Tag: spirituality

Fall Gracefully Into Life

The richness

is in standing still

.

Waiting for the light

of silence to fall

.

Gracefully

into life.

Therichness SFS

I Have Found My Way

I have found my way 

and it is a different way to the world’s way  

.

A way that leads to life through death 

a way of grace and reconciliation 

humility, obedience and self-renunciation  

.

I have found my way 

I have found a new identity  

.

Now I can begin again 

to live and work 

.

to write and sing 

I can begin again  

.

And I can now be understood 

by love of one known greater than myself 

.

Who gave his life for love of me 

his life and love now newly understood  

.

Renouncing all his pleasures 

all the comforts of his soul 

.

Relinquished all in the death of hell 

he felt upon the cross  

.

In the dark a single cry 

‘Why – O my God – why?’  

.

Forsaken,  not gone astray like us  

punished for all our wanderings  

.

The Jews had forty years – I had twenty 

in the desert before he gave me plenty 

.

Of grace, of love, of fellowship 

with others, sisters, brothers newly found 

.

Discovered and recovered from the grave  

a flock and then a kingdom saved 

.

To serve their lord and shepherd

Faithfully  

.

And now we come to live together 

to meet the world and serve forever 

.

The king

Of all the heavens  

.

Having fellowship with the light 

fighting still the endless fight  

.

The darkness that surrounds us 

that will not quickly leave us  

.

Shining like stars despite our sin 

struggling still to let him in  

.

I have found my way 

and it is a different way from the world’s way  

.

I have found my God

My feast 

.

And now I bear the yoke 

that brings at last my peace. 

.

Inspiring Paintings: Much Very Ordinary in the Spiritual Way

There is much

That is very ordinary

In the spiritual way

.

Faithfulness

Perseverance

Kindess

.

Self-control

Patience

And love

.

May guard

Your soul

Each day.

.

“Christ in the House of His Parents” by John Millais is an ordinary scene but one packed with symbolism of a wound, of a bowl of water, of sheep in the background

Inspiring Poems: The Wreath

A WREATHED garland of deservèd praise,
Of praise deservèd, unto Thee I give,
I give to Thee, who knowest all my ways,
My crooked winding ways, wherein I live,—
Wherein I die, not live ; for life is straight,
Straight as a line, and ever tends to Thee,
To Thee, who art more far above deceit,
Than deceit seems above simplicity.
Give me simplicity, that I may live,
So live and like, that I may know Thy ways,
Know them and practise them : then shall I give
For this poor wreath, give Thee a crown of praise.

This poem is particularly amazing in the way that the words are threaded from one line to the next, like a kind of wreath. See how “praise” is repeated, then “give”, then “ways”, and so on… I’ve marked the first few in bold below.

A WREATHED garland of deservèd praise,
Of praise deservèd, unto Thee I give,
I give to Thee, who knowest all my ways,
My crooked winding ways, wherein I live,—
Wherein I die, not live ; for life is straight,
Straight as a line, and ever tends to Thee,
To Thee, who art more far above deceit,
Than deceit seems above simplicity.
Give me simplicity, that I may live,
So live and like, that I may know Thy ways,
Know them and practise them : then shall I give
For this poor wreath, give Thee a crown of praise.

George Herbert, who wrote this poem, was probably also thinking of the “crown of thorns”; but he has a “crown of praise” instead to give to God.

Image by Nadine Zarya from Pixabay

The Spiritualities of Christianity – Suffering and Healing

The experience of pain is universal – from life’s first cry to the end.  And spirituality in the Christian traditions does not flinch from this reality of life.

El Greco’s image above, or this even more harrowing image by Grunewald, are classic examples.

These beautiful words from the New Testament are a fine commentary on what is going on here:

Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example,
that you should follow in his steps.

.

He committed no sin, no guile was found on his lips,

when he was reviled, he did not revile in turn.

.

When he suffered, he did not threaten,

but he trusted himself to God who judges justly.

.

Christ himself bore our sins in his body on the tree,

that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.

.

By his wounds, you have been healed,

for you were straying like sheep,

But have now returned

to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

Some might see the focus on pain as weirdly morbid and unhealthy.

But actually the spirituality of these lines is that suffering can bring out depths of patience, trust and faith.  Suffering can draw out our capacity for holiness.  And somehow through the suffering of Christ, there can be healing.