Culture of Imagination

connecting spirituality to everyday life

Tag: humility

What Will Draw Us Together?

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I find that humility is one of the most uncommon traits to live by in the twenty-first century.  There is so much talk these days of theology, but where is the humility in it all.  Humility is the embodiment of love and life.  Humility is a manifestation of our true self.

In my own experience, I am coming to see how important humility is to community.  Without community, there is really no need for humility.  And maybe that is why humility is so rare in our time because community is hard to find in a world of individualism.  Our individualism masks over our brokenness leaving us dishonest, distracted and arrogant a lot of the time.

Did the life of Jesus demonstrate brokenness and humility or did it represent power and wealth?  I think a lot of us would like to think that Jesus represented power and wealth, but this is not true.  Jesus came to us representing compassion, vulnerability, humility, brokenness and a nonjudgmental spirituality.  Jesus lived in a particular place in community with others as this shaped him throughout his entire life.

A life of individualism forsakes the embodiment of community, humility, love and the deep bonds that draw us together in everyday life.  The humility of Jesus is what I am being called to as I struggle with my own woundedness, brokenness and pride.  I find myself asking the question, “Where is the humility of love within me?”  It is always present within me, but is sometimes hard to find because I bury it with my individualistic pride which narrows my scope on life to blindness and arrogance.

  •  Christ’s whole life was a demonstration of humility

The birth, life and death of Jesus all demonstrate his brokenness in multiple ways.  He was poor, unrecognizable, rejected, persecuted, suffered pain, came from the most unlikely of places.  Christ’s whole life was a demonstration of humility and brokenness.

  •  Our perceived perceptions

Most of us probably would not have recognized Jesus in his day if we saw him.  He was too common and too broken to be recognized.  Our preconceived perceptions sometimes want Christ to be something he is not.

  •  Unfamiliar to our Western forms of spirituality

He most likely would not fit our picture of a good American.  He was too weak for that.  His brokenness and humility are unfamiliar to our Western forms of spirituality.

  •  Discovering life through our brokenness together

As we embrace humility and authenticity toward one another, we begin to grasp the communal imagination.  Our imaginations become stirred with new ways to live out the gospel in our relationships with one another in the parish. We begin to discover life through our brokenness together.

  •  Taking on a humility that connects us relationally

We start helping others through the pain of living.  We take on a humility that connects us relationally.

  •  We are all wounded

June Ellis, who embraced a Quaker spirituality of authenticity says: “We are all wounded; we all feel inadequate and ashamed; we all struggle.  But this is part of the human condition; it draws us together, helps us to find our connectedness.”

Do you think that our woundedness and struggles throughout life draw us together or apart?

http://www.amazon.com/Communal-Imagination-Finding-Share-Together/dp/1495487423/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429963483&sr=8-1&keywords=the+communal+imagination

Have We Become Addicted to Our Comfort Zones?

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I have found myself trapped inside of my comfort zone so many times in my life.  It seems I have an addiction to my own comfort.  Kind of sounds weird.  But I am learning the wisdom of risk and the dangers of being addicted to my individualistic comfort zone.

Working my way out of my comfort zone is difficult work for sure.  But it is worth the risk involved.  It seem that we are taught to pursue the construction of our comfort zones in our North American lifestyles.  Maybe this is what freedom is to us.  I find myself not believing in it anymore.

  •  Living on the ground in humility

We need to learn how to risk our lives in the parish.  Our everyday lives need to embrace the practice of living on the ground in humility towards one another.  Nothing is scarier than the practice of humility, because in humility we lose all our techniques of control and escapism.  We are pushed out of our comfort zones.

  •  New experiments around local ways of living relationally

Our relationships become fashioned by a new paradigm of valuing one another’s humanity.  We can no longer walk past someone without regard for their wellbeing.  This calls us to a new and disturbing degree of risk that will shake us to the core of who we are.  This calls for new experiments around local ways of living relationally.

