Friday, May 31, 2019

Paschal death is not terminal!

There is an awakening taking place right before our eyes."Lord that I might see," must be our constant prayer as we are exposed anew to the journey from death to new life.  What we are privileged to see in nature we are challenged to see and accept the same reality within ourselves, ever and always.  Before us is once again presented not only for our inspection but for our reflection.  Here goes the wonderings of a wounded wanderer!!!

From the depths of the deaths we trudge through, we are always comforted with the hidden message of hope.  This message is very shy, hidden and has to be sought out using the gracious gift of faith.  Entering into and being immersed in the grieving process makes it very difficult for most humans.  Our encounter with death ,especially a sudden encounter leaves us very "scattered." We are unable to think straight.  Everything seems to be out of focus.  The funeral celebration allows us the unique opportunity to focus on not on the stark reality of death, but on the compassionate strengthening Reality which is both hidden and revealed in these moments of both grief and pain-full loss. These are sacramental moments.  Moments are charged, as few moments are with Mystery.  These moments offer a great challenge.  We are challenged to seek out and encounter reality on one of its' deepest and most pain-full levels.  As it has been written each and every encounter with deeper reality is our encounter with The Reality Itself God, Higher Power.  The funeral prayers are full of the message of hope, so we will not be caught up in hope-less-ness.  That is not where we belong. We are called to leave behind our hope-less-ness and slowly embrace a new reality.  A joyous hope-filled faith filled everyday life.  We, as the beloved daughter/son are called to life not mere existence.  These words from a great oldie comes to mind," I want to live not merely survive."  God's wish is I want you to have life and have it to the fullest.  Paschal deaths are the thresholds over which we step so, as to gradually live into the fullness of God's dream and desire for us.  That is God's aisling(Gaelic),  God's dream for all His creation.  That is why I started this blog to encourage those who read it not to mess up God's aisling-dream, but make a commitment to enjoy it.  We have to make that choice to live life to the fullest, consciously, again and again every moment of the day.  If not we have to face this startling quote, "We abort our souls a thousand times a day."  The antidote to that toxic practice is to claim that you are beloved. (Nouwen) I am the beloved.  I do not have to earn, deserve, qualify, deserve, buy, Love that is given without condition, restriction or reservation.  All we have to do is say a simple, Yes and surrender to The Mysterious Lover.

To be continued...

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 a sacrament, Part 3

The road to psychological and spiritual health is a long process.  Unfortunately there are many who never get into recovery, and so the dysfunction is passed on to generations to come.  It is essential to take the challenging necessary steps  to claim our essential goodness and lovableness.  We need to be loved for who we really are, in all our human messiness,  and not for what we do or what we have achieved.  That recovery, like all recovery, is not easy.  Toxic shame will fight us each and every step of the way.  Toxic shame which wants to communicate that we are not okay., somehow not "good enough," has to be faced.  We are all more than we do, or have or achieve.  We therefore need the unconditioned love, undeserved, unlimited "first love" to become a reality.  In this way, while we are still pilgrims, having no lasting home, we are somehow secure in the knowledge that our God is always nourishing, ever creative, ever comforting, and always ever mercy-full.  Why?  Because we have experienced all within the lives who reveal the Mystery within mothers and motherhood.  Mothers, you are the living sacrament of our living God.  Be healthy so, we your children can have a healthy understanding of, and a healthy relationship with The Source, The Origin, Love Itself.  We will then find ourselves living the aisling, the unique dream  our Mother/ Father/Creator/ God has for each one of us.  Where there is a void an emptiness resulting from the absence of a healthy mother presence, we need to own that reality.  Into that void we must welcome God, Higher Power to fill up the that which is missing.  We first admit we are sad, angry, and then say these words  "God fill up this emptiness with Your love" again and again until you find yourself  at peace.  This is road tested, and has become the daily practice of so many people.  All we have to do is just repeat those words.  We do not have to mean them, just say them.  God, Higher Power always responds to our healthy desires as that is The Holy Spirit working from the depths.

As I get older, and journey deeper into powerlessness, spiritual bromides  are an essential component of my spiritual nourishment.( I believe Lord, help my unbelief/disbelief,"  "I can"t we must,"  "Out of the depths I cry unto You O lord, Lord hear my cry for..mercy-full love..compassion..forgiveness,..strength…")  In that deepest place The Blessed Trinity is having a party.  A party to which all have been invited to attend.  It takes continuous hard work to get there but the celebration is AWE-Full.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Mother...Motherhood is a sacrament, Part 2

It is never-ending, so we must be open to ever new, life-enhancing, life-enriching revelations.  Speaking of revelation, the scriptures have some wonder-full passages offered for our nourishment and encouragement.  Our Father/Mother God, in Isaiah 49:15 "Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb?  Even should she forget, I will never forget you."  So we are forever present in the minds of God, and to a lesser extent to our mothers.  There are times when we will be absent from the conscious thought of our mothers, after all, they do have their own lives.  In the mind of God, we are always present to Him, as we journey with Him, and to Him.  Our Father/Mother God is our origin and our destiny.  "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you" Psalm 110:3, "from the womb before the day star, I have begotten you."  Our place of origin then is the womb of God, Who is infinite love.  We leave that place of infinite love, comfort and security and journey into the uncertainty that is this life.  No wonder we have something to cry about when we arrive.  Welcomed with a slap on the butt!!!  We have temporarily left the Womb of Infinte  Love, but we are destined to return to that place of safety.  Before that return God never abandons us.  This is one of the impossibilities of life. He has prepared  for us a life-presence .  A life-presence designed remind us of Who it is we came from, and The Love which is our origin. 

