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DIRECTION

My Lord God,

I have no idea where I am going.

I do not see the road ahead of me.

I cannot know for certain where it will end.

nor do I really know myself,

and the fact that I think I am following your will

does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please you

does in fact please you.

And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.

I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.

And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road,

though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore will I trust you always though

I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.

I will not fear, for you are ever with me,

and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

- Thomas Merton


REST

Matthew 11:28-30 The Message

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”


JOY

“Dear Child of God, you are loved with a love that nothing can shake, a love that loved you long before you were created, a love that will be there long after everything has disappeared. You are precious, with a preciousness that is totally quite immeasurable. And God wants you to be like God. Filled with life and goodness and laughter—and joy.

“God, who is forever pouring out God’s whole being from all eternity, wants you to flourish. God wants you to be filled with joy and excitement and ever longing to be able to find what is so beautiful in God’s creation: the compassion of so many, the caring, the sharing. And God says, Please, my child, help me. Help me to spread love and laughter and joy and compassion. And you know what, my child? As you do this—hey, presto—you discover joy. Joy, which you had not sought, comes as the gift, as almost the reward for this non-self-regarding caring for others.”

Desmond Tutu



HOPE

ENGAGE IN THE LONG FAITHFUL WORK

~ Morgan Harper Nichols


Engage in the long, faithful work.

Surrender the need of striving

to be the best or always right

and focus instead on leaning into Light,

that reveals all things.

All that is good and all that stands to be corrected, and redirected.


And as you lean into Light,

be gentle with the word “darkness.”

For more than it merely means wrong or bad,

it is also the color of a full, starless night sky,

and actual bodies of human beings

who have been overlooked too many times.


Many, many words hold more than one meaning.


Language on “light” and “dark” may have its place,

and this is also true, this very language has been used to say,

“You are a threat. I am not. I am worth more than you.”


It takes kindness to understand this, for

even though kindness is a beautiful word.

it does not mean that nothing gets disrupted.

Sometimes a way of thinking must be interrupted

in order for kindness to truly thrive.


For as sure as kindness leans into what is good,

it also speaks about what isn’t right.

It is compassionate and gentle

when long histories are pulled from mourning into morning.


Engage in the long, faithful work of awakening

with your heart and mind open to the possibility

that things are more complex than they once seemed.


And as hard as it is to hold all of this,

you are still free to dream:

you do not have to be who you used to be.

You do not have to think the way you used to think.

You are free to take hopeful,

thoughtful action in pursuit of better things.


So here’s to new beginnings,

knowing it is impossible to ignore the long history,

opening up to the mystery

that grace still finds you here.


And grace is unmerited favor

but it might not always look the way you want it to.

It will invite you out in the open

and it will also reveal what has been broken.

You might have to unlearn the way you thought things would be.

You might find that being undone

is the best way to move on, humbly, mindfully, wholly.


For how liberating it is

to pursue wholeness over perfection,

finding that grace is more than a beautiful word,

but a daily act of being undone, an awakening, a direction."


GROWTH

PATIENT TRUST

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.

We are quite naturally impatient in everything

to reach the end without delay.

We would 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 in 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