  •  Risk is about stepping into the unknown

Risk is about stepping into the unknown and being shaped by what we experience there.  It is more mysterious than anything we have ever known and shatters all our propositions of preconceived ideas.  The communal imagination lives by this kind of risk.  It takes humility to live into authentic risk as a way of life.  Is this not the call of Christ in the gospels?

  •  Honoring and valuing our neighbor

How does change take place within us?  It takes place through relational practice in the parish.  We are shaped through the ongoing practice of humility toward one another.  We are shaped when we risk seeing the humanity in another.  We are shaped when we honor and value our neighbor.

  •  Having some empathy for others

We need the humility to risk just being in our humanity and having some empathy for others who seem different from us.  We need to risk seeing the commonality in one another.  We need the humility to risk opening our lives to others relationally and trusting one another.

  •  Relationships don’t work without humility

Relationships don’t work without the risk of humility.  Our imaginations are inspired by the intuition and creativity that risk cultivates within us.  We need to cultivate the imagination to live into relationships differently than those we have known in the past.

  •  Relationships need gratitude not contempt

Relationships are to be valued and not taken advantage of.  Relationships need gratitude not contempt.  Relationships need honor not objectification.  To have a new imagination for relationships involves risk, and it takes a lot of humility to sustain them.

  •  Risking new ways of being and doing

Mark Scandrette notes, “If we want to change, we have to risk new ways of being and doing …”

How can we risk more in our lives?

http://www.amazon.com/Communal-Imagination-Finding-Share-Together/dp/1495487423/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429024286&sr=8-1&keywords=the+communal+imagination

8 Ways To Hold Our Powerlessness With Humility

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I have learned that colonialism and powerlessness do not go together.  Why is colonialism so common in North America?  Well maybe because the foundations of our country started through the violent colonialism of the Native people to take their land by massive murder all in the name of God.  Pretty pathetic!

Because of colonialism we cannot seem to embody an authentic humility of powerlessness, listening, solidarity and compassion.  Where have we gone wrong?  I lament of what I have seen in this wealthy, exploitive country of North America where the dream is to be powerful, popular and proud in the name of God.

I have struggled to live in my powerlessness myself as I encounter a church that tells me to be arrogant, judgmental and colonial.  But I am finding that the church doesn’t practice the ways of Jesus most of the time.  They are too concerned with their wealth and keeping the status quo under control.

I am coming to understand that Jesus lived in a powerlessness.  He lived in humility, in simplicity as a poor man who had really nothing.  It would be great if we learned to honor the humility, powerlessness and simplicity of Jesus instead of some American Dream in the name of God.

If you are concerned about this, here are 8 ways we can learn to hold our powerlessness with humility.

1. Come to a place of acceptance of our powerlessness

We hate powerlessness.  We want to be powerful people, but the truth is that we all partake of the cup of our own powerlessness.  Humility is manifested when we embrace our powerlessness in the parish.  In fact, there is no clearer manifestation of humility.

2. Humble ourselves before each other

Our powerlessness is where relational revelations happen as we learn to humble ourselves before one another in everyday life.  Powerlessness reveals to us that the control we try so hard to hold onto is just an illusion.  We cannot control life, not even our lives.

3. Give up the illusion of our control

We cannot control others.  We cannot control the local context we live in.  Why do we hold onto control?  Maybe we are too insecure to embrace our own powerlessness.

4. Do not resent our powerlessness

Henri J.M. Nouwen writes, “What keeps us from opening ourselves to the reality of the world?  Could it be that we cannot accept our powerlessness and are only willing to see those wounds that we can heal?  Could it be that we do not want to give up our illusion that we are masters over our world and, therefore, create our own Disneyland where we can make ourselves believe that all events of life are safely under control?  Could it be that our blindness and deafness are signs of our own resistance to acknowledging that we are not the Lord of the Universe?  It is hard to allow these questions to go beyond the level of rhetoric and to really sense in our innermost self how much we resent our powerlessness.

