Photo by Joe Grant © 2015

Photo by Joe Grant © 2015

By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  There is no law against such things.

-Galatians 5:22-23

 

Seeker,

What will it take to slow you down?

 

The continued acceleration of changes affecting humanity and the planet is coupled today with a more intensified pace of life and work which might be called “rapidification”…the speed with which human activity has developed contrasts with the naturally slow pace of biological evolution. -Pope Francis

 

When walking the woods,

nothing in Nature

ever urges me to move faster.

 

Should you walk into life,

lingering to let the soul catch up,

your stroll might become a pilgrimage.

 

And realizing your “pilgrim-hood”,

you might receive every sign

as a message from the “Wholly Present One”.

 

Where am I going? I’m going
out, out for a walk. I don’t
know where except outside.
Outside argument, out beyond
wallpapered walls, outside
wherever it is where nobody
ever imagines.  
   -Philip Booth

 

A homemade sign,

at a four-way stop proclaims:

“Slow down, children at play!”

 

What might it take I wonder,

for me, for you, for those who are dear,

to slow our pace for all children far and near?

 

How can we find peace, true peace, if we forget that we are not machines for making and spending money, but spiritual beings, sons and daughters of the most high God?    

-Thomas Merton

 

Deluged daily by inundations of information,

we are awash in a swell

of contrasting and comparing,

 

expecting, wanting,

needing more,

better, quicker, sooner.

 

There is around and in us all

a cult of consumption, a climate of competition,

and a craving for achievement.

 

But might we show

by spacious pace and living slow

that every creature merits our attentive care?

 

Amid whirling crises, fueled by fanatical fear,

could the way to peace, in the urgency of this age,

begin by slowing … every thing … down?

 

Slower and lower, and less not more:

could just be the pathway

that cuts through earth’s dark night?

 

Peace is not the product of terror or fear.
Peace is not the silence of cemeteries.
Peace is not the silent result of violent repression.
Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution of all
to the good of all.
Peace is dynamism. Peace is generosity.
It is right and it is duty.
  -Oscar Romero

 

Imagine relationship

valued over achievement,

and caring holding sway over competing.

 

What if contemplating

overruled calculating,

and giving-in won over winning?

 

For surrender, not vindication, is the way to reconciliation,

and peace is the fruit of a willingness

to compassionately dissolve distance.

 

It is so easy to simply get too busy to grow. It is so easy to commit ourselves to this century’s demand for product and action until the product consumes us and the actions exhaust us and we can no longer even remember why we set out to do them in the first place. -Joan Chittister

 

Much more

than the halting of hostility

or the absence of aggression,

 

peace is surely cultivated

by the prevalence of pardon,

and ripened by courageous reconciling.

 

Will YOU walk slower, would YOU live lower,

to safeguard God’s children today,

who simply wish to wonder and hope to play?

 

Then let the leaves fall,

and as you watch them letting go,

may they slowly undo the doings of your day.

 

joe

 

 

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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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