Reflection - April 2017 Can we be truly happy for those
who enjoy what we do not have? This question arose when I was reading the
Easter stories. I noticed how only a few disciples of Jesus actually received
the gift of directly encountering his risen presence. Did those without this
experience carry some envy or disappointment? Did they covet that direct
engagement? Luke's gospel describes two disciples who felt extremely
discouraged, choosing to trudge back home to Emmaus, mumbling downheartedly
about reports that others had actually came directly in contact with Jesus.
They had not experienced this and gave up hope of doing so. (Lk24:13-35) Their emotions are not strangers
to my own heart. During January a begrudging voice in ...
Posted Apr 9, 2017, 8:30 PM by Nancy DeBiasi
Reflection - March 2017Last summer a comment from an avid
swimmer in British Columbia reawakened a valuable truth. When I mentioned a
scrape on her arm, Kathy nonchalantly explained, "I get some every summer
from the sharp-edged barnacles on the rocks. When my grandson started swimming
with me I told him he was bound to get these cuts. One day he called across the
water in a proud voice: "I got one, Grandma!" Her grandson
obviously accepted this as part of the price for a free-spirited frolic in the
ocean. Kathy's comment reminded me that hardly any of us find something
rewarding without also having to accept the effort, hardship, challenge, steady
determination and vulnerability that often accompany what we ...
Posted Mar 6, 2017, 9:26 PM by Nancy DeBiasi
Reflection - December 2016"What Are You Asking for This Christmas?" by Joyce RuppInstead of focusing on material presents, let us request from the Heart of the Holy what most strengthens our souls and enlivens our love. \This Christmas I ask for: Hope, the north star in my soul, that it may always point me toward the Light of the World. Stillness, to sweep through my restless mind, emptying it of the cluttered debris and floating negativity. Non-violence, that every thought, word, deed and desire, low gently from me like a brook caressing unmovable stones. Savoring, to remember with gratefulness, moments of beauty and people's goodwill that prompted gladness. Other-Centeredness, for the tightly held part of self, that ignores ...
Posted Feb 13, 2017, 3:39 PM by Nancy DeBiasi
Reflection - January 2017"Where do you find your
joy?" Cindy's question surfaced in our conversation about dismal
conditions here and elsewhere on the planet - such as surging violence,
increasing suicides, heartless politicians, greater hostility and less respect
for people with differing views. I stumbled and mumbled a few words in response
to Cindy's query, but couldn't offer much that day. The next morning I
reflected on the question: Where do I find joy? I gathered a
surprisingly long list of items. None had a megaphone quality but each held
definite worth for keeping hope close by. Among the list: A sliver of sunshine
after lengthy seasonal gloom, the gesture of a stranger's kindness, hundreds of
geese circling above ...
Posted Feb 13, 2017, 3:35 PM by Nancy DeBiasi
Reflection - February 2017A spiritual life is
simply a life in which
all that we do comes from the center,
where we are all anchored in God;
a life soaked through and through
by a sense of God's reality and claim,
and self-given to the great movement of God's will.
~ Evelyn Underhill
The above quote from the English writer and mystic rests at the opening of my
2017 journal. Her wise description of the "spiritual life" (written
more than eighty years ago) inspires me to be "anchored in God" at
this particular time in history. So much in politics and social media threatens
to throw me off balance with its disturbing ferocity. I recognize how easily I
can be set ...
Posted Feb 13, 2017, 3:10 PM by Nancy DeBiasi
Reflection - November 2016 Winter invites me once more.... to go within the within...
Hibernate. Gestate.... Wander around the inner domain
without a concern for what may, or may not
(My Soul Feels Lean) Here in
Iowa the autumn season has generously spent its energy on vivid colors and warm
weather. The frigid winds of winter wait impatiently to have their way. This
past month the land provided enriching lessons about spiritual growth as I
drove through the Midwest to give retreats on "Little Pieces of
Light." I noticed how the corn and soybean fields sat stripped of
their summer crops. Gardens revealed empty vines and wilted flowers. Orchards
gave quick evidence of having yielded their fruitful produce. Tree branches
lost their thick ...
Posted Nov 16, 2016, 1:41 AM by Nancy DeBiasi
Reflection - October 2016In Blessed
Among Us Robert Ellsberg's depiction of Black Elk, the far-seeing Lakota
medicine man, reminds me of Linnea Good's song, There Is a Time. This
song contains the lyric, "There is a time when each will lose a dream
most dear." How true this was for Black Elk. When just nine years old,
he received a powerful vision calling him to help his people. Black Elk gave
himself generously to this vision but eighteen years later the dream
shattered when the U.S. army killed over 300 of his Lakota tribe in the
massacre of Wounded Knee. With his vision torn to shreds, Black Elk felt
devastated but he did not buckle under the pain or ...
Posted Nov 16, 2016, 1:58 AM by Nancy DeBiasi