5. Let go of all “ministry” techniques

Our Downtown Neighborhood Fellowship embraced our powerlessness by letting go of the controlled meeting spaces we once occupied.  We had to let go of the “ministry” technique of impressive use of language and attractional growth.  We have suffered criticism for seemingly choosing to “destroy” what we once created.  The truth is we embraced powerlessness when we stepped into a new and untried theology of place.

6. Come to an awareness that everything is a gift

Within that powerlessness, we’ve discovered that we no longer have control over our embodied expression together and the network of relationships that develop through it.  Our powerlessness has shown us everything is a gift.  It is organic and destroys the illusion of control.  Our neighborhood has showed us our powerlessness through the pain and difficulties we experience in everyday life together.

7. Embody a relational truth that is authentic and honest

We can no longer talk to one another in clichés and propositions.  Our local context and our relationships demand of us so much more truth than that.  We are learning to embody a relational truth that is authentic and honest.  Our powerlessness moves us out of the status quo.

8. Become friends with our powerlessness

We have learned to become friends with our powerlessness because it will not go away.  It comes with the territory of a holistic, embodied counterculture.  We cannot escape our powerlessness.  So we must embrace it with humility.

Do you fear your own powerlessness?

http://www.amazon.com/Communal-Imagination-Finding-Share-Together/dp/1495487423/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428862026&sr=8-1&keywords=the+communal+imagination

Humility and Vulnerability – Quotes from The Communal Imagination: Finding a Way to Share Life Together

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  • Having the imagination to see Christ in others

“Loving others by seeing the value and mystery in and through them is about having the imagination to see Christ in others.  This is a radical thought!  Does Christ really live in each and every one of us even if we have not ‘accepted’ Christ in our lives?  I think he does in some mysterious way that we cannot understand.  I believe there are dimensions of Christ that live in all of us.  How could they not?  We are created in his image.  Not some people but all people…”

  • The different faces of God

“The different faces of God are manifested through our relationships.  Our understanding of God is a constant evolving process throughout our entire lives.  We learn of God relationally through others in the context of everyday life together.  The face-to-face interaction between us manifest relational revelations in the parish.  What a wonderful thought that is!  I can find Christ in you just as you can find Christ in me.  Without being in relationship it is hard to understand Christ in the particulars of everyday life.  So we need to make space for one another and be generous with our time.  Being with others as a way to demonstrate love could unleash relational miracles just waiting to happen among us.”

  • We need to unlearn so many things

“We need to unlearn so many things that we have practiced for so many years that have left us disillusioned.  We need to unlearn the practice of being in a relationship with others that is void of risk and humility.”

  • A powerlessness of humility and vulnerability

“The communal imagination takes on a powerlessness of humility and vulnerability in the place it inhabits.  It listens to its place in holistic ways.  It respects the value of the people who live there…”

  • To have respect for one another

“Humility and honesty are core to our spiritual development as the body of Christ in everyday life.  They help us to get along in life, to have respect for one another.  We need to embrace them by our own choosing before life crushes us and we are left limping and bleeding from the wounds of our own making.”

  • A spirit of gratitude

“Listening is intertwined with a spirit of gratitude.  We cannot embrace life as a gift if we cannot listen to all the subsidiaries of life in and around us.  We learn to notice things that would be unnoticeable when we practice gratitude together…”

  • A life of simplicity

“What will people think if we live a life of simplicity?  We might stand out too much and become something other than the status quo.  But it is worth the risk.  When we embrace simplicity, it will shape us in ways we cannot understand.  Simplicity redefines everyday life and all our relationships.  It helps us to become integrated with the communal imagination…”

  • Financial wealth, affluence, and power

“We prefer to focus on all the things that promote financial wealth, affluence, and power, while focusing much less on what promotes true life together…”

  • Individualism, fragmentation, and loneliness

“How can we be the body of Christ together in the day-to-day of life despite the individualism, fragmentation, and loneliness we all experience at times?”

