In 1106, at just eight years old, Hildegard was offered by her parents as a tithe to the Church. Her parents brought her to the Abbey Church of St Disibod, in the Rhineland, where she was placed in the care of an anchorite named Jutta.
My neighbors at our mountain cabin now have a flock of hens and a rooster. I am sitting on the screened in porch doing my morning meditation, trying to calm my racing mind and settle into silence; the rooster crows, and the rooster crows, and then again the rooster crows. That blasted rooster is on autopilot, impulsively, instinctively doing what he is used to doing … so he crows, and he crows, and he crows.
I began to think about myself and what in my life is like the crowing of the rooster. Where are my actions or reactions on autopilot? What do I do in my life that is as automatic as the rooster crowing?
Jan Phillips, spiritual guide and author, delighted a standing-room-only crowd with her humor and photographic gift at Seattle University’s Search for Meaning Book Festival on February 4. She shared her spiritual journey from secondhand religion to a personal faith.
Telling how the pain of dismissal from the convent in her teens gradually became a source of grace, Jan advised in “dismissing anything that insults the soul.”
“Track back what you know to the event when you learned it,” she encouraged, “and get good at telling your story in a beautiful and effective way.”
“The big adventure of the movement of evolutionary creativity is toward kindness,” Jan reassured, “and being an ever brighter light."
A tear slipped from my spiritual directee’s rough, bearded face as he explored gratitude for a longtime friend now in hospice care. “Yeah,” he said. “My buddy and I have been together through thick and thin.” For him, thick and thin referred to good times and bad; times of plenty and times of want. Lately, I’ve been pondering thick and thin from a different perspective.
The Archdiocese of New Orleans has established training requirements for those interested in serving as spiritual directors within the archdiocese. The guidelines have been in effect for many years, said Archbishop Gregory Aymond, but they are being emphasized again because of the importance of the ministry in leading others to God.
SDI celebrates Earth Day at Ignatius House in Atlanta, Georgia by planting two azaleas.
The SDI Coordinating Council proclaimed scripture, poetry, and stories about the importance of being in nature and respecting all creation from Aboriginal Australia, Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions.
Local Atlanta community members helped to plant the azaleas, watering Earth and the azaleas with water blessed during the Cultivating Compassion educational events. The water came from all over the world as participants from five continents contributed water to a blessed bowl during the education events.
During the Contemplative Retreat, participants contributed ... and poured more blessed water of hope for a compassionate future.
This and related findings clearly demonstrate that the capacity for compassion, and indeed our characters in general, are not fixed, but are determined dynamically moment-to-moment outside of our awareness in an attempt to balance the pressures of social living. At first, this may seem dispiriting, but in actuality it can be liberating. In the end, each of us has the potential to be not only a sinner, but also a saint.
Greetings from Atlanta, Georgia! Spiritual direction education will be broadcast on television thanks to AIBTV; Angela Rice and Sharon Phillip pictured here. SDI is collaborating with AIBTV to make more spiritual direction education available from the Cultivating Compassion educational events. Please send prayers of gratefulness to AIBTV!
On April 22, 2011, Christians commemorate Good Friday, and Earth Day is celebrated. This is a day to cultivate compassion. In addition, the Jewish holiday of Pesach, Passover, is celebrated April 19 - 26, 2011.
In Quantum Grace, SDI member Judy Cannato writes about Good Friday: "It is easy to want to stand separate and apart today. It is tempting to want to divide the world into 'us' and 'them.' But this, we know, is an illusion."
Indeed, contemplative practice illuminates this truth--we are connected. Do you find this to be true for you?