April 2021 (Vol. XXXIV, No. 4)

Dear Friends ~ Here in the Northern Hemisphere it is Spring. The earth re-covers herself in the iridescent greens of emerging grasses. Bulbs push their stems to light. Carpets of tiny, illusive flowers herald the season. There are hints of recovery in both local and global news as Covid vaccines become more available. Questions abound: Will our children recover from learning lost? Will lost livelihoods ever be found? Will we ever recover from losing loved ones, over 500,000 in the U.S alone, my 93-year-old mother among them?

Our lives have seasons

As spring and summer follow... winter, so our lives have seasons. Help us to live in the eternal moment, awaiting your perfect timing in all things.
~ Nan Merrill in "Psalm 105" from PSALMS FOR PRAYING

Changing is not just changing the things outside of us

Changing is not just changing the things outside of us. First of all we need the right view that transcends all notions including of being and non-being, creator and creature, mind and spirit. That kind of insight is crucial for transformation and healing.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Take Refuge in Silence

The unbounded spaciousness
of Silence,
filled with the clear light
of Awareness,
dissolves the roots of pain
and sorrow.
~ Kalidas (Lawrence Edwards) from "Take Refuge in Silence"

The more joy you can contain

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain... they are inseparable. Together they come, and when one sits along with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.
~ Kahlil Gibran from THE PROPHET

The recovery of faith in our creativity

The recovery of faith in our creativity and in the artist within each of us and the artists among all of us is no small thing. It has to do with the rekindling of the spark of hope and vision, of adventure and blessing, that a tired civilization needs...
~ Matthew Fox from ORIGINAL BLESSING

A guidance and a mercy

Mankind, there has come to you a guidance from your Lord and a healing for... your hearts, and for those who believe, a guidance and a mercy.
~ The Koran (Yunus, 10:57)

Faith as a mustard seed

If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain "move from here to there" and it will move.
~ Matthew 17:20

The Burning Bush

...Deep. deep down in the earth
There is the pure water

The way is down
The old sources have become clogged
New wells are sought...

That might be there
Deep down
For us

I have met her
That one
Who holds a true divining rod
That one who is seeking pure water

~ Emily Brown from "The Burning Bush" in Liberating Liturgies, Women's Ordination Conference, 1989

Silence belongs to all of us

Silence belongs to all of us— it is who we are, it is what we are. If we are to experience and embody authentic peace and love, if we are going to bring true healing to our wildly violent and endangered world, we are going to have to learn to live within this essence which joins us together as brothers and sisters.
~ Robert Rabbin from "The Healing Power of Silence" in Natural Awakenings, February 2013

The law of love governs the world

The law of love governs the world. Life persists in the face of death. The universe continues in spite of destruction going on. Truth triumphs over untruth. Love conquers hate.

~ Mahatma Gandhi from PEACE: THE WORDS AND INSPIRATION OF MAHATMA GANDHI

Be silent

Be silent,
Only the hand of God can remove
The burdens of your heart.
~ Rumi

For a Brief Moment

for a brief moment early spring rain ceases,
the sun breaks through
grey sky...

threads of gold
thin enough to pierce the forest,
glitter on dewdrops...
bows to brilliance,

where everything arrogant
takes off its shoes
to stand on holy ground.

~ Joyce Rupp from "For a Brief Moment" in MY SOUL FEELS LEAN: POEMS OF LOSS AND RESTORATION

Let us now open our hearts to recall

Let us now open our hearts to recall those who have died from the coronavirus. Strengthen those families and friends who remain behind, to comfort one another and to wipe the tears from our eyes. May each one find peace and let the memory of our loved ones itself be a blessing.
~ Cardinal Wilton Gregory in a prayer offered on CNN as the United States reflected on the 500,000 lives lost, February 22, 2021

It is spring again

It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke in "Sonnets to Orpheus. Part One, XXI"

A Liturgy of Morning

... God said, 'There will be dreams from the night that will need the light of the morning.’ And so God put wisdom in the early hours.

... God said: 'Let there be a certain kind of light that can only be seen in the morning.’ And God created gold, and dew, and horizons, and hills in the distance, and faces that look different in the light of the morning, and things that look different in the light of the morning...
And God said that it was Good.

~ Padraig O’Tuama from "A Liturgy of the Morning" in DAILY PRAYERS WITH THE CORRYMEELA COMMUNITY

Blessing the Boats

may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love your back may you
open your eyes to water
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that

~ Lucille Clifton from "Blessing the Boats (at St. Mary's)" in QUILTING

The love that we have for each other

I’m going to be sorry when I retire, because I enjoy — if it’s one thing that I definitely enjoy, it’s my 8:00 class. My 8:00 class, they come to me, 8:00 a.m., they come to me from their dreams, and I come to them from mine... I like the freshness that they bring. And the other word would be, I like the love that we have for each other as we come into that class.

~ Nikki Giovanni from "We Go Forward with a Sanity and Love" On Being podcast. Read more in THE COLLECTED POETRY OF NIKKI GIOVANNI

The breezes at dawn

The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you
Don't go back to sleep!
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep!
People are going back and forth
across the doorsill where the two worlds touch,
The door is round and open
Don't go back to sleep!

~ Rumi from "A Great Wagon" in THE ESSENTIAL RUMI, translated by Coleman Barks

Uphold the Light

Uphold the Light that your inner light
may illumine fear-filled hearts...
Light comes with each new dawn.
yield to the Light within;
become a chalice of light
for the world!

~ Nan Merrill from LUMEN CHRISTI...HOLY WISDOM

The repeated refrains of nature

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.

~ Rachel Carson from SILENT SPRING

Ever faithful gardeners of spirit

Help us to be ever faithful gardeners of spirit, who know that without darkness nothing comes to birth, and without light nothing flowers.

~ May Sarton. Read more in SELECTED POEMS OF MAY SARTON

Awakeness is found

Awakeness is found in our pleasure and our pain, our confusion and our wisdom, available in each moment of our weird, unfathomable, ordinary, everyday lives.

~ Pema Chodron from WHEN THINGS FALL APART

A Message from the Wanderer

freedom always came nibbling my thought,
just as— often, in light, on the open hills—
you can pass an antelope and not know
and look back, and then— even before you see—
there is something wrong about the grass.
And then you see.

That's the way everything in the world is waiting.

~ William E. Stafford from "A Message from the Wanderer" in THE WAY IT IS

Morning has broken

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God's recreation of the new day

Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the world

~ Eleanor Farjeon from MORNING HAS BROKEN
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