Which quote stands out to you?

http://www.amazon.com/Communal-Imagination-Finding-Share-Together/dp/1495487423/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1425650383&sr=8-1&keywords=the+communal+imagination

Practicing the Way of Jesus

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Vulnerability and humility are things that I have to work at.  These are not easy values to embody, especially in a masculine culture of domination, control and technique.  But I truly believe that the heart of the gospel is complete vulnerability in everyday life.  Without vulnerability and humility, we cannot seek God.

As I live my life, I am desiring to have an openness to vulnerability and humility.  It seems to me that Jesus was extremely vulnerable and embodied humility in his lifetime.  And we are all called to do the same.  This is a way of life where we can bless the world we live in.

Here is a longing of my soul to embrace this vulnerability and humility:

Give us vulnerability so that we can be an expression of love in the world.  Let our egos yield to the deep humility within each of us.  Help us to see the power in vulnerability and humility.  Convince us that this is life-giving and will bring us so much freedom.

We do not want to be enslaved anymore by our own ignorance and pride.  Give us a spirit of openness, curiosity and wonder.  We long for this posture within us to explore greater depths of vulnerability.  Show us your vulnerability and humility.

This is the cry of our souls.  We long for this more than American progress.  We long for this more than anything else.  Help us to have the courage to live in humility and not be afraid.

  •  Demonstrating vulnerability

The body of Christ has to demonstrate vulnerability within our network of relationships in the parish.  Without the humility of vulnerability, there will be very little authentic relationship between us.  There will be very little human connection in everyday life.  We usually don’t like to share our pain, our brokenness, our struggles, our fears, our insecurities, our weaknesses, or our cluelessness.

  •  Some things we do not like to admit

We do not like to admit that our perceptions of things might be wrong.  We do not like to admit that we feel incomplete even though we have faith in God.  We do not like to admit that we need to let go of trying to control life and that we have trust issues.  We do not like to admit that sometimes we have no desire for God at all.

  •  The communal imagination needs vulnerability

We sometimes do not like to learn from or listen to others.  There is a real problem in our relationships if we cannot live into a freedom that promotes vulnerability.  The communal imagination needs vulnerability to be alive among us.

  •  Having our brokenness exposed

Innovative local practitioner Mark Scandrette states so clearly, “The kind of belonging and transformation that is promised through practicing the way of Jesus requires us to be vulnerable with each other and to work through the difficulties that result from having our brokenness exposed.

  •  A demonstration of humility

We are shaped through how we practice vulnerability with one another.  The way of Jesus leads us there.  We realize that we need one another.  Our weakness and brokenness become revealed through our relationships in the parish.  Our spirituality becomes no longer a show of piety, but instead becomes a demonstration of humility through practicing vulnerability in everyday life.

  •  Where there is vulnerability, there is humility

Where there is vulnerability, there is humility.  Where there is humility, the life of Christ is living within us.  It can be hard to let ourselves be exposed for who we really are in all of our pain, but it is a practice that the body of Christ must take seriously if we want to be relational in the local context we inhabit.

  •  When we are weak, we are strong

“Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

  •  There is no colonialism with vulnerability

When we demonstrate some humility and practice vulnerability with one anothe, that is when we are most fully walking in the Spirit of Christ.  When we are weak and vulnerable, that is when we experience God’s power within us.  A theology of place can only be lived into through vulnerability.  There is no colonialism with vulnerability because it will help us not to impose our way of life on anyone and lead us instead through living into our questions about the mystery of life.

  •  There is no colonialism with humility

There is no colonialism with humility because it will lead us into deeper honesty around connecting with others through our struggles.  There is no colonialism when we learn to listen and expose our own brokenness to others through our vulnerability.  The place we inhabit will require that we be vulnerable if we want to stay there for any length of time.  Our relationships will demand it if we seek to live in humility with one another.

How can we show vulnerability in our spirituality together?

http://www.amazon.com/Communal-Imagination-Finding-Share-Together/dp/1495487423/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1418401713&sr=8-1&keywords=the+communal+imagination+finding+a+way+to+share+life+together

Top 10 Ways to Practice Humility in Your Life

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Humility seems to be one of the most difficult paths to embody as we live out our spirituality in the twenty-first century.  It seems Jesus lived with a deep sense of humility.  Humility is very mysterious and often neglected.  Without humility, we cannot show love or compassion to others in everyday life.

