Above All, Trust in the Slow Work of God
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. Yet it is the law of all progress that is made by passing through some stages of instability and that 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. Do not 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 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. Above all, trust in the slow work of God, our loving vine-dresser.
~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
To Come Home to Yourself
May all that is unforgiven in you
May your fears yield
Their deepest tranquilities.
May all that is unlived in you
Blossom into a future
Graced with love.
Enough. These few words are enough.
If not these words, this breath.
If not this breath, this sitting here.
This opening to life
we have refused
again and again
~ David Whyte
The Summer Day
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
A Prayer for those Struggling to Pray
May God meet you anyway.
When you have no words to say
Would you let your body pray through you today.
Wordless prayers of movement, taste, and touch
Of stillness, sight, and sound
Of hands raised up
Of knees bowed down
The language of lighting a candle
Humming a song
Watering the plants
Walking the dog
Savoring your coffee
Shivering in the breeze
Stirring potato soup
Crunching fallen leaves
Breathing in Mercy
Listening for Goodness
When all your words fail, may you remember
That praying is much more than speaking
It is being
With the one who loves to be with you
So, go paint your prayers
Play your prayers
Dance your prayers
Draw your prayers
Bake your prayers
Breathe your prayers
Run your prayers
Hug your prayers
Laugh your prayers
Cry your prayers
And allow your hands and feet
And fingers and nose
And arms and eyes
And shoulders and toes
To carry your prayers
To the One who needs no words
To the One who already knows.
~ Susan Bourn, slightly modified