How Jesus Frees Us from Negative Thinking

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-phucm-e72a56

These days of pandemic and lockdown are creating a new pandemic of mental health issues. In this podcast I address some ways in which Jesus helps us free us from the stick, heavy, and negative thinking that is part of the difficult days we are living. We’ll talk about why it’s hard to get rid of these thoughts, what Jesus knows that we forget and how he helps us get free from these sticky thoughts, ways to intentionally focus on the freeing power of truth, and more.

God’s Promise: “I am acting” (Podcast)

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-n7mwi-e4e324

Jeannette and I talk today about an experience at prayer and selection of my journal:

Iam acting:
within what breaks, I am vast Abyss
within the falling, I am depthless Depth
in the emptying, I am the Silence

Stop
Shed your mind’s unconscious gossip and still your Heart
Touch your forehead to the earth
   …My carpet
       a floral carpet Crimson Red
       on which you bumble and tumble

in My Glory.

___

“Who could have thought my shrivel’d heart
Could have recover’d greennesse?
George Herbert, The Flower

Image Credit: Il Ragazzo; Cathopic

How not to become an “injustice collector” (Podcast)

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-huk8q-e2f9ba

I’m almost 57. Fifty seven years of people, situations, issues, reaction, desires, disappointment, dreams, loves…. 

This year on my birthday, I’m making the resolution to “not look back.” 

To not look back at disappointment.

To not look back at rejection.

To not look back at loss. 

Of course, looking back is important to do at times. I actually began to rediscover parts of my life during the imposed solitude of the pandemic that I hadn’t taken the time to integrate precisely because I hadn’t looked back. I needed to take the time to “connect the psychological-emotional-spiritual dots” between what I had experienced and lived through and what I was still carrying today in my heart and mind. 

Making the connections is important. By making connections we can surrender to God what he has helped us recognize. We can let it go. We can understand it more deeply, even recognize where we may have been mistaken in our perception of what happened….

How good it is to be marooned on “unsure ground” (Podcast)

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-embb9-e2f99a

The seismic shifts that are underway in every aspect of our culture these days are nothing compared to the seismic shifts God is calling me to personally, perhaps calling all of us too if there is to be any resolution that will promote the human advancement of us all.

We can no longer face anything the same way we did five months ago. It seems like such a breath of time, and yet a centuries-wide chasm has been broken open by the processes and changes that are fracturing and reshaping the world as we have known it.

We collectively stare into a widening canyon of uncertainty as life spins into unexpected directions. Uncertainty: where will all this end? What will happen to me? Will I be able to keep what I have? Am I somehow also responsible for this? Am I all that God has put me on this earth to be and to do?

Yet a window of possibility is emerging…
The possibility that we might feel with courage…
That we might decide with love…
That we might listen with neutrality…
That we might be willing to lose something that another might have,
to die that another might live…

How good to be “marooned on unsure ground”

The seismic shifts that are underway in every aspect of our culture these days are nothing compared to the seismic shifts God is calling me to personally, perhaps calling all of us too if there is to be any resolution that will promote the human advancement of us all.

We can no longer face anything the same way we did five months ago. It seems like such a breath of time, and yet a centuries-wide chasm has been broken open by the processes and changes that are fracturing and reshaping the world as we have known it.

We collectively stare into a widening canyon of uncertainty as life spins into unexpected directions. Uncertainty: where will all this end? What will happen to me? Will I be able to keep what I have? Am I somehow also responsible for this? Am I all that God has put me on this earth to be and to do?

Yet a window of possibility is emerging…
The possibility that we might feel with courage…
That we might decide with love…
That we might listen with neutrality…
That we might be willing to lose something that another might have,
to die that another might live…

As John O’Donohue wrote in To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings:

Weariness invades your spirit.
Gravity begins falling inside you,
Dragging down every bone.
The tide you never valued has gone out.
And you are marooned on unsure ground.

