“You will have to do better than that Patrick!”


Perhaps we can begin a more serious reflection on the Trinity with a little Irish humor from Donal and Conal.

Every Sunday we say together the words of the Nicene Creed, which distill down to four concise statements:

We believe in God, maker of heaven and earth. We believe in Jesus Christ, eternally begotten of the Father. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the giver of life. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

The doctrine of the Trinity as we have inherited it today is the result of a need in the Early Church, not so much to explain the nature of God as to protect the nature of Christ from being reduced to one of two simple assertions – divine or human. For the key question arises, if God is God, who and what is Christ?

Is Jesus a man, a great man, an avatar like Moses or the Buddha, or Mohammed showing us a fuller revelation of God or the cosmic order in the case of the Buddha? Or is Jesus a divine being who like the God’s of Olympus dons the trappings of human appearance.

The Christian experience is that Jesus was both divine and human, both natures existing simultaneously, yet independently. But this seems to assert something that to all the world seemed and still seems absurd? Yet, the assertion of both human and divine goes to the heart of the experience of the Early Christians and Christians ever since.

The Christian experience makes sense in that to be human is to be most like God. But this requires God to have first experienced being really human. The doctrine of the Trinity emerges from the early Christian struggle to articulate an experience of God who is the God of creation, the intimate participant within creation, and the ongoing transformer of our experience within the creation.


Perspective from the 21st Century

The Holy Trinity forms a central plank in my own spiritual life. I have some sympathy for St Patrick when under the withering barrage from Donal and Conal he retreats into the impenetrable incomprehensibility of the Athanasian Creed. In his creed, St Athanasius puts it like this:

The Catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the persons nor dividing the Substance.

Another way to approach this is to recognize that God is both unknowable and also knowable; mysterious and yet intimate; far off and yet close by. The Trinity echoes the first chapter of Genesis where God exclaims: Let us make humanity in our own image, male and female let us create them. Who is the us here?

The us is God who self-identifies as communal, not solitary. The Trinity reveals God as a divine community within which God manifests in three distinct ways. These have been traditionally referred to as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Today, we can get caught up in rejecting the gendered nature of these terms and miss that the main point lies not in their gendered but in their relational nature.  When I become sensitive to the exclusive impression male-gendered terms communicate I  translate them as God the lover, the beloved, and the love sharer. Gendered terms can be avoided if the essence of the relationship between equals is maintained.

Relational theology

Relationships require more than one person. Within the context of relationships, you cant speak of one member without reference to the others. Husband as no meaning with the concept of a wife, mother without daughter,  father without son,  sister without brother and so forth. Each term implies the existence of the other. Each identity is inseparable from its existence within a relationship.

Psychologically, we are object seeking. Our identity is most fully discovered and named in relationship with others. One Christian is no Christian because to be Christian is by definition to be a member of a community that bears this name. In the relational separations between persons on the divine community, we find our true identity as persons fulfilled and made complete through our seeking connection with others in relationship.

Being human is a reflection of the relational nature of the divine image, thus as the reflection is relational so must be the image it reflects.

From doctrine to worship

andrei--rublev-russian-icons--the-trinity_i-S-61-6179-4K11100ZDespite the popularity among Episcopalians to name our churches after the Holy Trinity, the Trinity in the Catholic and Protestant West has been largely reduced to a theological doctrine. The Orthodox East provides an interesting counterpoint. In orthodox Christianity, the Trinity is a devotional focus. This can be most graphically demonstrated by Andrei Rublev’s archetypal depiction of the Trinity, written (icons are written not painted) in 1410. The Trinity is shown as three identical persons lovingly gazing upon one another. Rublev clearly has in his mind’s eye the visit to Abraham of the three angels at the Oak of Mamre. Yet, in the striking aspect of Rublev’s depiction of God the Holy Trinity, we catch the echo of the conversation we hear God having in Genesis, let us make humanity in our own image. God is not a singular entity, but a relational community.

When we put together the ancient echo in the Genesis record of God’s internal conversation with our current psychologically shaped experience of the fluidity of identity, we arrive at the theological realization that for us, in our period of history, God’s nature takes on a poignantly, relational quality.


I don’t only believe in the Trinity as a doctrine, but I worship God through the Trinity. When I gaze at each identical figure seated around the three sides of a table, I notice how they gaze upon one another with expressions of intimate love.

