Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Spiritual gratitude -- by Mary Jo Leddy

Mary Jo Leddy's book Spiritual Gratitude (2007) in poems and meditations blazes a path from burnout and despair toward spiritual liberation. It advises: 1. begin before you are ready, 2. practise gratitude, 3. gather with like-spirited people, 4. live more simply, 5. look for good examples, 6. think with your heart, 7. see from the Centre and the Edge (Matthew 25:37: when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink?) "Do you have a house for a car?", she asks. 8. be connected to a longer tradition, 9. find a beloved community, 10. look at the face of the world, and be moved.

We cry out to You because
...living is so all-consuming
...we are wasting away
...from wanting it all.
We are too busy
to take the one step.
We are running in circles
...running on the spot
...getting ahead
...while falling behind
...going nowhere fast.
Thus we are held captive
to everything and nothing.

Let us take the one step
the one sure step
in the direction of freedom.
One step is enough.
Let us go. Let us leave
Mardok, Mammon,
the disposable gods.
Be with us Manna,
Daily Bread and ordinary delight,
Give us water on the way.
You, the Diviner: You, the Destination.
seashell photo: Shutterstock
You have saved me,
Nothing has been thrown away.
When I lost my smile
...You planted it again as flowers.
When the music stopped
...You set it in a sea shell.
When hope blew away
...You caught it in a sail.
When my tears fell You sent them back
...again as snowflakes onto my cheeks.
When friends took flight
...You held them in a nesting place.
When I walked away
...You held me in Your heart.

You have not thrown anything away
You have not thrown me away
You have saved me in Yourself.

We heartily recommend her books, including the latest from her work at Romero House in Toronto, Your Friendly Local Terrorist (2014), about a refugee blackmailed by security forces -- a common practice.

See also Quaker pastor Peggy Senger Parsons on spiritual gratitude, Worldwatch Institute's discussion guide and resource kit Transforming Cultures: From Consumerism to Sustainability (2010, free download).

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