Wisdom, the fashioner of all things taught me there is in her, a spirit that is intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, facile, mobile, clear, unpolluted, distinct, invulnerable, loving the good, keen, irresistible, beneficent, humane, steadfast, sure, free from anxiety, all powerful, overseeing all and penetrating through all spirits that are intelligent, pure, and all together facile. For Wisdom is more mobile than any motion. Because of her pureness, she prevades and penetrates all things, for she is the breath of the power of God and the pure emanation of the glory of the Holy One. Therefore, nothing defiled gains entrance into her, for she is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of God’s goodness. Although, she is but one, she can do all things, and while remaining in herself she renews all things. In every generation, she passes into holy souls and makes them friends of God and prophets. For God loves nothing so much as the person who lives with Wisdom. She is more beautiful than the sun and excels every constellation of the stars. Compared with the light she is found to be superior for it is succeeded by the night, but against Wisdom, evil does not prevail. She reaches mindfully from one end of the earth to the other and she orders all things well.
Perhaps you, too, have been feeling overwhelmed, heart-broken, and oppressed by the news these last months and especially the last the several weeks. Years ago when I was working very hard in therapy to heal issues from my childhood, my therapist told me…
Deep sea divers can’t stay in the depths for extended periods of time. They have to surface for a time before they dive deeply again.
Fatigue and frequent tears are signals that I need to come up for air, to remain centered in the midst of these chaotic and unpredictable times. I recall my counselor’s long ago wisdom, and in the spirit of extreme self-care I’m choosing to focus on the splendor of autumn today and it’s velvety, rich invitations for the spirit.
This season of transformation reminds me to prepare to go inward for reflection and spiritual renewal. It’s a cool, cloudy day on the Western edge of the continent and I’m making a conscious choice to spend the afternoon browsing my personal library in search of a good read. A new journal also feels called for, and perhaps it’s the moment to open the tin of ginger tea I’ve been saving for a special occasion. The season has arrived for hearth-tending and lighting lots of candles. I’m eager to curl up in a favorite well-worn sweater, and pull on a pair of soft warm socks. READ MORE
You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.
Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.
How do we ensure we are living in alignment with our souls’ longings when daily life is overscheduled, fragmented and often exhausting? What does it mean to let go of life-depleting tasks and “to dos” in exchange for life-giving interests and passions? What is the invitation (the call to action) for our creative spirits as we contemplate the meaning of spiritual/creative freedom?
The answers to these questions can only be discovered when we give ourselves permission to take a time-out from frenetic busyness and connection with technology. Permitting a brief pause in the day, a longer weekly pause, and a still longer monthly pause opens time and space to honor inner callings, yearnings and visions.
What would it feel like to grant your Self permission to spend at least thirty minutes each day as time to tend to your creative and spiritual longings? Can you also imagine weaving in momentary ways throughout your day to Self-nurture your soul? Contemplate the refreshing experience of daily, weekly and monthly pauses to drink deeply from the well of creative and spiritual fulfillment. READ MORE
My husband and I have been enveloped in the process of moving for the past three months. In the midst of it all, I’ve been challenged to stay centered. I attribute my being off balance to the upheaval and dismantling of my sacred space that was our home. I have come to realize as I age, that beauty in my surroundings, a sense of order, and simplicity are not only desirable but also essential for my well-being.
Moving is a chaotic and disruptive experience. Our world at this time in history and herstory also feels chaotic and disruptive. The value of sacred spaces and places feels ever more precious, day by day.
What I have learned, as I’ve packed away my touchstones, icons, candles, and prayer journals is to carry and cherish the eternal oratory (chapel) within my heart and spirit. Yes, all the beautiful accoutrements mentioned above offer a visual and tactile feast, but the true essence of sacred space must be constant, ever present, and illuminated within my being.
This radiant realization brings me comfort as I approach the beginning of my eighth decade. Eventually, in time, the material outer world fades, and what lives on as truth, memory, and wisdom within the heart and soul is all that remains. Today, I embrace and begin the practice of carrying my oratory within me. READ MORE
I came upon this blog post today in my files and it seems very fitting for the here and now. I’ve freshened it a bit and offer it with love and prayers…
A small globe on a bookshelf in my workspace catches my eye. I pick it up and feel connected with the realization that all of humankind is fastened to the earth, a whirling sphere suspended in the inky black universe.
