Making Space for the Divine

I am doing a six session online class on “Centering Prayer as Divine Therapy” led by Jana Rentzel at CloserThan Breath. ( )

Monday, during the third class, Jana led us in a Lectio Divina practice, using a verse of our choosing from the Lord’s Prayer. I chose “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

After the Lectio Divina time, Jana spoke of kenosis “self-emptying” – and at first I thought an immediate NO – I want to be myself, not empty myself. But then Jana spoke of our “self-talk” and I realized how very often my self talk is negative: wants, needs, inadequacies, irritations or disappointments that I can’t let go off, ever lengthening to do lists.

Jana quoted Cynthia Bourgeault, “…love made full in the act of giving itself away.”

And like the traditional light bulb at an AHA moment, I realized the paradox of kenosis: Only by emptying myself of my own self-talk can I make space for the self-fulling love of God; the divine love that allows me to forgive those who have wounded me (including myself) and to experience the love made full in the act of giving itself away.

And so I was brought back to my verse from the Lectio Divina practice, with new appreciation for the depth and promise and sweetness of “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

The First Shall Be Last

If the first 
Shall be last
And the last, first

Then let me drown out
The world’s noise 
With my silence

Let me answer
The world’s questions
With my ignorance

Let me seek
The divine
In the mundane

Let me share 
From my poverty

Let me believe
A crucified criminal
Is God’s anointed

Let me pour new wine
Into old wine skins
And rejoice at the bursting

If the first
Shall be last
And the last, first

Then let this imagined me die
That the unimaginable true I 
May live eternally and divinely

With You
My Love

Breathing Words

I spent most of 1973 as a pregnant hippie
So of course I learned LaMaze breathing
With my partner
That was the first time I became aware
Or at least the first time I knew myself to be aware
Of the power of breath

DUH! Breath keeps us alive
Without breath we are dead
Dead as a doornail
(Is that the right expression – it sounds so odd)
How much more powerful can breath be
Than keeping us alive?

Ah, I sigh
My nose inhales
(though my nose is filled with COVID germs)
to a strong quickstep 1, 2, 3, 4
Then stillness 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
As my breath pauses
Six nanoseconds of balance
My exhale is a long gliding waltz
Through pursued lips

A little bit of LaMaze
A little bit of pranayama
A little bit of centering prayer
A little bit of mind-body-spirit connection

I inhale 75 years
I pause here
Before I slowly exhale compassion

When I am very lucky,

God Chuckles

Five minutes to midnight
Five minutes to tomorrow
Five minutes to Tuesday
Five minutes to February 7, 2023
Five minutes –
Three minutes now –
To the day Mom leaves our home
And enters assisted living

Busy day today
Beginning with early morning yoga
Ending, a few minutes ago,
With vacuuming the downstairs

My corned beef and cabbage
Was a big success
Luckily I made plenty
Because I forgot
That I had told Andi to come
For dinner

Mom was anxious all day
Worried about everything
From needing new shoes
To where she would put 
Her toothbrush

I worried too
Will she adjust
Will she make friends
Am I being selfish

Now that
I have written my way
Into tomorrow 

I will be still
And know
That God
At worries
About toothbrushes 
And selfishness