“A rabbi friend taught this prayer to me many years ago. The Jews did not speak God’s name, but breathed it:
“God’s name was the first and last word to pass their lips. By your very breathing, you are praying and participating in God’s grace. You are whoo are are, living God’s presence, in the simplify and persistence of breath.
God creates things that continue to create themselves.”
-Fr Richard Rohr, Center for Action & Contemplation
What Did Easter Mean to Early Quakers?
Quakers insisted that the spirit of Christ that was experienced by Jesus’s disciples after the resurrection, by Paul on the road to Damascus, and in gatherings of the early Church, is universally available to everyone in all ages, locations, and cultures.
For early Quakers, Christ was not tied just to Jesus, but, as with the Word in the Gospel of John [Gospel of Mary Magdalene-dayle], was present from the beginning and is manifest in the prophets of Judaism and other religious traditions. One might say today it does not matter if the resurrection of Jesus was physical or spiritual, for, from the beginning, Quakers have insisted that Christ’s spirit can be experienced by any of us anywhere. Hence Mary Fisher, one of Quakerism’s founding Valiant Sixty, felt confident she could minister to the Sultan of Turkey, because he would know the same universal spirit of God or Christ that she did.
Let us then think of the risen Christ [consciousness] as a transforming experience of the Divine that is available on any day of the year without regard to religion or theology.
[The Beloved Companion/The Complete Gospel of Mary Magdalene,
by Jehanne de Quillan]
The Gospel of Mary
In our present age, we stand at a crossroads in our history. No one can deny, as well at our world today, that all about us we see turmoil and suffering, war and economic exploitation, corruption and greed; while torture, rape, and murder have become politically justifiable weapons of war. In our clearest moments, we must recognize that these are the first signs of the collapse of our social and economic forms and institutions. Perhaps, in the midst of this seemingly endless change of chaotic events, we need to look very closely at the value sand beliefs that have brought us to this place. For only be amning our past can we come to understand our present, and perhaps, by learning from our mistakes, begin to change our future.
‘Focus on the feminine aspects of beauty, forgiveness, compassion and healing.’
‘All shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.’
-Julian of Norwich
‘History is set on an inherently positive and hopeful tangent.’
-Fr Richard Rohr
‘Ever again, though we’ve learned the landscape of love
and the lament in the churchyards names
and the terrible, silent abs where the others have fallen;
ever again we walk out, two together,
under the ancient trees, ever again find a place
among wildflowers, under heaven’s gaze.’
The origin of the order can be traced to Mount Carmel in northwestern Israel, where a number of devout men, apparently former pilgrims and Crusaders, established themselves near the traditional fountain of Elijah about 1155; they lived in separate cells or huts and observed vows of silence, seclusion, abstinence, and austerity. Soon, however, the losses of the Crusading armies in Palestine made Mount Carmel unsafe for the Western hermits, and around 1240 they set out for Cyprus, Sicily, France, and England. [Britannica]
Carmelite philosopher Edith Stein:
“I do not exist of myself, and of myself I am nothing. Every moment I stand before nothingness, so that every moment I must be dowered anew with being … This nothing being of mine, this frail received being, is being … It thirsts not only for endless continuation of its being but for full session of being.”
St. Teresa of Ávila
Of all the movements in the Carmelite order, by far the most important and far-reaching in its results was the reform initiated by St. Teresa of Ávila. [Britannica]
“For Stein, the very existence of ‘I’ means the ‘I’ is not alone; the ‘I’ experiences loneliness only when it becomes unconscious of its very existence.”
French philosopher and mystic Simone Weil:
“Whoever says ‘I’ lies.”
[The Unbearable Wholeness of Being, p. 61.]
A final thought in memory of my late sweet friend Marilyn Andrews:
“How do we give thanks and give back to other earth — G A I A ❀ — and the cosmos and all the blessings our species has inherited?”
Rabbi Abraham Heschel teaches that a prophets primary task is to interfere.
Julian of Norwich, by calling us to interfere with patriarchy and heal the wounds that it has wracked upon human history and the human soul and the earth, beckons us from folly to wisdom. Are we listening?” -Matthew Fox
Are we practicing resurrection? -dayle
…found in the most unexpected places.
Everything is a miracle. -Judith Hanson Lasater, PhD
When you lose your wonder, life loses its juice. Look around you today and notice the simple miracles you see: babies, the sun birds, the stars. Keep a sense of wonder with you all day.
What wound did ever heal but by degrees? -William Shakespeare
Not all family members get along. You can’t force things. If you feel the pain of a recent loss, don’t expect the healing to be immediate. Light a candle and think about those you love; give in to a bit of sadness. It’s nature.
Each new year we replace pages in our loose-leaf daybook where we’ve lost a loved one or a friendship has faded. Life goes on and you will have a deeper capacity to love and empathize in the coming year.
[Illustration: Vern Kousky, The Blue Songbird]
“The Peace Of Wild Things”
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Practice: The Broken Truth
A wonderful children’s book, Old Turtle and the Broken Truth, tells a story of how the world came to be so fragmented when it is meant to be whole and how we might put it back together again. I invite you to read this tale as a child might, with wonder and imagination.
One night, in a far-away land that “is somehow not so far away,” a truth falls from the stars. As it falls, it breaks into two pieces; one piece blazes off through the sky and the other falls straight to the ground. One day, a man stumbles upon the gravity-drawn truth and finds carved on it the words, “You are loved.” It makes him feel good, so he keeps it and shares it with the people in his tribe. The thing sparkles and makes the people who have it feel warm and happy. It becomes their most prized possession, and they call it “The Truth.” Those who have the truth grow afraid of those who don’t have it, who are different. And those who don’t have it covet it. Soon people are fighting wars over the small truth, trying to capture it for themselves.
A little girl who is troubled by the growing violence, greed, and destruction in her once-peaceful world goes on a journey—through the Mountains of Imagining, the River of Wondering Why, and the Forest of Finding Out—to speak with Old Turtle, the wise counselor. Old Turtle tells her that the Truth is broken and missing a piece, a piece that shot off in the night sky so long ago. Together they search for it and, when they find it, the little girl puts the jagged piece in her pocket and returns to her people. She tries to explain, but no one will listen or understand. Finally, a raven flies the broken truth to the top of a tower, where the other piece has been ensconced for safety, and the rejoined pieces shine their full message: “You are loved / and so are they.” And the people begin to comprehend. And the earth begins to heal.
‘Too many times we hurry, rushing about from one errand to the next and barely looking at who is walking alongside of us through this journey called life. If we stop for just a moment – – make eye contact, smile, offer a kind word – – we become a place of love on the planet. We create healing with every act of kindness we engage in. With so much of life occurring online, we are virtually connected to everyone in the world, and yet we may actually be interacting with fewer people than ever before. Let’s practice…seeing everyone we meet.’
~Science of Mind