Guest Author: 
Janice Lynne Lundy

I believe a universal call has been sounded to live in an enlightened new way. No matter what culture or religious background we come from, affirming our innate “holiness” and embracing it is at the core of our spiritual journeys. When we profess our desire to live in a sacred manner, to be more peaceful, openhearted, trusting faithful, and generous, our journey deepens, bringing about profound healing. When we recognize that we are sons and daughters of the universe, made of spirit and stardust, our lives will become sanctified, made holy and whole once again.

Guest Author: 
Tessi Muskrat Rickabaugh

I officiated my sister's wedding last month, wearing my grandmother's ring and a stole that bears the name of my tribe and clan in the Cherokee language. I spoke Irish words, prayers that reflect the love and honor with which my people—Cherokee and Irish—approach the world. I stood as the intentional embodiment of our legacy of faith and love and pain.

My father didn't attend the wedding. I'm not certain he's aware that the last of his daughters married the love of her life this summer; he cut her out of his life almost two years ago, as he has two of my other siblings. As his mother did him.

Guest Author: 
Jean Wise

The rejection letter shattered our dreams.

When my husband, Bill, and I were much younger, he interviewed for school administration positions as he pursued his aspiration of becoming a principal. We waited to start a family to know where we might settle and what was next on God’s agenda for us. We waited and waited for three years for the big break to come along.

We thought he finally made it. He was called back for two more interviews and we knew the school board had narrowed the list to just two people—my husband was one of them. Then the letter came. They chose the other candidate.

The following year, Bill did get his break, starting his school administration career that lasted more than thirty years. But it took about ten years before we discovered a hidden blessing in that earlier heart-breaking rejection.

Guest Author: 
Lauren Carlson

For the past five years, I have called southwest Minnesota home. Although I live miles from the closest neighbor, I have never felt isolated in my rural town of Dawson. The landscape of the prairie is inspiring and enhances my ministry and service as a spiritual companion. At the end of this month, I will be giving a presentation entitled, “Luminous Space and Kindness: The Prairie and the Creative Process.” Just as kindness is essential to my creative process as a poet, I also find kindness to be a necessary practice for spiritual companioning. Overall, I have found three ways of practicing kindness revealed by the prairie landscape.

Guest Author: 
Jim Clarke

Many believers focus on faith or love in their spiritual journey, and rightly so. But there is another virtue that is the key link between the two: the virtue of hope. Without hope, faith can become separated from reality; without hope, love can be become a fantasy. So … what is hope? Perhaps a story can put this virtue into proper perspective.

Many years ago, after the Vietnam conflict had wound down, several American prisoners of war returned home to the United States. Among them was a sergeant who had been imprisoned for several years. During an interview, he was asked, “What helped you to survive those difficult years of imprisonment?” He responded in a surprising way.

Guest Author: 
Stephen Grindle

In the animated film, Inside Out, a girl named Riley Anderson’s story is told as seen through her emotions. Each emotion, played by a character inside Riley’s head, is vying for the chance to overtake particular memories Riley has. During her infant and childhood years, each of Riley’s memories is represented by a glass ball colored by the dominant emotion she feels at the time of the occurrence. If she is angry, the memory is colored red. If she’s joyful, it’s colored yellow.

Guest Author: 
Fr. Jim Clarke

Fifteenth century German Dominican mystic, Meister Eckhart once remarked, “If the only prayer you ever said in your whole life was ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.”

Gratefulness is at the heart of prayer and everything else that is sacred. This is what faith really is—giving thanks for reality as it is, not as we would have it be. It is the necessary starting point and the ending place of all things sacred. It is the ideal stance of the human heart before God and the cosmos.

Guest Author: 
Carissa A. Kane

With the sun shining down on my shoulders, waist high in the ocean with waves rising and falling, a feeling of gratefulness washes across my soul. It is similar to the feeling of standing on the top of a mountain looking at the valley and taking in the terrain all around.  

Guest Author: 
Jean Wise

An unexpected guest accompanied me on my retreat last spring. I didn’t invite her. She surprised me with her presence.

She popped up in the verses I read. My spiritual director mentioned her. I heard her in my nightly dreams

Her name is Wisdom.

Being mindful of those nudges, whispers, and repeated sightings when a word or topic appears in multiple moments can be a powerful spiritual practice. They pique our curiosity. Our mind becomes alerted that a new lesson is coming.

My spiritual director had been urging me to be patient and watch for what bubbles up within me on its own.

Wisdom appeared.

What was this presence? Who was she? It was like meeting a new person, and we seemed to click. The invitation was to get to know her better.


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