We are beloved companions on a mystic journey, sharing our solitude and holding the world in the divine prayer of love.

"Place your mind before the mirror of eternity! Place your soul in the brilliance of glory. Place your heart in the figure of the divine substance. And transform your whole being into the image of the Godhead Itself through contemplation."
- from St. Clare's third letter to Blessed Agnes of Prague.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Ancient-Tree-Love by Alison Scott
Holy Lent begins today. I'm thinking of trees, of this tree, of the tree of the cross, of the Tree of Life. The tree from the movie, Avatar, comes to mind; how could it not? And I'm also thinking of violence, and who is not? I'm thinking of Mother Earth and how we humans in North Korea stuck a shaft of metal inside her and then blew it up. That's not the first place we did that. How we have shaken her. I'm thinking of the random shootings, violence of all kinds. Violence of word, of action, of avoidance. Stupid, meaningless, avoidable violence. I'm angry and my anger makes the violence feel personal, and I want to kneel, I want the to be marked with the earth's clay, I want to cry out FORGIVE!

Just look at dear Alison's tree. Look how old she is, how wizened, how amputated of limb, and yet how she is still alive. Look at the green.

I feel wild. I want to rant and rave, to dig in the dirt, to smear it on my face, to confess my sins, to throw my illusions on the fire, to burn all my false hopes, to turn them to ashes and turn again, and turn.

Be converted (turned again) and live is the watchword of this time, a Wednesday of Ashes. Can I? Can we?  Chiara tells us that the tree of the cross is a mirror. She says to look in that mirror until we see ourselves. OH. MY. GOD. The one I see has submitted to and become the violence of the world simply for the love of everything that is. I pray to understand. I pray to know how to turn the whirlwinds of violence within myself into love, into the fire of love, a roaring consummation of all that hinders life.

"This is what Clare asks us to consider in the mirror--are we willing only to look on suffering from a distance or to shut it out from our lives or control it by whatever means possible? Or are we willing to enter more fully into the suffering of the other to know God and ourselves in a deeper way?...Discovering who we are--our identity--in the mirror of the cross empowers us to embrace ourselves despite our brokenness and flaws and, in turn, to embrace others with their brokenness and flaws. In the mirror of the cross we discover what it truly means to be loved by someone greater than ourselves." (CLARE OF ASSISI: A Heart Full of Love. By Ilia Delio.)

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