Sitting before the icon of the Trinity I am reminded that my identity as a person is not constructed by me in isolation. I experience my identity as the result of the way I see others looking back at me. My identity is constructed through the interplay of my relationships. As I gaze upon the three figures of the Trinity, I am invited into a reaffirmation that I am a child of God because I belong to a community that reflects a relational God. I am a relational being and my health lies in my desire to seek my identity within relational connections with others. Only when we are fully in community together can we become an image of the unseen God, whom in the visibility of the Trinity we discover is not a solitary entity, but a relational community of love.

I began with Irish humor, let me end with Irish wisdom.

Three folds of the cloth yet only one napkin is there. Three joints in the finger, but still only one finger fair. Three leaves of the shamrock, yet no more than one shamrock to wear. Frost, snowflakes, and ice, all in water their origin share. Three Persons in God: to one God alone we make our prayer.                                                                       

An Irish Celtic prayer to the Trinity.

The Wind Blows Where it Wishes


A sermon from the Rev. Linda Mackie Griggs

There once was a bishop: Gregory of Nazianzus, Bishop of Constantinople. It was his mission in life to defend the Doctrine of the Trinity as stated in the Nicene Creed against those who would, in effect, strip it of its mystery. And one of the biggest mysteries of the Trinity (and there are plenty of them—more on that next week) was how, or even if, the Holy Spirit fits into the Trinity as its Third Person, of the same substance as, and co-eternal and co-equal with, the Father and the Son. To those who would minimize or eliminate the Holy Spirit in their theology, Gregory had this to say:

Look at these facts: Christ is born, the Holy Spirit is His Forerunner. Christ is baptized, the Spirit bears witness to this … Christ works miracles, the Spirit accompanies them. Christ ascends, the Spirit takes His place. … I tremble when I think of such an abundance of titles, and how many Names they blaspheme, those who revolt against the Spirit! 

Gregory was my kind of guy. The Spirit transformed how he saw the world.

Gregory wrote and preached copiously about this in the fourth century, and his work was tremendously respected—one of the titles given him by the Church was Gregory the Theologian. This simply goes to show that when people (like me) talk freely and admittedly enthusiastically about the movement of the Spirit—this isn’t a touchy-feely New Age-y thing: This tradition is ancient and powerful.

But be honest. Doesn’t the Holy Spirit make you just a wee bit nervous?  Because it should.

We wear red. We put out balloons, we’ll have red goodies at coffee hour and some churches even sing Happy Birthday to the Church. And that’s great—I love to see people engaged in a joyous celebration in the life of our faith. But if we’re not just a little trepidatious at the power of what we are celebrating, we’re missing the point.

The Spirit is hard to pin down. Unlike the other two Persons of the Trinity, commonly referred to as Father and Son, most of the words used to describe the Spirit are conceptual, like Truth and Wisdom, or functional, like Advocate, Guide, Teacher and Comforter, or material but kinetic, like fire, water, wind. The Dove is the only image that we can really get our hands on, but even then, just try to catch one.

And when it comes to gender, the Spirit is absolutely fluid. I know today’s lessons and the Creed, due at least in part to patriarchal influence, refer to the Spirit as male, but this is an incomplete picture. The ancient tradition was to equate the Spirit with Wisdom, or the Greek feminine, Sophia. The word for Spirit that Jesus would originally have used is the Aramaic, ruach, which is a feminine noun. And the Greek, pneuma, is neuter. So there you have it, the Spirit’s gender is definitely—indefinite. Genderless. Or all-gendered, whichever—isn’t theology fun?

Pentecost was a Jewish celebration before it was a Christian one. The Jewish Pentecost, or Shavuot, is the commemoration of the giving of Torah to Israel. So this is why Jews were gathered all in one place from all around the area, bringing with them their own languages, traditions and ethnic identities. Parthians and Medes, Elamites, etc… Imagine the cacophony of voices and languages, the rich mosaic of faces, the scent of different kinds of food…the tension of people encountering the unfamiliar.

And suddenly. The “sound like the rush of a violent wind.” Not simply enough to mess up your hair—think more like helicopter rotors, sending everything flying. And then tongues of flame, followed by a total linguistic paradigm shift, as everything they thought they knew about how they spoke or related to one another—was thrown out the window in one great Tower of Babel reversal. Imagine how disorienting this would be, for those who experienced or witnessed it.

