Our theme for this silent Sunday is bringing our Yes to God, and to the fullness of the gift of life. We will begin with a guided meditation and opening prayer, which you can follow in the audio file below.
David Frenette wrote:
"You cannot do anything to produce an experience of God in you, but you can say yes to receiving divine love, to awakening to this sacred gift. You can say yes to letting it come into your consciousness and transform the pain of your own contraction, separation, unconscious resistance, and self-isolating behavior. You can be transformed in God’s own image, awakening to the sun rising in you. You can let the Son of God shine the light of his love, let the Spirit move a little more freely through you" ...
The Spirit's presence in you "is a gift unfolding, like a flower that opens on its own, drawn forth by a light you can do nothing to produce or control. You do need to do something in centering prayer, but this doing is more like being and allowing than self-accomplished busyness. Your activity in centering prayer is like a rose’s petals opening to the sunlight, like surrender unfolding inside you, like self-abandonment awakening within. Your action in contemplation is a radical consent to God’s eternal nature more than your own self-initiated effort in one contracted moment of time."
This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.
Questions for reflection:
Spend some time reflecting on what it means to choose life, to say yes to God's unfolding presence within you.
Are there any areas in your life that you are saying "no" to? What would it mean to say "yes" to this part of your life?
Can you notice any tendencies in yourself to try to force some kind of spiritual growth or worthiness? How could you shift to what David Frenette describes as: "surrender unfolding inside you, like self-abandonment awakening within." How can you bring a "radical consent" to God's presence and action within?
Take a slow walk in the garden if you can, or somewhere where you can see growing plants. Allow one of these plants to catch your attention (it could even be what we label a "weed"). Hold a dialogue with this plant about what it means to be rooted in the earth, and to be fully alive. Allow your imagination to flow with this exercise, and to answer back on behalf of the plant. You might be surprised at what you hear!
e e cummings:
i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and love and wings and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
I read this profound reflection this past week, and it struck me as a beautiful example of saying "Yes" to all of life, including the painful difficult parts. I invite you to spend some time reading and reflecting on this, and then listen to the song below:
Stand somewhere where you can see the sky, and at the same time allow yourself to feel rooted to the earth.
Now pray this ending prayer:
Lord, we pray that as we become more deeply rooted and established in love,
and as we learn to bring our consent to you, and to the unfolding of our lives,
we may be empowered, together with all of the people of your creation,
to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is your heart,
and to become convinced of this love that surpasses rational knowledge—
that we may be filled to overflowing with your generous, outpouring abundance.
(Adapted from Ephesians 3:17-19)