Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Remember the soul is in time and in eternity

A blogger quotes Thomas Moore in her post, "Day 362: Soul Care Sunday" while consulting Moore's Care of the Soul and his The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life. She writes:
"I declared today Soul Care Sunday. What a perfect day for reflection, rest, and connecting and for feeding my soul. I had no time schedule, no need to do anything beyond what the moment and my soul offered."
"This evening, as I blog, candles are lit throughout the house, 81 of them in total. This Sunday evening ritual, during the Christmas season, brings peace and quiet joy to me, the light of each flame calling to the light within me. It is such a gentle and beautiful way to close the day and conclude the weekend. I believe I will continue the lighting of the candles, even after the Christmas decorations are packed away, using whatever candles and holders are on display." 
She concludes her post with another quote from Moore: "The soul is partly in time and partly in eternity. We might remember the part that resides in eternity when we feel despair over the part that is in life."

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Let the spirit of Christmas infuse your new year

Carl Jung, James Hillman and Thomas Moore offer "Three Clues to Unlock the Wonder of Christmas" for Deborah Quibell as she shares their ideas on Huffington Post. Read Quibell's description of the Christmas season and why we should "fall under its charm" — we will "believe again in magic and the world becomes undeniably wonder-ful again."

Monday, December 15, 2014

Chastity and celibacy may express rich sexuality

The Scottish Catholic Observer publishes "We can draw spirituality from chastity" by Fr Ronald Rolhesier, priest, member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, and president of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas.

Writing about the Greek goddess Artemis, Rolhesier quotes Thomas Moore's admiring descriptions of her.  According to Rolhesier, Moore writes: “Although she is the most virginal of the goddesses, Artemis is not asexual. She embodies a special kind of sexuality where the accent is on individuality, integrity, and solitude." [No source]

The article continues:
"Artemis shows us that chastity need not render one anti-sexual and sterile. Rather she shows that sexuality is wider than sex and that sex itself will be richer and more meaningful if it is also connected to chastity. Artemis declares that claiming your solitude and experiencing friendship and other forms of intimacy are not a substitute for sex but one of the rich modalities of sex itself."
Rolhesier suggests:
"What’s taught by this mythical goddess is a much-needed lesson for our world today. Our age has turned sex into a soteriology, namely, for us, sex isn’t perceived as a means towards Heaven, it is identified with Heaven itself. It’s what we’re supposed to be living for.

One of the consequences of this is that we can no longer blend our adult awareness with chastity, nor with the genuine complexity and richness of sex. Rather, for many of us, chastity and celibacy are seen as a fearful self- protection, which leave one dry, sterile, moralistic, anti-erotic, sexually-uptight, and on the periphery of life’s joys.

Tied to this too is the notion that all those rich realities so positively highlighted by Artemis (above)—as well as by the classical Christian notion of chastity—namely, friendship, non-sexual forms of intimacy, non-sexual pleasures, and the need for integrity and fidelity within sex, are seen as a substitute for sex, and a second-best one at that, rather than as rich modality of sex itself."
 The author then suggests looking for Christian models that embody the same qualities.

Friday, December 05, 2014

This season may not be cheery and bright for all

New York's Times Union publishes "The wisdom of sadness" by Meg Nigro Helligrass. She shares an excerpt from Thomas Moore's book Dark Nights of the Soul (2004) for people who are sad during the holiday season: "This book touched me deeply and offers a different but very insightful perspective on sadness and it’s potential to help us transform. " She writes, "Almost any health challenge or period of sadness is an opportunity to evolve as a human being if only you are willing to walk through the door your challenge provides and find out why it has appeared."

The passage from Moore's introduction includes:
"A true dark night of the soul is not a surface challenge but a development that takes you away from the joy of your ordinary life. An external event or an internal mood strikes you at the core of your existence. This is not just a feeling but a rupture in your very being, and it may take a long while to get through to the other end of it.
. . .
I want to explore positive contributions of your dark nights, painful though they may be. I don’t want to romanticize them or deny their dangers. I don’t even want to suggest that you can always get through them. But I do see them as opportunities to be transformed from within, in ways you could never imagine. You don’t choose a dark night for yourself. It is given to you. Your job is to get close to it and sift it for its gold.”