This Holy Spirit is powerful. No wonder she makes people nervous.

There are those who see it/him/her as mostly the territory of evangelical and Pentecostal households of the Christian faith, looking askance at the surrender of the rational

in favor of the less quantifiable and predictable, and perhaps even more unnerved by the idea of speaking in tongues. For people who like things orderly, the Spirit can be overly mischievous, taking its own time about things we need to get settled now, and nudging us in directions we don’t understand, or even like.

We have learned to be skeptical of things we can’t control. We are products of a New England, Anglican, disenchanted Enlightenment point of view that has a difficult time accepting guidance from a flexibly-gendered immaterial out-of-the-box and generally stubborn Spirit. And yet, on that first Pentecost, lives were changed. The Church was born. All at once on that windswept and fiery day, people began to speak the language of the Good News of Jesus Christ, and the Dream of God began to take hold.

How do we know if it’s the Spirit that is urging us on? How do we know, in this era when people claim to be guided by the Spirit, but are actually indulging their own wishful thinking about a world that reflects their fears and a conception of God that conveniently matches the face they see in the mirror? How do we know? It’s a good question, and it gets to the heart of what it is to discern—to weigh, through listening in community and with the Spirit’s guidance—what we are called to do.

In our church ,we have a template that helps us with discernment– our Baptismal Covenant. (Book of Common Prayer, pp. 304-305)

Listen to the questions that it asks, and how it directly confronts us with our vocation and identity as followers of Jesus:

Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of the bread, and in the prayers?

Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?

Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?

Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?

Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?

Worship, prayer, reconciliation, community, justice, compassion, evangelism, humility. This is our Christian identity. With God’s help.

No pressure, right?

This Covenant is where the Spirit nudges (or sometimes shoves) us as we discern our path. No wonder it makes us nervous. It requires measures of courage, perseverance, and steadfastness that we fear we don’t have. It requires us to make the living out of our faith the centerpiece of our lives; every minute of every day.

And in these days when we are bearing worried witness to the groans of a Creation in painful transition on so many fronts, discerning the Spirit’s movement and letting it/her/him set us aflame with Gospel energy is an invitation we are being called to answer in the affirmative. With God’s help.

Today is one of my favorite days in the life of the church—the celebration of Holy Baptism and the welcoming of a new member of the Household of God, Madeleine Mae McCloskey. When I first saw her and heard her name, I instantly thought of the words of children’s author Ludwig Bemelmans—his description of the main character in his beloved Madeline series: “She was not afraid of mice; she loved winter, snow and ice. And to the tiger in the zoo, Madeline just said, ‘Pooh, pooh!’”

The qualities that endear Madeline to us—courage, joy wonder, spunk—these are qualities of the Spirit that we pray our Madeleine—and in a few minutes we will, as a community, claim her as ours—these are the gifts that we pray Madeleine will offer to a world in great need of Gospel courage, joy, wonder and spunk.

Today we will, as we always do at baptism and Pentecost, call upon the Holy Spirit, eagerly waiting to welcome her/him/it into our midst. But given what we know about her power, and her persistence, perhaps we should consider that, rather than waiting for the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is waiting for us.










In but not of: that’s the question.



So it truly is a miracle to experience the sudden bursting into new life that occurs as the weeks of May give way to the sudden warmth of a New England spring – so long delayed that it seems no sooner here than it’s gone and suddenly, summer is upon us.

My thoughts of awaiting the miracle of spring coming to my garden provide a suitable analogy to where we are at present in the yearly cycle of the Church’s calendar. As in the days of late April and early May transitioning between the seasons of winter to spring to summer, we now wait in the time-in-between, between Ascension and Whitsun, expectant of a new cycle of fruitfulness in the spiritual life of the community we know as the Church.


Concepts of ascending and descending provide powerful metaphors for the movement of spiritual time from one cycle to the next. The Evangelist Luke used them to particular effect. Ascending and descending as metaphors already existed in the Jewish spiritual imaginary for Luke to draw upon. As the prophet Elijah had ascended into heaven, born in a chariot of fire, as he rose, his mantle fell to rest upon the shoulders of his servant Elisha; anointing him to continue the vital work of prophecy in Israel. In Luke’s theological schema, Jesus bodily ascends in order that his Spirit can descend upon his followers; anointing them to continue the vital working for the kingdom’s in-breaking- your kingdom come; your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

With the appointment of Matthias to replace Judas Iscariot, who having betrayed Jesus, now lay dead, his entrails polluting the field he had purchased with the ill-gotten gains of his treachery, we see a picture of getting on with the work during a period of waiting in an in-between time – waiting for further instructions, as it were.

