Monday, June 10, 2013

Each step is a story (Sunday, June 2, 2013)

Each step is a story

Each step is a story
of our journey; each moment,
a metaphor, deeper lessons discerning-- 
not to be catalogued, but lived to the full;
not analyzed, but allowed to dance,
deep within our souls.

We meet and greet 
other souls as they pass;
it is a lovely dance
of elegance and beauty
when we cherish the other living spirits
with whom we share this path.
Now back to back, now face to face,
smiling, greeting, a soft touch in passing, perhaps:
We are alone and strong and free,
but dependent, too; joined with every other
pilgrim with whom we share
this holy ground.

Knowing this, we become at last like angels,
blissful sparks of hope and love made real;
our hurt and pain diffused in the holy ether, 
not less real, but held now in stronger hands than ours.
Our joy now cosmic, our song divine;
as we approach the center, together,
free at last to the lessons 
that our lives’ stories will gladly teach.

3/19/02         11/30/03          6/2/13

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Weaving the Tapestry of Peace (Sunday, May 26, 2013)

We can be gardeners of a peaceful planet. We can nurture those around us, like we would delicate plants and seedlings. We can be good parents—and good grand-parents—and good adopted grand-parents. We can instill within our children a respect for people everywhere, a love for this good earth, and a deep longing for peace and justice.

We can be artists of inspired talent. We can paint for all to see our vision of the world that can be—a world at peace. We can tell tales of a world without weapons and armaments and nuclear nightmares. We can present ways that make this vision become true.

And we can be weavers. Weavers of the tapestry of peace: a tapestry so large and complete that it can warm even the coldest and most barren spots of Earth.

May our tapestry extend endlessly and even cross the seas… to the lands from where our ancestors have come… to poor lands suffering from hunger and deprivation… to rich lands luxuriating in bounty… They are part of our tapestry, every one.

May the colors of the cloth we weave be so bright and so vivid that in time all human eyes may see it and rejoice. May they not be hidden from any eyes. May they be viewed even in gray and war-torn streets and prison camps and  war rooms. 

We are the weavers of the tapestry of peace. The things we do—the ways in which we act—the choices we make—determine how far our tapestry will extend and how vivid its colors will be. We determine the kind of world we will become.


Monday, May 20, 2013

A Prayer for Coming of Age Sunday (Sunday, May 19, 2013)

A Prayer for Coming of Age Sunday

Each one of us,
as young or old as we may be,
wherever we are along the circling, cycling way of our journeys,
is part and parcel of this Earth, our home;
we are woven fine for all time in the lives of one another.

So, remember this always, my young friends:
This old world needs to hear from you;
this old world needs the contribution you will make
to strengthening our bruised and tattered web.

And the world needs you not at some far-off date,
some day in the future, when we’re all dead & gone;
the world needs to hear from right now,
with all your energy and joy and spirit and surprise.

So as your journeys unfolds
may your paths be blest;
and as you travel down your way,
may you turn to bless this world, as well:
bless it with the treasure
of your time and talent and gifts and spirit.

So, my young friends:
be patient—but never too patient;
have faith in God, in others, and in yourself;
wait for your season—
But never
let the living moment that is before you right now
die before its time.

Stretch those strong roots of yours down through
this holy ground of earth,
where so many generations have trod before.

And stretch those graceful wings of yours up toward
the vastness of space,
toward the heaven you will build
each day of a life well-lived.


Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Meditation for Mother's Day (Sunday, May 12, 2013)

A Meditation for Mother’s Day

There shines forth from a mother’s face
the greatest miracle of all:
Life in all its glory,
all its story, all its history,
its mystery; divine grace
and natural evolution writ large and manifest,
perfect splendor of dust and stars.

In every mother’s face there lies an epic
of tragedy and joy, laughter and tears
flowing freely throughout all the years
the hand of life has brought.

In every mother’s face there still abide
the signs and signals, emblem and symbol,
of every betrayal, every heroic act,
every friendship, every love,
each and every day a life has seen.

In every mother’s face we know
the pain that can never let us go;
in every mother’s face we trace
the deeper evidence of God.

In every mother’s face the light
of hope shines through darkest night;
in every mother’s face the holy dark
descends, blessed mystery eternal,
with no beginning, with no end.

There shines forth from every mother’s face—
from every human face--
the greatest miracles of all:
the miracles of these lives we call our own.

1/1/02     1/16/02     5/12/02     5/12/13

"Acts of God" (Sunday, May 5, 2013)

Acts of God

The mighty works of God thunder across the universe
and shake the very foundation of the world.

