The Waystead is a Hermitage of the Lindisfarne Community, established with the intent to foster the love of God in the world. My resolve is to follow the Way of the One in Whom we live and move and have our Being.
I trust that by thoughtfully founding, and steadfastly keeping, a dwelling place and setting it apart as a place of prayer, reflection, and contemplation, I will be able to hold onto that resolve.
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de Chelly was my mother’s favorite place. I don’t know why I’m thinking of her
this morning, except that an enormous change has reached its culmination in my
life recently. My mother’s name was Doris Ann and she was born in 1926 and died
in 2003— 15 years ago. She was the most remarkable person I’ve ever known, and the
wisest. I was looking for inspiration for
my blog post because the Lectionary readings turned out to be pretty inert for
me today. The only thing that struck me in the readings were these verses from
Proverbs about Wisdom. I realized that they reminded me of my mother.
30 “I was with him as someone he could trust. For
me, every day was pure delight,
as I played in his presence all the time, 31
playing everywhere on his earth,
and delighting to be with humankind.”
I went looking for other sources of inspiration, and ended up reflecting on
endings. My sister and I were with Mom
when she died, and even at the time I felt it as a great grace and blessing.
Now, all these years later, I am certain that it was, and what’s more, the
experience of being with her at her death has given me a kind of aptitude for
endings. This poem I’m sharing with you reminded me of her so strongly that it seemed
almost as if the poet had written it about her.
it comes to my own endings, in particular the one now present in my life, I was
suddenly illuminated this morning by the understanding that I’m leaning into
the memory of my mother because of the way that she showed me, with grace and
infinite aptitude, how to go about dying. It’s because of her that I understand
how to navigate endings, and recognize what Wiman meant when he wrote:
“And praise to the light that is not yet, the
dawn in which one bird believes, crying not as if there had been no night but
as if there were no night in which it had not been.”
Lectionaries are funny things— weird, abstruse little lists
of biblical passages by number, sort of like tide tables or bus schedules. Today’s
Lectionary passages (for 3-9-2018, the week of the third Sunday in Lent) are:
Psalm 88; Genesis 47:1-26; 1 Corinthians 9:16-27; and Mark 6:47-56 About a month ago I posted a reflection in response to
Abbess Jane’s Lectionary Musings blog on the same passage from Corinthians as the
one listed for today in the Daily Office Readings Lectionary (BCP). That was
supposed to be the reading for the 6th Sunday of Epiphany, according
to +Jane, but I just can’t find it anywhere. I looked up Epiphany 6 in both the
Daily Office Lectionary and the Revised Common Lectionary—not there. It’s not
the reading from the Lindisfarne Community’s A Way of Living Lectionary for
either Year 1 or 2 either. Oh well. I was never the sort of autist who is fascinated by such
things as bus schedules. I am much more inclined to be enthralled by maps. I
wonder if I could make a L…
On Sunday the Psalm was the famous 23rd.
I’ve heard it so many times that I never expected anything new to come
wandering across the border from that hinterland, but there ya go. So, the
liminal phrase is this: “Your rod and your staff they comfort me,” or as
the CJB says, “your rod and staff reassure me.” I got to thinking, “Well, just exactly how does a shepherd
use a staff and a rod?” The staff is used to guide the sheep and to catch them.
Traditional staffs used in the UK have horn crooks with a sharp curled tip,
which I suspect is designed to catch in the fleece. The rod was essentially a
club used to defend against predators, but also as a goad to correct the sheep.
I’ve never really identified with the sheep; I mean they are
really not very smart and don’t have much of a survival instinct. I also have
misgivings about identifying myself as the shepherd of the sheep. So, I asked
myself, “What other role might I fill in the whole sheep-shepherd metaphor?”
and it came to me: Shee…
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) 4 Love is patient and kind, not jealous, not boastful, 5 not proud, rude or selfish, not easily angered,
and it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not gloat over other people’s sins
but takes its delight in the truth. 7 Love always bears up, always trusts,
always hopes, always endures.
I’ve read this over about five times now, and it keeps on
growing in my mind. The above is only a part of the verse cited, but it’s the
part that kept reaching out and poking me. It’s the part that I felt was
reading me; the part that was peering
into my heart to see what is going on in there. It’s the part that sat down in
front of me with a questioning look on its face, put its chin in its hand, and
looked at me without saying anything. And kept on looking. Eventually I started noticing specific things; I started trying
to see what the verse was looking at in me. I noticed that it started out by
talking about what love is; then what it isn’t; then back …