Creator Mundi features blog posts with inspirational ideas and religious information.
The great challenge is
living your wounds through
instead of thinking them through.
It is better to cry
than to worry,
better to feel your wounds deeply
than to understand them,
better to let them enter into your silence
than talk about them.
The choice you face constantly
is whether you are taking your wounds to your head
or to your heart.
In your head you can analyze them,
find their causes and consequences,
and coin words to speak and write about them.
But no final healing is likely to come from that source.
You need to let your wounds go down to your heart.
Then you can live through them
and discover that
they will not destroy you.
Your heart is greater than your wounds.
Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Inner Voice of Love
Joyce Rupp’s Reflection – February 2018
“Come to the root of the root of your Self.”~ Jalaluddin Rumi (Divani Shamsi Tabriz, #120)ComeEvery moment of every day the Holy One extends an open invitation to come closer, to enter further into an lasting relationship. Now is the time to shake off the interior and exterior clutter that prevents this communication and clear seeing, to release what causes us to stumble on the path of loving and blocks our ability to be our truest self. Now is the moment to accept the invitation to be more completely transformed into Christ-like virtues, to heed the summons by ceasing worthless endeavors and distracting trivialities that keep us from an in-depth way of living.to the rootSink into a quiet space for a restorative time each day. Anchor yourself there. Let your roots of faith be strengthened by a graced encounter with Enduring Love. Assimilate the wise insights and inspiring aspirations found in the soil of prayer. Receive this spiritual nourishment so your ability to be a conduit of genuine goodness does not topple over from weakness, like a tree with a failing root system.of the rootGo even deeper in relationship with the Beloved. Accept the storehouse of spiritual nutrients found in connection with this Primary Root. Allow the relationship to energize your life. Like a vigorous root feeding and keeping the tree flourishing, absorb the spiritually enlivening qualities found in the life and teachings of Jesus. Read a Gospel slowly. Let the life-giving messages you find there flow with dynamic energy into each part of your day.of your SelfThere, at the core of your being—the true Self where the divine and the human meet in undivided union—rest in the rootedness of a Love too large and unconditional to fully comprehend with the human mind. Set aside egoic demands, nursed grudges, endless discouragement, leftover regrets, and stale excuses. Receive this love with the intuitive heart. Become one with the Divine Root, a source of what best serves to restore the neglected and famished parts of the soul. Then go forth and exhale this Love like a healthily-rooted tree breathing oxygen into the lungs of creation.My hope for each of us in the coming liturgical season of Lent is that we will “return to the root of the root of the Self.”Abundant peace,Joyce Rupp
Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day fall on the same day this year. But it’s not a matter of celebrating one or the other. How about focusing on giving an extra portion of love to all those around you this Lent?
To say that I am made in the image of God
is to say that Love is the reason for my existence…
Love is my true identity…
Love is my true character.
Love is my name.
The Jesuit Post, by Colten Biro, SJ on Jan 23, 2018
With two simple questions, Google’s Arts and Culture App sparked a fascinating trend:
“Is your portrait in a museum?”
“Take a selfie and search thousands of artworks to see if any look like you.”
The 2-year-old App began as an attempt to offer tours and artwork from over 1,000 museums, but the recent feature immediately made it one of the most popular Apps in both iOS App Store and Google Play. But, why?
The Face Match feature invites users to take a selfie of themselves, then it compiles a list of artworks similar to your face—offering percentages of how similar the artwork is to the selfie. These side-by-side comparisons have gone viral often because they capture so striking a resemblance or because App’s limitations make the comparison at times so comically wrong.
Yet, this doesn’t quite explain the popularity of the trend—unless it’s about something more than just a selfie game. Perhaps, this is about appreciating our own beauty. Maybe we are fascinated by this side-by-side image of a selfie and a work of art, because we all want to believe deep down in our very bones: each of us is a work of art.
This isn’t just something similar to the #nofilter movement offering a raw glimpse into a moment, but the side-by-side comparison of selfie-vs-artwork makes a value statement: we stand beside art, or stated differently—we are more than the selfie; we are works of art.
In the same way, the artwork in the Google Arts and Culture App seeks to inspire a deeper appreciation of the power that art and beauty have to move us. It reminds us that “art” does not contain some sort of simple quantifiable value; it is a matter of appreciation, wonder, and awe. And perhaps, that is the most amazing thing about this trend: it invites the us to look at ourselves and others as more than objects or portraits, but to see ourselves and others in comparison to artwork.
Despite our minor flaws, smudges, and even our shortcomings, we are more than just the images we post to Instagram. The very act of creating a pairing or comparison between ourselves and works of art, reminds us of something that we don’t often think or hear enough: we are beautiful and we are loved.
In some way, this trend might even invite us into a small understanding of the way in which God views us. As Anthony de Mello, SJ once encouraged: “Behold God beholding you… and smiling.” Imagine if we loved ourselves and others as much as God loves us, as wonderful works of art.
So, we can laugh at the comparisons. We can pause at the resemblances. We can giggle at the percentages. But hopefully, the trend invites us into a deeper understanding of the art of creation encapsulated not just in a museum but within ourselves.
Will you engage this moment
with kindness or with cruelty,
with love or with fear,
with generosity or scarcity,
with a joyous heart or an embittered one?
This is your choice
and no one can make it for you.
If you choose kindness, love, generosity, and joy,
then you will discover in that choice
the Kingdom of God,
It is your choice
just where you will reside.
Rabbi Rami Shapiro, The Sacred Art of Lovingkindness: Preparing to Practice
Without realizing it, we fill
important places in each others’ lives.
It’s that way with the guy at the corner grocery, the mechanic at the local garage,
the family doctor, teachers, neighbors, coworkers. Good people who are always “there,”
who can be relied upon in small,
important ways. People who teach us,
bless us, encourage us, support us,
uplift us in the dailiness of life.
We never tell them.
I don’t know why, but we don’t.
And, of course, we fill that role ourselves. There are those who depend on us,
watch us, learn from us, take from us. And we never know.
You may never have proof of your importance,
but you are more important than you think.
There are always those who couldn’t do without you.
The rub is that you don’t always know who.
The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ (1881-1955)
Your Sacred Space
What’s your plan for the New Year? Add a sacred space at home?
Have you been missing a sacred space in your home where you, your family and friends find nourishment for the soul, alone and in community; where you make time to strengthen your relationship with God, others and yourself; where you find your balance and center again; a place for spiritual practice, transformation and healing.
A home chapel can be simple or elaborate — you decide. We invite you to imagine what is possible and let us help you make that vision a reality with design and items that inspire and resonate with you.
Please Join us for a Book Signing with Sister Mary McGlone, CSJ
for her new book
“Anything of Which a Woman is Capable”
Sunday, January 7, 2018 — 3:00 PM
at Creator Mundi Gallery
901 Englewood Pkwy, Unit 112; Englewood, CO 80110; https://www.creatormundi.com/
RSVP to email@example.com by Friday, January 5
Mary M. McGlone is a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet. She has ministered in the United States and Peru and done short-term mission work in El Salvador., Ecuador and Romania. She holds a Ph.D. in Historical Theology. She writes for the National Catholic Reporter among other periodicals and has published several other books.
Carol K. Coburn of Avila University reviewed the book with the following words: “Like a diamond, this book has many facets. It is a story of spirit-filled women who respond directly to the needs of others. It is a story of women’s leadership, power, advocacy, struggle, adaptation and change. It is the story of the Sisters of St. Joseph who created a powerful religious and social movement that spanned over three centuries and thousands of miles. And ultimately, this book and these stories answer the question of what women are capable of — Everything.”
What does the story of Jesus’ birth teach us about how God is present in our lives?
“God is unexplainably born in our hearts moment by moment, breath by breath. In order to discover that, we must leave the noise and business of the inn, finding our way in the dark back to the stable. We have to enter into the humility, simplicity, patience, and delicate nature of what’s unfolding in our hearts to discover how God is being born in our lives. We are asked to bring this delicate simplicity out into the world.”
Scroll down on the website of the Center for Action and Contemplation to to listen to James Finley’s entire Advent meditation … and also find meditations by Cynthia Bourgeault and Richard Rohr!
