Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mystics Delight

Mystics Delight

Take me in
    An orphan of love
         lock me in
With no release
    embraced not restricted
          wooed by the promise of love
 Mercies sweet breath
      hot against my breast
           the limbs of the eternal
wrapped about my heart
     opened to the thrust of grace
            convulsing in  waves  joy
 Melting darkness 
              Birthing light

                                     bc 7/96

dedicated to A.W.T

photo:  bc

Monday, May 16, 2011

A W Tozer (April 12 1897- May 12 1963)

Tozer and the Christian Mystics

Tozer’s hunger for God led him to study the Christian mystics. Their knowledge of God and absorbing love for Him profoundly attracted Tozer. He found in them kindred. "These people know God," he would say, "and I want to know what they know about God and how they came to know it." He so identified with their struggles and triumphs that people began referring to him, as a mystic, a designation of which he never objected.

His list of "friends of God" grew with the years. Nothing delighted him more than to uncover a long forgotten devotional writer. He eagerly introduced these newly discovered mystics to his friends and readers.  Through his writing many of these writers were reintroduced, particularly among protestants, who for the most part avoided the "mystics".

In his daily life Tozer cultivated a sense of God that enveloped him in wonder, reverence and adoration. His one daily preoccupation was to practice the presence of God—a phrase popularized by the mystic Brother Lawrence whom Tozer found great delight in read.
Tozer sought to find in Christ a daily wonder, a recurring astonishment, a continual feast of love and grace.

It was through reading "the Pursuit of  God" in 1980 that i was first introduced to the mystics. With pen in hand i eagerly jotted down each new name. I then worked my way through the list discovering the likes of Molinos, Fenelon,  John of the Cross, Theresa of Aliva,  Meister Eckhart, Guyon, Brother Lawrence and a plythora of others to long mention. My heart being exposed to concepts such as the dark night of the soul , practicing the presence and mystical union forever changed the direction of my spiritual journey. I am indebted  to Tozer who for me became a mentor of sorts leading me along a path he had sought to chart through the great mystery which is the heart of God. 

Photo:  sacred heart the anchor Nashville,  photo taken by BC.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Beltane (4) Liturgy


Let's just spend a moment or two in quietness. Consider winter's chill when all was still, with seed and plant lying dormant, followed by the rising sun and warming air of Spring, green shoots emerging, leaves unfurling, blossom shouting its praise to the Creator.


God of winter's cold, of clear sky and frozen river.
All: We praise your Holy Name

God of spring's warmth, April showers, waking life.
All: We praise your Holy Name

God of summer sun, warming earth, sprouting seed.
All: We praise your Holy Name

God of summer pasture and mountain stream
All: We praise your Holy Name

God of root and shoot, of harvest to come
All: We praise your Holy Name

Lord, through your power all things were made, through your wisdom all things are governed. Through your grace all things are sustained. Give us power to serve you, wisdom to discern your laws, and grace to obey those at all times.
(Edmund of Abingdon, c 1180-1240)

Creator God, forgive our moments of ingratitude
the spiritual blindness that prevents us
from appreciating the wonder that is this world
the endless cycle of nature
of life and death and rebirth.
Forgive us for taking without giving
reaping without sowing.
Open our eyes to see
our lips to praise
and our hands to share
May our feet tread lightly on the path we tread
and our footsteps be worthy of following
for they lead to you.

Here a song, chant or hymn might be sung

‘Sow everywhere the good seed given to you. Sow in good ground, sow in sand, sow among the stones, sow on the oad, sow among the weeds. Perhaps some of these seeds will open up and grow and bring forth fruit, even if not at once'
Seraphim of Sarov (1759-1833) Russian monk

'Lord, purge our eyes to see
within the seed a tree,
Within the glowing egg a bird,
Within the shroud a butterfly,
Til, taught by such, we see
beyond all creatures, thee.'
Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

'We do not know God from his essence. We know him rather from the grandeur of his creation and from his providential care for all creatures,'
Maximus the Confessor (c580-662)

The warmth of the sun's embrace
the gentle breeze swept in by incoming tide
the rhythm of seasons
of new birth
death and recreation
All these speak so clearly of your love
your power
and your beauty
All are expressions of your creativity
and more importantly of yourself
As an artist might share his personality
within each brushstroke
so within the myriad colours of a butterfly's wing
you share the exuberance of your love

That we can glimpse you within creation
is a beautiful thought
but also tells us that you desire to be seen
to be found and known
Open our eyes, Lord
as we walk through this world
feel the wind and sunshine
see the majesty of creation unfolding before our eyes
Help us to see you

Psalm 19
1 The heavens declare the glory of God;

the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
3 There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
4 Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun,
5 which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
6 It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is hidden from its heat.

God of renewal
of life and death
All: Renew our hearts and minds

God of promise
of all beginnings
and all endings
All: Renew our hearts and minds

God of hope
of new growth
and harvest
All: Renew our hearts and minds

We bless you,
God of Seed and Harvest
And we bless each other
That the beauty of this world
And the love that created it
Might be expressed though our lives
And be a blessing to others
Now and always