Yet, in the earthly whirling of our days,
it is usually the still, small voice we need to hear. 

The voice that tells us, softly,
that all our works are not in vain.

That reminds us, gently,
when we stray from the paths of righteousness.

The voice that tells us to open our eyes to the truth
when we would rather  keep them locked shut.

That opens our mouths to speak
when we would remain silent in the face of evil.

When we are truly in God, and God in us,
then we hear that voice, whatever the surrounding clamor.

It is the gentleness that guides us
and binds us in God’s holy ways.

A soft squeezing of the shoulder at times;
a rough shaking of our souls when we need it.

God gives us what we need
when we are quiet enough to ask for it.

In a loving presence
that is often but a whisper:

A mere whisper that shakes the universe
with its power and glory.

1/11/13          5/5/13

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Walking together in love (Sunday, April 28, 2013)

Walking together in love

The ways of the world
can entice and enthrall;
but just as certainly,
can be a bitter gall.

The ways of the world
can gladden our hearts,
but just as surely
keep us apart
from the will of God,
and life in God’s expanding universe.

There is a heaven deep inside our souls
which we make manifest on this earthly plane.
There is the joy of God pounding in our hearts,
transcending all our differences,
erasing all our pain.

The ways of the world never lead 
directly to Heaven’s gate; but the love of God
can transform this Earth, and make it whole and holy. 
God’s love can take the most passionate love
and make it chaste and wholesome;
but without love, the most severe abstinence
is nothing other than an arid wasteland
from which all signs of real life have fled.

So, walk in this world;
live here, and love the creatures that you meet.
But keep your eyes and heart fixed on that which is Divine. 
In the midst of every encounter, every soul you touch, 
there lie encoded the deepest secrets
of that which is eternal and forever true.

2/25/05     5/22/05     4/28/13

Saturday, May 11, 2013

A Prayer for Earth Day (Sunday, April 21, 2013)

A Prayer for Earth Day

Our Mother, Holy Wisdom, draws one breath
and even we who are miles away
are warmed by the glory of Her inspiration.
Our Mother, Holy Wisdom, reaches out
and even we locked-up against ourselves
are immersed in the blessing of Her embrace. 

This Earth is Her body,
and we, children of the Earth,
are Her children.
It really is as simple as that. 

Let us honor our Holy Mother
by loving our bodies made in Her image,
by loving one another as she has loved us,
by loving this Earth, our beautiful and eternal home.

Friday, April 26, 2013

"Borderlands" (Sunday, April 14, 2013)

Meditation for Sunday, April 14, 2013
Perhaps it is that which we keep hidden in fear
that is our true light; 
perhaps it is the one we fear the most
who is our truest, deepest friend.

Wake the old lion, and let him out of the cage;
uncover your light from under that bushel. 
God is trying to tell you something
in every aspect of the life you hide,
in every fear that you apprehend.

Life is not lived on the surface of things:
Swimming in familiar, stagnant waters;
the truest discoveries are made around 
the borders; on the edge; at those 
magnificent boundaries where our souls explode.

I’ll meet you at the border, then, my friends,
out on the edge of our imaginations; 
in the dark essence of these lives we lead. 
There may we yet burst forth as new light 
to one another, and light the way, perhaps,
for other struggling pilgrims who’ll come after us.  
Who knows what truly heavenly discoveries
may come to us there in that sacred borderland
we once derided as worthless?
2/3/03     2/16/03     4/14/13

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Prayer 2013 (Sunday, March 31, 2013)

Easter Prayer 2013

The good news of the Resurrection calls us to rejoice:
Love did not die on Calvary,
and it does not die in the face of the countless crucifixions
innocent men and women suffer daily
at the hands of a broken and fallen world.
Wherever the hungry are fed, love is alive.
Wherever the naked are clothed, love is alive.
Wherever the sorrowing are comforted, love is alive.
Wherever children are taught, love is alive.
Wherever the broken are healed, love is alive.
Love lives in me.
Love lives in you.
Love lives in our neighbors, and in men and women of goodwill and good hearts the world over.
By the grace of love and the miracle of new life,
we are set free.
Blessed be God forever.
Blessed be the Spirit of Life, who holds us in everlasting arms.
Blessed be the Spirit of Life, who lives within our hearts,
and transcends all distinctions among us, and all barriers between us,
and transforms our little lives
into reflections of Divine Glory.

