“May you be content knowing you are a child of God.”St. Thérèse de Lisieux
A friend reached out this a.m. after reading St Therese’s prayer. She has lost both her parents in the last few months. We chatted a bit about grief and asking for strength. She commented she wasn’t sure who she was talking to in her head, but that traditional beliefs did not have a presence in her life right now.
Completely understandable, we don’t feel very spirited in the wilderness.
It got me to thinking…
Faith. Does it matter what you are having faith in, or just that you are choosing to believe?
And which feels better right now– to project hope into a future positive possibility or to fear the worst?
Faith is seeing possibilities, not just problems. (What is a problem solver anyway? I think it’s just someone that believes in possible solutions.)
What does this phrase mean? ‘Quit your barking- ignore your pain and responsibilities to self and family and community and just be content?’ Hmmm. It has the potential to feel a bit like a wrist slap. And what if we aren’t feeling much right now, other than the stress of our own survival out here in the wilderness. We have basic needs that demand our attention, that perhaps must come ahead of our contemplative time.
I think that what the 24 year old little flower girl saint- who was determined to help others feeling the same distress she had felt in her life- might have meant was: “May you be content.” Period. Separate sentence; “(Also,) Know you are a child of God.” Or, in modern language;
“The grass is as green as you see it to be, so try seeing the green right underfoot, and rest in it. You will likely feel better.” And, “You are so loved. Not for how much you put out or perform, but just because. This is meant to lighten your load. Please just know this. Maybe even try feeling it.”
This concept here feels quite Taoist to me, where peace is best cultivated by being, not doing. Below are a few excerpts from the Tao de Ching, a beautiful meditative Taoist scripture filled with simple truths and directives.
Do you have the patience to wait
til your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving til the right action arises by itself?
The Master doesn’t seek fulfillment.
Not seeking, not expecting,
she is present, and can welcome all things.
“When there is no desire,
all things are at peace.”
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
Can you sense the same message from the little flower saint here? Try breathing and being still with this notion, and see what arises. With practice you may begin to find the peace you have been looking for.
This Week's Muse:
This week, this day, this breath is precious. As is this blessing, left behind by a young woman who promised on her death bed to spend her days in heaven comforting those of us in the wilderness of life on earth. Now is the time to pause, and let this blessing settle into your bones. Rest, digest, and smile a smile of gentle optimism. Take five minutes to breathe this in.
This Week's Meditation:
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