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Worship Materials: Wholeness and Healing

From the Celebrating Mystery collection

 
THEME        Pilgrimage Beyond Fragmentation.  Discovery of Identity

THOUGHTS FOR REFLECTION

  1. God is both the source, measure and fullness of wholeness.
  2. Wholeness is a process rather than a static state:
    it is not an end to the journey but the journey itself.
  3. Body, mind and spirit are not three separate entities but three manifestations of the one life-force.
  4. Dis-ease of mind, sooner or later leads to disease of the body.
  5. The theology of the head can be heartless,
    the theology of the heart can be gutless,
    but the theology of the gut needs
    the theology of the head to inform it
    and the theology of the heart to warm it.
    Reason is a mark of sanity.
    Emotion is a mark of humanity.
    Spirit is a mark of divinity.
    Without reason there is no true sanity.
    With reason alone there is no true humanity.
    Love for other people never really occurs to any depth,
    or with any lasting quality unless we first respect,
    enjoy and love being ourselves.
  6. Hating oneself and feeling bad about oneself is a major source of psychological illness.
  7. The path of wholeness lies in awareness, dialogue and compassionate action.
  8. In the depths of the parts lies the oneness, the wholeness; therefore I will look within and see the beyond.
  9. I am the only thing that prevents me from being myself.
  10. Being open to and working through our vulnerability and wounds is a path to wholeness.
  11. The greatest achievement is to learn to be and to rest in that awareness.
  12. Blessed are those who learn from all life’s experiences for they shall be filled with wisdom.
  13. The Way is a path of inner freedom walking hand in hand with outer responsibility.
  14. To accept criticism is a sign of grace.
    To learn from criticism is a sign of wisdom.
    To engage in self criticism is a sign of maturity.
  15. When I see God in people who cannot see God in themselves, it surprises them and transforms me.
  16. The balanced person is perceived as a threat by those at the extremes.
  17. Reshape your chaos with tenderness for the chaos births the transforming dream.
  18. To find the dance of the Cosmos in your own heart is to be at home   everywhere.
  19. What we feel in our gut can change the world provided that it is not intellectualized out of existence by our mind or sentimentalized by our heart.
  20. There is a sacred book in the heart. Read it, value it, reverence it, live by it for it is the wisdom of all people throughout all time.
  21. In the “In-between” there is the “in” that bridges the “between” and births a new wholeness.
  22. To be fully aware is to see beyond and within at the same time.
  23. Intensity is the enemy of awareness. Fear is the product of limited awareness.
  24. True fullness lies in the emptiness, false emptiness in the fullness.
  25. We are saved by the mystery and not by the dogma, by the letting go and not by the struggle.
  26. What matters is not the poshness of the faucet but the purity of the water.
  27. It is better to be eccentrically rounded than linearly confined.
  28. Wisdom is a gift not a possession. It does not belong to you, you belong to it in the way that you belong to all things.
  29. Unity is not simplicity but the interweaving dance of life’s infinite variety and apparent opposites.
  30. To see clearly is to realize that one is surrounded by people who live by half truths.
  31. Abandon yourself to the otherness and you will find yourself in the process.
  32. To those who seek to deny their own spirit there is no greater threat than people who with delight and enthusiasm affirm and express their life-force.
  33. The particular can be the doorway to the universal or the vehicle of idolatry. Therefore be careful in your use of sacred books, ceremonies, places, times, ideology or institutions.
  34. Let thinking be the servant of intuition and not its master.
  35. The secret of wholeness is to immerse your wounds in the river of love and then to discover that you are more than your history.
  36. The process of enlightenment does not consist of increasingly punishing our inadequacies but of allowing our divine energy to emerge into the light of day and to transform our manipulative and arrogant attitudes.
  37. At the centre of Universe/Life/Psyche is the I AM, the divine Agony and Ecstasy.
  38. The blood of birth and the blood of death are the same blood and the tears of joy and the tears of pain come from the same river of life.
  39. In all and through all there is the I AM.
  40. The many and the One are two faces of the one inclusive, nurturing and life-giving reality.
  41. It is not just a question of protecting oneself from evil but of actively enfolding all that is evil within the great circle of loving kindness.
  42. What appears as two is finally one. We all come from the atoms of the big bang. We all return to the soil and air.
  43. As we become what we are, we cease to be only what we were.
  44. The transparent person is the one through whom we can see what lies within and behind.
  45. It is not life’s tragedies that destroy us but the way we react to them.
  46. One of the greatest obstacles to wholeness is our unwillingness to unblock our capacity for tenderness and love.
  47. There is no worse fate than not to have really lived before you die.

