Wednesday, October 28, 2015

May we bring depth to our everyday experiences

“A soulful personality is complicated, multifaceted, and shaped by both pain and pleasure, success and failure. Life lived soulfully is not without its moments of darkness and periods of foolishness.” — Thomas Moore
Registered Nurse and Spiritual Director Kathleen Morrissey Irr writes "Soul-Making" at the beginning of October while referring to Thomas Moore's book Care of the Soul. In her following "weekly reflections" she continues with quotations from Moore's book and responds with her own ideas and thoughts.

Oct 05 "Soul-Making"
Oct 12 "Make Wider the Path to the Soul"
Oct 19 "Beauty and Brokenness"
Oct 26 "Soul-Making Begins in the Family"

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Soulful marriage: friendship, sexuality, intimacy

In Fr René Camilleri's piece, "Soul of marriage" for The Times of Malta, he states, "Marriage takes place in the realm of the soul and it is only there that we can come to a deep and meaningful understanding of what marriage is about." He includes:
"The Second Vatican Council more than 50 years ago affirmed that it is the intimate partnership of life and love that constitutes the essence of marriage. This is far from the perception and understanding of marriage as a contract that still underpins the way the Church’s tribunals themselves operate. Perhaps this is why this way of working things out is becoming gradually outdated even in the Church itself, thanks to the reforms under way with Pope Francis and hopefully in the upcoming synod of bishops in Rome.

It is no small thing in marriage to struggle for its soul, transforming old and raw frustrations and emotional blocks until it is free of interference. Writer Thomas Moore, in his book The Soul of Sex, writes that this is the nature of the deep alchemy by which we rough and primitive individuals become people of refined sensibility capable of union with other humans." 
While contemplating relationships, Camilleri writes, "Jesus’s call is not simply a call to go back to some doctrine or law. It is a call to uncover the depths we all carry inside us, to explore deep down what Pascal had named the reasons of the heart."

Readings: Genesis 2, 18-24; Hebrews 2, 9-11; Mark 10, 2-16.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Food, family, friends — meals as soulful devotions

For the Jewish Journal Robert Eshman writes "The Backyard Pilgrim" about building this year's sukkah to celebrate the pilgrimage festival: "Sukkot is the holiday in which we recall those booths — earthly or heavenly — by building huts of our own and eating our meals in them. Only a small fraction of Jews actually do this, which is a shame. 'He who has never seen the joy of Sukkot has never in his life seen joy,' the rabbis said in the Mishnah."

In this reflection he quotes Thomas Moore's Care of the Soul:
"Soulfulness, Thomas Moore writes in Care of the Soul, 'is tied to life in all its particulars — good food, satisfying conversation, genuine friends, and experiences that stay in the memory and touch the heart.'

For people of all faiths — and even the faithless — meals remain our primary and most satisfying form of devotion. When we make good food, sit with friends or even eat mindfully alone, the walk from our kitchen to our table is our pilgrimage. " 
Eshman concludes, "People wander the world to seek out shrines for cures, holy places that will center them, paths that will set them straight. After a week of walking between my kitchen and our rickety cloud of a sukkah, I can tell you: Don’t underestimate the holiness of that overlooked pilgrimage, a journey that will bring you some of the deepest blessings life has to offer, and that you can undertake each and every day. "