Humility is not a matter of beating ourselves up. It is not a question of judging ourselves as stupid or sinful, as hopeless and bad. Who are we to judge these things? Humility, it seems, is the gentle acceptance of that most tender place inside ourselves that throbs with the pain of separation from the Beloved. It is that deep knowingness that identification with the false self brings nothing but further separation. It is an initially reluctant dropping down into the emptiness and an ultimate experience of peace when we stop doing and rediscover simple being . . . when we heed the call to cease creating and remember we are created.
There is a spiritual hearth at the heart of every person, congregation, and diocese. The fire is ignitable precisely where we have a passion to begin again in the face of immense community and cultural brokenness. Perhaps there has never been a time in history where the need for rekindling has matched so strongly with the individual and communal desire to "begin again."
~ from AWAKENING GRASSROOTS SPIRITUALITY: A CELTIC GUIDE FOR NURTURING THE SOUL by Edwin M. Leidel
The presence of love kindles into the will a fire of sacred love. Being always with the Holy One, who is a consuming fire, reduces to ashes whatever can be in opposition to it. The soul thus aflame can no longer live except in the Presence, a presence that produces in its heart a holy ardor, a sacred eagerness, and a fierce yearning to see God loved, known, served, and loved by all creatures.
~ from PRACTICING THE PRESENCE by Br. Lawrence (17th c.)
Abba Paul went to see Abba Basil and said, "Abba, as far as I can, I say my little office, I fast a little, I read and meditate, I live in peace and as far as I can, I purify my thoughts. What else can I do?"
Then the old man stood up and stretched his hands towards heaven. His fingers became like ten lamps of fire and he responded, "If you will, you can become all fire. You cannot be a monk unless you become like a consuming fire."
Dear Friends ~ In this part of the world, frost crusts at the edges of minute leaves and blades of grass. The chill air illuminates each breath, making us mindful once again how crucial warmth is to sustaining life. Whether sitting in a rocker by the crackling fire of a homey hearth or huddling over a trash can fire under the freeway to fend off the cold bite of homelessness, we gather round fires because we crave the heat and light they generate. In this moment of history when so much of the world has become harsh and bitter cold, people cry out for a rekindling of the fires of love and compassion. We need to build heart hearths–havens of warmth and light where we can look across the sparks and flames to see the same longings in each others’ eyes.
When you enter the stillness of the eternal now by letting go of the fictional me, you see that reality, enlightenment, or God is like a flame. It’s alive, ever moving, and ever dancing–the flame is always here. But the flame is impermanent. There is nothing about a flame that is permanent, static, or stable. If it were, it would be dead. Reality is alive, ever on the move, like a flame that leaps up from the log into the air.
The human heart has been so made by Love that, like a flint, it contains a hidden fire which is evolved by music and harmony, and renders us beside ourselves with ecstasy. These harmonics are echoes of that higher world of reality which we call the world of spirits...they fan into a flame whatever love is already dormant in the heart.
"Okay–what are the other kinds of fire?" my father asks as he adds a stick to the fire at his feet… "There’s a fire you must tend to every day. The hardest one to take care of is the one right here" he says, tapping his finger against his chest. "Your own fire, your spirit. We all carry a piece of that sacred fire within us. We have to honor it and care for it. You are the firekeeper."
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