Friday, September 23, 2016

On a Pilgrimage

Two weeks ago  Sandy and I started a small group that is on a spiritual pilgrimage together.  We are reading through The Soul of a Pilgrim by Christine Valters Paintner and sharing reflections  of our journeys with each other.

Sandy is hosting with so much love and generosity and it is  a real gift to me to gather in community with other women who are  intentionally seeking  to grow spiritually.  Like everything I do these days - I don't know where it is leading - but I am so grateful for all of it.

The first week we met, we spent time with the introduction and the suggestion that we might receive a seven word prayer - a mantra -  for this journey.

She writes: "As a way of naming the grace for this time, I invite you to open yourself to receive a seven-word prayer to carry with you.  just notice what the prayer of your heart is for this time..."

It was so interesting to hear how different the process was for us.  Some people received their mantra in the meeting last week and others  - like me - had a long wait until something emerged.  Here are some of the mantras
Be Still and know I am God 

Let the past go; I am enough

Greet the Lord with a joyful heart

Light my path for new directions

I am your pilgrim of the journey

Let me show you more inside yourself

Bring me to service for all mankind

One new person who came and did not know about this jokingly said in the moment that her 7 word prayer was "I need to keep my mouth shut"  Everyone laughed - but it actually may be exactly what we all need.  Silence

For me, I wondered what would come.  I had been living with a 7 word prayer (not intentionally but it emerged in prayer about 2 years ago) - I am here to be with you.  And it has served me well.  When I was part of a "Pilgrimage Group" this summer my prayer was: "Come close and let me show you."   Would there be something different this fall?  Last Monday morning as I intentionally sat with this, a new prayer did come  and it really speaks to me.

Show me the way to new life

Last month I had a significant dream about waiting to give birth and when this prayer rose up in me, I knew it was from God.  A reminder that no matter how old I am God is never done with me.  And  I believe there is going to be new life for any of us who pay attention and continue to learn to surrender.

I will end with this quote from Rumi

What nine months of attention does for an embryo
forty early mornings will do
for your gradually growing wholeness.

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