: O Love, you are my Beloved

I long for You

My soul thirsts for You

All that is within me thirsts

As in a dry and barren land

Where there is no water

I call out to You in my heart

Sensing your power and glory

Your steadfast Love is life to me

And my lips will praise you

I will radiate your love as long as I live

Becoming a blessing to others as I flow from you                                   (Psalm 63, Merrill)

 

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst to be in the fully alive in the aliveness of God for they will be filled                                                                      (Matthew 5:6, Bourgeault)

We know that the whole creation is groaning as in the pains of childbirth. And we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for the redemption of our bodies.     (Romans 8:22-23)

He yearned to see who Jesus was, but he couldn’t because of the crowd. Jesus said, “Come down. I want to stay at your house today”

May I become like a hollow reed

So You may play your melody through me

For I long to be attuned to the great song of the Cosmos,

To know the song of inner praise!

O, that I might hear the Divine Melody within

And give birth to a dancing star                                                             (Psalm119, zayin

Merrill)

 

 

 

 

 

 


May the harvest be abundant, Love

As you reap the blessing that my life has sown

Overflowing you my hunger dissipates

As I bear the fruit of our Love ripening

 

Your pour yourself into my life, o Love

Requesting only that I do the same

That my heart embracing all this tenderness

May spill itself into your eagerness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

parable of the talents

o Love, you pour your whole self into me
requesting only that i do the same
and pour myself into this tender place
exquisite brokeness and beauty

o Love, at times unbearable, this opening
as my heart expands to hold life’s blessings
my soul is overflowing with reality
i long for you come to catch its spilling

but Love, you eagerly await this opening
as eagerly as i await your coming
for me to spill these riches into you
from this, my heart, increased by suffering

oh Love, your arms are overflowing with my gifts
of Love grown in abundance through life’s seasons
my heart is eager, Love, for you to spend them well
as You delight in what i’m offering

extravagant blessings

o Love,

i am smiling all over

and all under

at the way You come into my eagerness

with your surprise

 

awakening my heart, alive

i jump right out of sleep

into delight

 

o You, just when i had thought

i was the one delighting You

You overflow Your Wild Extravagance

onto me

overflowing

today, i prayed the parable of the talents. of course, sunday’s readings also include passages from the wisdom texts, from old testament prophets, and from the letters.

the psalm (76) spoke to me of the breaking down of all the ‘opposes’ Love. Love
alone has the power to do so. and Love’s dwelling place is within the temple of
my own heart. none of the voices (within) that wish to despise me can stand up
for long in the presence of this voice of Love that raises its song to save the
oppressed. they fall away… only as they are Loved. and the oppressor itself is
transformed through Love.

the prophecy (zephaniah 1) began with a search. Love like a searchlight in my
heart, awakening compassion in me. again there was the destroying the walls
that have been built up in me to keep Love out, the walls that keep me from
experiencing Love in my being, and from knowing the exquisitely tender joy of
being awake and alive. the day when Love triumphs in me will be a day exactly
like last evening…a day when i allow Love inside the darkness, when i allow
Love to embrace and encompass my sorrow and gloom, my tears and anger and fear.
when i allow Love to see and be with it all. when i allow Love to embrace the
whole of my heart. behold my heart. be wholed.

the things that have kept me from knowing that i am Loved and Love will perish
by being dissolved by the light. the judgments that keep me from being fully
alive (the i shouldn’ts…feel this way, etc) will be burnt up in the passion
of Love.

the letter was again the thessalonians passage about the breastplate of love. my
heart in God’s heart. it reminded me that i have not been made to suffer but to
receive Love. to be a receptor of Love in this place. whether i am asleep or
awake, whether i am sowing or reaping, Love, Christ, the Divine One in me
continues to be with me, in me, to behold me, work through me, for we are One
being, united in body and spirit. Love is who i am. simply. wholey.

