All posts by meadow4

A Mother’s Day Poem

A Mother’s Love

There are times when only a mother’s love
Can understand our tears,
Can soothe our disappoints
And calm all of our fears.

There are times when only a mother’s love
Can share the joy we feel
When something we’ve dreamed about
Quite suddenly is real.

There are times when only a mother’s faith
Can help us on life’s way
And inspire in us the confidence
We need from day to day.

For a mother’s heart and a mother’s faith
And a mother’s steadfast love
Were fashioned by the angels
And sent from God above.

–Author Unknown

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The Culture of The Meadow

The Meadow is a culture; a way of doing ministry.  It’s a culture that produces joy, love and peace.  It is a culture of growth and beauty.  It is a culture that brings true freedom!

This quote from Henri Nouwen gives clarity to the culture of Ministry of the Meadow…

“When you are interiorly free you call others to freedom, whether you know it or not.  Freedom attracts wherever it appears.  A free man or a free woman creates a space where others feel safe and want to dwell.  Our world is so full of conditions, demands, requirements, and obligations that we often wonder what is expected of us.  But when we meet a truly free person, there are no expectations, only an invitation to reach into ourselves and discover there our own freedom.

Where true inner freedom is, there is God.  And where God is, there we want to be.”

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Suffering Can Bring Us to God

For those of us who have had deep loss…
Suffering Can Bring Us to God

The genius of Jesus’ ministry is that he reveals that God uses tragedy, suffering, pain, betrayal, and death itself, not to wound you, but in fact to bring you to God. So there are no dead ends. Everything can be transmuted and everything can be used.

After all, on the cross, God took the worst thing…, the killing of God, and made it into the best thing—the redemption of the world! If you gaze upon the mystery of the cross long enough, your dualistic mind breaks down, and you become slow to call things totally good or totally bad. You realize that God uses the bad for good, and that many people who call themselves good may in fact not be so good. At the cross you learn humility, patience, compassion, and all of the Christian virtues that really matter.

Jesus says, “There’s only one sign I’m going to give you: the sign of the prophet Jonah” (Luke 11:29, Matthew 12:39, 16:4). Sooner or later, life is going to lead you (as it did Jesus) into the belly of the beast, into a place where you can’t fix it, you can’t control it, and you can’t explain it or understand it. That’s where transformation most easily happens. That’s when you’re uniquely in the hands of God.          Richard Rohr

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Try Christ!

In my reading I recently came across this quote from G. K. Chesterton: “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.”What’s Wrong with the World, 1910

The Meadow continues to challenge people to try Christ in new and fresh ways and reach deep into His love and find Him in ways they could never imagine!

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A Christian Confederate Soldier’s Prayer

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve. I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey. I asked for health, that I might do greater things. I was given infirmity, that I might do better things. I asked for riches, that I might be happy. I was given poverty, that I might be wise. I asked for power that I might have the praise of men. I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God. I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life. I was given life, that I might enjoy all things. I got nothing that I asked for but got everything I had hoped for. Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered. I am, among all people, most richly blessed.

(Anon – alleged  to have been found on a CSA casualty at the Devil’s Den, Gettysburg)

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If You Want Your Dream To Be . . .

If you want your dream to be,
Build it slow and surely,
Small beginnings, great ends,
Heartfelt work grows purely,

If you want to live life free,
Take your time, go slowly.
Do few things,
But do them well,
Simple joys are holy….

Day by day,
stone by stone,
build your secret slowly,.
Day by day,
You’ll grow too;
You’ll know heaven’s glory!

Francis of Assisi

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Moving Away From It’s All About Me

2nd Half of Life spirituality

Most cultures are first-half-of-life cultures, and even sadder, most organized religion almost necessarily sells a first-half-of-life spirituality. In the first half of life it is all about me. How can I be important? How can I be safe? How can I make money? How can I look attractive? And, in the Christian scenario, how can I think well of myself and go to heaven? How can I be on moral high ground? These are all ego questions. They are not the questions of the soul.

I’m sad to say, I think many Christians have never moved beyond these survival and security questions. Even eternity is securing my future, not even a common future, or a future for humanity; religion becomes a private insurance plan for that future. It’s still all about me, but piously disguised. Any sense of being part of a cosmos, part of a historical sweep, that God is doing something bigger and better than simply saving individual souls (my soul in particular) is largely of no interest. This becomes apparent in the common disinterest of so many when it comes to Earth care, building real community, and peace and justice issues. For many Christians—stuck in the first half of life—all that is important is my private moral superiority and spiritual “safety,” which is somehow supposed to “save” me.

Once God and grace move us to the second half of life, however, religion becomes much more a mystical matter, rather than a mere moral matter. Then it’s all about union and our participation in and with God, while also seeing my actual moral weakness. Indeed, this is the work of true religion, to help us transition from stage to stage, toward ever-deeper union with God and all things. Stay on this journey of ever-deeper and ever-broader union.

Adapted from Loving the Two Halves of Life: The Further Journey. Rohr

Grace

Come to the Mountain

by Mary Anne Radmacher

Come to the Mountain                                                                                               Where we stand                                                                                                                 Above a sea of clouds                                                                                                        And Sail High

Come to the Mountain                                                                                         Where we hear                                                                                                               The Symphonies of Praise                                                                                     From winged musicians

Come to the Mountain                                                                                                Whose heights is immeasurable                                                                               In stillness we feel the earth                                                                                    Move beneath our feet                                                                                                                                                           Come to the Mountain                                                                                                   My friend, where we can                                                                                          Close our eyes and                                                                                                         See our dreams

Come to our mountain                                                                                                    My sweet friend, where                                                                                                     Together-we will speak                                                                                                      Of all that we may become

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Go Near to God to Listen

Go near to God to listen
Ecclesiastes 5:1&2
Henri Nouwen on Silence.
We need silence in our lives. We even desire it. But when we enter into silence we encounter a lot of inner noises, often so disturbing that a busy and distracting life seems preferable to a time of silence. Two disturbing “noises” present themselves quickly in our silence: the noise of lust and the noise of anger. Lust reveals …our many unsatisfied needs, anger our many unresolved relationships. But lust and anger are very hard to face.
What are we to do? Jesus says, “Go and learn the meaning of the words: Mercy is what pleases me, not sacrifice” (Matthew 9:13). Sacrifice here means “offering up,” “cutting out,” “burning away,” or “killing.” We shouldn’t do that with our lust and anger. It simply won’t work. But we can be merciful toward our own noisy selves and turn these enemies into friends.draft_lens6822652module55568802photo_1252053434silence_noise

The Call of the Meadow

The call of The Meadow

“The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty — it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.

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             The Meadow • 1933 Shanklin Ave • Parkville, MD 21234              (443) 425-4729 • themeadow@meadow4.org