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Photo by Joe Grant © 2015

Photo by Joe Grant © 2015

Praise be to God from the earth, you sea monsters and all the deeps of the sea; Lightning and hail, snow and thick clouds, storm wind that fulfills God’s command; Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars; Animals wild and tame, creatures that crawl and birds that fly.  -Psalm 148:7-10

Seeker,

How do your daily choices give praise to the Source and thanks for the gift of life?

 

Steward-ship not owner-ship

is the craft capable of preserving

an inheritance entrusted to all generations.

 

Maker of All does not

favor only some,

but out-pours abundance on each and everyone.

 

It is not to people alone

that garden Earth is given on loan,

for this life-making miracle belongs to none but the Holy One.

 

Then God said to Noah and to his family, ‘As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. -Genesis 9:8-10

 

Lately it seems

we are awakening

to the tragic cost of over-consumption.

 

Threatened at every level by exploitation,

sacrificed for human industry,

sacred life is turned tribute to the gods of gratification.

 

And poverty—

by-product of human engineering—

has reduced holy creatures to objects of “economic calculus.”

 

…earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor… -Pope Francis

 

Such loss of reverence

in our relationship to the tapestry of creation

leaves our children a legacy of despoilment and desecration.

 

Though we wave flags and stake claims,

none can own the sun, the earth, the winds or rains.

This still is God’s country, every mile and millimeter.

 

…we are one single human family. There are no frontiers or barriers, physical or social, behind which we can hide, still less is there room for the globalization of indifference… These situations have caused sister earth, along with all the abandoned of our world, to cry out, pleading that we take another course. Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home…  -Pope Francis

 

Many are the fields

in God’s great garden,

sown with mysteries that ask for humble care.

 

Created for contemplation and communion,

we are made to till and tend and ponder

the wilds of this world.

 

How then can we tolerate

the squalor to which

God’s dear ones are consigned?

 

This news is not so new.

It is a cascade of consequences

now come to shock us out of comfortable isolation.

 

What the earth will make of our tinkering and abuse can be modeled by computers but is, in the end, beyond our reckoning, our science. Nature is not simply done to. Nature responds. Nature talks back. Nature is willful. We have no dominion over the wild darkness that surrounds us. -Eva Saulitis

 

There still may be another path open to us.

Despite the detritus of decades,

we just might find our way back to grounded living.

 

Perhaps it starts with daily devotion

to an unnoticed plot or person,

or little choices, mindfully made, to simplify, slow and show our care.

 

An integral ecology is also made up of simple daily gestures which break with the logic of violence, exploitation and selfishness. -Pope Francis     

 

In days to come may you come home to yourself,

your work an act of worship, your rest a grateful praise,

your loved ones every creatures that meets your gracious gaze.

 

Happy those who endure in peace, by you Most High they will be crowned.  -St. Francis of Assisi

joe

Click here to order: Still In The Storm

 

Photo by Joe Grant © 2015

Photo by Joe Grant © 2015

The Realm of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, no-one knows how.  

-Luke 4:26-27

Seeker,

Have you learned to trust in the re-creative power of Nature, when left alone, to astound you with possibilities unimagined?

 

Most of us, much of the time,

are so busy getting THERE

that we fail to realize we are already HERE.

 

Essential prayer is no more or less than this;

the desire and determination,

to be HERE and no place else.

 

For HERE is the stage

upon which the unfolding field of relationships—

God’s Realm— is set.

 

HERE is always beneath THERE… So often we imagine that THERE is more full of gold than HERE. It is the same with love and dreams and the work of our lives. We see the light everywhere but where we are, and chase after what we think we lack, only to find humbly, it was with us all along.

-Mark Nepo

 

For sure, we each have our part to play

(for good or ill)

in the drama of our days.

 

Yet we are not

the authors

of this eternally unraveling story.

 

HERE is neither the beginning,

nor the end

of the journey.

 

There is another Sovereign at work HERE,

a boundless mind, a wilder heart,

an infinite timeframe.

 

Like seed grain, packed with possibility,

the Domain of Mercy germinates by its own power,

in its own good time.

 

We do not make the garden grow,

we can but wake up to it, tend to the possibilities it offers,

enjoy the fruits of reality sprouting of its own accord.

 

Though we do not make it happen,

we can choose

to dwell HERE, or not.

 

With what can we compare the Realm of God..? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.  -Luke 4: 30-32

 

This weedy ground-of-being Realm of God

will not be constrained or contained.

It is mystery, too broad for small minds, too deep for shallow hearts.

 

Neither a territory, nor a State,

God’s domain is a state of being—

a new set of relationships to everything.

 

This encompassing horizon that recedes before us,

beckons and begs

the awakening of consciousness and connection.

 

With ways and means beyond us

our Mysterious Maker

works around us, sometimes through us, and often despite us.

 

And those people and places

we overlook and undervalue

are most laden with God-Realm potentiality.

 

For this is no trickle-down Reign from on high.

It is an eruption,

sprouting beneath the soles of our feet.

 

The lower we go,

the closer we are

to these humble seeds of possibility.

 

…Thoreau wrote, “I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.” By the power vested in everything living, let us keep to that faith. I’m a scientist who thinks it wise to enter the doors of creation not with a lion tamer’s whip and chair, but with the reverence humankind has traditionally summoned for entering places of worship: a temple, a mosque, or a cathedral. A sacred grove, as ancient as time.  – Barbara Kingsolver

 

We do not farm weeds.

They thrive in the wilds,

in lands neglected.

 

Left alone,

they crack the hardened soil

and transform dereliction into diversity, a shelter for abundant life.

 

No life forms—from the rain-forests to the phytoplankton

who give us this day our daily breath—

lie outside the cosmic Realm of Mercy, the Great Field of God.

 

Perhaps we have no handle

on God’s Reign

because it has no door.

 

May you take the path

that lies wide open HERE,

and scatter wildly the weed-seeds of forgiveness far and near.

 

joe

Click here to order: Still In The Storm

Still In the Storm

Carefully crafted reflections that accompany you in your practice of 'engaged presence,' as you draw the world of crying need and awesome complexity into your heart and center.

A resource for engaging spirituality in times like these.

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