Help me cross into the threshold of the present moment into wonder
What a week. What a week. The ephemeral nature of life. Our dear friend Cindy texted me this week that her cancer has returned. Spots on her lung and liver. What can we say but hope that this time the fight will clear it all out of her body. I lost a friend who drowned in a Montana lake. He’d gone fishing by himself and lost his boat. He went in to find it and lost his life. Yesterday we saw the spectacle in Charlottesville Virginia and the tragic death of a young woman who had a heart full of justice. Threats from a bullies and egomaniacs over North Korea and now Venezuela.
My only response is to take a moment to be mindful that the world is spinning as it has spun for 13 billion years, that the Spirit of the Divine is inside us, around us, before us and behind us as I pray for healing, for miracles,
to understand the mystery that is our lives and finally to give in and let the Spirit wash over me.
Today, here, in our community we share our wide and radiant threshold into our celebration. Each of you is a gift, a mystery, a whole universe of feeling and thought and life. You are an unbelievable gift and in so many ways I’m running fast to receive that gift – we all are.
There is so little time, so much to share. After all the busy-ness of our lives we come here for a couple of hours to share each other and to go home, renewed and hopeful. And so, let us begin.
Opening Meditation: Please close your eyes and be calm:
Many times today you will cross over a threshold You crossed over a threshold leaving the house a little while ago You crossed over a threshold to be here with our community. I hope I will catch a few of those times. To hold them. To remember that my life is in fact a continuous series of thresholds: From one breath to the next, from one moment to the next, from one thought to the next, from one action to the next
Help me appreciate how awesome this is. How every threshold I pass over gives me a chance to be really alive; to be aware of the enormous dimension we live within.
On this threshold: the entire past where we have been waiting to be created and the endless future rush to meet one another.
They take hold of one another and laugh like a mother and a daughter embracing in a field of flowers. They are so happy to discover themselves in the awareness of the human creature.
On the threshold, the present breaks all boundaries. It is a birth, a convergence, a coming together A fellowship with all time and space. We find You there. And we are found by You there.
Help me cross into the threshold of the present moment – into wonder, into Your grace: The “now place” where we all are, unfolding our lives, moment by moment. Let me live on the threshold, from one breath to the next, from one moment to the next, from one thought to the next, from one action to the next, from one celebration to the next
I love the first reading because it presents the story of the disciples who were crossing a monumental threshold – from lives led by Jesus into lives filled with the Spirit. They were now free to absorb what they had learned and responsible for the future direction of their community. They were filled with the Spirit and now would move into life, celebrating every day with the memory of Jesus and his profound challenge to love. The story has everything – sadness, fear, wind, fire and joy.
First Reading: The Holy Spirit at Pentecost
When the day of Pentecost came, a day that was supposed to be one of joy and celebration, the followers of Jesus were all together in that one place. They talked of the sadness they felt because Jesus was no longer among them to guide them. The felt fear for themselves knowing they had chosen a teacher who was considered dangerous by the authorities.
As they sat together they heard a sound like a rushing wind that swirled from heaven and filled the whole house where they were. Fire sprang from the ceiling of the house and separated into tongues of flame that came to rest on each of them. And they were filled with the Holy Spirit which lifted them up and gave them courage and the ability to speak from their hearts.
Then they rejoiced, remembering the words from the prophet: I will pour out My Spirit on all people; your daughters and sons will prophesy, your children will see visions, your elders will dream dreams. Women and men. I will pour out My Spirit in wind and flame and you will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below. You will be afraid no more.
The second reading is a favorite – Francis of Assisi’s poem to creation. Pope Francis follows in this tradition with his encyclical on the environment and at this time when we seem to be on the threshold of something very good or very bad I think it’s important to renew our love of the environment.
Canticle of Brother Sun:
Most high, all powerful Holy Spirit! All praise is yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing. To you, alone, Most High, do they belong. No mortal minds can grasp the wideness of your unconditional love.
Be praised, my Love, through all your creatures, especially through my beloved Brother Sun, who brings the day; and gives light to all of us.
And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor! Generous of Spirit he makes things grow. He is the essence of life giving light.
Be praised, through Sister Moon and the stars; in the heavens you have made them, precious and beautiful, the divine feminine who light our way on the darkest nights. They guide us in the night on dark seas and watch over us and provide the vision of a million glowing lights.
Be praised through Brothers Wind and Air, and clouds and storms, and all the weather, through which you give your creatures sustenance.
Be praised through Sister Water; she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure. She makes a joyful noise, laughing and gurgling in deep waters of the ocean, in mountain streams and wide rivers. We praise her.
Be praised through Brother Fire, through whom you brighten the night and gladden our hearts. He is beautiful and cheerful, powerful and strong.
Be praised, through our sister Mother Earth, who feeds us and rules us, and produces various fruits, colorful flowers and herbs. Protect her from harm and from the greed of those who would exploit her.
Be praised, O Spirit, through those who love and forgive; through those who endure sickness and trial, war and separation. Happy those who endure in peace for they will share your vision of a new world.
Be praised, through our Sister Bodily Death, whose will embrace each one of us in our own time. Happy those she finds doing the hard work of love.
Praise, and bless and give thanks. Serve each other with great humility. Amen.
Final Blessing: “Beannacht/Blessing
On the day when the weight deadens on your shoulders and you stumble,
may the clay dance to balance you.
And when your eyes freeze behind the grey window and the ghost of loss gets in to you,
may a flock of colors, indigo, red, green, and azure blue come to awaken in you a meadow of delight.
When the canvas frays in the little boat of your thoughts and a stain of ocean blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters a path of yellow moonlight to bring you safely home.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours, may the clarity of light be yours, may the fluency of the ocean be yours, may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow wind work these words of love around you, an invisible cloak to mind your life.” ― John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom