Napa Valley Taize

So the light has shifted hasn't it.  The golden color unique to this valley has arrived.  The way the dying leaves of the redwoods filter the light as it touches my windows never ceases to signal a new season for me.  I pray the summer break was full and not so full, still and quiet, yet not too much so that there was no creative chaos, challenging and restful, and hopefully some of the weeks or days were random; non-scheduled, so that now you are ready to inject a modicum of order and rhythm into the tumble of summer days.

Our summer was all of the above, and indeed I'm beginning to clamber for the ebb and flow of the rhythmic weeks and months ahead.  The challenge for me now is to settle in, let go of my need to 'do' my work in a particular way, and allow the Spirit to guide into new beginnings, and breathe new life into old patterns.

We are more than privileged to live in these small communities, and as I do my work I've been more than a little awed by the stories that I've heard over the last few years.  As we explore th edges of our incarnation with each other I'm aware that much of our work centers in relationships.  Relationship work must be the work of our faith, I wonder.  God IS relationship and Taize's ministry has become centered in the reconciliation of one to another.   One person forgiving another, one group forgiving another, and our God forgiving all.

When all is said and done, when all of our figuring and posturing before one another is over and we have spoken all of our perceived knowing, I think we finally and ultimately come home to ourselves to look at the remaining question:  How then, do I live?

The question is timely for me.  My husband, Rich is retiring this Fall, and I anticipate we will be figuring, after all these years, how we will live most kindly in the intimate spaces we've shared for so long.  Throughout the summer my thoughts have queried this question.  How do I live with those I love, and with those I don't love so much.   Is there a way to change behavior so that those around me can feel the love; so that I don't love only in spirit, but in the true embodiment of love?

Our gospel this week gives us a hint.  Jesus says we do not weigh our relationships in terms of what is permissible, but what will bring the most honor to God's original desire for what is good for humans.  Ignatius of Loyola ardently preached that we are created to desire what God desires, and our creator planted desire for relationship and goodness inside our very being.

As we know too well, partnerships fade from their original intentions.  Yet young and old keep falling in love, babies are born, hope teaches us anew each day.  In our scripture Jesus pointed out that real living in the realm of God might be to become as a child with the unique receptivity of willing to come and willing to be touched, and whoever receives God's desire receives God and is blessed. 

We take our cues not only from scripture, but from the glancing light in the redwoods.  As the days shorten and we begin to move inside, we might intentionally move into this season of new rhythms more willing to be vulnerable to those around us and to listen with our intuitions to hear the voice of love that is both beyond us and natural to us.  Jesus implies the children embody a receptivity and vulnerability to the Spirit in order that the Sacred might be received.  By their example, all of us who through our experience of God, may encounter the gift of reconciliation and love straight out!  In this simple example, I think Jesus is showing us how to live.

Gather with us on Oct. 5 as we give thanks for one more season of love.