You have been forced to enter empty time,
The desire that drove you has relinquished.
There is nothing else to do now but rest
And patiently learn to receive the self
You have forsaken in the race of days.

The isolation imposed on us by the life-threatening spread of COVID-19 has been a world-wide empty time in which we touched the raw needs of our heart and soul, where we reached out for the humanity of others, where we realized that we are no different from anyone else sheltered behind doors, afraid.

We had to give up the “desires that drove us” but a few weeks before. The world changed in the twinkling of an eye as we closed the doors behind us, each facing our vulnerability…our death.

Forsaking the “race of days,” we pondered the end of our days.

John O’Donohue continues:

At first your thinking will darken
And sadness take over like tireless weather.
The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.
You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.

And then as George Floyd’s days were ended and the unheard cry of our black brothers and sisters wailed through the world’s streets in a demand for justice, our front doors burst open, as we ran out into the streets, literally or figuratively. We have been pulled too quickly back into traveling “too fast over false ground,” our soul snatched from us as we live now too much on the level of senses, appearance, rage, justification, confusion, guilt and fear.

As we, during the first weeks of the pandemic, touched in a new way our own humanity and that of those we loved, and perhaps that of everyone else to whom we felt bound by bonds of sympathy, we are called now to touch the humanity of those we may not know, people for whom—for one reason or another—we may feel no compassion. To truly understand what frightens or enrages us, we need to understand, deeply understand, the humanity of the other, what matters to them, their history, their frame of reference, their desires and fears. We need to put them first. We need to let ourselves become the student.

We need the courage to care. To be kind. To assume there is more context to the particulars we see in any given situation. To have the humility to study, read, research, plead with God for enlightenment and truth and charity.

To do all this, we need to close once again the doors of our passion. Whether we walk in protest or otherwise engage in the transformation into which we all are swept, we need to dig more deeply into our souls for the sake of honoring the humanity of the “other,” whoever for us the “other” might be.

As I look into my own heart, I want to sincerely try
to carefully separate
fear from the courage to undergo the truth,
anger from the willingness to engage in constructing a civilization in which are blessed,
resentment from the humility that allows another a new beginning,
willfulness from the power of kindly compassion and goodness that builds up the other even at the cost of myself.

As John O’Donohue prays in blessing:

Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your heart
And the joy that dwells far within slow time.

I wish this for all of you.

Image: Image by Frauke Riether from Pixabay

The Quiet Eye of the Heart – Reflection after the death of Mr George Floyd

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-uixiq-dfbbf7

Hi there. I’m Sr Kathryn Hermes and thank you for joining me as we explore the Love that is the heart of the world and the work of the Heart that helps us become this Love and to discover it in the world so that all the world becomes to us like the miraculous burning bush. We have been invisibly stamped with the signature, the seal of the God who bends over us with such tenderness.

In these days I have felt helplessness, disbelief, horror that one human being could do to another what we all witnessed in the last 9 minutes of Mr George Floyd’s life. Dismay that one person could do this to his brother, yes to his brother and mine, for we all, as sons and daughters of one Creator are brothers and sisters to each other, members of one another. How can we allow this to happen to our brothers and our sisters who have struggled for centuries under the intolerable burden of racism. I go back to that Gaze, the Gaze of Jesus that moment when he said to keep the quiet eye of my heart focused on him.

Quotes from the podcast:

Sometimes I just want to bury my face in my hands as a kneel before Jesus. Quiet. Rest. Serenity. Wisdom. Love. I need it all to bring a shattered heart back into one. Particularly in times of civil unrest, periodically shielding my heart from the opinions and actions of others gives me a chance to breathe. To breathe in the Spirit. To gaze at the world with the eyes of Christ.

It is the Gaze by which Jesus makes me his sister, his friend, his beloved. We communicate our hearts and our heart’s love or hate through our eyes. In the Gaze of Jesus I see the eyes of every single person in this country who at this time is trying to grapple with this. When I raise my eyes of Jesus in the Eucharist, I see their faces incorporated in his risen Body.

