To all of my wonderful readers and followers of my Blogs on A Quiet Walk, and Beguine Again, this will be my last post for awhile as I am taking a sabbatical from electronic media until Mid-May. I will be traveling to new and exciting places, taking time for quiet reflection and renewal. I will return to the Blogosphere May 19th with new stories, maybe new prayer practice or and new insights. As I travel please keep me and my husband, John, in your prayers.
I wish each and every one of you a meaningful Holy Week and a celebratory Easter. Peace be with you all.
Mark 10:46-52 46They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. 47When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” 50So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” 52Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.
We are rapidly approaching Holy Week and all of the exciting and heartbreaking moments the weeks brings. In Mark the last story before the Triumphal Entry is of the Healing of Blind Bartimaeus that takes place as Jesus is traveling through Jericho to Jerusalem and his appointed fate. I am offering the above painting by El-Greco for you to contemplate with the prayer practice of Visio Divina. I have always found this story from the Gospel of Mark one of the most moving story of courage and faith in scripture. Bartimaeus doesn’t know how close he is to Jesus; he simply calls out and has faith Jesus will answer him. The questions Jesus asks of Bartimaeus also draw me into a deeper understanding of sight and I hope you will consider those questions and the responses as well.
May your sight be deepened in preparation for the coming week as your contemplate El‑Greco’s painting and the scripture lesson.
Study the picture slowly, taking a first glance and noting the colors, people, places and things. Remain with the image for one to two minutes. If you would like, jot down a few words about the image.
Read the Scripture lesson slowly and in meditation. Return to the painting does the scripture alter your perspective of the painting in anyway? Do the questions and responses open new doors as you gaze at the painting?
Take a second, deeper, look. Where is there movement? What relationships do you see? Engage your imagination. Where are you in the artwork? What do you see from that perspective? What deeper meaning emerges?
Respond to the image with prayer. Did the image remind you of an experience, person or issue for which you’d like to offer thanksgiving or intercession? Place yourself in the place of Bartimaeus, and then in the place of a spectator, or one of the Disciples. Does your perspective Change? What do you feel when you become Bartimaeus or a spectator? Offer your thoughts as prayer to God.
Find your quiet center. Breathe deeply. Relax your shoulders, arms and legs. Rest in this quiet. Let God pray in you. God prays beyond words.
May the Peace of God be with you as you travel the Holy Week Journey.
We are coming to the end of Lent, a time of quiet reflection. One aspect of reflection is prayer; prayer for ourselves, the world, those who are suffering, and those who cause suffering. Today I am offering an ancient form of prayer for this week’s prayer practice called the “encircling prayer.” This particular prayer is based on a prayer I discovered at the Wells Cathedral in Wells England. It is a lovely prayer in which to hold in our hearts those in need of comfort and support, and for those who lay upon on hearts. As the above Celtic Prayer offers: ‘May the peace of the tallest mountain and the peace of the smallest stone be your peace. May the stillness of the stars watch over you. May the everlasting music of the wave lull you to rest.”
Circle Prayer Based on a Prayer found in the Gethsemane Chapel, Wells Cathedral, Wells, England This is a form of prayer used by early Celtic Christians.
It is called the Caim, the encircling prayer.
In the name of the Sacred Three, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen
For those who commit acts of violence and injustice
Circle, O God, those who have committed acts of violence and justice, encircle them with your presence.
Help them to see the truth and to turn away from falsehood;
Help them to learn compassion and leave hard-heartedness behind;
Help them find the courage to turn away from evil;
May they feel your love in a world filled with hate;
Help them to see your light in the darkness.
In the name of the Sacred Three, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen.
Prayer for those on our heart
Circle, O God, (name the person(s) for whom you are praying), encircle them with your presence.
This week’s prayer practice is one a friend of mine taught me in the last couple of weeks. It is one of Thich Nhat Hanh’s practices called “Letgo.” After I began the practice I realized ‘Letgo’ has many similarities with the Examen and found that I was experiencing some of the same benefits. As I have begun to settle into this practice I have discovered my days to be calmer and more centered even when the world gets busy. I am able to separate what is important from what it is not. The most amazing thing is of the many of events and things I thought were important they just are not priorities any longer. Instead I am able to focus on what makes my life more enjoyable, beautiful and to just BE. So I offer this practice as my gift to your well Being.
I usually pick a time of day when things are quiet, either early in the morning or just before I go to bed. I like both times. The morning time energizes me and the evening time centers me and quiets my mind so that I sleep much better. But select a time that works best for you. I do set aside 20 to 25 minutes for each session.
Begin by sitting quietly, concentrating on your breath. Reflect on those things you have let go of in the past. You many begin your ‘list’ as early in your life as you wish.
Be aware that our conscious attention only catches a small portion of what goes on in lives.
Start with small steps first. Accept that events such as rush hour traffic, broken washers, and burnt dinners will always be there to annoy and frustrate you. Use these events to practice an acceptance of those things that just happen because it’s life.
Be mindful of those times when you pick up old burden or worry’s and begin to carry them around again. Learn to recognize the old resentments and anger that emerges and ask yourself if you want to continue to hold space in head and heart for them.
Take deep breaths and let the burdens, anger, and resentment flow out with each exhale.
Repeat step 5 as often as necessary until you are able to bring your mindfulness back to the now.
This weeks Prayerful Tuesday is on forgiveness and a forgiveness that heals and releases shame and anger. This article is an important one and I would like to offer it as a prayer to be meditated over. My Challenge to each of you is: How do we serve both the victims and their families and the offenders?
May each of you prayerfully consider this questions.