• Eirenicole

Courage

Courage 1080 1080 Nicole

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 confidence. Our meditation for today is entitled, “Courage,” and the focus of our attention will be on the painting, Gilles, 1721, Jean-Antoine Watteau. 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 “Gilles, 1721, Jean-Antoine Watteau.”

So as you settle in your space,

listen for the silence; hear the space between the sounds.

Consent to stillness; rest in quietness

Settle into your space and engage your solitude.

Do you find confinement increasing anxiety?

Notice what has taken space in your thoughts, how it resonates in your body.

Accept it.

Breathe out an acknowledgment of the sensations.

Breathe in the grace that God also fills this space with you.

As you breathe out, exhale a prayer of relinquishment.

Continue breathing in and out, allow the Spirit to saturate, to fill you with peace.

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?

“Gilles is a man discomforted: he stands exposed…. nothing matters except to be true to what we know is right.”

Sister Wendy Beckett, The Art of Lent

Acceptance of powerlessness. Surrender.

Distinct from the abuse of power, a victim

It is enlightenment, an awakening

to our microscale existence within the cosmic sweep

it is acceptance of the futility of the fight

against forces that are beyond our remit, our reach

It’s a decision to wait – knowing the unknown.

A decision to rest in the hidden \ no torch, and yet

And yet. A filament of luminescence  

A strand of spider’s silk, iridescent,

stretched across a universe, dazzling-robust,

tethers us to the macrocosm’s Source.

In confidence we sway suspended

if only we wait, eyes adjusting in the darkness,

candescent threads emanate, expose

the labyrinthine web of all Creation.   

We cannot know the outcome of this novel virus, nor the length of its stay. And we can rage against the nonsensical that is COVID-19,

crumple while sheltering in place.

Or we can wait, accept our existence, be still, knowing the unknown,

and allow our eyes to adjust, behold:

we are cocooned in the impenetrable silk of God’s Love. May you wait wrapped the confidence of God’s Love today, and may you walk at the pace of grace.

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About the author

Nicole

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 (MI).

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