Right where I am today, the longing of my heart is to know greater wholeness; to merge with what is holy and find rest. Rest? It has been a long couple of days as we empty this house we completely renovated top to bottom. The new place is cluttered with so much stuff and dust, it is an overwhelming prospect. It’s hard to see how it will possibly become a retreat, how it will feel peaceful. But I have known this unrest and disorder before. And so I trust.
There are simply seasons where it is far more difficult to see life as wholly sacred or to see God coming to me, as Paula D’Arcy says, disguised as my life.
What is greater wholeness?
Wholeness is (for me personally) more than a mere sense of integration.
It is about a capacity to hold paradox.
It’s about seeing how all is held together by a Great Mystery.
In order to see more clearly, I find that keeping my heart soft as well as surrendering it daily is a good start.
Call it daily transformation, daily bread, being here now, or living in prayer…but I think the main idea is to yield…
to admit I know nothing at all…
and to say YES to Presence over and over again.
For me, living in prayer does not necessarily mean conversing with God with spoken words all day. (However, in the 2020s, when my world turned upside down, living in prayer meant texting stream of consciousness prayers, sometimes through the day and night.)
Living in prayer also goes beyond carving out quantities of time for stretches of silence and meditation to simply listen.
Rather, living in prayer is about showing up in the silence.
It’s about receptivity, communion, aligning, rededicating, and returning to God again and again, no matter where the day takes me.
It is humbly (and at times, desperately) opening up my whole being and spirit to guidance as a permeable vessel to be used.
Living in prayer centers me in goodness.
It allows me to go beyond myself, step over the ego, and return my gaze to higher love.
I wonder what living in prayer looks like for you?
Because there are an infinite number of ways to practice such receptivity.
Are there rhythms built into your day to help you stay rooted in truth and awaken to the voice of Love?
I encourage you to discern with God’s help how such rhythms might shift your perspective and bring richness to your journey.
If you find that a desire for transformation seems absent, you can always seek the grace to begin desiring it.
For too many years, I didn’t understand this; I didn’t realize I could ask for grace’s help. What a turning point!
For example, what do you want? If you cannot seem to identify a core desire, you can seek the grace to help you more clearly see that desire. (And my oh my, desire is key!).
A Prayer for Us
Beautiful Shepherd of my soul, thank you for your loving invitation to join you in quiet where you are eager to meet me.
I seek the grace to become more still, more surrendered, and more permeable as I consent to your healing love.
May I let go the flurry of thoughts inevitably arising as I seek to offer you my everything.
Help me to grow into what you would have me become; guide me to speak and act with strength and wisdom.
Open my eyes to your better ways so I might live purely and abundantly with joy, with gratitude.
As I face the responsibilities set before me this day and care for others, help me to yield to you; animate all I do.
When beauty finds me this day, may I be ever aware you are shining through it.
If heartache should come, may I be ever aware you are with me and moving with me through it.
For I am never alone on this journey, oh God, and there is no place where your great love does not follow me.
May I honor and acknowledge you throughout the day and night and in so doing, see how I am loved and chosen as your child.
May I know my great worth this day and make decisions from this sacred place of dignity.
May I recognize the worth of every one of your children crossing my path and reflect your kindness and mercy.
May I align with you so frequently that I forget myself and begin to live in the heights, come what may.
I pray all of this from a humble state of unknowing and frailty, still so far from who I long to be, yet open and willing to be transformed by your touch.
Still with me?
Because there is something so beautiful about being joined on the journey.
While I’m drawn to solitude, connection to others is so important.
And what a blessing that we are all so different and can help each other heal.
It can be challenging to sense “eternal compassion” flowing through troubled seasons.
Surely we have been challenged in fresh ways through the pandemic.
How to stay hopeful when it seems far more rational to grow cynical?
I have no snappy answers.
Only a humble sense that because we are a product of God’s great love, we are headed toward glory, not defeat.
I mean when the rose is done blooming and its petals are ready to let go, has it really disappeared or failed or lost at life?
Or has it simply transformed and shape shifted to enter a new realm of beauty recycled?
Oh, may our eyes see the glory and seek the glory when roses fade, when shadows fall.
And when shadows do fall,
please know you have a sister here in the valley who understands the sacred sufferings of life lived in the depths.
Your sister loves you.
Peace to you right where you are.
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