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A Place for Sanctuary. Sabbath Moment Daily Dose. (Oct 26 – 29)

Tuesday — It has been a lovely beginning to our week here in Orkney Springs, autumn colors of vermilion, claret and scarlet. And amber and gold. An invitation to the sacrament of the present.
To be here now.
And the gift of enough.

This week, I’ll carry with me, these words from Madeleine L’Engle…
I, who live by words, am wordless when I try my words in prayer
I, who live by words, am wordless when
I try my words in prayer. All language turns
To silence. Prayer will take my words and then
Reveal their emptiness. The stilled voice learns
To hold its peace, to listen with the heart —
to silence that is joy, is adoration.
The self is shattered, all words torn apart
In this strange patterned time of contemplation
That, in time, breaks time, breaks words, breaks me,
And then, in silence, leaves me healed and mended.
I leave, returned to language, for I see
Through words, even when all words are ended.
I, who live by words, am wordless when
I turn me to the Word to pray. Amen.
Madeleine L’Engle

Quote for your week…
Walking the leaves down
On an autumn afternoon
I feel it again, that brown
Mulching of the spirit, and
I sense a settling in
For winter, a searching
For caves and nests in
Cozy corners of my heart.
Murray Bodo

Wednesday — This week we’re talking about emotional and spiritual hydration. And the gift of Sankofa. In previous Sabbath Moments, I’ve talked about Sankofa (from the Akan language of Ghana), associated with the proverb, “Se wo were fi na wosankofa a yenkyi,” which translates “It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten.” Yes. More than ever we need emotional and spiritual nourishment. Places of sanity and restoration.
It’s not easy to admit that self-care is not my strong suit. (Or, to rephrase, learning to practice what I preach. Just sayin’.) But I am grateful for the gifts of sanctuary and grace along the way, and those who nudge me to that gift of self-care. It means the world.
I’m working this week, yes, but finding ways to let my soul and spirit breathe.

This from Murjani Rawls. “It makes you question how we view our self-worth. Has life conditioned us to be these hard noised achieving machines as opposed to people who find serenity in just being? Are we that less important because our passions may be walking or stargazing? Are our lives less impactful because we aren’t on a big stage, or we feel that our acts need a grandiose platform to feel relevant? Where I was always seeking the next goal and not taking a second to appreciate what I had just achieved. Or the beautiful moments in between. The connections to people or just the view. Sometimes the reward is the view. It’s not a trophy or a plaque. Sometimes it’s having a second to be present in the current moment… We always think if we get that one big break that only then we’ll start living. We’ll have enough to have time to be present.”

Quote for your week…
There must always be remaining in every person’s life someplace for the singing of angels.  Howard Thurman

Thursday — This week we’re talking about emotional and spiritual hydration. And the gift of Sankofa. In previous Sabbath Moments, I’ve talked about Sankofa (from the Akan language of Ghana): “It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten.” Yes. More than ever we need emotional and spiritual nourishment. Places of sanity and restoration.

I’ve been asked, too often in my life, what I believe. My favorite variation, is any inquiry about my doctrinal statement. This begins a volley of theological catch phrases, which become de facto passwords for many religious organizations. It’s the way we tell who’s in and who’s out.
Here’s the odd part; I have never once been asked about what nourishes my soul. Or to list what moves me. Or for stories about what warms my blood, sends gooseflesh up my arms, makes me want to dance, make me love life, or laugh and cry at the same time. I’ve been asked about what is appropriate, but never about what is important.
There are significant issues in our world (in my world) that invite and require investment and healing; and I want to show up. And I want to bring my real self, my whole self, and spill light in any small way that I can. But today reminded me that I cannot forget, in my fixation to “make sense” of everything… along the way (even the messy way)…
So here’s the deal: I don’t want to miss the small gifts of life,
the serendipitous gifts of grace,
the presence of the holy,
and the gentle does of the sacred reflected in our everyday,
and extraordinarily ordinary world.

Yes. I can be at home in my own skin, with this gift of enough.
Say, on a crisp autumn morning, here in Virginia, marveling at the way the leaves of the trees, now shades of crimson and gold form a Basilica tapestry for my walk.
Nature and gardens always bring poetry to mind, in this case Francis Ponge, who spoke of the meaning that is locked in the “simplest object or person,” and “in these terms, one will surely understand what I consider to be the function of poetry. It is to nourish the spirit of man by giving him the cosmos to suckle.” Yes. And Amen. Perhaps gratitude, and honoring enough, begins there.

Quote for your week…
What is sacred is what is worthy of our reverence, what evokes awe and wonder in the human heart, and what, when contemplated, transforms us utterly. Phil Cousineau

Friday —

This week we’re talking about emotional and spiritual hydration. And the gift of Sankofa. In previous Sabbath Moments, I’ve talked about Sankofa (from the Akan language of Ghana): “It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten.” Yes. More than ever we need emotional and spiritual nourishment. Places of sanity and restoration.

I’ve finished my work at a conference here in Virginia. And I’m tuckered, although in that good way, you know, ready for a long nap and a glass of wine (or two) at sunset. Literally, let dusk settle. And tomorrow, on down the road, headed toward Roanoke and Asheville, North Carolina.
Let us find ways to savor our days. Indeed…
We finished our conference here at ShrineMont with Eucharist, the celebrant my good friend Martin Townsend (retired Episcopal bishop). Our sendoff blessing an adaptation of one of John O’Donohue’s blessings in, To bless the space between us. (Thank you Martin, Thank you John).

On the day when
The weight deadens
On your shoulders
And you stumble,
May the clay dance
To balance you.
May a garland of colors
Indigo, red, green
And azure blue
Come to awaken in you
A meadow of delight.
When the canvas frays
In the frail boat of thought
And a stain of ocean
Blackens beneath you,
May there come across the waters
A path of yellow moonlight
To bring you safely home.
And may you know joy. Alleluia.

Here’s our Prayer Blessing…
For Equilibrium, a Blessing:
Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.
As the wind loves to call things to dance,
May your gravity be lightened by grace.
Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth,
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect.
As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.
As silence smiles on the other side of what’s said,
May your sense of irony bring perspective.
As time remains free of all that it frames,
May your mind stay clear of all it names.
May your prayer of listening deepen enough
to hear in the depths the laughter of god.
John O’Donohue

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