I want my life to be an embodiment of the humility of Jesus.  Is this even possible in a world of noise, consumerism and objectification?  I don’t know, but it is worth the risk to value this way of embodiment.  The religiosity of Western life seems to know very little of what Jesus taught about humility.

Here are 10 ways that I think we can learn to practice an embodiment of humility in our time:

1. Practice Honesty.  Honesty with ourselves, others and God is foundational for living life.  When we become honest and live truthfully, we cultivate a sense of humility within ourselves.  It is something that happens naturally as we equate truth with honesty.  We are always being led by God to become more honest in our lives.

2. Practice Vulnerability.  Vulnerability is such a neglected value in our time especially among men.  But vulnerability is essential in our communion with God and one another in everyday life.  Without vulnerability, we will go around judging everyone in our arrogance and miss the ways of humility.

3. Become a Local Practitioner in the Place You Live.  It takes humility to become rooted in a place over time.  Our humility will help us to make the ongoing decision to not follow the narrative of upward mobility so common in our society.  We will pursue community in the place we live and this will guide our lives instead.

4. Practice Gratitude.  Humility and gratitude are intertwined in so many ways.  Without humility, we cannot practice gratitude.  Gratitude is a redemptive practice that allows us to find some sense of peace in our lives.

5. Practice Silence and Solitude.  Silence and solitude bear the values of humility in our lives.  We learn to talk less, impose our ways less and take care of ourselves better.  Silence and solitude teaches us the ways of seeking God in humility.

6. Practice Listening.  Listening is at the core of humility.  Listening is the way of the spirit.  Listening helps us to live in community with others.

7. Practice Gentleness.  Humility is gentle.  Jesus practiced gentleness in the world.  Our gentleness is the way of humility.

8. Practice Neighborliness.  Humility teaches us neighborliness.  This is following in the path of what Jesus taught about loving our neighbors as we love ourselves.  This could revolutionize our lives.

9. Practice Compassion.  Compassion is to bear with the suffering of another and be present to them.  Compassion leads us into humility in everyday life.  We learn to see the commonalities with another not our differences.

10. Practice Living in the Questions.  When we live in our questions, we live in humility.  Our humility is cultivated because all the easy answers are gone.  Our questions push us to live more authentically.

How can we live our way into humility as a core of our identity?

http://www.amazon.com/Communal-Imagination-Finding-Share-Together/dp/1495487423/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415977892&sr=8-1&keywords=the+communal+imagination

Humility, Learning, Listening – Excerpt from my book – The Communal Imagination: Finding a Way to Share Life Together – Offered for FREE this week on Kindle!

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  •  Submitting to one another

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21). 

  •  Honoring both genders equally

We need to submit to and learn from one another in the parish.  We should honor both genders equally and take a posture of reverence and learning from both the women and the men in our lives.  Oftentimes women are better practitioners of relational care in a local context than men are.

  •  Making the mistake of saying we can only learn from men

So we must not make the mistake of saying we can only learn from men.  We also need to take a posture of reverence and learning from both the elderly and the children among us.  The women, men, and children in our lives all influence our response to life through the difficult and not-so-difficult moments of everyday life.

  •  Embracing a humility that learns from others

There is so much these relationships can teach us.  We need to embrace a humility that learns from others.  Learning from others cultivates our responsibility of agency, our ownership to take meaningful action, as human beings in the parish.  Learning from others constantly cultivates the communal imagination.

  •  Others have something important to call out of me, to support in me

As Benedictine Joan Chittister says, “Humility is simply a basic awareness of my relationship to the world and my connectedness to all its circumstances.  It is the acceptance of relationships with others, not only for who they are but also for who I am.  I do not interact with others to get something out of it; I make my way with all the others in my life because each of them has something important to call out of me, to support in me, to bring to fruit a vision of God in my life.

