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The Contemplative Companion for Monday, March 30, 2015

“Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.” John 12.3 

The Lenten Journey nears its culmination and Holy Week greets us with an invitation to recognize Christ in our midst.

I affirm today I am prepared, willing and ready to perceive and serve Christ in friend and stranger, as well as my deepest Self.

 

 


© 2015 The Contemplative Companion

A Resource of  ContemplativeChristians.com

Holy Week. Whole Life.

by Peter Traben Haas

During Lent, I’ve been reading from the Letters of Emily Dickenson – that most original voice of American poetry. Though she never left her hometown, her vision and depth of understanding was universal. I was struck by several of her lines. She has given me words to express some of the profundity I experience during Holy Week. Here are few samples:

As Holy Week approaches, I have been reflecting upon my Lenten Journey, aware of the immense blessings of being human. Sometimes through our fasting, or through giving up some of life’s good things, we are reminded just how sweet the gift of life is. Emily has a way of encouraging us not to forget the blessings of life, even if life might be difficult: “I hope that nothing pains you except the pang of life, sweeter to bear than to omit.”

During Holy Week, many of will gather with our church families on both Maundy Thursday and Good Friday in beloved Sanctuaries to worship and partake in the drama of Jesus’ life and passion. It is important to remember that Jesus’ death was an entering into the fullness of the human experience, shadowed as it is by sickness, suffering and ultimately death. We do not worship a Lord who avoided us. We worship a Lord who joined us to the very depths of our human suffering.

In light of that, I was blessed to read Emily’s own experience of the human condition, and the painful presence of death in her life.  Emily wrote this to her friend James Clark, regarding her grief for a friend’s death, “her dying feels to me like many kinds of cold – at times electric, at times benumbing, – then a trackless waste of love has never trod…” It is easy to feel this way, and yet this Holy Week we celebrate that Love has indeed trod this way, all the way to the cross and beyond. A love that won’t let us go, trodding with us onward into eternity.

As Lent moves through the chill of late winter into the vibrancy of early spring, it seems to be the perfect stage upon which the church is invited to remember and celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord from the tomb of darkness and death into the garden of light and life.

Emily again captures something of the mystery of our journey from the power of sin into the glory of heaven with her lines to a friend who had sent her springtime flowers: “Expulsion from Eden grows indistinct in the presence of flowers so blissful, and with no disrespect to Genesis, Paradise remains.” Resurrection blooms the flower plucked in the Garden. Resurrection answers the question lost in Eden.  The Resurrection of Jesus points the way to return us to paradise, both here and there, now and then. Paradise does remain because it has been reclaimed through Christ’s death and Resurrection.

I hope you can join others for worship on Easter Sunday morning. Join others to remember this gift of life and seek to experience it ever more deeply so to be living vessels of the Resurrection life of Jesus conveyed to each of us as the community of Christ by his Spirit. Christians all around the world will journey through Holy week together, not just to celebrate what Jesus did for us long ago, but to experience the Whole Life that is gained through the events of that  ancient Holy Week.

All love in Christ, through the silence.


© 2015 The Contemplative Companion

A Resource of  ContemplativeChristians.com

The Contemplative Companion – Weekend Edition, March 28 – 29, 2015

A Prayer for Palm Sunday

by Peter Traben Haas

And now, O God of perfect timing, enter into each of our hearts and find the city-center in us ready to receive and surrender to your love in its embodied form and in its eternal formlessness.

We have been preparing for the entrance of your Word through this Lenten journey and now we feel your timeless approach nearing. What are you calling us to do? What more can we surrender of our self? How can we live with this exquisite wound of love that suffering teaches?

This city-center is the ongoing temple of our heart, mind, and soul, today arranged and set apart to celebrate your arrival.

Your way shows us that soon your arrival will require surrender, and in this surrender there will be great suffering.

Yet, so too your truth shows us that in this suffering there will be something gained on behalf of others, and through this gain of love a power untold will pierce through the field of appearances and birth a new life through all that is dead and dying in us.

And so it is that your life is felt more fully in our welcoming all things, but especially the body and blood of the Eucharist as the ongoing teacher and embrace of your joyful presence.

Amen.

 


© 2015 The Contemplative Companion

A Resource of  ContemplativeChristians.com

The Contemplative Companion for Friday, March 27, 2015

I love you, O LORD, my strength, O LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer.” – Psalm 18.2

While randomness seems to rule world, I discover a higher law guiding my life, protecting me from myself and grounding me in unimaginable growth.

 


© 2015 The Contemplative Companion

A Resource of  ContemplativeChristians.com

The Contemplative Companion for Thursday, March 26, 2015

“Look to the LORD in his strength; seek to serve him constantly.” – Psalm 105.4

Above me, beyond me, deeper than anything I am, is Reality and Truth.

I am grounded and empowered by these influences and they order my life into peace.


© 2015 The Contemplative Companion

A Resource of  ContemplativeChristians.com

The Contemplative Companion for Wednesday, March 25, 2015

“May it be done to me according to your word.” – Luke 1.38

I request the best possible influences to feed my Lenten Journey, and I, following Mary, consent to the presence and action of the Spirit of God in my life; the neutralizing power that makes almost anything possible.


© 2015 The Contemplative Companion

A Resource of  ContemplativeChristians.com

The Contemplative Companion for Tuesday, March 24, 2015

“O LORD, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you. Hide not your face from me in the day of my distress.” – Psalm 102.2 – 3

The day of my distress is the day I forget myself and get identified with the perturbations of mind and emotion – reacting to myself, others or situations.

The face of truth and freedom becomes clear as I separate from my thoughts and feelings and remember God.

 


© 2015 The Contemplative Companion

A Resource of  ContemplativeChristians.com

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