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Worship Materials: Pilgrimage

From the Celebrating Mystery collection

THEME                   The endless journey – The heavenly moment

THOUGHTS FOR REFLECTION

  1. Evolution is a law of life not just of biology.
  2. Only the mystery is permanent. All other apparent permanence is illusion.
  3. To move from trusting the known to trusting the unknown is the ultimate spiritual liberation. It enables the pilgrim to live lightly and not grimly.
  4. There are no degrees of enlightenment only frequencies of the experience.
  5. To move from the many to the One is the journey of integration. To view the many from the perspective of the One is to see the One in everything and every body. This is the journey of illumination.
  6. To dance lightly is far better than to march heavily.
  7. The most important guru to listen to is the one within your own heart.
  8. The way of two-ness (duality, either / or) is an unhelpful diversion from the main path.
  9. The easiest way to confusion is not to trust your own heart.
  10. The all powerful guru is an agency of dependency.
  11. True wisdom lies in mutual sharing not in a one way imposition.
  12. The marriage of power and spirituality can be destructive if it is not matched with humility.
  13. How enriched are those who embrace their spiritual pilgrimage with joy; for they shall find peace even in the midst of suffering, hope even in the midst of disaster and light even within their darkness.
  14. We may have to walk our pilgrimage alone but at the center we meet all things.
  15. It is far better to flow in the tearful stream of pain and joy than to attempt to build a ladder to Heaven out of self imposed crosses.
  16. To pilgrimage without rest is to consign oneself to a world of inner grayness.
  17. The journey is joy, the journey is pain, the journey is Christ. Alleluia!
  18. Pain and joy are twin sentinels of the journey but are not the journey itself.
  19. The first step on the spiritual journey is to be aware of and believe in your own spirituality.
  20. Wisdom invites us to discern where we are on our pilgrimage but warns us of the dangers of attempting to judge where others are on theirs.
  21. Travel with an open mind helps you realize how much you don’t know.
  22. The sufferings of the past are as nothing compared with the wonder of the divinity of the present moment which is an eternity of love and peace.
  23. Be gentle to your immaturities and they will dissolve. Be harsh on your immaturities and they will calcify.
  24. Wholeness lies in the quality of the journey not the pursuit of rewards at the end.
  25. At the end of each journey there can be a new beginning for those who refuse to be trapped by the past.
  26. The person who has never made a mistake has probably never made anything!
  27. To have travelled hopefully is better than to have arrived
  28. It is not a question of whether I have been somewhere,
    nor whether I shall get somewhere,
    but whether I am somewhere.
  29. Pain can be the beginning of liberation.
  30. Where you came from is not nearly as important as where you are going to.
  31. A major obstacle to pilgrimage is the belief that there is a future that we cannot change and a present that we must endure.
  32. When I turn my face from the Sun I become my own shadow and merely retread my past.
  33. God’s call is an invitation to become an explorer, a person who explores the heights and depths of love.


PRAYER.

O God of the pilgrims, Abraham and Sarah, Mary and Joseph, may we look beyond the discomforts and adversities of our pilgrimage to the joys of your companionship and the knowledge that in the end all will be well.


HYMNS

An awakening is beginning. (BL)

God wake us from illusion. (BL)

Knock, knock, knock. (BL)

When we find beauty. (BL)

Spirit of all freedom. (BL)

What can the prophet Jesus teach us? (BL)

At each journey’s ending point. (BL)

When we have moved. (BL)

 

O God the great all-knowing one.

www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/boundlesslife

The call of the Christ is to inner growth.

www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/boundlesslife

O help us most loving.

www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/boundlesslife

The Way of God.

www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/boundlesslife

In the first stage of seeking.

http://www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/the_mystery_telling

Come, let us dwell.

http://www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/the_mystery_telling

At the start of life’s great journey.

http://www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/the_mystery_telling

 

From Nazareth to Calvary. (STS1)

The Inner Christ still questions us. (STS1)

The Way of the Christ. (STS1)

Enter the stillness. (STS1)

The Way of life. (STS1)

What is the pattern. (STS1)

What image shall I use? (STS2)

God now calls us each to seek. (STS2)

We follow the God of Noah. (STS2)

That of God within us all. (STS2)

Singing the Sacred Vol 1 2011, Vol 2 2014 World Library Publications


SONGS

We go forward and around. (BL)

I’m on the road to nowhere. (BL)

Which code can assist us? (SYSJ)

 

REFLECTION/POEMS

TO BE LINKED

To be linked with the past

is to be embossed with gold

and tainted with dross

for our heritage

is both

jewel and millstone.

 

PILGRIMAGE

From dependency to empowerment –

individualism to community –

puritanism to celebration –

captivity to liberation –

static to dynamic –

compartments to the whole –

square to circle –

straight line to curve –

mechanical to organic –

known to mystery.

 

THE PATTERN OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH

  1. The Motivation: –   Dissatisfaction / Confidence
  2. The Information: – Sacred Texts e.g. The Bible, Institutions e.g. The Church, People, Nature.
  3. The Reflection: – The Letting Go.
  4. The Illumination:- Conversion / Awakening.
  5. The Verification: – Action, Suffering, Awareness.
  6. The Celebration: – Ecstasy, Unity.

 

A LIBERATING PILGRIMAGE

A liberating pilgrimage is

to be instead of longing,

to dance instead of marching,

till the puzzle becomes a mystery

and the mystery becomes our alleluia

the alleluia of our deepest being,

the alleluia of all space and being,

the alleluia beyond all space and being,

the alleluia beyond all alleluias.

So be it, ALLELUIA.