The Evangelist John gives us a more nuanced picture of the tensions involved in the work ahead. Being a disciple of Jesus will require living in the world but not being of the world. This is a place of necessary tension. In the First Letter of John, written by someone we know as John the Elder who was a disciple of John the Evangelist, the author makes explicit the tensions involved in living in the world, while not being of the world.

John the Elder addresses the tensions leading to the breakup of the Beloved Community formed around the teachings of John the Evangelist. Some in the community had come to believe that they could be in relationship with God without believing in Jesus as Son of God. Freed from believing in Jesus as the way to the Father, having confined the concept of neighbor to those like themselves, they no longer felt bound by Jesus’ commandment to live with love as the mark of their discipleship.

John the Elder protests that belief in Jesus as the Son of God and obedience to his commandment to love everyone is what marks-out those who continue to live in the world but are not of the world.

Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony in their hearts. Those who do not believe in God have made him a liar by not believing in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son.

If he were to put it in more contemporary language John the Elder might have said that it’s all a matter of values; the values of the kingdom or the values of the world.


Contexts change, but the tension between being in the world but not of the world remains the same. For the community of John the Evangelist, the theology of living in the world but not being of the world was born out of an experience of dispossession and exclusion. Johannine Christians were Jews no longer welcome in the synagogues. They were excluded from the cultural settings in which late 1st and early 2nd-century Jewish life reconstructed itself after the fall of the Temple. In the time of John the Elder, the Johannine community was fractured by the actions of those who had come to understand the intimacy with God promised by Jesus in his farewell instructions to the disciples as a matter of their entitlement to claim equality with God.

It’s a short journey from claiming equality with God to no longer needing God.


As 21st-century Christians, we remain in the tension between living in the world but not being of the world. Like the members of the Beloved Community, we also hold conflicting understandings of what being in the world but not of the world looks like. We are struggling to navigate our way through a period when the perennial tension of living in the world but not being of the world is a focus of particular conflict. Contexts change but the tension between being in but not of the world remains the same.


Being in but not of the world is the central theological tension running through the entire history of the Judeo-Christian epic. On the one hand, there is a theology of the chosen people in possession of the promised land by virtue of their being the chosen. On the other, there is the theology of liberation from bondage, a different kind of experience of chosen-ness in which the promised land is not a possession but exactly what its name describes – a promise – still in the process of being fulfilled. Both are theologies rooted in the Exodus experience of our Hebrew ancestors in faith. They conflict with each other, mightly.

In the particular American context, this ancient theological tension manifests in our conflicting vision of ourselves as a nation. One vision is that we are the chosen people inhabiting a shining city set on a hill, looking out over the promised land, ripe for our taking. The other is of a people chosen by virtue of being freed from the bondage of multiple oppressions. Set in the context of our New England history, is the tension between the Massachusetts Bay and the Rhode Island experiments.

Today, it’s the tension between those who define their chosen-ness through assumptions of white-male privilege and those whose sense of being chosen is the direct result of their experience of oppression at the hands of white-male privilege.

Judeo-Christian history is the story of a people chosen through being liberated into the hope of the promised land. But it’s also a story of a people who kept forgetting that their chosen status was not based on their power and privilege, but on their having once been slaves before their liberation. Whenever the people forgot this and claimed the promised land on the basis of assumptions of entitlement, they lost it. They kept forgetting that being chosen carries responsibilities, and the promised land is only ever a gift, not a birthright.


For me, it’s mostly my vulnerability, not my sense of entitlement that defines me as one who is living in the world but not of the world. Being connected to my vulnerability connects me to the vulnerability in others. Here are some simple ways to work out whether you are living in the world but not being of the world.

