• Eirenicole

Lent

Art of Peace

Art of Peace

Art of Peace 2050 1920 Nicole
Jesus heals the royal official’s son and the paralytic to coax their faith, walk them through the process, inviting them into the movements of belief; called them to participate with him (make peace of their relationship) in the healing – to believe …“in Jesus as God’s Word Made Flesh—God’s embodied sacramental presence tent-pitched in the world so that those who believe in him are empowered to become ‘children of God.’” The two men who both experience Jesus’ healing power, do what they’re told. And in that process, in the doing, they are healed. It is a physical, bodily action, enacting their faith that Jesus’ command elicits. Not to prove himself, to perform a sign, wonders, but tease out the faith he knew these two individuals held, germinating within. No one else would be able to see that but Jesus. Just as I could not see whether my seed was germinating – but, in faith (desperate, on the brink of humiliation before my Trustees) I nudged the mulch and continued caring for them. The way of peace is not inert – it is active. To walk in the way of peace, faith is a prerequisite. It absolutely does not look the same from one person to the next. The paralytic had to actually try and stand up. The official had to 1st notice Jesus, then perform an act below his social station, 3rd, follow Jesus’ command by starting home believing his son will be healed, and finally confirm the healing occurred when Jesus spoke those words of healing. It didn’t happen all at once. It was a process. And what happens? Peace is brought to his home – they ALL believe! because this royal official came to his senses, moved with Jesus through the process of belief. It’s always process, evolving – creative. And isn’t that what healing is all about? Recreating that which is ailing?: the body, a relationship, a system? “Tell all the truth but tell it slant”… bit by bit, or it might blind us to ALL the truth. What is the truth Jesus is calling you to today? How is Jesus coaxing you to relationship, to move in faith along the way of Peace? To what creative process is your spirit germinating, ready to press aside the bits that attempt to suffocate, but persist, so full of life, potential blooms, ready to flourish? read more
Art of Contemplation 1

Art of Contemplation

Art of Contemplation 2050 1920 Nicole
Lent is a little bit like the pregnancy-birth process. It is a time of waiting, growing something important inside. A mother I needed a partner to take months paying attention to my breathing, my movements; notice signs of distress, to encourage with images of riding the wave of each contraction, and feel the distress each time I believes I would be crushed, drown under the force of it. Practicing contemplating all that is me – the one growing our child within – we grow to know each other more deeply, intimately, and trust each other in/for the process. In silence and contemplation, we find the space to recreate perspective, so Judgement is no longer something we need fear, but an invitation to discernment, “a growing awareness of how God engages us.” It’s all about our relationships. In today’s reading, Jesus encounters another woman. This time a stranger, and a Samaritan, and pulling water from the well at mid-day (avoiding the usual times a woman should), whom he ought never approach, let alone accept a drink. And he says, “woman….” In the case of his mother, they knew each other. Taking a moment of silence, a bit of time to come to her senses, Jesus’ respectful, intimate call for her attention was more than enough. For the woman at the well, more time was needed. She had an impressive amount of information about worship practices. Like Nicodemus – though certainly not as elaborate – she was well taught the promise of a Messiah to come. She was open to belief, but needed more time contemplating this possibility. Time with Jesus. Talking with others. Testing her faith: “Could he be?” The woman at the well is unnamed and unknown to Jesus on meeting. When Jesus says, “Woman…” gunē, in the vocative, direct, as if already in relationship, she pauses (as Mary did at the wedding) and then she opens her soul to Jesus. The respect and dignity he offers this woman by addressing her with this word elicits a trust, a hint of the kind of relationship she tried so hard to find – and failed – in her 5 previous marriages and current partner. She opens her soul to Jesus and is delighted, giddy with the revelation of what relationship is meant to be like – to be known and to be loved. To be loved in the knowing. To believe this, to understand and experience a reality of relating with God through Christ in the Spirit, we absolutely must first come to our sense. Be still. Be silent. And contemplate. Accept this profound love by being known; know in the loving. May you contemplate your relationship with Jesus this week. Open your soul to Jesus. Be known and loved; love and know in return. And ride the waves of such exposure that threaten to crush, drown under the force of it. read more
Art of Silence

