Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Soul Aflame ~ Thursday ~ Lauds

It was the wind that gave them life,
It is the wind that comes out of our mouths now
that gives us life.
When this ceases to blow we die.
In the skin of our fingers we can see the trail of the wind;
it shows us where the wind blew when our ancestors were created.
Washington Matthews (American, 19th Century)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Soul Aflame ~ Wednesday ~ Lauds

My soul is an enchanted boat
Which, like a sleeping swan, doth float
Upon the silver waves of thy sweet singing;
And thine doth like an angel sit
Beside a helm conducting it,
Whilst all the winds with melody are ringing,
It seems to float ever, for ever,
Upon that many-winding river,
Between mountains, woods, abyssses,
A paradise of wildernesses!
Till, like one in slumber bound,
Bourne to the ocean, I float down, around,
Into a sea profound, of ever spreading sound...
Percy Bysshe Shelley (English, 1792-1822)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Soul Aflame ~ Tuesday ~ Lauds

I think over again my small adventures,
My fears,
Those small ones that seemed so big,
For all the vital things
I had to get and to reach;
And yet there is only one great thing,
The only thing,
To live to see the great day that dawns
And the light that fills the world.
Anonymous, 19th Century

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Soul Aflame ~ Monday ~ Lauds

I don't want to be the only one here
Telling all the secrets --

Filling up all the bowls at this party,
Taking all the laughs.

I would like you
To start putting things on the table
That can also feed the soul
The way I do.
That way
We can invite
A hell of a lot more

Shams-Ud-Din Muhammad Hafiz (Persian c. 1320-1389, version by Daniel Landinsky)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Soul Aflame ~ Sunday ~ Lauds

"Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;
The Soul that riseth with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And rises from afar.
Not in entire firgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing coulds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!...

O joy! that in our embers
Is something that doth live,
That nature yet remembers
What was so fugitive...

Hence in a season of calm weather
Though inland far we be
Our souls have sight of that immortal sea
Which brought us hither,
Can in a moment travel thither,
And see the children sport upon the shower,
And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore."
William Wordsworth, England (1770-1850)

This is the first entry in the book The Soul Aflame, a modern book of hours. I have often tried to meditate on this collection of poems and quotations, insights into the wisdom of ages collected in this book. Sometimes it takes me a little while to wrap my mind around the underlying works in the pages of this book.

I open the conversation up to you...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Where is My Faith These Days?

This is a good question...

The answer? I'm not sure. Last night I was trying to describe where my faith is, and I couldn't- the best way to say it is that it's on a whole different level than anyone I know, for reasons that I'm not going to get into right now... I'm not practicing any tradition right now, I still define myself as Christian-Catholic, but the thought of setting foot in a Catholic church right now is something I don't even want to think about. Why? Because it means accessing so much that I've kept bottled up inside, so much that I've journaled about but haven't actually "let out".

How can I heal myself? Answer- I can't, my faith in God is what has to heal me. And so the question comes 'round again, where IS my faith these days? I know that I have a long way to go, but I know that I've been there before, and I think the big part of being okay with it again is realizing (just now) that I won't be able to get back to that place- I'm different now, my experiences have deepend who I am, and so I need to be looking forward, not back.

So where am I looking to:
The future? No, this is much bigger than that.
The heavens? No, it's more real, more attainable than that.
The Church? For guidance, perhaps, but not yet.
My Self? Yes, but not entirely...
My heart. This is where the answers lie, right now. This is where the Spirit dwells. This is where Love is.

Sorry this is sort of scrambled, I'm typing as my mind is thinking, no form or flow... perhaps I'll revise it later, or perhaps I'll leave it raw.

My challenge to you, define where your faith is. Can you? If not, try to map out the path you will need to follow to find your faith. I'll walk with you, for we're all on the same journey.