  • How do you feel when judges interpret the law and politicians pass legislation that favors corporate interests over those of communities?
  • Do you notice when the operation of the law and the criminal justice system oppresses the poor and denies them justice?
  • Are you turning a blind eye so that you fail to recognize let alone challenge the entrenched institutions and attitudes of racism in America?
  • How do you feel when your elected officials are in the pockets of those who would continue to exploit and pollute our air, land, and water in the interests of private profit?
  • Do you believe that the concern for the threat to women from the male use of power to sexually and professionally exploit them is overblown?
  • Do you agree that whiteness and white maleness, in particular, deserve special minority protections; that when a black woman is given a job over the choice of a white man that she’s been given his job?
  • Do you think the freedom of religious conscience should be able to deny LGBT people equal rights before the law?
  • Do you believe that universal access to affordable public education and healthcare – esp. for women is not a civil right?
  • Do you believe that Second Amendment rights should be protected from any regulation in the interests of public safety?

imagesIn seven days, we will commemorate the birth of the community we know as the Church. In seven days we will receive the empowerment of the Holy Spirit so that we might continue the work of agitation for the inbreaking of the kingdom. Are we living inspired by the expectations of the kingdom; expectations of justice for all; as those who depend on God to liberate us from our bondage, not once but over and again? Or are we those whose lives are guided by a complicity with the values of the world; values shaped by the exercise of the powerful over the powerless; the values and politics of entitlement? The answer will tell us whether we are in or of the world.

“Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public.”
― Cornel West

I’ve Been Thinking About Friendship

images-2I’ve been thinking about friendship. One of my weaknesses has always been an ability to move-through.

I‘m struck by a paradox of moving-through. Emotional attachment to places and people is a necessary skill for a priest to have, yet so is the ability to detach and move on. As a priest, one enters a community ready-made to receive you. New faces, new relationship possibilities, new situations and contexts rapidly fill the void left by previous leavings. Parishioners often like to remind me when I do something they don’t agree with that I am only passing through and they were here before me and will be here after I have gone.

I have to confess that being a priest enables me to connect more deeply with others, but at the same time, it has encouraged in me a kind of laziness when it has come to the maintenance of previous friendships, left behind after moving-through. I am increasing saddened by this awareness.

I’ve been thinking about friendship. Perhaps it’s a wisdom that comes with aging – the realization dawning more clearly that when it comes to friendship, there is little time for squandering and taking love for granted.


I’ve been thinking about friendship. Men and women seem to have different approaches to friendship. Friendships, their making and sustaining seem to have now become the social responsibility of women, who maintain friendships not only with one another, but facilitate the social worlds of their families, and especially their husbands and partners. While this is a situation that is particular to heterosexual marriage, the dynamic of one partner taking social responsibility for making and sustaining friendships is also something that characterizes relationships between gay men. In my long 40-year relationship, it’s largely been Al’s responsibility to nurture our mutual relationships with others.

I was born in 1955. In the world of my childhood and adolescence in the late 1960’s & early 70’s I remember my mother and father existing in separate social worlds. As the social world of women has greatly expanded beyond the traditional areas of home and children, changing expectations of marriage have also resulted in a shrinking of traditional spheres of male camaraderie leaving men more and more the passive participants in the social worlds their wives now create, organize, and sustain. In the NPR March 19th podcast Hidden Brain episode titled The Lonely American Man, a number of men reflect on the slow deterioration of their capacity for friendship. One man reports that when his wife is home, there are never enough hours in the day for all their social activities, but when she is away for more than three days, he rapidly becomes a hermit.

A new sense of the deficit of moving-through, and a growing concern about wider societal trends leaving many men emotionally isolated from one another gives impetus to my desire to revive some kind of men’s community at St Martin’s. It comes as little surprise that the Women’s Spirituality Group (WSG) flourishes while attempts to bring men into community together, continue to flounder. I am reassured to discover that this is not only the rector’s concern but is a concern more widely shared among the men of the parish.

On April 7th, 30 men came together to talk about hopes and expectations for a revival of a men’s community. On April 24th a similar number attended the first beer and pizza evening. On May 8th we plan a second of these dinners. At these events, men are recognizing and articulating their need to enjoy the company of other men; to eat together, to share experience, to grow together, and eventually, together to forge a vision of being of greater service in the wider community. To this end, St Martin’s Men’s Community (SMMC) is establishing itself as an umbrella under which men can self-organize according to different needs and interests.