In the Outhouse by Michael Moynahan, SJ
It’s been a long,
A steep and winding road
up the sides of mountains.
They race the sun
with prospects of a new head to tax,
albeit a small one,
an impending certainty.
Sky and mother
are visual proof.
They reach the city
but full of hope.
mistaken on occasion
for her father,
fails to act his age
and dashes toward
a door about to close.
Could you give us a room for the night?
Some place to lay our heads?”
“Can’t you read, buster?
We’re all filled up.”
It’s my wife.
She’s about to have her first child.”
“That’s not my problem.”
“He’s not a problem.
He’s a fact
“Open your ears, buddy,
because I’m only
gonna say this once.
We aint’ got no room.
by the sound of a
Three times he will try
to find them lodging.
And with each failure
feel less capable
of caring for his wife
and that life within her
“It doesn’t look good.
All their rooms are taken.”
God will provide.”
And all the time thinking:
“That’s what I’m afraid of.
but they’re full.
It’s looking bleak.”
“God will give us
what we need.”
He shakes his head.
She believes this
and it comforts him little.
The third stop
looking like a
distant bleak relation
of the previous two.
Until the owner’s wife
spies the young girl wince
from movements she understands
all too well.
“You can have
the place out back.
It isn’t much
but it will be a roof
over your heads.
There’s fresh hay thrown.
The animals won’t bother you
and the child will be warm.
I’ll get some rags and water.
Go on now,
the young girl’s face
The dream of God is a vision of Shalom, a rich Hebrew word often translated as “peace” but meaning much more than the absence of war. It means well-being in a comprehensive sense. It includes freedom from negatives such as oppression, anxiety and fear, as well as the presence of positives such as health, prosperity and security. Shalom thus includes a social vision: the dream of a world in which such well-being belongs to everybody.
Fr. John Fullenbach, SVD – Kingdom of God as Principle of Action in the Church
Advent is a time of waiting — in the widest sense. Be blessed!
A Blessing for Waiting
by Jan Richardson, Circle of Grace
for the night
for the night
in the hospital room
in the cell
who wait in prayer
for the phone call
who wait for a word
who wait for
who will come home
who will not come home
Who wait with fear
who wait with joy
who wait with peace
who wait with rage
who wait for the end
who wait for the beginning
who wait alone
who wait together
what they wait for
should not wait
when they should be
when they need
when they need
to set out
for the end
for the fullness
“We are called, then, to draw near to the poor, to encounter them, to meet their gaze, to embrace them and to let them feel the warmth of love that breaks through their solitude. Their outstretched hand is also an invitation to step out of our certainties and comforts, and to acknowledge the value of poverty in itself.”
Pope Francis on the First World Day of the Poor, November 19, 2017
Ron Rolheiser OMI writes in his May 1992 blog that “To be a saint is to be motivated by gratitude, nothing more and nothing less. Scripture, everywhere and always, makes this point.” Read the full reflection below.
There’s a Jewish folk-tale which runs something like this:
There once was a young man who aspired to great holiness. After some time at working to achieve it, he went to see his Rabbi.
“Rabbi,” he announced, “I think I have achieved sanctity.”
”Why do you think that?” asked the Rabbi.
”Well,” responded the young man, “I’ve been practising virtue and discipline for some time now and I have grown quite proficient at them. From the time the sun rises until it sets, I take no food or water. All day long, I do all l do all kinds of hard work for others and I never expect to be thanked.
“If I have temptations of the flesh, I roll in the snow or in thorn bushes until they go away, and then at night, before bed, I practice the ancient monastic discipline and administer lashes to my bare back. I have disciplined myself so as to become holy.”
The Rabbi was silent for a time. Then he took the young man by the arm and led him to a window and pointed to an old horse which was just being led away by its master.
“I have been observing that horse for some time,” the Rabbi said, “and I’ve noticed that it doesn’t get fed or watered from morning to night. All day long it has to do work for people and it never gets thanked. I often see it rolling around in snow or in bushes, as horses are prone to do, and frequently I see it get whipped.
“But, I ask you: Is that a saint or a horse?”
