Cynthia Bourgeault

I am the string in the concert of God's joy

As Jacob Boehme puts it, "I am a string in the concert of God’s joy."... We need to experience our own personal aliveness as part of that greater cosmic aliveness...When I become "a string in the concert of God’s joy," I am "sounded through" by the music, and in that sounding, in harmonic resonance with all the other instruments, is revealed both my irreplaceable uniqueness and my inescapable belonging.

~ from THE WISDOM WAY OF KNOWING by Cynthia Bourgeault

Presence is the straight and narrow gate

...real Wisdom can be given and received only in a state of presence...Presence is the straight and narrow gate through which one passes to Wisdom.

~ ~ from WISDOM WAY OF KNOWING by Cynthia Bourgeault

The first great contemplative experiment

Contemplative prayer reflects a long and noble lineage of Christians who have attempted to "put on the mind of Christ" ... through a radical transformation of consciousness that produces the Kingdom as its fruit. Applying Jesus' teaching that "a house divided against itself cannot stand," they have striven to heal their own divided and warring consciousnesses and bring their lives into an inner alignment through which it becomes possible to actually follow the teachings of Christ (which are in fact pitched to a level of consciousness higher than the egoic) and to live them into reality with integrity and grace. Ever since that first great contemplative "experiment" in the deserts of Egypt and Syria, the goal has been radical transformation of the human person in service of the Kingdom. It doesn't require an "introverted temperament"--only honesty, commitment, and a good sense of humor. From these three raw ingredients, great saints can be fashioned.

~ from CENTERING PRAYER AND INNER AWAKENING by Cynthia Bourgeault

It is the nature of love to flow

No separation between God and humans . . . a complete, mutual indwelling: I am in God, God is in you, you are in God, we are in each other. "I am the vine; you are the branches. Abide in me as I in you." . . . There is no separation between humans and God because of this mutual interabiding which expresses the indivisible reality of divine love. We flow into God--and Go into us--because it is the nature of love to flow. . . . The whole and the part live together in mutual, loving reciprocity, each belonging to the other and dependent on the other to show forth the fullness of love.

~ from THE WISDOM JESUS by Cynthia Bourgeault

Hope allows the energy of divine love to drive deep

Hope allows the energy of divine love to drive deep into the human condition—the theological condition usually referred to as “grace.” And at the same time, it allows the yearning, outstretched hands of creation to pierce the heart of God and call forth what can only be expressed in the dimension of the sensible. It is the root oneness and interconnectedness of all things in what Kabir Helminski calls “the electro-magnetic field of love.” And because this field does empirically exist, all those who have deeply loved—”to the root&rdq
~ from LOVE IS STRONGER THAN DEATH by Cynthia Bourgeault

We are born into 'thank you'

In the very last conversation we ever had, five days before his death, the subject came around to gratitude ...

"If you're quiet enough, as still as that mountain, you can hear in your heart a silent ‘thank you.' The whole universe, if you listen in your heart -- every blade of grass, each bird, each stone -- it is all ‘thank you.' We are born into ‘thank you' ... every step of the way is ‘thank you.' "

Rafe may not have heard the stars move. But I believe he was hearing "the Love that moves the stars and the sun."

~ from LOVE IS STRONGER THAN DEATH by Cynthia Bourgeault

Prayer as a simple trust in that presence

There was simply silence. And in that silence, as I gazed up at the sunlight sparkling through those high upper windows, or followed a secret tug drawing me down into my own heart, I began to know a prayer much deeper than "talking to God."

"Somewhere in those depths of silence I came upon my first experiences of God as a loving presence that was always near, and prayer as a simple trust in that presence.

~ from CENTERING PRAYER AND INNER AWAKENING by Cynthia Bourgeault

The spiritual life can only be lived in the present moment

The spiritual life can only be lived in the present moment, in the now. All the great religious traditions insist upon this simple but difficult truth. When we go rushing ahead into the future or shrinking back into the past, we miss the hand of God, which can only touch us in the now.

~ from MYSTICAL HOPE by Cynthia Bourgeault
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