“Poetry is a gateway into unitive consciousness. It knocks on the doors of the heart and the heart opens. Poets speak truth in a very naked way that bypasses the rational mind. Poetry evokes, rather than describes.”
Both Anthony of the Desert (c. 251-356) and Thomas Aquinas (1224-1274) said there are two books of scripture. The first book of scripture is the natural world, which has existed since the Big Bang 14 billion years ago. The second book of scripture is the written Bible, which has only existed for about 2,000 years. We basically threw out the first book for much of the last 2,000 years, although it got worse after the invention of the printing press. We gave most of our attention to the written book, which has kept us in our limited left brain, outside of direct experience, and with the dualistic mind that the ego always prefers. Mere words, even and most especially “holy words” and authoritative words, when used apart from any experience of an Eternal Word, tend to create argumentative people. The small self loves to use whatever words it needs for purposes of self-protection and self-promotion. The Great Self allows One Eternal Word to override all such tactics because it lives in a much larger field of meaning. Words are often two to three steps removed from true experience…
We must know that creation is our first and final cathedral. Nature is the one song of praise that never stops singing, as many of the Psalms say. If you are drawn to “kneel” in this cathedral, you can always talk to a Mystery that is so much larger than yourself. It takes no theology classes whatsoever, no proofs, or arguments… All the other native and historical religions merely build upon this primal awe that bows before everything.
Fr. Richard Rohr, posted January 19, 2015
I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of Walking, that is, of taking walks – who had a genius, so to speak, for sauntering, which word is beautifully derived “from idle people who roved about the country, in the Middle Ages, and asked charity, under pretense of going a la Sainte Terre, to the Holy Land, till the children exclaimed, “There goes a Sainte-Terrer,” a Saunterer, a Holy-Lander. They who never go to the Holy Land in their walks, as they pretend, are indeed mere idlers and vagabonds; but they who do go there are saunterers in the good sense, such as I mean. Some, however, would derive the word from sans terre, without land or a home, which, therefore, in the good sense, will mean, having no particular home, but equally at home everywhere. For this is the secret of successful sauntering. He who sits still in a house all the time may be the greatest vagrant of all; but the saunterer, in the good sense, is no more vagrant than the meandering river, which is all the while sedulously seeking the shortest course to the sea.
Henry David Thoreau
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 undo 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 God 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
St. Francis said he wore a patched robe because he wanted to appear to others exactly as he was on the inside—wounded and weak—as we all are if we are honest. He had faced his broken self and it was precisely there that he met the most unconditional of loves. God uses everything, you see, even and especially our mistakes. Richard Rohr.