Breathe In Grace & Exhale Peace

shutterstock_331870805

For me… Sabbath is the most powerful ally in finding peace, God, and myself. Sabbath was breathed out by God so that we would find His voice and receive His presence and freedom from anxiety. This morning, as the wispy licks of heat rose from my coffee, creating a holy space of goodness, I read the following piece by Maya Angelou. While she doesn’t mention it by name, I sense her soul seeing sabbath as a resistance to the compressing reality of life.

Slow down…read it slowly…breathe in grace and exhale peace…

“Every person needs to take one day away.  A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future.  Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence.  Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for.  Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”

We create our chaos, which then defines who we are and convinces us we can never have what we long for.

Sabbath reminds me who I really am…

Sabbath reminds me who God is…

Sabbath reminds me whose I am…

Sabbath frees me from my Atlas ego who tries to convince me I don’t have time to pause…

Then somewhere in the midst of realigning and letting go something beautiful emerges in that space where my soul is marinated in God’s presence.

What if you took that day away every week?
What if you took a handful of minutes or hours away every week?

Can you feel the smile rising and your soul expanding…

Franciscan Benediction

shutterstock_3599035

gray-quotation-marks-mdMay God bless us with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that we may live deep within our hearts.

May God bless us with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that we may work for justice, freedom, and peace.

May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, hunger, and war, so that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in this world, so that we can do what others claim cannot be done, to bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.

Advent Longing…

lamp

The Advent season is always pregnant with possibilities.

A subconscious knowing resides deep within gnawing, in an awakening way, opening eyes and heart to a truer reality available only to those who seek it.

There is so much more to life…there is a deeper peace… a greater capacity to love…an irremovable anchor of hope.

Imagine feeling an inescapable smile, an unexplained joy resonating deep within, and a sliver of grace that pierces your soul for no apparent reason.

These are around and available all the time, yet we rush around with Black Friday hearts and choose to settle for far less than God graced our planet with and offers through  benefits of the Incarnation.

I like what Thomas Kelly, a 20th century Quaker wrote:

“Over the margins of life comes a whisper, a faint call, a premonition of richer living which we know we are passing by. We have hints that there is a way of life vastly richer and deeper than all this hurried existence, a life of unhurried serenity and peace and power. If only we could slip over into that Center! If only we could find the Silence which is the source of sound!”  ~Thomas Kelly

The following line of Kelly’s causes me to pause, “We have hints that there is a way of life vastly richer and deeper than all this hurried existence, a life of unhurried serenity and peace and power.” Ah…he is onto something here.

This is not a pipe-dream for God lovers and seekers, rather it is available, right now right where you are. No matter what stress, struggle, hurt or habit has you submerged, Advent shouts  God came to earth…God came and infused His divinity with humanity…Jesus, then is the definition of who God is…Jesus came to rescue, not condemn, and He offers everyone a better hope of drawing near to God.

Advent also reminds us of longing…the longing for Messiah to come…

The longing for God to show up…

The longing for help beyond our capabilities…

The longing to know that we all matter, and that God cares and is involved…

The longing for the better hope of God’s presence,

May you slip over today into that center and find the silence which is the source of the sounds of life.

Monty