finally, the parable. when Love returns to my awareness (and indeed with or
without my awareness) it comes to reclaim my life as its own. my life belongs
to Love. Love has fully invested itself in me. Love pours all of its wealth
into our lives, pours itself out into these physical manifestations of being
that our humanity is, into this human incarnation that i am. Love has poured
itself into me and it will reap what it has sown in me. Love is multiplying
through my being. through my being alive…fully alive. in all the things that
Love expresses and experiences through a body’s being here…in all the longing
and sorrow, all the desire and dying, all the tenderness and heartache, the
terrible beauty and unbearable joy, the breakings and birthings and
lovemakings, the yearnings for and the experiences of communion. i can only
return Love to Love by being fully present to and invested in life. by being
fully alive with all that is and all that is within me…pain and sorrow
included in that gift… for my life is also to be fully poured out. god’s
heart, within me, pouring out through my life, Love being poured out through
me, being made visible.

as i prayed with this, i saw the talents of my life being poured out into Love’s
hands, overflowing into Love’s hands, overflowing Love’s hands as Love
delighted. my heart within God’s heart pouring out its sorrow or its joy. the
heart of God expanding to contain it all.

o Love, i enter into life fully only as i enter fully into You , receiving all
that is, opening my heart to all that is, feeling, being all that is. i see the
hands of Your heart trying to catch all that i am as i pour myself out into Your
eagerness. I see Your arms overflowing with me, spilling over… and I know Your
joy, your delight.

my heart, within Your heart, as Your heart within mine, spilling over. i spill
into you all that I can (and can’t) hold of You and You catch me with delight,
spilling over with Joy.

o Love

behold my heart,
be wholed,

eat something- John 4:31-38

today’s  lectio passage (what an amazing gift this call to spending time in
scripture has been for me. thank you, god) contained these words. ‘open your eyes and look at the fields! they are ripe for harvest. even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the gifts of eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together!” wow.

again i wonder about the gifts that my life, exactly has it has been lived,
has sown.  Love– the timeless One– is being manifested and gifted through the time-bound one that i am.  through what Love is harvesting in me, my life is redeemed. the sower is blessed. i am grateful to life, i am grateful to the sower in me. she has done her ‘work’ well. i can bless her. i can thank her.

jesus also states immediately preceding this passage that his hunger for
physical food is no more. what feeds him is ‘doing the will of the One who sent me and finishing his work’.  then he proceeds to explain what he means with the story of the harvest. what feeds him is growing Love. what feeds him is letting his life be a sower of Love, which Love can harvest.

may the harvest be abundant, Love
as i bear the blessing that my life has been
overflowing You, my hunger dissipates
as I bear the fruit of Your Love ripening.

i went from this prayer directly into the evening that was last evening, where i was asked to be fully present to what was/is in Love, to open my heart within the heart of God and try to hold it all. to feel. to be alive. to be fully
human within God, this place where there was no protection….there was only embrace.

is that what i means to let your life sow seeds for Love to harvest then?

clothed in grace

 cynthia bourgeault, in her book, wisdom jesus, explains that righteousness to the old testament writers meant a ‘being in the Presence of God’ so that when Jesus suggests that we ‘hunger and thirst for righteousness and will be filled’, he is speaking to the intensity of a longing to be deeply alive within God’s aliveness.  my longing is God’s longing to be in me and when i yearn, as i have been so yearning of late, i come into resonance with my deeper heart-knowing, that place of resonance with God’s wanting to be alive in me.

 i wonder. might we also take care as we explore our place in the world
and enter in to new relationships to not take our clothes off too soon?  this is a conversation that seems to be coming up alot as i have been witness to the pain of persons stuggling to learn when to jump into bed with their newest love, and when to keep their clothes on for awhile.

there seems to be a delicate balance between having compassion for the woundedness in the humanity of the other and not letting the other stomp upon the sacred treasure of your heart. often, in the process, there arises the need for compassion for self when the stomping occurs, a way in which to reclaim the holiness of the heart,  a need for gentleness and understanding for one’s own needs and desires that led us to close our ears to the truth of what the other is doing to us. it seems sometimes that the yearning in our hearts keeps them open to the stomping.