 

PRAYERS

  1. O God, help us to be in touch

with that gentleness from which springs strength,

that silence from which springs wisdom,

that chaos from which springs creativity,

that openness from which springs love,

those wounds from which spring our sense of justice

and that depth of being from which springs wholeness.

  1. O God who is ever willing to assist in the healing

of our wounded spirits but who never imposes wholeness upon us,

help us to be co-workers with you in the process

of creating a better world for human beings

and for all the other expressions of your life force on this planet.

  1. O God may my wild storm arise out of my still waters

that my anger may be focused on the support of just causes

rather than being an expression of inner turmoil.

 

HYMNS

Let your eye be single. (BL)

The darkness and the light. (BL)

Amid the many thoughts. (BL)

May the sap flow in our hearts. (BL)

I am greater than my thinking. (BL)

God wake us from illusion. (BL)

An awakening is beginning. (BL)

Knock, knock, knock. (BL)

Thank you, thank you, thank you God. (BL)

Let opposites all share. (BL)

We are always part of the other. (BL)

Awaken O my inner self. (BL)

We are one with the creatures. (BL)

We are children of the Cosmos. (BL)

I will walk the circle of the Earth. (BL)

All life’s many cycles. (BL)

The world within. (BL)

We the many all belong. (BL)

Within the shadows of our thinking. (BL)

Sowing limits what we harvest. (BL)

When we discern Earth’s fractured face. (BL)

When the world reveals a fractured face. (BL)

You are the process God. (BL)

When we have moved. (BL)

If passion urges us. (BL)

No-one can share my inner space. (BL)

As wind that dances. (BL)

The meek shall inherit the Earth. (BL)

 

O help us most loving and life-giving God.

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

I will talk to my heart in the stillness.

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

The right time has come.

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

No outcasts were condemned by Christ.

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

God is found in all of life.

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

Throughout this land.

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

Within the manger of our mind.

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

O God how can there be one world?

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

The Way of God.

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

When love flies on the wings of sacrifice

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

 

What does our God require of us?

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

Between our thoughts.

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

Christ the tent.

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

We are sisters of the earth.

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

Choose life.

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

 

Glory to you O God. (SE/MU)

 

The way of Life. (STS1)

Enter the stillness. (STS1)

Luke the physician. (STS1)

When the temple veil is torn in two. (STS1)

God is beyond all words. (STS1)

Which place can we call home? (STS2)

God now calls us each to seek. (STS2)

That of God within us all. (STS2)

Each family in its heart. (STS2)

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

 

POEMS / REFLECTIONS

BEHIND THE MANY FRAGMENTS

Behind the many fragments there is one.

I touch the fragments and feel one.

I look at the fragments and see one.

I play with the fragments and delight in one.

I love the fragments and I am one.

 

IN THE TWILIGHT OF IMAGES

In the twilight of images

there is grief, aloneness and emptiness.

But the presence does not die

only the explanation,

the articulation,

the limitation.

It is like music without written notes,

so we listen to the inner sound

without the distraction of the visual,

yet hear the rhythm of the Cosmic God in all we see.

 

HEALING THE HURTS

From the space of security we allow the mind to symbolically unravel our past rejections and hurts and bathing them all in the cleansing and healing waters of divinity leave behind any desire for revenge or the need to receive an abject apology. We will begin to see even within these psychologically destructive experiences glimpses of divinity, for divinity is such that it is never totally obscured even in the most dreadful circumstances. All we need to do is to let go and move further into the mystery, for the mystery’s heart is love and its compassion gifts us an awareness of the other’s pain, an awareness which facilitates forgiveness.

 

LIFE IS MORE

Life is more than the cold touch of the alienated heart,

Life is more than the darkness of the moralist’s mind,

Life is more than the torn tissue of a dying cross,

Life is the raging warmth of the unfettered way

That reason alone can never find.

 

TO GROW

To grow is to seek

Serenity when anxiety seems to rule,

Awareness when distortions appear to prevail,

Wholeness when dislocations abound

And altruism when self-centeredness appears

To be the order of the day.

 

 

MODEL FOR PERSONAL LIBERATION

Jesus and the Samarian Woman (John 4:5-42)

  1. Liberation from slavishly and blindly following tradition sexism, racism, nationalism. (John 4:7-9 & 12)
  1. Liberation from literalism and purely superficial conversation. (John 4:9-13)
  1. Liberation from simplistic morality and instead viewing morality as a door-way into spirituality.  (John 4:16-18)
  1. Liberation from belief in a localized God. (John 4:19)
  2. The liberation of true dialogue. (John 4:25-26)
  3. The liberation of discovering one’s inner spring of life-giving water. (John 4:13)
  1. The liberation of sharing one’s story. (John 4:29)
  2. The goal of liberation is living the life of spirit within the freedom and discipline of a celebrating community. (Acts 2:42-47)

 

THE STRUGGLE AND THE FLOW

How easy it is to over-simplify the character of other human beings and of oneself.

