Minute Meditations

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We Are Doing God's Work

If you are about gospel work,

with a head for justice and a tender heart,

it helps each day to cleanse the lens.

We dare not disregard the darkness,

nor turn away from problems and pain;

but face instead each mornings light and bathe our

eyes in mercys rain.

When the world looks always grimy,

when hope and newness are obscured,

then is the time for window wiping.

Cleanse the panes with wonder and lament,

for the tears of sorrow and laughter you share,

let loves light in to dissipate despair.

No matter where your eyes come to rest,

will you look long enough and lovingly,

till light breaks through at last?

from the book Wandering and Welcome: Meditations for Finding Peace by Joseph Grant

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Don't Lose Sight of What Matters

Amid all the disaster and distress

that wheels around and swirls within us in chaotic times,

there are also always marvels to behold.

Let neither fear nor preoccupation

keep you from being touched

by wonderfully wounded life.

May you find a way in every day,

to share your great-fullness

for all that touches your eyes.

May you refuse to be crushed

but rather, look lovingly upon all with tear-washed eyes,

trained on woundedness, straining for wonder.

As you savor the sweet brevity of your days,

may passion puncture you, letting out joy,

till warmly you are welcomed; a sight for sore eyes.

from the book Wandering and Welcome: Meditations for Finding Peace by Joseph Grant

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What Would You Do?

If this were your last day, hour, minute, or breath, imagine how you might drink in the daylight, taste the twilight, touch the stars, smell the sunshine, delight at songbirds, listen to the look of your loved ones, bow before the sanctity of a stranger, be carried away with astonishment, and be beside yourself with awe at the wonder of it all. Perhaps we engage life in its fullness when we stop asking if we are there yet and live into the unfolding and radical realization that we are always already here." For it is only here that we can really be, wholly present and fully engaged; and no matter where you go, there you are.

from the book Wandering and Welcome: Meditations for Finding Peace by Joseph Grant

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Set an Intention

Presence exacts its coin

our dearly held desire for self-preoccupation,

and the fantasy of control that presumes to preside over and above.

Mystics, artists, and prophets exemplify

this surrender into solidarity;

letting the self be moved by suffering and inspired by imagining.

True spiritual practice harbors this same intention

the hand-over of self, that places us on a collision-course with grace

and draws us into a deepened state of readiness.

This holy intention

leads to whole, undivided attention,

where we come to know life in its raw fullness!

from the book Wandering and Welcome: Meditations for Finding Peace by Joseph Grant

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Still in Stormy Times

Amid the tumult of these electrically charged, frenzied times, contemplative living does not propose an escape from our very real, practical, and sometimes intractable problems. On the contrary, it suggests a way of being still, while still being in the storms that rage all around and within us. Like sturdy trees that bend with the breeze, wisdom-inspired living offers a deeper mooring for our being and our doing, which allows for movement even as we are deeply rooted. Seasoned by tears of joy and lament, prayer-centered presence invites us to welcome the whole world by drawing it into our heart-center. Here theology mixes with theater and prophetic action with poetry, as walls come tumbling down, making way for wonder, woe, and well-being.

—from the book Wandering and Welcome: Meditations for Finding Peace by Joseph Grant

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The Holy Ground of Now

What prevents you from being fully immersed in this moment, the holy ground of “now”?

Every grace-laden moment,

is primed with possibilities

for anyone who is wide open and ready to receive.

The only limit

to our Maker’s abundance

is our limited capacity to receive.

Consider a time when you lost yourself

and fell into fullness —

fully alive, fully connected.

—from the book Wandering and Welcome: Meditations for Finding Peace by Joseph Grant

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Trust the Heartfelt Questions

The scope of every life is indeed defined by the questions we choose live into, and if we are blessed to live long enough, we will inevitably end up shaped like a question mark. Since quest is also the start of every question, it is questions, not answers, that are the surest guideposts for any journey of faith —which necessarily means moving into the unknowable. Always trust the open, heartfelt question that lays bare the soul to unknowing. Whether they are simplistic or sophisticated, handle answers with care, for they often reflect and display, for all the world to see, the broad sweep of our ignorance. Perhaps, for this reason, wisdom teachers use stories, ballads, parables, or poems. Such lyrical musings open spaces for fresh appreciations and diverse perspectives. They foster fascination and expose imagination to wider fields of understanding, laced with mystery, which always leads us down and out to face yet another, more penetrating question.

—from the book Wandering and Welcome: Meditations for Finding Peace by Joseph Grant

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Cultivate a Disciple's Heart

Seekers, pilgrims, disciples; all are wayfarers who find themselves stumbling along the stony path toward integrity. They are people trying to live into life’s lessons by taking hard-earned insights to heart and turning them into habits. Whether they perceive it as troublesome, disturbing, inspiring, or consoling, seekers embrace everyday wisdom by adopting a receptive attitude, cultivating a learning heart, and approaching life as novices; for whom each experience is welcomed anew. In some Buddhist circles this has been called the Beginner’s Mind. Christians might simply call it cultivating a disciple’s heart.

—from the book Wandering and Welcome: Meditations for Finding Peace by Joseph Grant

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Growing in Mindfulness

Is there a method for cultivating mindfulness? Yes, there are many methods. The one I have chosen is gratefulness. Gratefulness can be practiced, cultivated, learned. And as we grow in gratefulness, we grow in mindfulness. Before I open my eyes in the morning, I remind myself that I have eyes to see, while millions of my brothers and sisters are blind—most of them on account of conditions that could be improved if our human family would come to its senses and spend its resources reasonably, equitably. If I open my eyes with this thought, chances are that I will be more grateful for the gift of sight and more alert to the needs of those who lack that gift.

—from the book The Way of Silence: Engaging the Sacred in Daily Life



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