come to the altar of peace

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You, God, give the mind’s eye Your divine light

so completely and excellently,

You bring lucidity even to the light of faith.

In that faith, I see my soul has life, and in that light,

I receive You who are Light itself.

……St. Catherine of Siena

there is this precious space between us and the divine beauty…..the place of ineffable knowing…..the place where we bring our best self and our deeply pained and imperfect self…..let us not forget…..

Sometimes for prayer, I engage in a walking lectio divina, choosing a text and praying with it as I walk. Recently a passage about an experience St. Benedict had at the end of his life had my heart burning: “The whole world was gathered up before his eyes/ in what appeared to be a single ray of light.” I took these words on a walk with me, entering with Benedict into his final vision. I began by relishing the words themselves, savoring them within me. Then I allowed my imagination to unfold, to let images, feelings, and memories stir in me. I was flooded with images of creation infused with radiant light- sitting by the sea, walking deep in the woods, climbing a mountain, breathing in a field of wildflowers- each place luminous and connected in a sacred way to the others through this luminosity. In moment of grace, I saw the daffodil was not radiant just because of the sunlight dancing across its surface. Suddenly the daffodil was lit from within. And in this way, the light reminded me of the way God illuminates me from within, dwells deep within me as a spark. When I open my heart I become a burning flame. My invitation is to carry this light into the world and to see fire everywhere I look…….Christine Valters Paintner

deep silence, like a gem tucked deep in the heart

I will try, like them

To be my own silence:

And this is difficult. The whole

World is secretly on fire. The stones

Burn, even the stones

They burn me. How can a man be still or

Listen to all things burning? How can he dare

To sit with them when

All their silence

Is on fire?

…..Thomas Merton

2 thoughts on “come to the altar of peace

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