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Showing posts from June, 2012

Sixth Understanding

6. In this we are seeking to be authentic people, so that there is nothing false about us. We refuse to wear masks, seeing our lives whole and entire, being utterly honest with ourselves. Integrity toward others flows out of fearless personal honesty. There is a need to break down the difference between the sacred and the secular; to be the same on Monday as Sunday; to be the same at work as at home; to be the same with our family as with our friends and colleagues.
This Understanding piggybacks on the previous understandings. What I like about this one is the sentence, “There is a need to break down the difference between the sacred and the secular...” Indeed there is! The Celtic Christians didn’t see a difference between the sacred and the secular. While they did see a difference between our realm and god’s realm, life in our realm was not divided. They saw sacredness in all of life. There are plenty of prayers, rituals, incantations, etc., that reflect this. There’s a great story ab…

Forgiveness

I believe there is one thing we need more than to be understood or be known, It’s our need; a true, undeniable need, For me and for you, this is our need: it’s forgiveness. Charlie Peacock1
I ask for your forgiveness. I know that I can be a little more than passionate about a subject, especially when it comes to my own convictions about it. However, as the Fifteenth Understanding of the Lindisfarne Community states, “...We [strive to] hold our convictions (which are few) without wavering, but hold our opinions (which are many) lightly.” Sometimes, however, the line between the two can be a bit blurry. And at other times, following the Way of Jesus means to just keep one’s mouth shut. Let me explain.

Recently, while speaking to some friends about a conversation I had about the “church” and my convictions about it (and if any of you have ever read this blog before, you know how passionate I can be about my convictions), I stated that one of the biggest mistakes for the followers of Jesus was…

Fifth Understanding

5. Such a life must be characterized by humility. We aspire to be honest, real, and down-to-earth. Humility is opposed to the arrogance, isolation, and deception that pride brings. We accept our spiritual poverty, our limitations, and dependency and also accept responsibility for the use of our gifts and strengths for the service of God. The humble are willing to receive as well as to give. Humility respects and esteems others. It is a form of the love that does not seek its own way. We seek to be a grace-filled community as we “wash one another’s feet.”
“We aspire to be honest, real, and down-to-earth.” I have said for many years that the “world” (i.e., those outside of church) is looking for real people. People who are transparent. Many of us are just so tired of all the faces that people wear. You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones we meet at the office and then we see them in a social gathering and they’re something else completely. I believe that, down deep in each one of u…

Fourth Understanding

4. Our spirituality is at the level of being. It is who we are in our truest selves. Our spirituality is developed by seeking to follow the Rule of the community; by pursuing Jesus in spiritual intimacy; by developing a secret history with God. We encourage the reading of the great adepts of spirituality in the Christian and other traditions. We are a charismatic community and encourage members to seek spiritual gifts; the Holy Spirit is generous in distribution. In the Celtic Christian tradition the Spirit was depicted as the “wild goose.” In the Lindisfarne Community, we seek to follow the wild goose, wherever she may lead us.
“We’re an ontological priesthood,” one of our priests said at an annual retreat. This was powerful to hear. The impact, almost beyond our knowing at first utterance. It has since, in my mind, spring-boarded a lot of discussion and reflection. It is a mirror of the first two sentences in our Fourth Understanding - “Our spirituality is at the level of being. It i…

Anniversary

Today marks my first anniversary as a priest. It’s been a strange year. Most of the things I have wanted to do have completely failed - some have even failed to start! Then, there were other things, things that I wasn’t expecting, that have organically grown. One in particular is just now in the planning stages (heck, we might even call it the idea stages since it really isn’t fleshed out yet).

A couple of things that I can share: Writing. As most of you know (and all of you know that read this blog), I like to write. I started several years ago and found that I have a unique style that resonates with a lot of people. It’s because of this that I’m excited about a book coming out this summer that I had the privilege in contributing a chapter. The Lindisfarne Community (the secular monastic community of which I’m a member) is writing a companion book to our prayer book. It tells the story of our community and the Abbess and Abbott have asked several of us to write a chapter telling our s…

Third Understanding

3. Love is to be at the heart of the Lindisfarne Community. “Love your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. Love your enemies.” The immensity of the task makes it naturally impossible! Yet we are called to be a community of love. We need to remember, it is God’s love, not ours; perfect, eternal, constant. With God’s love there are no strings attached, no conditions to be met, no favoritism. Yet it is not sentimental nor romantic, for love is not merely a feeling, it is an act of will; the “naked intent” of the heart to love God, neighbor and enemy. There is the deepest of all joy in the love of God. We seek to learn to love, to walk in love, to exult in love, to make love our highest aim, to let God’s love fill us completely. Our desire is to be free within the love of our heavenly Father-Mother — to know God’s passionate love for us and to live our lives from within God’s acceptance of us. This love of God is reflected in our love for all,…