yet we are not called to be in a casual relationships, we must enter into them fully with our hearts. but perhaps we can be in relationships that explore the other deeply before entrusting the sacredness of our ‘body’ into the other’s hands. the irony here is that when we take off our clothes to soon, the relationship frequently fails to deepen and the initial sacred gift of self becomes a ‘casual’ fling.

our desires…goodness that they are, filled with God as they are… can
lead us to make ourselves vulnerable to those who are not able to receive the holiness of our offering. we know that the response is not to withhold
ourselves and harden our hearts. (after all, we have tried that in our previous relationship and learned it only harms us more because we close our own ears to our heart’s messages). how can we then hold our desire before us, honoring its goodness?….i suppose one way would be to always listen…is this fulfilling my heart’s desire?

perhaps the only real protection we have is to take the clothes of our
desires off in the presence of god, who sees the beauty of our offering, who
yearns with us to bring something to life in our flesh. to return to this inner
sanctuary, day after day, perhaps right in the midst of our external movements, is to be beheld as sacred by Love despite what the other sees.

this morning the passage that came up in lectio for me was from 1 thessalonians, where paul suggests we ‘put on the breastplate of love and the helmet of hope, for God did not appoint us to suffer’. i wonder what that looks like? is it like the blanket i was imagininglast evening?

these things i learned this day

these things i learned from my soul this day.

the fruits of love are love.

creating a container which Love can fill, allows Love to overflow.
(if i am boundaried in my receiving, i can be boundaryless in my overflowing)

if i am to give birth to Love in the world, i must allow myself the luxury of
being made love to.

the temptation is to believe i can make love by myself, that i can do all the
work, without surrendering myself to Love for guidance in the ways of Love.

virgin spaces can turn rigid with the mechanical fears of doing it right. but in
allowing my virgin spaces to receive a relaxed touch of love, my womb softens,
my womb opens, my womb expands in a fluid, flowing, gracefilled, and unexpected
way.

lovemaking cannot be bound by the clock, “for i know not the hour when Love
….will come knocking”.

opening my heart to what is out there requires opening my heart to what is in here.

deep listening requires spending time deeply listening.

patience and perseverence need be grounded in desire for Love for the bridegroom can seem long in coming.

i must honor the bridal chamber in which we meet as sacred….life-giving,
joy-bearing, a place of concetion and growth for the only thing which i am to
give birth to in the world–Love.

…she conceived of the Holy Spirit and the word was made flesh and dwelt among
us

amen

those virgins and their lamps

sooo, i fall to sleep last evening so aware of the tender ache in my heart,
experiencing the ‘hands’ of God holding close my yearning, the yearning for my heart to become fuel for the flame of Love……. and this morning’s lectio
gospel is the story of the 10 virgins with their lamps!

sooo, i have been singing rilke’s song ‘may what i do flow from me like a river,
streaming through widening channels to the open sea’, and this morning’s psalm ends with these words ‘justice will roll like a river and righteousness like a never ending stream’

bourgeault explains that righteousness to the old testament writers meant a
‘being in the Presence of God’ so that when Jesus suggests that we ‘hunger and thirst for righteousness and will be filled’, he is speaking to the intensity
of a longing to be deeply alive within God’s aliveness. my longing is God’s
longing to be in me and when i yearn, as i have been so yearning of late, i
come into resonance with my deeper heart-knowing, that place of resonance with God.

as i prayed with these virgin passages, i was aware of my heart as being the lamp, the fuel of which is my yearning, fuel that will become flame and light for Love to see by (or be seen by). i invite Love to enter into those untouched, shadowy places in me, to wrap Godself around what has been dead in me with such passion that something new will be birthed into being. i have been praying for the opening of my heart, for receptivity my heart, i have been praying for passion to awaken, to carry the aliveness of my heart with me as i pass through my days.