 

THE PILGRIMAGE OF LOVE

  1. My beloved is myself – “selfish love.”
  2. My beloved is another person – “romantic love.”
  3. My beloved is God out there, Christ out there – “intervening love.”
  4. My beloved is God within me, Christ within me – “interior love.”
  5. My beloved is in all things and all people – “inclusive love, cosmic love.”
  6. My beloved and I are one – “unitive love, mystical love

 

I HAVE TRAVELLED

I have travelled a long way in my mind

and sometimes my heart was left

far behind

but now

I observe my mind

from the sanctuary

of my heart,

the source of the hope

that is beyond

all understanding.

 

PAST PILGRIMAGE

There are two ways of viewing past pilgrimage.

One is destructive, the other empowering.

Filling one’s heart and mind

with painful memories of hurts and mistakes

condemns one to a life of debilitating misery,

a life that is imprisoned by the past.

On the other hand to treat failure as an opportunity for learning

is to embrace an evolving spirituality

that views all of the past,

both its constructive and destructive elements,

as being an apprenticeship which enables pilgrimage

to proceed with love and with hope.

 

 

A HEALTHY RELIGION

A healthy religion helps people to

  1. Relate with joy, openness and reverence to
    1. ourselves
    2. other people
    3. the Earth
    4. all life
    5. the mystery we call God.
  2. Become more inclusive.
  3. Focus on the journey rather than the arrival.
  4. Value cooperation, sharing and community.
  5. Be empowered rather than dependant.
  6. Accept the reality of suffering and injustice but also motivates them to do all they can to alleviate these problems and to see within these experiences possibilities for personal and communal growth.
  7. Be free from guilt, fear and denial of their sexuality.  Develop flexibility and security based on awareness, silence and stillness.

 

ICE OR MELTDOWN

Flying over Siberia

In the Spring

I perceived

Through a chasm in the clouds,

A magic world of grey and white,

A world of frozen rivers

And partly snow-clad mountains.

It all seemed reminiscent

Of the world of human morality –

The black and white world

Of the frozen heart

Or the slushy freedom

of melting mores.

O God,

May I neither

Live a life of ice

Nor of chaotic moral meltdown

But gradually and purposefully

Move into a new ethical Springtime.

 

THE CALL TO PILGRIMAGE

As Christians we are called to pilgrimage, to growth. Sometimes we are called to move on from something that in destructive, at other times from things that are inadequate, sometimes from things that need something else to be added to them if we are to become more complete persons.

The goal of our pilgrimage is God, but people see God in different ways; so it can be said that “The God you worship is the person you will become.”

Here are some areas of growth which will enable us to become more Christ-like –

right belief to right attitude and action

right words to right celebration

morality to love

monopoly to sharing

guilt to graciousness

individual piety to cosmic worship

individual rights to global responsibility

isolationism to interdependency

arid puritanism to beauty and wonder

suffocating solemnity to Christ-like humor

authority to questioning i.e.

blind acceptance to perceptive analysis (Church, society and self)

certainty to faith

conformity to creativity

repression to responsible emotional expression

viewing the Bible from the perspective of the rich and powerful to viewing it from the perspective of the poor and powerless

life denial to life affirmation

self denial to self affirmation

We affirm ourselves and honor Christ when we

reverence our body

stimulate our mind

and nurture our spirit.

 

THE CONFUSED PILGRIM

There was within me once

a confused pilgrim

whom I hope I have outgrown –

Confused because I imagined

that the path to life

was the path of denial.

So sexuality and creativity

were bathed in black guilt

and the psyche warred against itself.

Confused because I laboured

under the destructive illusion

that denial removes the offending

part of personality!

How wrong I was

for denial only suppresses

what continues to be there

and guilt creates

depression’s suicidal night.

If only he had known

what I now know –

The way of letting go

Where the hell of disjunction

becomes the heaven of the present moment.

 

ELDERLY WISDOM

If you who are young were able

To look deeper than our elderly wrinkles

And with imagination bring to mind

Our diverse histories

You would be able to see

Within these aged frames

The parade

Of childhood inquisitive creativity

Adolescent experiments with love,

Parenthood joys and travails

And the skills some of us developed to survive

Through grief and ecstasy

And to rejoice in all of this.

Surely it would be easier

To tap into elderly wisdom

Than to have to reinvent

The psychological wheel

With all the struggle that involves.

 

I SAW THE MOON

I saw the moon floating on the dawn

Basking in reflected glory

And wondered whether my spirituality

Is but a reflection

Or whether it knows

The inner brightness

Of the cosmic radiance.

O God of the cosmic brightness

May I commit myself to the journey

From reflected divinity

To embracing the Inner Christ

In whom all daughters and sons/suns

Are one.

 

FOCUS FOR ACTION

  1. What are the sociological and contextual factors which may act as a straight jacket for my pilgrimage? How easy do I find it to walk in the company of other pilgrims but also to be able to walk to the beat of my own drum? What compromises should I make without undermining my own integrity?
  1. Where would I place myself within the process of spiritual development? (See section Worship, Mystery and our Cosmic Setting)
  1. How do I relate to the previous levels which I occupied? Am I able to be charitable to them and accept that there are some things in them which I can incorporate into my current level? Can I also accept that at times I may revert in part or in whole to a previous level or levels?
  1. Does our worship provide an environment which encourages people to accept those at other levels of spiritual development?

 

Celebrating Mystery Logo

 

LOGO NOTE: At the heart of the mystery all the separate boxes disappear and all is one, all is love.

Text and graphic © William Livingstone Wallace but available for free use.

 

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