Was not Beethoven the archetypal wild storm

and Hildegard of Bingen the woman of ‘flowing’.

Yet there is also a peaceful flowing within much of Beethoven’s music

and wild storm in the relation-ship between Hildegard

and the male hierarchy of the Church of her day.

Within each of us there is both the struggle and the flow,

the wild storm and the gentle passage of still waters.

 

REFLECTIONS ON INCLUSIVENESS

Inclusiveness is not simply an intellectual awareness but the wisdom that comes through experiencing the depths of both grief and ecstasy in which all divisions melt and we become one with the earth and sky, the rivers and the sea, the creatures and the plants and all humankind for the spark of divinity in each of these is the same spark that is in every human being and the drop of blood and the tongue of fire
are one and the same in the wholeness of divinity.

 

IF REALITY

If reality is simple

Then inflexible morality,

Inflexible worship,

Inflexible ideology and social mores

Will heal us.

But if reality is complex

They will dismember and disembowel us.

 

A MANY SPLENDOURED FABRIC

Life is like

a series of

woven panels ‑

sometimes

it is icy blue at the centre

with warmth restricted to the edges:

at other times

its core is fire

edged with coldness

of inadequate relationships ‑

but seen from a distance

all the reds and blues merge

to produce a purple of noble intensity.

Give me O God your perspective

that both my fire and my pain

may be gathered up

into the encompassing fabric

of your many splendored love.

 

INCOMPLETENESS

If my heart dances and my body remains still

how incomplete I am.

If my mind goes on pilgrimage

and leaves my body behind

how incomplete I am.

If the masculine in me fights with the feminine

and they never intertwine in love

how incomplete I am.

If my present seeks to deny my history

how incomplete I am.

If I attempt to divide people up into

the wise and the foolish,

the good and the bad,

how incomplete I am.

If I imprison my faith in changeless dogma

or inflexible liturgy

how incomplete I am.

If I do not allow my inner and outer worlds

to nurture each other

how incomplete I am.

If in my incompleteness I have no vision of wholeness

what a captive of incompleteness I am.

Yet within my incompleteness there is a completeness ‑

a spark of divinity, a seed of resurrection,

a rainbow of glory

and that shall be my point of peace,

beauty, love and transformation.

 

MOISTURE

The peace of the still lake and the fury of the stormy sea,

The destructive flood and the life giving rain

Are all part of the waters of the earth.

The tears of joy and the tears of grief

Are all part of the waters of the earth

And all of the waters of the earth are part of

The moisture of God.

 

WHICH ME ?

“Which me should I be, O God?”

And God replied

“There is only one me that you should be

And that is the self that lies beyond

Its many fragmentations and distortions.

But as yet you are not fully you,

You are an incomplete whole,

The seed of what you could become.

Do not fret as to which path to wholeness

You should choose.

Simply rest in my both/and

Which lies behind and within

All either/or’s

This way is the way of embodied discernment,

The local and global connectedness

Which enables you to cease worrying

Who you are

And instead allows you to delight

In losing yourself

In the intoxication of love for all things,

An intoxication which enables you

To be the vintage version of yourself,

The version that most resembles

MYSELF.”

 

FOCUS FOR ACTION

  1. Religion has produced some of the most wonderful, loving and beautiful    creations and relationships in the history of the world . However, conversely it has also produced, or significantly contributed to, some of the greatest conflicts and abuses of human beings and of nature. In religion, as in life as a whole, the sacred and the profane, the creative and the destructive are intertwined (sometimes obviously, at other times in a much more hidden manner). It is easy but not helpful to identify the destructive element in other people and in other world religions. It is more healthy to enquire what form this intertwining takes in our own personality, in our own denomination and in our own local church or group.

 

  1. If our religion or a particular attitude to religion which we have is undermining our mental health by
    heaping guilt upon us,
    alienating us from our sexuality,
    encouraging us to remain in the dependency role,
    fostering our fears,
    encouraging us only to look at the surface of reality,
    feeding us over-simplified understandings of the complexly of human nature,
    discouraging us from being in touch with our own power and wisdom,
    providing uncritical acceptance of the society in which we live,
    undermining our self-esteem,
    encouraging us to believe that our ideology or culture makes us superior to other people, then perhaps we should seriously look at adopting a new approach to our spiritual journey.

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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