We are tethered to our world that is composed of forests and deserts, mountains and plains, water and ice. We are souls, alive at this time in history and herstory through God’s grace. We are star stuff, space travelers, and pilgrims on an evolutionary journey leading to transformation. We are the neophyte, the unborn, rocking in the waters of our mothers’ wombs. We are dependent infants, energetic teens, mellowing middle-agers, wise elders, and we are the dead…our bodies at last returned to dust. We are human beings who are sick, healthy, wealthy and destitute. READ MORE
It’s Holy Week and I’ve been enjoying a quiet day of reflection…reading Joyce Rupp’s beautiful new book, Prayer Seeds and listening to the medieval music of Hildegard of Bingen.
The afternoon weather is cloudy and my prayer space has recently become extremely simple, a singular small framed image of Christ and a singular red votive bless the table near my chair. Many of our home’s furnishings, books, icons, artwork, etc. are packed for our move or stored in the garage for an estate sale when the house sells.
The release of this home, and all the necessary preparations required for the return journey to a quiet life by the sea are welcomed experiences. However, it’s also a season of waiting that calls for patience, faith, and trust that all will unfold in time. There are many unknowns.
When will the new owners appear? How long will the selling process take? Where will we live when we arrive at Carmel? What will the title of life’s next chapter be?
Life has a way of calling for the circumnaviation of pathways leading to departure and return.
This Lenten season my husband and I have received the call to return to life near the sea. We recently revisited Carmel, California where we lived for sixteen years. During our life there, I wrote the first draft of Ink and Honey and sketched my thoughts for what would later become, The Way of Belle Coeur.
Before we moved to Carmel we lived in Dallas, Texas where we raised our children. Five years ago, my husband’s work called us back to Texas from Carmel-by-the-Sea. Our journey of return to where we had begun our life together, has allowed us to spend sweet reunion with dear friends and family we bid goodbye when we moved to California. READ MORE
The world turns and the hours of daylight increase. Spring approaches and Lent begins.
Last weekend I was blessed to spend a retreat day with my dear friend, visionary, and artist, Karen Blessen. Twenty-three years ago Karen and I co-created the book, Be An Angel. Ours is a life-long “soul sister” friendship. Our conversations and Karen’s wisdom always inform and nourish my spirit.
During our recent visit Karen shared her thoughts about butterflies and the scientific/spiritual mystery of what transpires within the chrysalis as the caterpillar transforms to a butterfly. Today as spring approaches and the Lenten season of reflection begins, I choose to contemplate a particular aspect of the caterpillar’s stunning journey of transfiguration/transformation. READ MORE
Our liturgical calendar offers openings throughout the year to pause, reflect upon and renew our spiritual lives. The opportunity to make an interior Lenten journey begins this year on Ash Wednesday, March 1st.
Lent is a time for reflection and preparation for Easter as we contemplate Christ’s forty days of withdrawal and sacrifice in the desert prior to his crucifixion. Lent provides a portal to an intentional sacred season with the invitation to consciously connect with the Divine Presence within.
The spiritual commitment to enter into sacred internal space for prayer, contemplation, and journaling each day throughout the Lenten season provides the possibility for spiritual transformation and renewal with Easter’s arrival, and the celebration of Christ’s Resurrection. You’re invited to select a pocket-sized, blank book/journal to designate as your Lenten Journey Logbook. It will serve as a sacred container for your spiritual insights and reveal pathways for self-discovery. READ MORE
I’ve been giving a great deal of thought to the nature of the passage of time. Recently an old addage has become truth for me. It’s been said,
The older one becomes, the faster time passes.”
When I recall the summer days of my childhood, time seemed to stretch far beyond the limits of the rising and setting of the sun. There was a quality of spaciousness within each hour that allowed my imagination unbridled freedom to explore my inner and outer worlds.
An avid reader, I recall how my girlhood passion for books afforded the luxury to embrace and know the characters within the pages. They became my cherished and blessed companions.
One of my most cherished possessions is a Christmas gift from my parents, a Grossett and Dunlap, 1947, illustrated edition of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved classic, Little Women. The pages have yellowed and the dust jacket disappeared years ago, but Marmee, Jo, Amy and the others are still as vibrant and alive to me as when I first read the story in 1957, when I was ten. There have been new editions of Little Women since that time, and the book continues to inspire hearts and minds. READ MORE