i treasure the oil that is my life, that is my awakening heart, that is my
transformed consciousness, and oil that cannot be bought or given to another, but must be rendered from the stuff of one’s own life held to the fire of Love.

o death, where is your sting

my lectio time with god continues to enlighten me. it is true that god sings
life into being through the word.

today’s passage, obscure as it was to me, is the passage which contains the
infamous ‘o death, where is your sting’ within the ‘assigned reading’ of 1
corinthians 15:51-58. i suspect this is probably the passage that those who
believe in the literal truth of the rapture quote, where some don’t have to
enter into death before being raised, but are taken directly, in a flash, into
the kingdom of god. (the perishable are clothed in an instant in the imperishable)

but this is what i heard. i heard that not everything in me must die in order
for the christ in me to be revealed. some aspects of my humanity will simply be transformed. they will take on the mantle of the infinite. they will be the very material through which love takes form in this world. as if love will come and wrap itself around my very humanness and use it to make itself visible here.

for a simple instance, take my sensitivity to the feelings of others. this part
of my humanity that has learned to be attuned to the emotional energy of the other. this i may have learned in my life’s journey in order to protect myself, i suppose, in order to ward off anger, rejection, etc. the ‘problem’ with this vulnerable aspect of my humanity is that i have used this gift to blame myself for the other person’s feelings, to be vigilant (putting out fires all around me), to fix things, etc.

what i am hearing in today’s passage though, is that the sensitivity, the
vigilance, the attunement, the heart knowing, need not perish in me. the ways in which i have believed false things about myself or my inappropriate sense of responsibility may need to die, but the tenderness of my heart can be used for good. it can be the form around which spirit wraps itself in order to make itself visible. that which must die (my wounded responses) can be ‘swallowed up’ by christ who can use my sensitivity to make Love real here in this place.

my humanity is gift to god, is nourishment for God. it is as if my very
experience of life is the fuel for the flame of love…like the sun i read
about in brian swimme’s book this summer, which moved me so much but i didn’t know why, where he talks about the sun burning itself up. it uses up its very physical form in gift. i remember when i read it wondering how i am using this form that i am in this particular life, how i am burning up this life, how the energy that i contain is being passed along, is transformative somehow.

yesterday, i spent some time with the text where jesus raises lazarus from the dead. what struck me in the passage was mary’s humanity. her staying true to the experience of her heart, its sorrow and grief, its lament and despair. i felt her falling at jesus’ feet the same as if don had walked into the funeral home where i had been alone dealing with my grief…the outpouring of what had been contained, the opening of her heart, her intense vulnerability of her humanity. what i noticed was how her emotion moved jesus, almost as if it awakened compassion in him. and this made me think of how important it is to be fully present to my own feelings…be they grief or sorrow, joy or hope… to be fully vulnerable to life.

i thought of the gift of welcoming prayer. how it is teaching me to be fully present to what is within my heart…and so is awakening compassion in me and aligning my heart with christ’s.

then i noticed that it wasn’t until this opening occurred that lazarus, the
brother of mary…the masculine to her feminine heart…came forth from the
tomb where he had been buried. and i pondered the masculine in me and pondered how it is that the key to opening that door is being fully present to and receptive of my heart. being receptive to my experience in the moment….not in a doing kind of way at all, but in a open kind of way.

i think about how it is that i was first opened to the presence of god within
the whole of life as i began to see the presence of God within my own life’s
experience. and the way it is that i have been called to be present and
receptive to God within each experience, within each moment, within each aspect of creation. the way i have witnessed God infusing life with Godself. the way i have come to recognize both the creativity and the struggle, the terrible beauty, of God within this physical world. all these ways that i have received the God around me and within me. this is a large part of my ‘all is well’..this seeing of God….this infinite consciousness.