 

Somewhere deep inside me there is that flowing river of love that can hold in itself every brother and sister no matter how broken…

Look into yourself and see God within you.

Fasten your eyes on your heart and God, rising out of your heart, will shine on your soul.

Royalty free music from https://www.fesliyanstudios.com 

ENJOYED THIS PODCAST? HERE ARE 4 WAYS TO GO DEEPER…

God has amazing ways of knocking on people’s hearts, awakening desires, arousing questions, provoking an unexpected spiritual fire. If you have enjoyed this article, and are ready to embark on a sustained spiritual journey, here are 4 ways you can join me on the journey. You can learn more about them at touchingthesunrise.com.

Join my private Facebook Group and walk the road of healing with a great group of people. I offer a half-hour live spiritual conference here Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST.

Sign-up for my letter Touching the Sunrise. I write a letter a couple times a month from my heart to yours to support you along the way.

Explore my books: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach; Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life’s Disappointments; Just a Minute Meditations Deeper Trust and Inner Peace.

Become a part of the HeartWork Community, A blend of spiritual guidance, mentorship, and counseling, the HeartWork community is a place where you learn to explore, love, open and nourish your heart, your deep heart where God is dwelling within you.

A Powerful Practice to Melt Away Negativity

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-tkkkg-cdd6cc

Today is our final reflection on ways to live the new year in a new way, to seek the new you in the present, every present moment of the coming year. We’ll talk about a practice I began to address the negative thoughts that I find myself thinking…. And did I discover how many negative thoughts I had! Jeannette and I talk about how quickly things start to change when a simple practice gets put into place that catches our mind whenever it is engaged (or kidnapped may be better) by a negative thought.

ENJOYED THIS PODCAST? HERE ARE 4 WAYS TO GO DEEPER…

God has amazing ways of knocking on people’s hearts, awakening desires, arousing questions, provoking an unexpected spiritual fire. If you have enjoyed this article, and are ready to embark on a sustained spiritual journey, here are 4 ways you can join me on the journey. You can learn more about them at touchingthesunrise.com.

Join my private Facebook Group and walk the road of healing with a great group of people. I offer a half-hour live spiritual conference here Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST.

Sign-up for my letter Touching the Sunrise. I write a letter a couple times a month from my heart to yours to support you along the way.

Explore my books: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach; Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life’s Disappointments; Just a Minute Meditations Deeper Trust and Inner Peace.

Become a part of the HeartWork Community, A blend of spiritual guidance, mentorship, and counseling, the HeartWork community is a place where you learn to explore, love, open and nourish your heart, your deep heart where God is dwelling within you.

New perspectives on our lives in 2020

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-c2sp7-cdd69e

When we think of New Year’s resolutions, we are often really thinking about closure and control, about getting to a goal that helps me become something I want to be. Poets, authors, and saints offer different perspectives on life that invite openness, vulnerability and love. Jeannette and I talk about contributions from Rainer Maria Rilke, St Augustine, Adrienne Rich, Erich Fromme, Anne Truitt, St Elizabeth Ann Seton, and others.

ENJOYED THIS PODCAST? HERE ARE 4 WAYS TO GO DEEPER…

God has amazing ways of knocking on people’s hearts, awakening desires, arousing questions, provoking an unexpected spiritual fire. If you have enjoyed this article, and are ready to embark on a sustained spiritual journey, here are 4 ways you can join me on the journey. You can learn more about them at touchingthesunrise.com.

Join my private Facebook Group and walk the road of healing with a great group of people. I offer a half-hour live spiritual conference here Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST.

Sign-up for my letter Touching the Sunrise. I write a letter a couple times a month from my heart to yours to support you along the way.

Explore my books: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach; Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life’s Disappointments; Just a Minute Meditations Deeper Trust and Inner Peace.

Become a part of the HeartWork Community, A blend of spiritual guidance, mentorship, and counseling, the HeartWork community is a place where you learn to explore, love, open and nourish your heart, your deep heart where God is dwelling within you.