This is a good parable because it shows how simplistic it is to simply identity sanctity and virtue with self-renunciation and the capacity to do what’s difficult. In popular thought there’s a common spiritual equation: saint=horse. What’s more difficult is always better. But that can be wrong.
To be a saint is to be motivated by gratitude, nothing more and nothing less. Scripture, everywhere and always, makes this point.
For example, the sin of Adam and Eve was, first and foremost, a failure in receptivity and gratitude. God gives them life, each other and the garden and asks them only to receive it properly, in gratitude—receive and give thanks. Only after doing this, do we go on to “break and share” Before all else, we first give thanks.
To receive in gratitude, to be properly grateful, is the most primary of all religious attitudes. Proper gratitude is ultimate virtue. It defines sanctity. Saints, holy persons, are people who are grateful, people who see and receive everything as gift.
The converse is also true. Anyone who takes life and love for granted should not ever be confused with a saint.
Let me try to illustrate this: As a young seminarian, I once spent a week in a hospital, on a public ward, with a knee injury. One night a patient was brought on to our ward from the emergency room. His pain was so severe that his groans kept us awake. The doctors had just worked on him and it was then left to a single nurse to attend to him.
Several times that night, she entered the room to administer to him—changing bandages, giving medication, and so on. Each time, as she walked away from his bed he would, despite his extreme pain, thank her.
Finally, after this had happened a number of times, she said to him: “Sir, you don’t need to thank me. This is my job!”
“Ma’am!” he replied, “it’s nobody’s job to take care of me! Nobody owes me that. I want to thank you!
I was struck by that, how, even in his great pain, this man remained conscious of the fact that life, love, care, and everything else come to us as a gift, not as owed. He genuinely appreciated what this nurse was doing for him and he was right— it isn’t anybody’s job to take care of us!
It’s our propensity to forget this that gets us into trouble. The failure to be properly grateful, to take as owed what’s offered as gift, lies at the root of many of our deepest resentments towards others—and their resentments towards us.
Invariably when we are angry at someone, especially at those closest to us, it is precisely because we are not being appreciated (that is, thanked) properly. Conversely, I suspect, more than a few people harbor resentments towards us because we, consciously or unconsciously, think that it is their job to take care of us.
Like Adam and Eve we take, as if it is ours by right, what can only be received gratefully as gift. This goes against the very contours of love. It is the original sin.
Remember the Jesuit Martyrs of El Salvador, who were killed 28 years ago today.
Below is an excerpt of a reflection by William Bole on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the events.
It was one of the most glaring and brazen human-rights crimes of the late 20th century. In the predawn hours of November 16, 1989, an elite battalion of El Salvador’s military forced its way into the Jesuit residence at the University of Central America, or UCA. The university, led by its president, Father Ignacio Ellacuría, SJ, had become a stronghold of opposition to human rights abuses committed by the U.S.-backed military.
On that night, soldiers dragged five priests out of their beds and into a courtyard, made them lay facedown on the grass, and fired bullets into their heads. They went back inside and killed another Jesuit. Then, searching the residence further, they found a housekeeper and her teenage daughter crouching in the corner of a bedroom, holding each other. The gunmen shot them too.
Twenty-five years later, many are still waiting for justice in the case of the murdered Jesuits and women. None of the top military commanders who issued the orders to kill was ever prosecuted for the crimes.
“Being Trees in Autumn”
by Stephen Garnaas-Holmes
These trees in Buddhist saffron robes,
becoming naked without fear,
in wind that is a part of them,
disclose a beauty in this death,
become new shapes, interior.
To live they cannot hoard;
this losing, too, is growth.
New shapes emerge,
new vision clears.
Surrender strengthens in the soul
This emptying is confidence
in spring, but more – a faithing
in the growth that’s come before,
a counting of the gifts
and then releasing one by one,
so as to give again,
knowing growth is not a season,
but is in the root of things.
This is no losing,
but a becoming.
Coveting such openness
of limb and heart and hand,
such bareness in the singing,
I only now discover that I want
this wind, blowing where it will,
No matter how much light I carry within me, there will always be times of feeling lost, being confused, seeking direction. It is the way of the human heart.” ― Joyce Rupp, The Star in My Heart: Experiencing Sophia, Inner Wisdom