Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or joy. It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity. Henri Nouwen
Photo courtesy of Bill Schulz
Every person plays a central role in the history of the world. Paul Coelho, The Alchemist
Julian of Norwich experienced severe bodily pain when she was thirty years old. It was during her illness that she received visions, which she later recorded in Revelations of Divine Love. Though I don’t wish physical suffering on anyone, when we welcome and witness our body’s sensations with openness, we are also open to Presence in a way that is less mediated by the mind (which is, for many of us, the primary conscious filter).
Julian wrote, “The fruit and the purpose of prayer is to be oned with and like God in all things.” Take a few minutes to let your heart and mind’s attention sink deeper into your body, to remember your being’s inherent oneness, through these simple words, postures, and intentions (the words are from the Order of Julian’s motto):
AWAIT (hands at waist, cupped up to receive): Await the Divine’s presence, not as you expect, hope, or imagine, but just as it is in this moment.
ALLOW (reach up, hands open): Allow a sense of the Divine’s presence (or not) to come and be what it is, without meeting your expectations.
ACCEPT (hands at heart, cupped towards body): Accept as a gift whatever comes or does not come. Accept that you are not in charge. Accept the infinity of the Divine’s presence, present whether or not you are aware.
ATTEND (hands outstretched, ready to be responsive): Attend to what you are called to, actions that the Divine invites you to from this stance of openness.