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 joy. Our meditation for today is entitled, “Lost in Time,” and the focus of our attention will be on the painting, Children on the Seashore, Guernsey, 1883?, Auguste Renoir. 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 “Children on the Seashore, Guernsey, 1883?, Auguste Renoir.”
So as you settle in your space, pay attention to your breathing.
Notice your breath as it passes in through your nose, out through your mouth.
Pay attention, slowing your breath a bit.
Engage stillness, release your concerns, yield to quietness
Settle into the awareness that God is present.
And as you recognize God’s presence, bring your thoughts to earlier in the day.
When did you notice God meeting you in your space?
Perhaps a lift in your spirit? A kind word spoken?
Notice it. Recognize the consolation.
Breathe out an acknowledgment of mercy.
Breathe in the grace that God fills this space.
As you breathe out, exhale a prayer of hope.
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?
“The way into blessed freedom …. though perhaps not yet fully realized as such.”Sister Wendy Beckett, The Art of Lent
The first sight of joy is in the awareness of it. Noticing it. Being present to the moment. So often, in the experience of something we are unaware that in it we might know it as joyful.
Still, as powerful as surrendering to joy in the moment, in the living it, is the memory suffused with joy. In the same way that we might live in a grief, in suffering, and live into it the joy supporting it, so we might live into the joy that is already present when remembering. Our minds can do remarkable magic, amazing feats of manipulation, rumination, and focus… but because we have God’s Spirit within, we also have the mind of Christ.
What if we allow the mind of Jesus that dwells in ours to help mold, reframe, create more facets to our memories?
What if we allow the forgotten graces of an event or exchange to rise, be reborn in our minds?
And then, the story retold transforms,
swathed in more colors, nuanced,
strokes of beauty that blur the spaces when we thought we could do things on our own,
and remember: we are all hues, infinite, bathing a Cosmic canvas,
shifting, re-seen in heaven’s light.
How is joy recreating memory for you today?
May real joy saturate you in new hues, and may you walk at the pace of grace.