Is it appropriate to be grateful in times as perilous as these? Our planet is in crisis, unending wars rage on, the gap between rich and poor grows wider, gun violence escalates, and white supremacists grow bolder. Does gratitude make us too content with the way things are? Isn’t “counting our blessings” simply too indulgent for times like these?
On the contrary, gratitude might just be our savior in such times as these. Where else can our energy come from to “be the change” if, like flailing fish, we get hooked on despair or rage? Of course, despair and rage are perfectly natural for caring people in the face of such horrors as the plague of gun violence in America. But to be vigilant for change, despair is simply not an option, and rage must be channeled into action.
Gratitude can help us get our bearings once again, for it grounds us in mindfulness, opening fresh possibilities for creativity and change. For without gratitude, fiery fall trees would be lost on us, and so would the taste of apples or the touch on the arm of a caring friend. Without gratitude, we would hardly know what we are so passionate about saving or changing or reforming; without gratitude we would fall prey to the darkness around us. Joy, the offspring of gratitude, would be only a distant memory. But as the poet Jack Gilbert says, “We must have the courage to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world.” Perhaps, then, gratitude is a form of resistance.
The Spiritual Alphabet continues! What does your devotional life look like? In this essay, I explore a few ways to nourish our souls in these loud and troubling times, but as Rumi says, “There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground; there are a thousand ways to go home again.” Hope you enjoy my latest “process musing” at Spirituality & Practice. http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/blogs/posts/process-musings
Is God somewhere “up there” or is God intimately connected to the universe? Theology matters, especially in face of climate change and the moral crises of our time.
My series on the Spiritual Alphabet continues with “C is for Connections.”
In this essay, I offer metaphors for re-thinking our connections to the world and to God. You can (safely!) click here to read the essay at Spirituality & Practice or here to read the essay at Jesus, Jazz, and Buddhism.
The Interfaith Observer is a wonderful resource for spiritual pilgrims of all faiths. This month, my piece “Embracing the Full Catastrophe” is featured under the theme of “Spiritual Explorations in Tough Times.” These are tough times, indeed! Hope you find some spiritual nourishment in this piece as well as all the articles featured in the October issue. Click here to read!
As I journey through the Spiritual Alphabet (created by Mary Ann and Frederic Brussat), I find that “compassion” is perhaps the most compelling word for our day. In my latest essay “C is for Compassion,” I address the issue of “compassion fatigue” and how we can envision God in all the muck and horror that we see unfolding in Puerto Rico and around the world. . . .
I hope you will journey with me through the alphabet!
Welcome to Process Musings for the curious, the creative, and the openhearted. We are two bloggers from the world of process thought, inspired by the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. We believe in a God of love and beauty — “the poet of the world” — who is tenderly interrelated with all creation. We also believe in an interconnected universe that is a communion of subjects, not a collection of objects.
In our process approach to life, we appreciate all good-hearted souls around the world who are committed to the flourishing of life: theists, non-theists, and the many who are somewhere in between. And we believe that no religious or cultural tradition has all the truth, but that all have wisdom to offer the world. We highlight spiritual paths and practices that promote well-being for the common good and care for the planet. . . . For more, click here 🙂
I am please to announce that I have an essay published in the exciting new book Uncontrolling Love: Essays Exploring the Love of God with Introductions by Thomas Jay Oord. As a part of a 24 hr. Uncontrolling Love Event, I’ll be on Facebook Live on Friday, August 25 at 11:30 a.m. (Central) talking about my essay, entitled “Transcending Fear Itself: From the Personal to the Political.” I hope you will join me on the 25th!