Monday, June 29, 2009

Lectio Divina - Forty-Five

Augustine, Confessions. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991, p.73

You alone are always present even to those who have taken themselves far from you. . . Let them turn, and at once you are there in their heart - in the heart of those who make confession to you and throw themselves upon you and weep on your breast after traveling many rough paths.  Where was I when I was seeking for you? You were there before me, but I had departed from myself.  I could not even find myself, much less you.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Lectio Divina - Forty-Four

Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet. New York: Vintage, 1986, p.88.
This is in the end the only kind of courage that is required of us: the courage to face the strangest, most unusual, most inexplicable experiences that can meet us. The fact that people have in this sense been cowardly has done infinite harm to life; the experiences that are called “apparitions,” the whole so-called “spirit world,” death, all these Things that are so closely related to us, have through our daily defensiveness been so entirely pushed out of life that the senses with which we might have been able to grasp them have atrophied. To say nothing of God. But the fear of the inexplicable has not only impoverished the reality of the individual; it has also narrowed the relationship between one human being and another, which has as it were been lifted out of the riverbed of infinite possibilities and set down in a fallow place on the bank, where nothing happens.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lectio Divina - Forty-Three

Audre Lorde, “Uses of the Erotic,” in Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde. Freedom, CA: The Crossing Press, 1984, 57-8.

We have been raised to fear the yes within ourselves, our deepest cravings. . . The fear of our desires keeps them suspect and indiscriminately powerful, for to suppress any truth is to give it strength beyond endurance. The fear that we cannot grow beyond whatever distortions we may find within ourselves keeps us docile and loyal and obedient, externally defined, and leads us to accept many facets of our oppression as women.

When we live outside ourselves, and by that I mean on external directives only rather than from our internal knowledge and needs, when we live away from those erotic guides from within ourselves, then our lives are limited by external and alien forms, and we conform to the needs of a structure that is not based on human need, let alone an individual’s. But when we begin to live from within outward, in touch with the power of the erotic within ourselves, and allowing that power to inform and illuminate our actions upon the world around us, then we begin to be responsible to ourselves in the deepest sense.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Lectio Divina - Forty-two

Henri Nouwen, With Open Hands. Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 1972, p.14.

The man invited to pray is asked to open his tightly clenched fists and to give up his last coin. But who wants to do that? A first prayer, therefore is often a painful prayer, because you discover you don’t want to let go. You hold fast to what is familiar, even if you aren’t proud of it.