Get Back Up.

March 24th, 2021

Get back up. Dust yourself off. Remember that you’re playing the long game, and trust that over time, the good days will outnumber the bad. Do what you can to make this day more livable than yesterday.

KEEP MOVING.

— Maggie Smith, Keep Moving, p. 51

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, March 19, 2021

Not If, But When

March 21st, 2021

As I have often said, salvation is not a question of if, but when. Once you see with God’s eyes, you will see all things and enjoy all things in proper and full perspective. Some put this off till the moment of death or even afterward (“purgatory” was our strange word for this). Salvation, for me, is simply to have the “mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16), which Paul describes as “making the world, life and death, the present and the future — all your servants — because you belong to Christ and Christ belongs to God” (1 Corinthians 3:23).

Everything finally belongs, and you are a part of it.

This knowing and this enjoying are a good description for salvation.

— Richard Rohr, The Universal Christ, p. 225

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, March 22, 2020

Be Sure of This.

March 20th, 2021

Be sure of at least one thing in this moment — that you are loved and worthy of love. Hold tightly to what you know to be real and true and good about who you are. Be sure of yourself.

KEEP MOVING.

— Maggie Smith, Keep Moving, p. 47

Photo: Keukenhof, Holland, April 21, 2004.

Again and Again

March 19th, 2021

This morning I meditated on God’s eagerness to forgive me, revealed in these words: “As far as the East is from the West, so far does God remove my sin” (Psalm 103:12). In the midst of all my distractions, I was touched by God’s desire to forgive me again and again. If I return to God with a repentant heart after I have sinned, God is always there to embrace me and let me start afresh. “The Lord is full of compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy.”

It is hard for me to forgive someone who has really offended me, especially when it happens more than once. I begin to doubt the sincerity of the one who asks forgiveness for a second, third, or fourth time. But God does not keep count. God just waits for our return, without resentment or desire for revenge. God wants us home. “The love of the Lord is everlasting.”

— Henri J. M. Nouwen, You Are Beloved, p. 87

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, March 19, 2021

Love and Suffering

March 17th, 2021

In the practical order of life, if we have never loved deeply or suffered deeply, we are unable to understand spiritual things at any depth. Any healthy and “true” religion is teaching you how to deal with suffering and how to deal with love. And if you allow this process with sincerity, you will soon recognize that it is actually love and suffering that are dealing with you. Like nothing else can! Even God has to use love and suffering to teach you all the lessons that really matter. They are his primary tools for human transformation.

— Richard Rohr, The Universal Christ, p. 207

Photo: Dunluce Castle, Ireland, July 2001

Life As It Is

March 15th, 2021

Trust that everything will be okay, but that doesn’t mean that everything will be restored. Start making yourself at home in your life as it is. Look around and look ahead.

KEEP MOVING.

— Maggie Smith, Keep Moving, p. 37

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, March 13, 2021

The Grace of Trust

March 14th, 2021

We need the grace of Trust more than we realize. We want everything to happen now — right now — in our lives. And we want to recognize the sound of every footstep we hear. We have to stop wanting, wanting, wanting life to be what it will never, ever be — familiar, controllable, and wrapped around our personal needs. That impossible craving is what leads to attacks of stress, panic, and inner madness. Instead we must contact the grace of Trust. We must learn to rest easy in the mobius of prayer and trust, guidance and action. Rather than imagining greatness or humiliation, power or powerlessness. Your imagination is an engine of creation, a vessel through which your inside coordinates the outside of your life. Imagining greatness for yourself is rooted in the fear of humiliation. The end product is an ego full of hubris. Driven by fear, you will end up in the fog of panic and uncertainty. The discipline — and it is a discipline — is to apply the grace of Trust. Trust brings detachment. You do not have to interfere with heaven’s work. If you knew what was best for you, you would not need heaven’s help. Just Trust.

— Caroline Myss, Intimate Conversations with the Divine, p. 120

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, March 14, 2020

The Big Thing

March 14th, 2021

I would insist that the foundation of Jesus’s social program is what I will call non-idolatry, or the withdrawing of your enthrallment from all kingdoms except the Kingdom of God. This is a much better agenda than feeling you have to attack things directly, or defeat other nation-states, the banking system, the military-industrial complex, or even the religious system. Nonattachment (freedom from full or final loyalties to man-made domination systems) is the best way I know of protecting people from religious zealotry or any kind of antagonistic thinking or behavior. There is nothing to be against, but just keep concentrating on the Big Thing you are for! (Think Francis of Assissi and Mother Teresa.) Paul’s notion of sin comes amazingly close to our present understanding of addiction. And he thus wanted to free us from our enthrallments with what he considered “mere rubbish” (Philippians 3:8), which is not worthy of our loyalty. “If only I can have Christ and be given a place in him!” Can you hear Paul’s corporate understanding in phrases like that?

The addict, or sinner, does not actually enjoy the world as much as he or she is enslaved to it, in Paul’s understanding. Jesus had come to offer us a true alternative social order here and not just a “way to heaven” later.

— Richard Rohr, The Universal Christ, p. 197-198

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, March 13, 2021

Pockets of Relief

March 13th, 2021

You are not betraying your grief by feeling joy. You are not being graded, and you do not receive extra credit for being miserable 100% of the time. Find pockets of relief, even happiness, when and where you can.

KEEP MOVING.

— Maggie Smith, Keep Moving, p. 38

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, December 2, 2020

An Ongoing Plan

March 11th, 2021

The spiritual plan for your life is an ongoing plan. It doesn’t start and stop, like jobs you begin and quit. Our blind spot — and it is a big one — is our insistence that God become a business partner. That divine guidance present as something practical, efficient, and financially useful. Guidance works from within us as well as around us, to be sure. Heaven does express itself through events such as locked and open doors. But these external events are not ends in and of themselves; they are here to serve our internal spiritual life. Heaven does not solve our problems for us; it inspires us with resolutions, ways to initiate action in the world, for the purpose of furthering our soul’s journey. The Divine cannot make choices for us, but it can — and does — set up blockades for our own protection. Every movement in your life has purpose. It does not matter that we do not see the purpose in the moment or the plan or the timing of when and how the next step will unfold. Well, it matters to us, of course, in practical ways, but if you could let go of the practical and trust the miraculous, the hidden ways of the Divine at work behind the scenes in your life, you would realize that nothing is ever as it seems.

— Caroline Myss, Intimate Conversations with the Divine, p. 119

Photo: Bluebell Trail, Bull Run Regional Park, Virginia, April 17, 2014