but i am wondering now about this ‘Being Presence’ which is rising from its
grave in me…which is different in quality than ‘Being Present’… and i
wonder if at times the ‘all is well’ does not also in its own way bury
something. the seeing only god can become its own numbing of life as it can
overwhelm the very real experience of humanity (which doesn’t always feel so well). and it is this very humanity which is so vital to God’s becoming
visible.

this is just one more place where duality seems to be fading for me. both my
humanity and my divinity are necessary, vital, in order for love to be poured out.

my very humanity, (or my finite consciousness) is called then to wrap itself in the veil of God…the imperishable and immortal from the corinthians
passage….to let God take form, to wear and bear God into this place through
the vulnerabilyt of my very humanness. the marriage is so real. the union of
humanity and divinity, of the feminine and the masculine. they are not separate aspects of me, or of God, but are truly One.

cynthia bourgeault suggests that the most difficult thing jesus did while he was living was not at all the ‘passion’ (dying is the easy part) but taking on the
form of humanity, becoming finite. the incarnation, now that was the really
hard part. being real. being human. and divine. at on(c)e.

so to let my humanity die (my sensitivity, my heart knowing, my feelings, etc) is to miss the point (and the sacrament, the gift) of life. it is to not make
my life holy. but to be here fully, to feel fully, to be present to it all, is
to let my very humanity express God into being. it is to be alive. it is to Be
Presence here in this place.  it is to make my very life a sacrament (the
outward and visible sign of an inward grace), a place of divine
self-communication, nourishment and fuel for love. it is to become holy.

ps. i have pulled out the pages of the bourgeault book which i was recalling/integrating as i wrote this.

a couple of quotes from it are below

on being vulnerable—“the real miracle, the true crucifixion, was for the
infinite consciousness to come into the finite world in the first place. jesus
came with a dangerously ‘unboundaried heart’ that left him defenseless against the hard edges of this world.” (this mirrors my understanding during lectio that it was mary’s unfettered heart that brought compassion to life)

‘Christianiy holds a vision of God in full solidarity with the conditions of the
created world, fully at home with the conditions of finitude, so that form
itself imposes no impediment to divinity.’

life is “a bringing the hidden into full expression. could it be that this
earthly realm, not in spite of but because of its very density and jagged
edges, offers precisely the conditions for expression of certain aspects of
divine love that could become real in no other way.”

Sufi quote, “I was a hidden treasure and I loved (in order) to be known’. yes.

finally, Dylan Thomas, ‘Time held me green and dying, though i sang in my chains like the sea’

communion

verse 11:40 ‘god has planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made more perfect’
12:2 so let us run the race marked out for us….

i have been reading something about how the hunger for community is a natural part of the contemplative journey, the inner/outer longing for oneness and intimacy. ahh yes. that is it, isn’t it, the inner longing does seek some sort o congruence in the outer existence i suppose.

this makes me wonder much. about balance, for instance. when we are living from a soul-centered place will we create communities which reflect that space in the outer world? likewise, how deeply can really inhabit our soulspaces when the external world in which we exist can feel so disconnected?  will the healing of one bring about the healing
of the other in both directions? can one aspect even begin to heal to a new
level if the other is not? or is it that the living deeply in one’s soul
balances out the external surface existence like an anchor….

back to the yearning for community.  sometimes it is palpable. communicating that longing to those who do not experience the longing is difficult.  i suppose i am speaking a foreign language in some way, yes. and in other ways i think it frightens them.  they think i am going to abandon them. as if i cannot simply share my longing in the same way in which i can share other feelings because they are accustomed to longing equating to action/fixing/changing rather than ‘being in’.

but this is a longing that doesn’t want to be ‘filled’, it somehow wants to pour
itself out and be. when i imagine such a community, it is more a feeling of
beingness together, of movement as One body somehow, it is a wordless intimacy, a connection deeper than the need for words of assurance of affirmation.
yesterday in my lectio time, i was spending time in hebrews (of all places) in
the passage about the cloud of witnesses (11:32-12:2) of those who have
journeyed through this experience of life before me…experiencing the same
struggle, oppression, shame, and longing for freedom that are a part of my/our own. there were 3 realities to which i was drawn…which i think are related a bit to the idea that 2 longings lead to a third… or to becoming one.

