Monday, October 6, 2014

Precisely nothing-and yet everything - huh?

Richard Rohr has been doing a series on silent prayer for his daily email devotionals. As always his insights are incredibly profound. I hope it's okay to share this and not too personal (I have heard that your sacred word is not necessarily something to share, oh well)... I have been practicing centering prayer for years now and my sacred word is "Nothing." Whenever I see something that talks about this word in a spiritual context it gets my attention because honestly, for years I had no idea what it meant!

I know it's a very unusual word to be a sacred word. It "came to me" one day while I was practicing centering prayer, and like I said, at the time I had no idea what it meant. I felt so compelled to use it that I have stuck with it ever since - it's probably been 12 or so years! I've learnt all kinds of things about the meaning and significance of the word "nothing" in a spiritual context that I won't go into right now.

Rohr's devotional added another little piece to the puzzle today. He is talking about using our breath as a way to pray and his concluding paragraph says, 

"...When considered in this way, God is suddenly as available and accessible as the very thing we all do constantly—breathe. Exactly as some teachers of prayer say, “Stay with the breath, attend to your breath”—the same breath that was breathed into Adam’s nostrils by this Yahweh (Genesis 2:7); the very breath “spirit” that Jesus handed over with trust on the cross (John19:30) and then breathed on us as shalom, forgiveness, and the Holy Spirit all at once (John 20:21-23). And isn’t it wonderful that breath, wind, spirit, and air are precisely nothing—and yet everything?"

There is a life time of learning in this statement, just as I have found with my sacred word. 

For Rohr's devotional CLICK HERE

Thoughts, or comments?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Finding God in the Depths of Silence

Quote: "AS A GENERAL spiritual rule, you can trust this one: The ego gets what it wants with words. The soul finds what it needs in silence." Richard Rohr

From: Finding God in the Depths of Silence See:

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patrick's Prayer

Christ behind me, and Christ in me,
Christ beneath me, and Christ above me,
Christ to my right, and Christ to my left,
Christ when I lie down, and Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mind of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me, and
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today through your mighty strength,
The invocation of the Trinity,
Through believe in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness,
Of the Creator of creation.
Happy St. Patrick' Day!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Open Eyes, Open Heart

When the eyes of your heart are open
you can't help but see
that the world
is dripping with 
God's love.

~ Rod ~ 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Creation is the First Bible

Amen and Amen. Richard Rohr "Creation is the First Bible"

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Let your gentleness be evident to all

I've been on an unusual, seemingly God inspired gentleness kick lately. Verses and quotes keep popping up and being shared with me. Just came across this verse. What an interesting thing for St. Paul to say: 

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Phil 4.5 NIV

To pray is to...

My devotional this morning from Thomas Keating* was partly about consent and prayer. I keep being reminded that prayer is essentially allowing God to pray through me. Saw this on Pinterest today...

*The Daily Reader for Contemplative Living

Friday, February 7, 2014

Dressed in Gentleness - Henri J. M. Nouwen

"Once in a while we meet a gentle person. Gentleness is a virtue hard to find in a society that admires toughness and roughness. We are encouraged to get things done and to get them done fast, even when people get hurt in the process. Success, accomplishment, and productivity count. But the cost is high. There is no place for gentleness in such a milieu.

"Gentle is the one who does "not break the crushed reed, or snuff the faltering wick" (Matthew 12:20). Gentle is the one who is attentive to the strengths and weaknesses of the other and enjoys being together more than accomplishing something. A gentle person treads lightly, listens carefully, looks tenderly, and touches with reverence. A gentle person knows that true growth requires nurture, not force. Let's dress ourselves with gentleness. In our tough and often unbending world our gentleness can be a vivid reminder of the presence of God among us."

- Henri J. M. Nouwen

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Source - Thanks to Steve Imbach for sharing this with me.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

You’re my place of quiet retreat

Really like this version of this verse. 

From the Message:

Friday, January 24, 2014

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Ocean of God's Love

“If you were a leaky bucket and wanted to be filled with God’s love, you [can] either spend your life patching the holes, or simply immerse yourself in the ocean of God’s love."  ~ Rob des Cotes 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

God Means Everything

Just blogging for myself. Don't want to forget what is taught in this post by Richard Rohr...

Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation

Mysticism: Inner Experience
God Means Everything

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The goal of mysticism is divine union. The goal of prayer is divine union—union with what is, with the moment, with yourself, with the Divine, which means everything.

God is another word for the heart of everything. 1

St. Bonaventure said that all of creation is the fingerprint and the footprint of the Divine One (vestigia Dei). Everything is objectively the Body of God, which Paul unpacks in three places: people (1 Corinthians 12:12-30), physical elements of bread and wine (1 Corinthians 11:23-27), and ourselves as part of the physical universe (Romans 8:14-23). All came forth from the Creator and reveals in some unique way the Creator. One would think that the three monotheistic religions would have been the first to see this, and especially Christians whose distinguishing doctrine is the Incarnation.

