Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Spirituality of Service

Each activity of daily life in which we stretch ourselves on behalf of others is a prayer of action - the times when we scrimp and save in order to get the children something special; the times when we share our car with others on rainy mornings, leaving early to get them to work on time; the times when we keep up correspondence with friends or answer one last telephone call when we are dead tired at night. These times and many more like them are lived prayer.

-RICHARD J. FOSTER in Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home

Monday, January 12, 2009


One day, through the primeval wood,
A calf walked home, as good calves should;
But made a trail all bent askew,
A crooked trail as all calves do.

Since then three hundred years have fled,
And, I infer, the calf is dead.
But still he left behind his trail,
And thereby hangs my moral tale.

The trail was taken up next day
By a lone dog that passed that way;
And then a wise bell-wether sheep
Pursued the trail o’er vale and steep,

And drew the flock behind him, too,
As good bell-wethers always do.
And from that day, o’er hill and glade,
Through those old woods a path was made.

And many men wound in and out,
And dodged, and turned, and bent about
And uttered words of righteous wrath
Because ’twas such a crooked path.1

But still they followed—do not laugh—
The first migrations of that calf,
And through this winding wood-way stalked,
Because he wobbled when he walked.

This forest path became a lane,
That bent, and turned, and turned again;
This crooked lane became a road,
Where many a poor horse with his load

Toiled on beneath the burning sun,
And traveled some three miles in one.
And thus a century and a half
They trod the footsteps of that calf.

The years passed on in swiftness fleet,
The road became a village street;
And this, before men were aware,
A city’s crowded thoroughfare;

And soon the central street was this
Of a renowned metropolis;
And men two centuries and a half
Trod in the footsteps of that calf.

Each day a hundred thousand rout
Followed the zigzag calf about;
And o’er his crooked journey went
The traffic of a continent.

A hundred thousand men were led
By one calf near three centuries dead.
They followed still his crooked way,
And lost one hundred years a day;

For thus such reverence is lent
To well-established precedent.
A moral lesson this might teach,
Were I ordained and called to preach;

For men are prone to go it blind
Along the calf-paths of the mind,
And work away from sun to sun
To do what other men have done.

They follow in the beaten track,
And out and in, and forth and back,
And still their devious course pursue,
To keep the path that others do.

They keep the path a sacred groove,
Along which all their lives they move.
But how the wise old wood-gods laugh,
Who saw the first primeval calf!

Ah! Many things this tale might teach—
But I am not ordained to preach.


Thursday, January 08, 2009

When I die

One of my great spiritual heroes is Mattie Stepanek. One of his poems, "When I Die (Part II)", written when he was 9 years old contains these words:

"When I die,
I want to be,
Just like I want to be
Here on earth."

I wish more people would get this. Mattie was (is) a Peacemaker. So many people focus on the afterlife as an escape Mattie saw it as a continuation. Eternal life begins now. Why wait?

Spirituality is about experiencing the eternal here and now. It's about realising and making the eternal a reality here and now.

When I Die (Part II)

When I die, I want to be
A child in Heaven.
I want to be
A ten-year-old cherub.
I want to be
A hero in Heaven,
And a peacemaker,
Just like my goal on earth.
I will ask God if I can
Help the people in purgatory.
I will help them think,
About their life,
About their spirits,
About their future.
I will help them
Hear their own Heartsongs again,
So they can finally
See the face of God,
So soon.
When I die,
I want to be,
Just like I want to be
Here on earth.

--Mattie Stepanek

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

A new vision for 2009

Almost a month without an update so I have added this from one of my daily devotions

Question of the day:
How has Jesus taught us to see for ourselves?

In the Gospel of Matthew we are told “The lamp of the body is the eye. It follows that if your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light. But if your eye is diseased, your whole body will be all darkness. If then, the light inside you is darkness, what darkness that will be” (Mat. 6:22-23).

Here Jesus tells us that it is all a matter of seeing. It is possible to have “light” inside of us that is not really light, answers that are not really wisdom. And Jesus comes not so much to fill our minds with the right answers as to open our minds so that we can see for ourselves.

from A New Way of Seeing/ A New Way of Being; Jesus and Paul

Current mantra:
Taste and SEE the goodness of our God