  • Holding our relationships with a posture of learning

Without a humility that is constantly learning from the gifts of others, we are dysfunctional.  There is so much that can be teased out of us as a result of our relationships in the parish.  Our relationships become so much more important in shaping us when we hold them with a posture of learning.  When we see our relationships through the lens of humility we begin to learn from one another in so many ways.

  •  Our relationships help us learn about God

Our relationships help us to learn about God.  God is most clearly communicated to our senses in ways we can understand through one another. We will all be better off.  When men, women and children learn to see themselves as created equally in God’s image and start to learn from one another, we will live out a more holistic spirituality together.

  •  Listening is intertwined with learning

We cannot embrace a humility in which we are continually learning from others without a listening spirit.  There can be no learning from others without listening to one another.  Listening is intertwined with learning.  We have to really believe that we have much to learn from others with all our commonality and diversity.

What are some of the ways you are learning from others in your life?

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Why Has Our Woundedness Left Us Isolated Instead of Connected?

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The longer I live, the more I experience my own woundedness around the dreams I have held onto that haven’t played out in the way I had wished.  One response in my life to this has been anger.  This has not helped and often times has made things worse.

Sometimes I have become apathetic where I do not care anymore losing interest in the process.  This is so easy to do.  Distractions are everywhere I look and not difficult to find in our mobile technological society.  My own struggle with distractions usually leads me to apathy over my woundeness and brokenness.

But it seems I am learning gratitude also.  In this past year of my life, God is showing me a path of gratitude to heal my woundedness.  I am becoming free and alive.  I am learning and growing.  I am happy to receive the gift of life just as it is.

Realizing that pain is not something I have to hide, I am leaning to be more honest in my brokenness and woundedness that I am processing within me.  These can be gifts that connect me to others through vulnerability, compassion, solidarity and humility.  I can experience redemption through my own honesty around wondedness.

Through my woundedness, God is shaping me to become an expression of compassion to the world around me in the place I live.  I do not have to be ashamed or afraid anymore.  I know God is with me, living through me, carrying me through the storms, struggles and gifts of life.

I am usually surprised with how beautiful God has become to me.  I find in God my strength to persevere through the difficulties of life when all around me seem to crumble and fall apart.  God is revealing more of the good life to me through community, through humility, through love.  At the age of forty one, I am on my way to a more authentic way of being in the world and am working out what life is to me as I relate to others.

  •  Responding to life in humility toward one another

We all feel the pain of brokenness.  If we don’t, we are not being authentic.  Life can be extremely difficult at times and we need to respond to life in humility toward one another. We need to be gentle in our brokenness.

  •  Our woundedness and brokenness can bring us together

Christ lives through our brokenness so we need not fear it.  Our lives should not be consumed with our brokenness, but should be lived in an authentic humility in everyday life.  Our woundedness and brokenness are common to us all and everyone knows struggle.  But these are the things that can bring us together if we allow humility to flourish and connect us instead of pull us away from one another.

How can we experience our woundedness as something that connects us to one another rather than pulling us apart?

http://www.amazon.com/The-Communal-Imagination-Finding-Together/dp/1495487423/ref=pd_sim_b_11?ie=UTF8&refRID=0VNCC12WD34KDP28GWNS

What Keeps Us From Listening to the Mysteries of Life?

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It has been so difficult to find myself apart from the dominant narratives of the entertainment culture and consumerism of North America.  I have been learning to live with more simplicity and hope.  I am learning to see Jesus in the poor and marginalized around me.  Sometimes this is too much for me and I do not have an openness to the mysteries of life.

Listening is becoming sacred to me as I practice slowing down to consciously breathe in and out through each day.  Centering myself on discovery, wisdom, love, grace, humility and kindness has become a path of life for me.  Allowing my desires to shape what I love is leading me to be my true self in many ways.  I am learning to love and not fear the difficulties of life.

