Attention is the beginning of contemplation, or rather its necessary condition: for, through attention, God comes close and reveals Himself to the mind. Attention is serenity of the mind, or rather it’s standing firmly planted and not wandering, through the gift of God’s mercy. —Nicephorus the Solitary (from Center for Action and Contemplation, Richard Rohr Daily Meditation: Contemplative Prayer is Nothing New email on February 27, 2023)
“…led [Dacher] deeper and deeper into investigating the primary experience of awe in human life — moments when we have a sense of wonder, an experience of mystery, that transcends our understanding. These, it turns out, are as common in human life globally as they are measurably health-giving and immunity-boosting. They bring us together with others, again and again. They bring our nervous system, and heartbeat, and breath into sync — and even into sync with other bodies around us. This science is a wildly accessible, minute-to-minute invitation to practice a common human experience that is literally life-giving, and nourishing, and actively good for this world of pain and promise that we inhabit.” —from https://onbeing.org/programs/dacher-keltner-the-thrilling-new-science-of-awe/
A friend just sent me a message to say “I thought of you and your wonderful pictures when I listened to this podcast…had to share!”
I am truly touched–for another to see awe in my photographs means that I have communicated from my heart. Who could ask for more?
It’s the birthday of Pre-Raphaelite poet Christina Rossetti, born in London in 1830.
She published her most famous collection, Goblin Market and Other Poems (1862), when she was 31 years old. And most people today would probably recognize one of her poems as a well-known Christmas carol.
In the bleak midwinter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter
–From The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor, December 5, 2022
Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver, Source of all that is and that shall be, Father and Mother of us all, Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echo through the universe! The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world! Your heavenly will be done by all created beings! Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us. In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us. In times of temptation and test, strengthen us. From trials too great to endure, spare us. From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and for ever. Amen.
– The New Zealand Book of Prayer | He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa
What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love—
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
—Lynn Ungar 3/11/20 (Read in Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation From the Center for Action and Contemplation, July 11, 2020)
“Chrysalises both inspire and baffle me. The thought that a caterpillar can crawl into a sac made of its own body and dissolve its form and come out as a butterfly is a cliched image of transformation, but holy crap. Stop for a moment and really think about that. Does the caterpillar know this is going to happen? If it does that shows some tremendous trust. If it doesn’t, then that shows some incredible courage. It just hangs out there, isolating itself from the rest of the world and changing in ways it can never understand.”