Posts Tagged ‘spirituality’

WHEN I WAS A KID GROWING UP IN CANADA, WE PLAYED A GAME CALLED, KING OF THE CASTLE. Friends who grew up in the States called it King of the Hill. Whatever you called it when you were a kid, the point of the game was basically the same. It was to step or stomp on your buddies, scratch and claw if you had to, so that you could get to the top of the heap and sing your victory song: I’m the King of the castle, you’re the dirty rascal (to the tune of Ring Around the Rosie)!

Check out O Lord, It’s Hard to Be Humble. Be sure not to miss the wonderful ending.
It’s sure to leave you smiling!

The strange and sad thing is that we’ve seen grown-ups play an adult version of the very same game in business and politics, in love and marriage, and even in the church. We may even be thinking about one or two of them right now. They are folks for whom, it seems, that it doesn’t matter who gets hurt, so long as they can win, make it to the top, be number one, and stay there! (more…)

One of the first lessons of faith is also the hardest for me: There is a God, and I’m not it! Whether my heart is heavy with worry or sadness, or I’m burned out from the day-to-day grind, that’s when I have to remember this important rule more than ever. I’m not God, and not every load is mine to carry, at least not by myself. God is there to help me!

Come to me, all you who are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
– Jesus (Matthew 11:28-29)

What burdens are you shouldering right now? What’s weighing heavily on your heart or mind? Are you able to let it go or hand it over to God? Be still. Breathe deeply. And ask God to take it from here. Remember: God’s got this!

Love,
Mark

 

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What’s your favorite time of day on the Camino de Santiago? For me, there is no contest; it’s early morning.

I feel great having my boots laced, my pack on my back, and my body moving forward just as the sun is starting to rise behind me in the east. My heart is starting to pump and my blood is beginning to flow. Most importantly, I know that I am doing exactly what I am meant to be doing: walking. (more…)

 

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In the beauty, the vastness, the stillness, and the grace of the people we meet along the way, a very long walk can help us remember ourselves.

If you can’t remember who you are, try going for a very long walk! 

Every peregrino (pilgrim) has his or her own reason for walking the Camino de Santiago. I chose to walk the Camino because I wanted to remember myself.  (more…)

Connect with CreationBy R. Mark Giuliano
The Old Stone Church, Cleveland
Adapted from a piece I wrote for Singing a Song of Faith (Toronto:UCPH, 2007) while living in Savannah, Georgia.

Of all the places to be pecking out thoughts on Lent and the natural world! As I reflect on the gift of creation this evening, my unfortunate location dawns on me: I’m stuck in my basement office at the Savannah College of Art and Design.  The musty room is windowless and poorly cooled with minimal puffs of conditioned air which feel much like my dog’s steamy breath panting in my ear.  My nicely pressed shirt looks like a damp rag and probably smells only slightly better.  No wonder they wear sear-sucker in the South.
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Are you listing?

God gave you two ears and one mouth. Get the math? We should listen at least twice as much as we speak.

So here I am reading some old Paul Tillich quotes on BrainyQuote.com, a website for those of us who are brainy enough to read quotes but not books, and I come across this great quote: “The first duty of love is to listen.” A beautiful quote, right? The only problem is that Brainy Quote has Tillich’s profound statement, eloquent in its simplicity, stuck to an image of two adorable elephants nuzzling one another!

One of the worst things we can do to love is tame it through sentimentality. When we make love sentimental or saccharine we diffuse it as a power to change lives and transform the world.

Listening, a great act of love, is about our willingness to surrender our own ego in an attempt to hear and, therefore, understand others. Listening requires empathy and compassion.

Listening, in many ways, is dying to self so that others may live; so that new relationships of understanding can be born.  That’s love.

– RMG