"Awareness of the sacred in life is what holds our world together. The lack of awareness and sacred care—pollution and graffiti and billboards and slave wages and rejection of the feminine—is what is tearing us apart. It will take a great deal of monastic mindfulness to put Humpty Dumpty back together. This time, perhaps, life depends on it."

--  Sister Joan Chittister, OSB
 
 
LIVING UP TO MY NAME

Loving God,

You have called me by name to be a faithful witness

of your light and of your love.

As I enter into the work of this day,

help me joyfully announce through word and deed

that my name is Daughter/Son of God.

Give me the grace to live up to that name,

and the humility to continue to grow into my identity

as your beloved child. Amen.

 
 
A Favorite Prayer

Joan Chittister was one of nearly a hundred prominent men and women from every religious tradition and region to share a favorite prayer and reflect on its meaning for the recently published “A World of Prayer.”
Prayer for Dialogue with Greater Religions

I bow to the one who signs the cross.
I bow to the one who sits with the Buddha.
I bow to the one who wails at the wall.
I bow to the OM flowing in the Ganges.
I bow to the one who faces Mecca,
whose forehead touches holy ground.
I bow to dervishes whirling in mystical wind.
I bow to the north,
   to the south,
   to the east,
   to the west.
I bow to the God within each heart.
I bow to epiphany,
   to God’s face revealed.
I bow. I bow. I bow. 
I chose this prayer because it points us all to the awareness that it is an enlightening excursion, this wandering into the spiritual insights of other whole cultures, other whole institutions of the spiritual life, and other whole traditions of holy ones. It depends for its fruitfulness on openness of heart and awareness of mind. But the journey is well worth the exertion it takes to see old ideas in new ways because it can bring us to the very height and depth of ourselves. It can even bring fresh hearing and new meaning to the stories that come down to us through our own tradition.

My prayer is that those who make the journey become aware of our God and our world in whole new ways, for that is the one great task of life. May the effect of saying such a prayer be an enlightening one. May it awaken in you that which is far deeper than fact, truer than thought, and full of faith. May it remind us all that in every human event and culture and history and revelation is a particle of the Divine to which we turn for meaning in this life, to which we tend for fullness of life hereafter.

–From A World of Prayer: Spiritual Leaders, Activists, and Humanitarians Share their Favorite Prayers, Rosalind Bradley, ed. (Orbis) 
 
 
"When we take bread, bless it, break it, and give it with the words "This is the Body of Christ," we express our commitment to make our lives conform to the life of  Christ.  We too want to live as people chosen, blessed, and broken, and thus become food for the world."

--Henri Nouwen
 
 
Two Wolves:

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson 
about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, "My son, the battle is between 
two "wolves" inside us all.

One is Evil.
It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, 
arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies,
false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. 
It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute
and then asked his grandfather: 
"Which wolf wins?" 
The old Cherokee simply replied, 
"The one you feed."

—A Native American saying
 
 
POWER AND POWERLESSNESS /RIGHT AND LEFT

If we look at history, I think we can see a constant swinging back and forth between two poles, Right and Left, representing two necessary values. Those two necessary values have something to do with the first task of life and the second task of life, but they also need and feed one another.

The first value seeks order, certitude, clarity and control. It is the best way to start. But whenever that pattern is in place for too long or is too overbearing, what will eventually emerge is a critical alternate consciousness. Whenever the law-and-order thing is overdone, another group of people will react against it. Once you have an establishment, you will eventually have a dis-establishment. 

When some have all the power, those who don’t have power ask very different questions, and the pendulum swings back again—eventually. That has been the story of most of history and the sequencing of most revolutions. It is understandable and predictable, although the extremism on both sides could be avoided if we had more initiated elders who held the middle.

Adapted from 
Fr. Richard Rohr's
"A Lever and a Place to Stand", pp. 96-97