The biblical prophets, by definition, were seers and seekers of Eternal Mystery, which always seems dangerously new and heretical to old eyes and any current preoccupations with security. The Hebrew prophets lived on the edge of the inside of Judaism.
We can only criticize something if we walk the narrow line of being an inside/outside person that the prophets dared to walk.
Dorothy Day lived on the edge of the inside, and the deep love she had for her church and nation expressed itself in passionate critique.
I’m convinced that one of the only reasons Roman Catholicism has lasted is because we have these satellites of freedom on the edge of the inside—religious communities of Benedictines, Jesuits, Dominicans, Franciscans, Sisters of Charity, Sisters of Mercy, and many more.
Prophecy and Gospel are rooted in a contemplative and non-dual way of knowing—a way of being in the world that is utterly free and grounded in the compassion of God.
There have always been edge walkers: those who didn’t follow along with the status quo, who didn’t swallow the version of religion offered by those on top of the hierarchy as The Only Way. And at that edge, spirituality and nature are in unbroken relationship.
A Contemporary Examen for Day’s End
Minister and spiritual director Teresa Blythe guides readers through an examination of the day in the presence of God.
- Make yourself comfortable…. You may want to light a candle to signify the light of [God] illuminating your day.
- Rest in silence for a few moments.
- Ask God’s Spirit to lead you through your day.
- Review your day.
If you could relive any one moment that brought you joy, which would it be? What happened in that moment that made it so life-giving? Sit with that moment and allow it to give you life again. Offer your gratitude to God for that moment.
If you could go back and change any one moment in your day, which would it be? What made that moment so difficult? Sit with that moment in the light of God’s love and allow yourself to feel whatever emotion you have. Offer that moment to God for healing.
- Make a note of these two moments in your day.
- End by giving thanks to God for all the ways God has been with you—through the joy and the pain.
Teresa A. Blythe, 50 Ways to Pray: Practices from Many Traditions and Times (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2006), 60.
Image credit: A path from one week to the next—Izzy Spitz, momentary peace (detail), digital oil pastels. Taylor Wilson, Transfiguration (detail), cyanotype. Taylor Wilson, Madonna and Messiah, ink. Used with permission. Click here to enlarge image.
Transformation happens on the margins (the edge of the inside), and so, like this bird, we are freed.