Clarissa Pinkola Estes offers us this eloquent and powerful charge – amazing sustenance for the good work to which we are called. 

image002“My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people. You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is that we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement.

I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind.

Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.

In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency, too, to fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails.

We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear. Didn’t you say you were a believer? Didn’t you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn’t you ask for grace? Don’t you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater?

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.

What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these – to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.

Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.

There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it. I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate.

The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours. They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.”

By Clarissa Pinkola Estes
American poet, post-trauma specialist and Jungian psychoanalyst, author of Women Who Run With the Wolves.

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween!

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“Ignite the light of love in your heart and you’ll have much less to fear in your life.”

R. Mark Giuliano (Power2ools: 2 minute tools for life)

Happy Thanksgiving to all our amazing Canadian friends! If there is only one prayer you ever learn, let it be “thank you.” Please enjoy and share this inspirational 2 minute video and then, in the comment section below, tell us what you are giving thanks for this year. Thank you!

We’re not surprised are we? I mean, if we’re being honest here, and I hope we are, we have to admit that we’ve known what kind of man Donald Trump is for a long time. The 2005 Access Hollywood video that the Washington Post released Friday, the one in which Trump is caught by a  . . . (Click here or photo below to read full article by R. Mark Giuliano on Huffington Post).

The Washington Post released a video, another damning piece of evidence pointing to the immoral behaviors of Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump.

The Washington Post released a video, another damning piece of evidence pointing to the immoral behaviors of Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump.

“Make us one, we pray, in the magnificent mosaic of faith.”

world-communionWhat table will you be at as you celebrate World Communion Sunday? World Communion Sunday is one of the most special days on the Christian calendar. It reminds us that the God who made us in our wonderful uniqueness and diversity, also fashions us into a splendid mosaic of faith and, therefore, moves us into a common mission of global compassion and justice. We’ll use the following prayer at the Old Stone Church in downtown Cleveland this Sunday (please join us if you’re local). You may want to adapt it for you church, pray it individually or with family and friends wherever you break bread.  

A Prayer for World Communion Sunday

One: God of bread and wine, of grace and mercy: you set a large and abundant table for us today in the heart of our city. Gather us, we pray, from our many different places:

All: We come from our homes in suburbs to the east and west and south; from apartments and condos in the neighborhoods on the lakeshore, uptown and downtown, from treatment centers, hotel beds and conference rooms, from city shelters and makeshift hideouts in parks and under bridges. We are newcomers and long-timers. Yet, here, we are one at a table big enough for all.

One: Today is World Communion Sunday. We break bread with Christians around the world:

All: We praise you, O God, for your global Spirit which tethers your local people with sisters and brothers, children and grown-ups in everyplace. We remember those who are hungry, lonely and most vulnerable in our city, our nation and throughout the world. We give you thanks for your grace that finds us and binds us together at a table large enough for the entire world. Makes us one, we pray, in a magnificent mosaic of faith that is bound together by your gentle mercy, wrapped in your unconditional grace, and in convicted by the overwhelming truth of your eternal love.

In your Holy Name we pray; Amen.

WHO WANTS TO BE A BLACK MAN? I published an article called John Hosa Wants to Be a White Man! on The Huffington Post last week. While it received some interesting comments on Facebook and on Huff-post, I have yet to find any white folks who said they wanted trade places John Hosa, Keith Scotts, Terence Crutcher, Tamir Rice, or any other African-American, killed or living.

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My friend, an educator and organizer, shared a short clip of American educator, Jane Elliot speaking about race to a group of college kids. It’s a powerful scene. She invites all those white people in the lecture hall who want to be treated the way “our black citizens are treated in this society” to stand. Of course, not one person stands up. Elliot says that the fact that no one stood-up “says very plainly that you know what’s happening, you know you don’t want it for you. I want to know why you’re so willingly to accept it or allow it to happen for others.”

If you’re not already involved with a good church or with community organizations that are actively engaged in conversation about justice and working toward racial healing in America, I encourage you to get engaged now. And while you’re at it, get out and vote this November for those people and issues on the ballot that will best support the goal of ending racial inequality and injustice, and help us bring hope and healing to America.

Vote. Then act. Then act some more. If you find yourself losing steam, then answer the question: why does John Hosa want to be a white man. Or why you would never change places with him.

– RMG

 

Luke 15:1-10 – Jesus’s parables of the Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin follow accusations from some of the Pharisees and scribes that “this fellow” Jesus “welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

YOUR IDEA OF SUCCESS AND JESUS’S MIGHT BE DIFFERENT IF … you believe that to succeed you have to surround yourself with successful people. Jesus surrounded himself with the lowliest people of his day: sinners and tax collectors and, if you look closely and honestly, he had a good time with them, and them with him, eating and drinking and celebrating God’s amazing grace at every turn.

Even though Jesus was accused of being a “glutton and a drunkard” (Matthew 11:19), he seemed to prefer the company of the disenfranchised to those of the establishment. The Pharisees chose to critique Jesus, even accuse him of doing something wrong because of his grace-filled relationship with those on the edge. They missed the fact that there was room for them at the table, too.

Maybe the lost that Jesus is talking about in his peculiar parables that follow aren’t the ones who are already with Jesus – the sinners and tax collectors, but the Pharisees and the scribes who can’t seem to shake loose from tangled knots of the establishment. They’re surrounded by the so called successful in their midst, they enjoy a worldly power and privilege and, even though there’s little life in it for them, they’re not willing to give it up to hang out with this rogue from Galilee.

The question we might ask ourselves today is this: do we prefer to surround ourselves with successful people or to be at the party with Jesus?

– R. Mark Giuliano, September 2016

 

Proper 19C / Ordinary 24C / Pentecost +17