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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sabbath Rest: A Pentecost Garden Pilgrimage

The greatest of illusions is the illusion of familiarity  --G.K. Chesterton

I'd say Chesterton's words are all the more tragic if that familiarity puts one lock-step with suffering and desolation.  This is Pentecost Sunday.  A day that commemorates that moment when all that was familiar--wondrous and more nearly tragic--got flipped, and a whole new realm of possibilities opened to the Children of God.

A contemplative person recognizes that every experience offers more than meets the eye.  Contemplatives are open to seeing the unseen world.  They sift the days for symbols and scan the sunsets for meaning.  They enter into the being of life, alert to transcendences in ordinary things.  They believe God may be found and reverenced if one is prepared to notice how marvelously mysterious and personal life in this world is.  So contemplatives invite us into the moment and tell us to be.  --Spiritual Disciplines Handbook

This weekend, I visited Our Lady Fatima House.  I've taken you there with me before.  I can now say I've been there enough times for the trails and the statuary, the chapels and the labyrinth to risk greeting me with the dullness of familiarity.  It is not so. The day very much prefaced Pentecost.  As I walked, I heard the following "poem" as my eyes made a soul journal, as I sought to notice with the eyes of a contemplative:

When the path winds, and the man-carved signs of the faith stand overgrown,
 When cherubs sleep

and promised buds bloom slow;

 When that designed to take you on instead is filled weighted
to hedge your way

It is then you'll find these words are being weaned.

 When you hike the land full out
to its iron fence-line,
 When the path makes you choose between the rectory and the games;
 When the stream bed is most dry

and one misstep proves treacherous,

It is then you'll find these words are being weaned.

 When beauty variegated cries how close hangs death to life,
 When bare feet on holy ground instead need boots;
 When the well of life is hid
 ...in dark, well off the scripted path
 and one fragile tree remains in the razed glen,
It is then you'll know these words are being weaned.

 So give thanks that on the hill still stands the chapel
 that vines still choose to climb
 and flowers to bloom;
 though pruning scars hang near
 along the prayer walk,
 and chapel window pose dark solitude,
Yet sheep still raise their eyes to find their shepherd,

...then these Words come fully weaned to comfort you.

I am a hunter of beauty. and I move slow and I keep the eyes wide, every fiber of every muscle sensing all wonder and this is the thrill of the hunt and I could be an expert on the life full, the beauty meat that lurks in every moment.
I hunger to taste life.
--Ann VosKamp

Be a hunter.  Receive a Pentecost blessing!

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