Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Grief and Love

The Grief we experience
at significant losses in our lives
may always be with us,
but through it all,
we can find help
through Love.

Initially, we need to move to a state of
acceptance.
As with every difficult situation,
acceptance is an imperative first step
to making our way healthfully.

When we resist what is,
we create more suffering and angst.
We often become frantic, obsessive and unreasonable.

Acceptance isn’t a matter of giving in
or giving up.
It is a matter of acknowledging the truth of the circumstance
so that better, wiser choices can be emerge.

Acceptance allows us to be more reasonable.
And sometimes the reasonable thing to do
is simply feel all the feelings that come with loss,
as they are all a normal part of the grief journey.

Trying to shut down the painful feelings experienced in grief
shuts down ALL of our feelings.

Then, we need to reside in the precious present.
When we start projecting out in time
all that might happen,
we create anxiety and stress
over something that is not, actually, happening.

When we are most upset about a situation
is when we start imagining all the possible outcomes of it.
When we bring ourselves back into the present moment,
We can feel Love here and now.

Much of the turmoil in grief
is caused when we worry about what might happen in the future
 or when we try to hold on to what happened in the past.
Both of these behaviors contaminate the present moment,
making it much more difficult
to address and resolve current issues.

Finally we need to find gratitude.
We can and should recount our many blessings in life,
for which we need to be grateful.

The harder and potentially more powerful practice
is being grateful for the hard stuff.
This requires turning our attention
to what this experience is strengthening in us,
growing or revealing within.

Shifting to gratitude requires stepping deeper into trust
and faith
that the Spirit will see us through the experience.

Grief is a result of love,
and it can be a gateway
to love again,
fully and deeply,
when we accept what is,
when we live in the precious present moment,
when we feel grateful for the gift of life.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Gone Astray

In the Early Church,
the primary role of leaders/ministers
was Community formation, nurturing, and growth.

Table liturgies
were held in homes, etc.
with the host/hostess
generally in charge of the meal/celebration.

There was no necessary link/mandate
between community leadership
and conducting the home liturgies.

Today,
the primary role
of Ordained Clergy
seems centered on
Officiating at the table liturgies,
removed from the homes of the faithful
into official buildings,
with little, if any,
time or energy or interest
in forming, nurturing, or growing
Community.

Instead of helping to transform people,
Church ministry is focused on transforming bread.

Something wrong with this picture?


Monday, April 23, 2018

Church

Church
should not be about
providing the answers
to people's faith questions,
instead encouraging
and helping them
to live the questions.

(Jesus asked more questions
than he answered.)

Church
should not be about
a building
or a hierarchical organization,
instead connoting
a simple gathering (ekklesia)
of people
seeking spiritual growth
and nourishment.

(Why have we moved the Sacred Table
so far out of our homes?)

Church
should not be
a tower of babel
requiring everyone
to do things the same way,
instead celebrating creation’s diversity,
learning from others’ varied life experiences.

(Inclusivity does not require conformity.)

Church
should be
less about externals
(signs of piety, etc.)
and
more about internals
(spiritual growth, nurturing, and transformation).

Church
should be less about earning the next life
and more about finding Joy in this life.

Church
should not exist
for the benefit of its clergy,
instead striving to help
any and all needy of the world.

(We need no intermediaries
twixt us and our creator.)

Church
should be
about the simple life and teachings of Jesus,
less about
a regal Christ.

We are Church
or
should be.