Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Ordering of Love

I read this poem the other day and find myself returning to it over and over. I love how the author, Madeleine L'Engle, put the words together so that the poem kind of flows in and out of itself. I'd like to share it with those of you who check in here once in a while. If you have not read anything my Madeleine, I recommend her books and poetry highly. This poem is from her book of poetry, "The Ordering of Love".

All That Matters

Out of nothing
out of the void
God created.

Out of
which is
But it is
not a what
or a where
or an opposite
of something
or anything.
Nothing is
we can know.
Does it matter
that matter's mind
must not mind
not knowing
doubly negatively
or in any way

O Mind
that alone knows
O Word
that speaks
to matter
speaks matter
from the unspoken:
that you mind
is all that matters.

Madeleine L'Engle

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


What is the Social Justice Tradition?

Throughout the history of the Church men and women have dedicated their lives to caring for the hungry, the poor, the naked, the alienated, the sick, and the imprisoned. The social justice tradition has always called the Church to work for equity in all human relations and social structures.

What are some factors that keep us from getting involved in social justice activities?

Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Senses As Thresholds of Soul

I read this the other day and thought of our little sub-group here and that maybe some of you would appreciate these words. This is from a lovely book, "Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom" by John O'Donohue. Jemila, it goes with what you posted in the larger discussion. (I love those synchronicities)

"The Senses as Thresholds of Soul

For too long, we have believed that the divine is outside us. This belief has strained our longing disastrously. This makes us lonely, since it is human longing that makes us holy. The most beautiful thing about us is our longing; this longing is spiritual and has great depth and wisdom. If you focus your longing on a far away divinity, you put an unfair strain on your longing. Thus it often happens that the longing reaches out toward the distant divine, but because it overstrains itself, it bends back to become cynicism, emptiness, or negativity. This can destroy your sensibility. Yet we do not need to put any strain whatever on our longing. If we believe that the body is in the soul and the soul is divine ground, then the presence of the divine is completely here, close with us.

Being in the soul, the body makes the senses thresholds of soul. When your senses open out to the world, the first presence they encounter is the presence of your soul. To be sensual or sensuous is to be in the presence of your own soul. Wordsworth, careful of the dignity of the senses, wrote that 'pleasure is the tribute we owe to our dignity as human beings'. This is a profoundly spiritual perspective. Your senses link you intimately with the divine within you and around you. Attunement to the senses can limber up the stiffened belief and gentle the hardened outlook. It can warm and heal the atrophied feelings that are the barriers exiling us from ourselves and separating us from eachother. Then we are no longer in exile from the wonderful harvest of divinity that is always secretly gathering within us. Though we will consider each of the senses specifically, it is important to acknowledge that the senses always work compositely. The senses overlap. We can see this in the different responses people have to color, which indicates that colors are not perceived merely visually. "

And he does go on to address the various senses specifically.... and beautifully, I might add.