Perhaps the tulip knows about impermanence
and that is why, on a green stem
it carries a wine cup in the wilderness
Hafiz, (re)transl. Tom Davis
May 21, 2015
May 20, 2015
There is a famous story that Gandhi told of himself and the girl who was addicted to eating sweet foods.
The story goes that a troubled mother one day came to Gandhi along with her daughter and explained to Gandhi that her daughter was in the habit of eating far more sweet food than was good for her. Please, she asked, would Gandhi speak to the girl and persuade her to give up this harmful habit? Gandhi sat for a while in silence and then said, ‘Bring your daughter back in three weeks’ time, and then I will speak to her.’ The mother went away as she was told and came back after three weeks. This time Gandhi quietly took the daughter aside and in a few simple words pointed out to her the harmful effects of indulging in sweet food; he urged her to abandon the habit.
Thanking Gandhi for giving her daughter such good advice the mother then said to him in a puzzled voice, ‘Still, I would like to know, Gandhi, why you did not just say those words to my daughter three weeks ago when I first brought her to you?’
‘But’, explained Gandhi in reply, ‘Three weeks ago I myself was still addicted to eating sweet foods!’
May 19, 2015
And so it is with the glory of God expressed in human creation. It is not only in the ardent lover, the faithful friend, the wise counsellor, the trusting child that we see God’s glory. There is glory also in the anger of the oppressed, the pain of the wounded and the loneliness of the despised. It is the glory of God that puts such as these first in the Kingdom of Heaven, and makes us all interdependent – as much as part of the delicate and complex structure of relationship as the plants and animals that need the trees in the forest to survive.
The Church that has lost its sense of injustice is in danger of losing its heart
May 18, 2015
May 14, 2015
By way of completing the circle of communication I can see that social media has its advantages by way of sharing information! So after six years here in Windsor I am looking forward to the challenges and opportunities of a new phase of my work and life. Here is the Press Release – so the news first and more later…….
Canon James Woodward of Windsor Appointed Principal of Sarum College
The Trustees of Sarum College are delighted to announce the appointment of The Revd Canon Dr James Woodward as Principal of Sarum College. James is presently Canon of St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, and will assume the Principal post on October 1st.
“I have long admired the intellectual energy and spiritual depth of Sarum College as an ecumenical centre for Christian study and research,” said James. “I am looking forward to leading this community of learning and to nurturing theological education in service of the church and the wider community. ”
In the wake of the College’s recent merger with the former Southern Theological Training and Education Scheme (STETS), a priority for James, 54, will be to continue to develop innovative collaboration between the postgraduate, ministry and non-accredited programmes of both institutions.
The Very Revd Dr Alec Knight, Chair of the Sarum College Trustees, said: “I am very pleased that James has been appointed as Canon Keith Lamdin’s successor. This is an exciting time for the College as we integrate our learning programmes, extend our partnerships and build further on the College’s reputation for educational excellence and generous hospitality.”
“James is good news for Sarum College and for the Diocese of Salisbury,” said the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, the Bishop of Salisbury, who with the Rt Reverend Peter Hancock, Bishop of Bath and Wells, is a Foundation Trustee of Sarum College. “Well known for his impressive skills as a pastor, educator and strategic leader, James also brings a theologically articulate voice to the public discussion of healthcare, ageing and dying. ”
Keith will step down from his role as Principal on July 31st but will continue to run courses and leadership consultancy on behalf of Sarum College.
Keith said: “I have known James for nearly 30 years and am sure he will bring to the College what it needs to flourish in its next phase of life – pastoral sensitivity, clarity of direction and a deep theological engagement with the world.”
May 13, 2015
You see, only love can move across boundaries and across cultures. Love is a very real energy a spiritual life force that is much more powerful than ideas or mere thoughts. Love is endlessly alive, always flowing toward the lower place, and thus life-giving for all, like a great river and water itself.
When you die, you are precisely the capacity you have developed to give and to receive love. Your recognition of this is your own “final judgment” of yourself which means you become responsible for what you now see (not shamed or even rewarded, but just responsible).
If you have not received or will not give this gift of love to others, your soul remains tied to a small, earthly, empty world which is probably what we mean by hell. (God can only give love to those who want it.)
If you still need to grow in love and increase your capacity to trust Love, God makes room for immense growth surrounding the death experience itself, which is probably what we mean by purgatory. (Time is a mental construct of humans. Why would growth be limited to this part of our lives? God and the soul live in an eternal now.)
If you are already at home in love, you will easily and quicklv go to the home of love which is surely what we mean by heaven. There the growth never stops and the wonder never ceases. (If life is always change and growth, eternal life must be infinite possibility and growth!)
So by all means, every day, and in every way, we must choose to live in love—it is mostly a decision—and even be eager to learn the ever deeper ways of love—which is the unearned grace that follows from the decision!
Richard Rohr Eager to Love
May 12, 2015
O splendour of what is, by which I saw
the high delight, the true communion:
please show me how to say all I could see.
Up there there is a light. The light is God.
Creation contemplates its own creator,
and only in that seeing is there peace.
It stretches in a circle shape
so great, that its circumference
can so much more than wrap around the sun.
From top to bottom, that enormous light
collected, complex, is each single one
of all the gathered petals of a rose;
and all of it, each quality, the size, the height,
so big, so intricate, and yet one flower,
I saw: the whole, at once. The joy.
from Dante, Paradiso, canto xxx, transl. Tom Davis