Art of Silence

Art of Silence 2050 1920 Nicole
Silence is hard. Silence leaves us vulnerable to deeper, darker thoughts. But we cannot hear anything if we don’t listen. And it is only when we are willing to meet whatever it is we find in that silence – in all of its sometimes frightening discomfort – watered by our attention – that something might grow out of the deep, dark, and clumpy soil. When Jesus responds to Mary during the wedding at the Cana, “Woman…” there is something so intimate about that. Jesus is saying, “Woman, individual, human of great worth, you matter to me – listen.” And Mary does pause. She seems to take a breath and center on Jesus’ words, Jesus’ presence in that time-space. And this moment of being silent in Jesus’ presence brings Mary to herself, to the reality that all will be well. Timeless. Suspended senses. And in the 2nd story, again, there is frenzy – of buying and selling animals that will be used for sacrificial rituals. But they have missed the point entirely. They are trying to do everything they can to keep the synagogue running in the way that others are doing it, to do worship just like all the other synagogues in town. And Jesus had to tear the place apart before they would stop and listen and notice. God incarnate. Jesus, in their midst. And it is all for the disciples – so that they would believe Jesus was who he said he was. So they would listen, be silent, stop making assumptions, but truly hear. The “unreflective practice” with the wedding and at the temple, speaks to the economic, political and religious. When rituals and ceremonies are practiced without reflection, without pause, silence – when we are overwhelmed by entering these rituals in a manner that everyone else is compelled to do, we miss the point entirely. And we reveal our lack of faith, our belief that Jesus is who he says he is. We need silence. We need to be still. We need to listen to the heart of God – in our particular situation. Notice. Look again. Discern that which is going on here. Not blaming others, not judging – God is the one who has the capacity to pass judgment – but discerning. And it can be scary, even terrifying. Because in my solitude I have to ask, What is my part in all of this? Let us notice that which is within rather than the flower that will wilt and crumble. Let us dig deep into the dry clumpy soil and tend it, water it. Let us first be silent, even jolted out of our frenzied worry and turn our face to Jesus – and believe. May we recreate a perspective unique to us, to our situation in silence. It’s an art from: the art of silence. read more

Shekinah, Dimensionality, and Unity

Shekinah, Dimensionality, and Unity 2560 1920 Nicole
Those who were and are rejected by the church want to know God, want to be in God’s presence, want to be the place (vessel) where God’s Name resides – as the temple that Solomon built to house God’s name, this same Solomon from whom the Queen of the East came to hear wisdom. Someone greater than Solomon is here who already made the places for God’s name to reside—Shekinah. read more

Inner Tranquility

Inner Tranquility 1487 1606 Nicole

“Peace that demands unreal conditions is a deception. There is no life without work, anxieties, or tensions. Peace is not found in avoiding these but in understanding them and confidently controlling their force.” [Sister Wendy Beckett] From this inner tranquility peace enters relationship through practical involvement in the distress of another. It understands – knows…

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Photography: Mindful Memory Making

Photography: Mindful Memory Making 1920 1536 Nicole

  https://eirenicole.com/wp-content/uploads/ep401-photography-mindful-memory-making.m4a Photography: Mindful Memory Making When our first daughter was a baby we accumulated a few child-oriented cassette tapes (do you remember those?), one of which is a collection of Disney tunes that includes the song, “Makin’ Memories.” “Long before the old model T, ‘round about the turn of the century (the last one,…

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Meditation in Traffic

Meditation in Traffic 2560 2047 Nicole

https://eirenicole.com/wp-content/uploads/ep309-traffic.m4a I began this podcast with a 10-day mindfulness challenge. I thought the start of Lent a fitting time to return to it. I encourage you consider using these 10 episodes to begin or renew a habit of mindfulness practice for your Lenten season intention. Traffic: We live in the Chicago area. Driving is not…

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Body Scan

Body Scan 1528 2253 Nicole

https://eirenicole.com/wp-content/uploads/ep308-body-scan.m4a I began this podcast with a 10-day mindfulness challenge. I thought the start of Lent a fitting time to return to it. I encourage you consider using these 10 episodes to begin or renew a habit of mindfulness practice for your Lenten season intention. Our bodies are complicated terrain. Most of us have a…

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Smell and Memory

Smell and Memory 2560 2095 Nicole

https://eirenicole.com/wp-content/uploads/ep306-smell.m4a I began this podcast with a 10-day mindfulness challenge. I thought the start of Lent a fitting time to return to it. I encourage you consider using these 10 episodes to begin or renew a habit of mindfulness practice for your Lenten season intention. Smell is a powerful sense. In fact, psychologists and neuroscientists…

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Touch

Touch 720 720 Nicole

https://eirenicole.com/wp-content/uploads/ep305-touch.m4a I began this podcast with a 10-day mindfulness challenge. I thought the start of Lent a fitting time to return to it. I encourage you consider using these 10 episodes to begin or renew a habit of mindfulness practice for your Lenten season intention. As Flesh and Blood beings, we feel through a variety…

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