• Eirenicole

Chasing the Butterfly

Chasing the Butterfly 1080 1080 Nicole
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To be eirenic is to be aimed at peace, oriented toward reconciliation. As a centering prayer I have adopted the prayer attributed to St. Frances, Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. So, that is why I call my website Eirenicole – a composite of eirenic and Nicole.

For Lent, we are using the book, The Art of Lent: A Painting a Day From Ash Wednesday to Easter, by Sister Wendy Beckett. This week, the theme is Love. Our meditation for today is entitled, “Chasing the Butterfly,” and the focus of our attention will be on the painting, Chasing the Butterfly, c.1775-76, Thomas Gainsborough. The image is included in the post for this podcast, and accompanies the places where this is posted. If you do not have access to the photo, but do have access to internet, you can google “Chasing the Butterfly, c.1775-76, Thomas Gainsborough.”

Lean into your space. Allow gravity to anchor you.

Your breath, filling you with life-giving oxygen;

Each exchange of o2 with carbon dioxide, cleansing that which is spent.

Notice your surroundings; what do you pass over each day?

Where have your thoughts repeatedly traveled?

Pay attention to them. Recognize these preoccupations.

Sit with this realization a bit. And let them be.

Breathe in a cleansing breath of new air, new life.

Breathe out gratitude for this life.

Breathe in the truth that God knows and loves you.

As you breathe out, exhale a prayer of surrender.

Continue breathing in and out, allow the Spirit to saturate, to fill you with God’s love.

Pay attention to God’s invitation to be present.

Settle into the peace of Christ as you listen. Hear the mediation and notice what the spirit of God draws your attention to in this painting. What is Jesus speaking to you here, now?

“Parental love is potentially its purest form …. love must work within that painful understanding.”

Sister Wendy Beckett, The Art of Lent

Unambiguous, Love uproots our freedom to control its outcome. It is a choice. It is also an act of faith. As parental love may be the purest form of love, loving, itself, is the purest act of faith.

The movement to love fairly shoves the lover over a precipice,

the ravine stunningly vast and ever changing.  

You may cast yourself into love holding hands with another – as parents might.

Still, the grasp is tenuous, fragile, dependent upon love’s resolve

in both.

The decision to love may not even feel like a choice at all. But once you do, you will never know how long you will stay aloft,

how great the turbulence

how fast the descent

but you will always know that Love’s Source will hold you together

through it all.

Today, you rest in Love’s embrace; and may you walk at the pace of grace.

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About the author


Nicole Oliver Snyder’s expertise lies in the areas of leadership, gender issues, and mindfulness practice as it affects both. Leadership, particularly in an urban setting, requires community-relations skills, and an ability to clearly convey justice issues as they relate to felt, spiritual ones. Dr. Snyder is author of Leading Together: Mindfulness and the Gender Neutral Zone, and specializes in teaching mindfulness leadership development, formative spirituality, counseling, and Old Testament theology (emphasis on justice issues). She has a diverse background in international community-relations work combined with volunteer work in multi-ethnic communities, and with local institutions. She is an ordained Clergy; holds a BS in Human Development and Family Studies, w/Education Certificate, an MA-Counseling, MDiv Equiv., holds a Doctor of Ministry and Advanced Certification in Formative Spiritual Direction, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor (CO, MI).

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