When you say you love God, you are saying you love everything. That’s why mystics can love the foreigner, can love the outsider; in fact they cannot not love them, because they see truthfully and fully! 2

1. Adapted from Silent Compassion: Finding God in Contemplation
(a forthcoming book from Franciscan Media), Chapter 4
2. Adapted from Franciscan Mysticism:
I AM That Which I Am Seeking (CD, MP3 download)

Gateway to Silence:
We are one in Love.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Gentleness is:

Treading lightly on the earth.

A line in nature's liturgy.

A way to be,
a way to show up,
a gateway into "the peace of God, which transcends all understanding."

A fruit of the Spirit.

Interwoven into the fabric of a spiritually mature person's life who is kind and loving.

Mysteriously emerges from times of
and stillness.

A path.

Dictionary definitions:
"Considerate or kindly in disposition; amiable and tender."
"Not harsh or severe; mild and soft."

- - -

Gentleness plays a major role in contemplation.
As many times as I turn away,
or get distracted from abiding,
I can return.....gently.

- - -

Gentleness is not found in the many expressions of my false self.

Society is hooked on violence and I am complicit in so many ways.

Note to self re: gentleness - - do no harm!

Being driven and obsessed is not gentle.
Gentleness is like an older,
wiser, travel companion who
by their very presence
reminds me to slow down
and enjoy the journey.

- - -

If I want to get in touch (with gentleness) I can:

Observe and learn from my mentors the trees as they simply stand tall in the winter mist.

Be gentle.

Walk softly
Walk aware
Walk as if I am on holy ground.

Feel cold air on my face as it touches my cheeks like a feather.

Let the sweet smell of mountain air lightly touch the inside of my nose and surprise me with its heavenly aroma.

Stop once and a while to abide in naked being.

Watch cottonwood float through the air in springtime.

"Consider the Lillie's of the field, how they grow. They toil not, neither do they spin."

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Be Still...

Source: Scripture Art - 

One Massive Mistake

Oh boy... posting this as a reminder to myself of this important truth...

Mysticism: Inner Experience by Richard Rohr

A Sacramental Universe
Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Vincent Donovan, a missionary in Africa, wrote of working with the Masai many years ago. He said the people were all sitting very respectfully listening to him as the priest, and he was teaching them about the Seven Sacraments of the Church. He described a sacrament as a physical encounter or event in which you experience the Transcendent or Grace or the Holy, and he could tell the men were not very satisfied when he said there were only seven such moments. One of the elders finally raised his hand and said, “I thought there would be seven thousand!”

A philosopher of religion said that if you look at the history of all religions, they almost all begin with one massive mistake. They make a clean split between the sacred and the profane. Then all the emphasis is placed on going to the sacred spaces, creating sacred time and sacred actions, and ninety-eight percent of  life then remains “unsacred.” This is at the heart of the problem. This is why so many people have such a hard time encountering the holy. These are not insincere people. They’re people who were told to look only in a very few places for God.

The correct distinction is never between sacred and profane, but only between sacred and desecrated places, people, and things. It is we alone who desecrate God’s one incarnate world by our inability to see truthfully and to show reverence.

Adapted from Franciscan Mysticism:
I AM That Which I Am Seeking (CD, MP3 download)

Gateway to Silence:
We are one in Love.

Monday, January 13, 2014


"If we are honest, most of us have to admit that prayer is often more of an obligation than something arising spontaneously from desire . . . the core of the misunderstanding lies in thinking of prayer as something that we do. Understood more correctly, prayer is what God does in us. Our part has much more to do with consent than initiative . . .

"Teresa of Avila says that the important thing in prayer is not to think much but to love much. The head is not a bad place to start our prayer journey. But if prayer stays there too long and does not begin to sink to the heart, it will inevitably become arid and frustrating."

- -> David G. Benner in Opening to God: Lectio Divina and Life as Prayer
- -> Source: SoulStream

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Seek God

I seem to have an obsession with technique. Before prayer it was success. I read all kinds of books on success trying to find the magic formula. Now it seems as though I do the same thing with contemplative prayer. 

I know better, but as it is with so many things in my relationship with God, I tend to forget the really important things and get distracted by the not so important.

The good news, and I really mean this - this is the good news - God's got me covered. Through Christ we are one. I might be obsessed with whatever I am obsessed with, but He is 100% present nevertheless and loves nothing more than when I return to him.

Still, I was reminded today to seek God and not the perfect way to pray.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

"Let stillness be the criterion for assessing everything." ~ Evagrius

"Each of us has a soul but we forget to value it." ~ St. Teresa of Avila

Source of quotes: A Sunlit Absence, Awareness, and Contemplation by Fr. Martin Laird