The loving gaze of mothers is the loving gaze of God,  enfleshed for us, less we forget. This is this physical living loving presence we can feel, hear, and above all be touched by. This soothes the pain of the seeming loss of our First Love.  Part of the vocation of mothers is to mirror the First Love and to be a living sacrament of that Love !!!!! WOW ???   The best of plans do not always work out, not even God"s "plan A."  Wherever there is light there is also the opposite darkness.  This hard reality has to be faced again and again.  We are forever encountering and becoming reconciled with the shadow in our lives.  We cannot run away from it.  I saw a little kid on the web trying to get away, even run away from his shadow.  No matter he did the shadow was ever present.  There is the shadow side, which is the side of every mothers and motherhood.  The ideal, being the sacrament of God"s love, in so many cases is never actualized.  The result is many innocent children do not live life but subsist  in a "living hell."  Because of abuse, some women's essential inner wholeness has been broken, and in some cases destroyed by the toxic shame that has permeated their lives.  These women were denied a healthy living environment to mature within. They were not blessed with healthy mothers, so were not exposed to healthy ways of mothering.  One cannot give what one does not have.  These mothers are not at fault, but they do  have the responsibility to work long and hard to become healthy.  This demands that toxic shame be faced, processed.  This is a process that extends over many months and years. Family secrets are so very difficult not only to face but actually own by sharing.  There are those brave pioneers gifted with the courage to say "this sickness ends with me,"  and went in search of a solution. There are so many books written that tell the story of "Daughters without Mothers" and the steps taken to develop the skills necessary to be a healthy mother. There are many sons without mothers as, well.  Thank God for the courage of those authors who tell their stories and offer hope to those who have to face this reality in their lives. 

(to be continued...)

Sunday, May 19, 2019 a sacrament

There is an awe-full, mysterious, sacred presence in our lives.  A presence, I am sad to say that seems to be acknowledged, reverenced, and celebrated just one day out of 365.  As we live out the other days, is not this mysterious reality taken for granted?  Has the place of our encounter with the Sacred become so familiar that we have lost our reverence, and respect for this God-given gift, the bearer of all God given life.

That is the danger with the familiar, it leads us into that death-dealing place of apathy.  We are always in the need of the  awakening  to the sacred,  and to the mysterious.  This awakening, this bringing to consciousness is part and parcel of our everyday journey.  The journey that is ours as spiritual beings immersed in the human condition  (deChardin).   Within the depths of our mothers, an encounter takes place, between the creative love of Creator God and the cooperative effort of human beings, acting freely.  This hidden, sacred, mysterious encounter has led to the present day understanding of the sacramentality of sexuality.  Sexuality as the place where God is encountered.  Where love is, there God is.  There was a book written many years ago by a married couple, "Love is All."  I still can remember reading the following: "We made love last night and You were there."  To one born and raised in a Jansanistic-Puritanitcal Ireland this was one of  the great WOW !!!!  moments of my life.  We have surely come a long way in our growing understanding of human sexuality and the sacramental aspect of this gift. 

Now we go a step further and we are asked to reflect on the sacramentality of mothers and motherhood.  I'm referring to sacrament with a small  "s."  A small "s" sacrament I would like to suggest is: "Each and every person, place, event, action, which brings us into contact with the deeper realities of life, ultimately with Reality itself, that Reality we call God. (" Big "Sacrament, an encounter with the living person of Jesus Christ the result of which change takes place in my life and that change is brought about by the power and under the guidance of The Holy Spirit)  The sacramental reality of mothers and motherhood must be visited again and again.   Like all that is mysterious, this journey leads us to a deeper understanding of that which can never be explained, only reverenced.  We find there is layer upon layer to the mystery that is "mothers" and  "motherhood."  Just stop and reflect on all that has been written, and is being written.  

 (to be continued...)

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

12 Steps...Journey Into Powerlessness, Part 2

The keys to freedom are offered, but the catch is we have to love ourselves enough to grasp those keys and set ourselves free.  Free to bask in the prodigal love of our Prodigal Father for all His beloved daughters/sons. There is an infinite beauty dwelling within our depths which must be loved into existence.  All twelve step fellowships are geared and committed to manifestation of that beauty. That beauty is a sharing in the beauty of The Beautiful. O God help me to believe the truth about myself no matter how beautiful it is."

The fellowship and the daily working the ongoing immersion in the 12 steps makes The Paschal Mystery a contemporary relevant event.  This is the essence of spirituality, not religiosity." Religiosity is for those who are afraid of going to hell, spirituality is for those who have been to hell.  We all have been to one sort of hell or another ???  In recovery, fellowships relay the stories of their personal journeys into the hell of addiction and loss is replaced with a description of a new emerging life resurrection a new gospel is being written.  A contemporary flesh and blood gospel story for those who have never heard of The Gospel stories in the Bible.  Their gospel story by their struggle with sober living is the continuation of The Gospels.  This is what happens in all recovery and support groups.  Today in rooms across the world there are thousands upon thousands fellowship gatherings of wounded healers modeled after The Twelve Steps of AA.  Within the walls of these rooms represents that encounter between The Risen Christ and Thomas.

(To be continued)