Whatever God may be to me today, I hope I can have the strength to listen and not be afraid of the revelations that will push me to have courage in the midst of a culture of fear.  My sense of awareness is forming in me a deeper way of love for the world.  My compassion is something that I hold onto in everyday life.

  •  Cluttered with fragmentation, distractions and disembodied practice

We need the mystical imagination to see with a sense of clarity.  Our seeing is sometimes so cluttered with fragmentation, distractions, disembodied practice and default ways of knowing.  We have often times become focused on things that don’t matter and our seeing has turned to blindness.  Most of the time we don’t even know what is happening and this goes on unconsciously within us.

  •  Becoming more mindful and aware

The mystical imagination calls to us from the hills to wake up and run toward something more holistic and life-giving.  The mystical imagination teaches us to see with the eyes of a mystic.  We become more mindful and aware.  We become more loving and full of grace.

  •  Putting us into a posture of listening

We develop more of a longing for the God of mystery.  We become filled with wonder.  We become passionate about the parish.  Seeing with a sense of clarity puts us into a posture of listening.

  •  Living with an openness to revelation and discovery

Seeing with a sense of clarity gives us imagination for the body of Christ in everyday life.  As we practice more and more, God slowly reveals more to us of the mysterious nature of life.  But these revelations do not come so fast, they come very slow.  We cannot force them, but we must live with an openness in a way that we can listen when we discover something of their nature.

  •  Longing to discover relational revelations within us and around us

This is the purpose of the body of Christ in the parish.  We should always be longing to discover the relational revelations within us and around us all of the time.  There is nothing like an intuitive discovery of relational wisdom in the place we care about and inhabit.

How can we live with an openness to revelation and discovery in everyday life?

http://www.amazon.com/Communal-Imagination-Finding-Share-Together/dp/1495487423/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1403966386&sr=1-1&keywords=the+communal+imagination

Why Do We Get Caught Up Trying to Change the World?

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Today I want to be faithfully present to what is right in front of me.  I am done with trying to change the world.  Losing myself to a way of relational love, doing the small things that are simple, letting go of control, this is where I am being shaped within.  These things have been difficult because sometimes I am left misunderstood, unacknowledged and frustrated.

But I am coming to understand that there is power in community, there is power in small acts of love, there is power in humility, there is power in vulnerability.  I am afraid to give my life to these things sometimes.  After many years of struggling to be myself, I am learning to have serenity, compassion, grace and gratitude.  I am learning to be my true self.

As I breathe today the common air we all share, I want to live face-to-face with real life people in real life contexts in the place I live.  This neighborhood where I have rooted my life this past decade has become a place of practice of love, grace and humility.  I have the opportunity to love someone today who I may see tomorrow, next week, a month from now.  My compassion to listen will keep me from harming the world I live in.

These are the things I want to focus on today as I have a good 24 hours to live into who I am in the present moment.  These 168 hours that have been given to me this week will be hours of learning to love.  I am drawn out of my pride and into vulnerability.  I am drawn out of my confusion and into compassion.

This world will not discourage me, even though I cannot change it.  I will let it be and just love it.  I will love others and find some power in that.

  •  Stop trying to change or fix others

We need to stop trying to change or fix others.  This is the call of being present to others out of love for them.  Presence has an attentiveness to it.  We need to be present to one another as friends who care deeply and love.  We will have to let go of some control.

  •  Getting down to what is right in front of us

We will have to let go of the cliché that we can “change the world.”  This vision is too big, too abstract.  Let’s get down to what is right in front of us: real people in real life contexts who live in our neighborhood.  These are the people we are called to love and become faithfully present to relationally.

  •  Faithful presence is slow, organic, face-to-face

Faithful presence takes time.  It is slow.  It is organic.  It is not a project or program.  It is real face-to-face relationship in the context of everyday life together.  This is such a challenge and this relational presence will test our faith as the body of Christ.

How can we stop trying to change the world and become faithfully present to what is right in front of us?

http://www.amazon.com/Communal-Imagination-Finding-Share-Together/dp/1495487423/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1403621065&sr=1-1&keywords=the+communal+imagination