Taken from Sundays into Silence - A Pathway to Life. Copyright © 1998 by Claretian Publications
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
how long, Shepherd of your flock?
When will you restore the life we once knew;
when will you let your face shine that we may be saved?
Let your hand be on those whose food has been their tears
those drunk with grief and loneliness and pain.
Strengthen for yourself those ridiculed by oppression and helplessness;
give life to those we have named on our lips and in our hearts,
give life to those we cannot name so that they may call upon your name
and never turn away from you;
in Jesus' name we pray. Amen
Jeff Shrowder 2000.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Some seem to be born with a nearly completed puzzle
And so it goes.
Souls going this way and that
Trying to assemble the myriad parts.
But know this. No one has within themselves
All the pieces to their puzzle.
Like before the days when they used to seal
jigsaw puzzles in cellophane. Insuring that
all the pieces were there.
Everyone carries with them at least one and probably
Many pieces to someone else's puzzle.
Sometimes they know it.
Sometimes they don't.
And when you present your piece
Which is worthless to you,
To another, whether you know it or not,
Whether they know it or not,
You are a messenger from the Most High.
in Honey from the Rock
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
we always will be.
We are complete,
we are perfect.
We are completely fulfilled,
we are One.
We want to share this,
we want to extend ourself.
We want to give,
we want to Love.
The other is beautiful,
our love must keep growing.
What if we create something like unto us?
A reflection of us?
The water reflects us
all of creation reflects us in some way.
This will need to be more than mere reflection.
We will have to give more of ourself
We will have to give the Freedom.
There’s too much risk
they will turn away from us.
There is no Love without risk.
Our wholeness will be broken.
There is no Love without risk.
This will be the ultimate extension of our Love,
there can be no Love without it.
We will call them to return to us
and they won’t.
We will become like unto them
and bring them back.
It will sever us.
There is no Love without pain
We will be emptied.
There is no Love without sacrifice.
It is the natural extension of our Love.
The Word becomes flesh.
It is accomplished.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Once upon a time, in a faraway land, there lived six blind men. Each of them was very wise. Each of them had gone to school and read lots of books in braille.
They knew so much about so many things that people would often come from miles around to get their advice. They were happy to share whatever they knew with the people who asked them thoughtful questions.
One day these six wise blind men went for a walk in the zoo. That day the zoo-keeper was worrying about all of her many troubles.
The night before she had had an argument with her husband, and her children had been misbehaving all day long. She had so much on her mind that she forgot to lock the gate of the elephant cage as she was leaving it.
Now, elephants are naturally very curious animals. They quickly tried to push the gate to the cage to see if it might open. To their great surprise, the gate swung freely on its hinge. Two of the more daring elephants walked over to the gate. They looked left and right, and then quietly tip-toed out of the cage.
Just at that moment the six blind men walked by. One of them heard a twig snap, and went over to see what it was that was walking by.
"Hi there !" said the first blind man to the first elephant. "Could you please tell us the way to the zoo restaurant ?" The elephant couldn't think of anything intelligent to say, so he sort of shifted his weight from left to right to left to right.
The first blind man walked over to see if this big silent person needed any help. Then, with a big bump, he walked right into the side of the elephant. He put out his arms to either side, but all he could feel was the big body of the elephant.
"Boy," said the first blind man. "I think I must have walked into a wall. "The second blind man was becoming more and more curious about what was happening. He walked over to the front of the elephant and grabbed hold of the animal's trunk.
He quickly let go and shouted, "This isn't a wall. This is a snake! We should step back in case it's poisonous." The third man quickly decided to find out what was going on, and to tell his friends what they had walked into.
He walked over to the back of the elephant and touched the animal's tail. "This is no wall, and this is no snake. You are both wrong once again. I know for sure that this is a rope."
The fourth man sighed as he knew how stubborn his friends could be. The fourth blind man decided that someone should really get to the bottom of this thing. So he crouched down on all fours and felt around the elephant's legs. (Luckily for the fourth man, this elephant was very tame and wouldn't think of stepping on a human being.)
"My dear friends," explained the fourth man. "This is no wall and this is no snake. This is no rope either. What we have here, gentlemen, is four tree trunks. That's it. Case closed."
The fifth blind man was not so quick to jump to conclusions. He walked up to the front of the elephant and felt the animal's two long tusks. "It seems to me that this object is made up of two swords," said the fifth man. "What I am holding is long and curved and sharp at the end. I am not sure what this could be, but maybe our sixth friend could help us."
The sixth blind man scratched his head and thought and thought. He was the one who really was the wisest of all of them. He was the one who really knew what he knew, and knew what he didn't know.
Just then the worried zoo-keeper walked by. "Hi there ! How are you enjoying the zoo today ?" she asked them all. "The zoo is very nice," replied the sixth blind man. "Perhaps you could help us figure out the answer to a question that's been puzzling us."
"Sure thing," said the zoo-keeper, as she firmly grabbed the elephant's collar.
"My friends and I can't seem to figure out what this thing in front of us is. One of us thinks it's a wall; one thinks it's a snake; one thinks it's a rope, and one thinks it's four tree trunks. How can one thing seem so different to five different people?" "Well," said the zoo-keeper. "You are all right. This elephant seems like something different to each one of you. And the only way to know what this thing really is, is to do exactly what you have done. Only by sharing what each of you knows can you possibly reach a true understanding."
The six wise men had to agree with the wisdom of the zoo-keeper. The first five of them had been too quick to form an opinion without listening to what the others had to say.
So they all went off to the zoo restaurant and had a really hearty lunch.
(This story is a well-known fable from India. Modernized and re-told by Phil Shapiro)
A definition of religion is "a set of rules, regulations, a system of beliefs or practices," whereby mankind tries to connect with God; this describes the majority of the world's religions. For me connection with "God" is about a relationship with "The Divine" and with the rest of creation. Realtionship is not about rules and regulations but is dynamic, organic, life-giving - I prefer the term "spirituality".
For me, religion is a closed system whereas spirituality is an open system. Religion excludes, spirituality includes. Religion is about “rules”, spirituality is about “relationship”.
I find it very sad that people reject the concept of “god” because of what people do in the name of their concept of “god”. For me, “The Divine” cannot be contained or limited to and by our human and social constructs. For me it’s kinda like the story of the blind men and the elephant.
Religion sucks, but I think the world still has potential, and I believe that spirituality plays a huge role in personal and social transformation.
Many good things have also been done in the name of “god”, and I think when we begin to find “The Divine” as s/he intends and when we begin to search for “The Divine” in everything and everyone around us, we will move away from destruction towards construction, healing and wholeness – which, for me, is spirituality.
OK. Enough waffling from me. I’d love to hear more from you.
"Only by sharing what each of you knows can you possibly reach a true understanding." - Phil Shapiro