• Eirenicole

Forgetting Self

Forgetting Self 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.

Listen to Jonas Oliver’s expression of how, to him, Love sounds.

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, Holy Week, the theme is Love. Our meditation for today is entitled, “Forgetting Self,” and the focus of our attention will be on the painting, Camille on her Deathbed, 1879, Claude Monet. 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 “Camille on her Deathbed, 1879, Claude Monet.”

As you shelter in place, welcome your space.

Notice your surroundings. How do you bring life to your constant space?

Notice how, when you breathe, the air has changed.

Can you taste spring on your tongue?

What is it about the character of the air that alerts you to spring?

Pay attention to the scents, the feel of the air. Allergies?

Sit with these sensations for a bit.

Breathe in a cleansing breath of the air that promises new life.

Breathe out gratitude for a new season.

Breathe in the truth that God transforms, redeems everything.

As you breathe out, exhale a prayer of surrender.

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?

“It is extremely difficult to love unselfishly …. self-forgetfulness is the essence of true commitment.”

Sister Wendy Beckett, The Art of Lent

It is no easy thing to make such a commitment; in an era when decisions are made dependent on the number of likes on an event post, or who’s Instagrammed the gathering. And if a Tweet of something else happens, it’s always an option.

When we can send break-up texts or an ode of great love for another, but remain entirely incapable of face-to-face conversation, much less, working through difficulties in the relationship, commitment holds no value.

How do we grow to know Monet’s love? What will it take to become selfless in love?

How might I learn to let go of my idea of having a right to be selfish, while still practicing self-care.

I suspect it might have something to do with how much I believe I am lovable. Trust that I am loved with uncontained, unhesitating, relentless love – and by accepting this, I can love like this in return.

Do you trust God’s unyielding love for you? What would it look like for you?

May you grow to trust love from its Source as you continue to walk with Jesus through Holy Week. And may do so 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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