one, i was drawn to recognize myself in each of the characters, each one some part of me…the one who has been beaten down and struggled to get back up, the one who has been buried and is now resurrecting, the ones who remain hidden from me not yet able to move into the light due to the fear that still dwells in those same hidden places in me, the ones who have been cast to the edges of my being where they starve for love or are left out in the cold. here is the call for welcoming them when i catch glimpses of them or feel their nudges or stirrings to life in me. here is the call to practice welcoming prayer in accepting them back ‘into the fold’. here is the call to open my heart wider, to invite the cold into its warmth, the weary into its shelter, and the hungry into its nourishment.

as the previous days passage had reminded me to be open and keep the light on for Christ’s arrival, so did this passage remind me to do the same for parts of myself previously rejected or abandoned. and there i could not help but notice the Oneness of the two. the surprise, the unexpected, in the
previous days passage (you know not when the master will return) is the truth that christ returns with the rejected. no, christ will not look like i imagine at all when christ comes as the forgotten and rejected parts of myself whom i am this day invited to open to, to shine the light upon, and to welcome inside.

two, the complementary, balancing, external story, the more ‘obvious’ one
perhaps is that i likewise need to be open to the stranger in my midst who is
also ‘journeying this experience of life’ and seeking to bring Love into being
in some hidden way…likely also having been wounded in the process. and so the call to open again, to shine the light upon what is hidden in them (it is
important to notice here for me that it is me that has turned the light out and
closed the door) all that i am called to welcome and Love in myself, i am called to love and welcome and those whom i encounter ‘out there’.

and yet it is the 3rd way that moved me most deeply, and filled me with wonder at the mystery before which i stood…which i shan’t be able to express here, i am sure, as once again my understanding was on a different level than words, words which i have likely even read myself on the level of thought before…..

my pondering began with that longing for community of which we have been
speaking, for i began to notice a profound (and once again palpable) sense of
comfort in imagining myself being in the company of, surrounded and accompanied by the ‘cloud of witness’, by those who had made this journey before me, who could lend to me their wisdom and encouragement (i like the definition of en-courage, ‘to cause one to listen to one’s heart’), by those who know what it is like here in this body where, as cynthia bourgeaut likes to say, we ‘bump into hard things’. i felt the presence and the comfort of these ones who can accompany me through the lives, crucifixions, deaths, and resurrections of my souls’ journey here. they were there with me as i prayed the hour, as they always have been beyond/despite my awareness…as they also are (and here was the surprising inside out part that really began to move me) WITHIN me. in my very physical biological being (dna,etc), in my learnings passed on to me from my family of origin and its long lineage (back perhaps to those biblical ones of which i was reading), in my consciousness somehow through the collective human rememberance of something pre-human, through the breath of life or the bang of light from whence we all emerged, through the Oneness that is overflowing into being. i can draw on that wisdom of generations of which i sing in the psalms not just as i would lessons from wise elders (nor even simply from the resonance of common human experience) but also because the wisdom actually (literally perhaps) dwells within me!

likewise, i may be able to heal, release from prison, or bring back to life something that has been wounded, oppressed, or lost for generations of humanity. i am a part of something so much greater than i am here in this moment and yet in this moment ‘all that is’ is present. i am everything that is or ever was, everything is in me AND i am but a small piece of the story. what is happening inside of me as i welcome the lost heals the universe. i can set the captive free at last. my yearning is the universe groaning within. my loving attention to that within me brings forth beauty and life. as god seeks out the lost parts of godself and/or loves them into being, so do i. as my heart grows in love, so does god’s. there is One story. each one of us bears the same Story. beneath it all, we are in communion.

inside out. outside in.
i am time. i am eternity.
i am not alone. i am all one. all that is or ever was is with me.

oh, there are no words for this….

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