Archives for 2006

Puzzle v. Mystery

“Puzzles are to be solved, but mysteries are to be experienced.” by Robert McAfee Brown

Abraham Joshua Heschel on Spirituality

    Spirituality is life lived in the continuous presence of the divine.

Audible Sacraments — N.T. Wright

    It is also important to remind preachers that, just as some of the Reformers spoke of the sacraments as God’s “visible words”, so sermons are supposed to be “audible sacraments.” — N.T. Wright, The Last Word: Beyond the Bible Wars to a New Understanding of the Authority of Scripture

Jewish Sabbath Prayer

    Days Pass,
    Years vanish,
    And we walk sightless among miracles.


In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength. (Isaiah 30:15, NRSV)

Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. (Jer 6:16, NRSV)

Victor Frankl Quote

    Between stimulus and response, there is a space.
    In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response.
    In our response lies our growth and freedom.

    ~Victor Frankl~


Faith is a gift and not something that we have to think our way into! God is mystery, our attempts at understanding the Mystery can never lead us to a full and complete understanding – the more we know, the more we come to realize we can never know.

Spiritual Formation, of course, includes the intellectual knowledge of God but also has a strong emphasis on engaging the complete person – body, mind, emotions, and spirit. This holistic approach is focused towards providing one with tools and practices that will assist the individual in experiencing God and God’s love. The tools and practices help make us open and available to God. In this open state we are able to recognize and accept the gift of faith.

God acts – we receive.

    I hear my voice in the cry of the father who when asked by Jesus, “Do you believe?”, replies, “I believe, help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24, NRSV)

In the Garden!

    Inside me, my soul was drenched.
    Around me, even the desert grew green.
    —Kabir, Perfume of the Desert:
    Inspirations from Sufi Wisdom

I have spent most of my spare time in the last two weeks in the garden – clearing out and planting this year’s flowers. I am blessed to have an incredible canvas to work with in my backyard. In fact, the house sold itself when I walked into the back yard and saw beyond what already was to what would be!

    A two-tiered deck
    … lots of green ground cover
    … Trees, trees, trees
    … a little pond with a pump to create a small waterfall
    … a rose garden

Yes, the house certainly sold itself. The trees, decks, and pond provided a nice space to start with. The roses were beautiful, but there were no other flowers! Obviously, a space just waiting for my touch. A beautiful sea of green waiting to serve as the backdrop for flowers.

So, last year I planted on a small scale – watched the cycles of the sun and worked to learn the particulars of my space. This year I am more familiar with the space and am planting on a grander scale.

A feast for the senses.

What a space my garden is!

I walk out and immediately – my breathing slows. From my depths, an involuntary sigh arises releasing my tension.

    Calming me.

    Cleansing me.

    Grounding me.

    Refreshing my spirit.

My shoulders relax and my burdens fall to the ground.

Time stops. I am re-connected fully with the present moment and present place.


Oh most holy Father, I thank you most heartily for the gift of my garden and your abiding presence therein.