Based on Mary Ann Niedzielski, alt. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Atop the Holy Mountain (Sunday, March 24, 2013)

Atop the Holy Mountain

It was supposed to be lonely at the top of the great hill,
no one else around, only me,
sitting alone at the top of my isolated pinnacle.
But when I got there after this long, arduous trek,
I found not some narrow painful desolate peak
but an awesome wide plateau, level and expansive,
crowded with scores and hundreds,
maybe thousands, of other living souls.

There’s plenty of room at the top of God’s Mountain
for everyone who wants to find a place there
(and someday, we hope and pray,
it may be all of us).
But even now, in these days before dawn
there are plenty of souls to keep us company,
and share ideas and thoughts,
and celebrate the time we share together
in this most amazing place.

And from that magnificent perspective, we all look out
over the vast expanse below and all around:
the breathtaking vistas of a world well-tended,
of a world more glorious than words can tell,
of a world that reflects back the Spirit’s beneficence, truth, and beauty.
While all share together the splendid lookout at the top
(for all have earned it by their climbing)
each one knows that the particular view ones sees
is one-of-a-kind, never-to-be-repeated,
unique in all the world.

So, we strive to make it to the top of God’s  mountain,
each climbing carefully by our own pathway,
not to be alone after all, but to join with others;
the important thing when up there
is to know not simply our own perspective on the glory
but to feel the warmth, sense the breathing,
and hear the rapturous gasping of all of those
with whom we share this planetary garden.

12/19/98       3/3/02       3/24/13

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The steps we take

 Each step is a story; 
each moment a symbol,
deeper lessons learning;
not to be catalogued,
but lived to the full;
not endlessly analyzed,
but allowed to dance
deep within our souls.

We meet and greet others
as they pass with artful delicacy;
it is a lovely dance of elegance and beauty
we do, when we cherish the other living spirits
with whom we share this sacred path.
Now back to back, now face to face,
smiling, greeting, a soft touch in passing, perhaps:
We are alone and strong and free,
but interdependent, too;
joined with every other pilgrim
with whom we share this holy ground.

Knowing this, we become at last like spirits,
blissful sparks of hope and love made real;
our hurt and pain diffused in the holy ether,
no less real, but held now in stronger hands than ours.
Our joy now cosmic, our song divine;
as we approach the center, together,
free at last to the lessons
that our lives’ stories will gladly learn and teach.

3/19/02        11/30/03        10/19/08       3/3/13

Monday, February 25, 2013

At the altar of love (Sunday, February 24, 2013)

At the altar of love

The earth is home,
this body a temple;
the God we worship here
is love, bright shining love,
burning hot and radiant
in the altar of our hearts.

Our love is the air
that gives us life,
that keeps the fire burning
through the night
of despair, lost hope,
harsh judgment
that would put it out
and cast us back
into the darkness.

Love is the connecting branch,
root and limb of our existence,
intimately bound to the living tree,
surging forth in gentle strength
and unquenchable resilience.

Love is when my fingers reach out
and touch yours ever so gently
and sparks fly.
Love is when we greet each other
as friends,
and brotherly hearts beat as one again.

When human beings give themselves to love,                                                                              

it is as though angels flap their wings,
and God smiles,
and the world hurtles forward
toward another day of loving.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The choices we make (Sunday, January 27, 2013)

The choices we make

Every moment we live is a yes or no to life,
a let it be, or let it be damned,
that we utter from the furthest reaches
of our consciousness,
and which makes all the difference
 in how holy (and how whole) our lives will be.

 Every time we cross another blessed soul
we choose to connect souls or build a wall--
see a kindred spirit or a robber in disguise--
we choose whether or not
we will greet God's love with a kiss of new life.

 This little speck of energy we each are
created no vast galaxies or whirling constellations:
yet we are light from light and spirit from spirit
and hold within our souls the power
to create so many little worlds--
worlds of each moment, each day, each love;
worlds in their own ways empires
of our immortal, eternal souls--
worlds we create (or destroy)
in every choice we make
about all the little, common things
that make us human.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

For Martin Luther King Day (Sunday, January 13, 2013)

For Martin Luther King Day 2013

Gwendolyn Brooks once wrote:

A man went forth with gifts.
He was a prose poem.
He was a tragic grace.
He was warm music.
He tried to heal the vivid volcanoes.
His ashes are
                 rending the wind.

Let us remember, my friends, that we have tender saplings yet to plant. Saplings of hope. Saplings of caring. Saplings of love.
And we must plant these saplings at once. For hope can be the fastest growing plant of all. Love can overtake a wilderness, and make it bloom and flower again.

But these trees of life will not grow at all unless we plant them.
And his memory will not be redeemed unless we live his Dream, every day of our lives.

So may it be. Amen.