Within the SMMC we have the level of the large group community. Here the process of being in a large group (30) encourages individual encounters.  The SMMC also fosters an energy for more intimate encounters in smaller groups. One example is the revival of something remembered with affection – the priest facilitated small lunch discussion group. Alongside this, flowing from the traditional concept of a book group, new possibilities for multiple reading (smaller than a book like an Op-Ed article) discussion groups are emerging. A third level of activity is service. This will take longer to emerge but will be the direct fruit of both the large social and small group learning encounters. As the community solidifies there is the future hope of SMMC sponsored service projects in the wider community.

As is the case with the WSG, the SMMC is one of our portals or gateway ministries because it is open to all men from far and wide, Episcopalian or not, who wish to participate in building Christian men’s community together.


I slipped in that qualifier Christian before the word community above. It feels controversial to have done so, for in the St Martin’s Community the use of Christian as a qualifier is often heard as an expression of an unwanted and undesirable exclusivity associated with Evangelical groups. Yet, what we are about is building Christian community among men. The thorny question is what is it that makes a community Christian amidst a raft of other social and service group possibilities?

In John 15, Jesus, building on his commandment that his disciples love one another continues to explain to them that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. For Jesus, this is not a generalized statement that in principle there’s no greater love than to lay down one’s life in the cause of friendship. Jesus is being very personal. He is teaching his disciples about his own willingness to give his life for them, as it turns out on the cross. He contemplates his own self-sacrificial death not simply as an expression of some lofty and high principle known only between the heavenly Father and his earthly Son, but as an intimate relational commitment to his friends. He startles them when he tells them:

You are my friends, he tells them. I do not call you servants any longer, because a servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends because I have shared with you everything I have learned from God. 

This kind of friendship is a revolutionary political action in a world of strict hierarchies of master and servant relations characterized by the use and misuse of differentials of power that characterize the normal tendencies or status quo in human societies. 


The life of faith is lived at the intersection of two axis lines – one horizontal and the other vertical. At the human level, we easily recognize that friends are accountable to, and for one another. On the horizontal axis, there’s mutuality in the responsibilities for one another shared among friends. Is this also true along the vertical axis?

Jesus teaches that the world will recognize us as his friends by the manner of our love for one another. He also teaches, that his friendship with his disciples flows directly from his friendship with God. This is how love flows up and down along a vertical axis revealing friendship-love as a core quality of the divine nature. In a few weeks, we will celebrate the deeper implications of this mystery on Holy Trinity Sunday.

It’s easy to get the relationship between the two axes back-to-front in the sense that many have and still believe that you must love God first then others second. After all, this is how the ancient Jewish commandment – love God as the first commandment and then love neighbor. Even Jesus restates this in the summary of the Law. But from a human perspective living into the reflection of divine friendship first requires viable blueprints and templates for friendship with one another. Developmentally, do we not learn to love God through the love of self and then love of neighbor?

Human beings, left to their own impulses tend towards developing friendships that usually bear the marks of self-interest. It’s easy to be friends with those we are attracted to. It’s easy to be friends with the like-minded, those who are like us. Human friendship tends to degenerate into exclusionary practices.

The connection between human friendship and Christian friendship lies in adding the dimension of the vertical axis an allowing it to inform and shape our expression of friendship with one another. Our belief that friendship is an essential quality of God reflected back to us confronts our tendencies towards the exclusivities that preserve so many evils in human society.


I’ve been thinking about friendship informed by the vertical axis which further transforms us into resurrection-story-shaped communities – where friendship empowers us to be no less than God’s future-arrived-in-the- present.

May [we] have the courage to listen to the voice of desire that disturbs [us] when [we] have settled for something safe and may the forms of [our] belonging – in love, creativity, and friendship be equal to the grandeur and the call of [our] soul[s].

My paraphrasing of lines from: For Longing [1]– a poem by John O’ Donohue


blessed be the longing that brought you here
and quickens your soul with wonder.

may you have the courage to listen to the voice of desire
that disturbs you when you have settled for something safe.

may you have the wisdom to enter generously into your own unease
to discover the new direction your longing wants you to take.

may the forms of your belonging – in love, creativity, and friendship –
be equal to the grandeur and the call of your soul.

may the one you long for long for you.
may your dreams gradually reveal the destination of your desire.

may a secret providence guide your thought and nurture your feeling.

may your mind inhabit your life with the sureness
with which your body inhabits the world.

may your heart never be haunted by ghost-structures of old damage.

may you come to accept your longing as divine urgency.
may you know the urgency with which God longs for you.



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