Monday, May 27, 2013

The Ground Beneath my was German

I am writing a song entitled The Ground Beneath Me... and today that ground is German; Bavarian, actually: my last full day in Munich...

This morning, my last run in the beautiful Englischer Garten...
[I know it's blurry - I'm running.]

This garden, which I have known in greens, reds, browns and white...

and which has known me in joy and tears, solitude and seeking, and has dealt me peace in the midst of both...
City that knows of art 

and music...

and seeks that others do :)


and fun-loving...

Custodian of the memory of prophets people of God...such as 

Sophie Scholl

                                          or  Rupert Mayer... 

This has been the city that has welcomed me gracefully and graciously, and allowed me the space to move at my own pace, and re-find my own rhythm.

For the possibility of feeling emerge in me afresh a prayer that echoes, true, I will be ever grateful:

Herr, wie Du willst, so will ich geh’n,
Und wie Du willst, soll mir gescheh’n.
Hilf Deinen Willen nur versteh’n.

Herr, wann Du willst, dann ist es Zeit,
Und wann Du willst, bin ich bereit.
Heut und in alle Ewigkeit.

Herr, was Du willst, das nehm’ ich hin,
Und was Du willst, ist mir Gewinn.
Genug, dass ich Dein Eigen bin.

Herr, weil Du's willst, d’rum ist es gut,
Und weil Du's willst, d’rum hab’ ich Mut.
Mein Herz in Deinen Händen ruht.

[Rupert Mayer SJ]

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My hidden name

There is a bar manager in Rome, il Signor Camilo, who calls me by my middle name - Louise. That is how he (always) remembers me: by my hidden name - the one few people register.

And when I sit here on this beautiful terrace overlooking rooftops of Rome...

it is that middle, hidden space inside me that finds a resting place... "peace I leave with you". 

I have two windows in me: one outwards, the other inwards; one to others, the other into my own depths; one where light and pain find a way in (and out) through others, the other, darker, perhaps more secret and more vulnerable, where silent words rest me: "my peace I give to you... do not let your heart be troubled...". This is where I breathe. This is where the roots plunge and drink. This is where my music is born of...

You remember my true name... " The rules of mercy never change

Jerusalem and the islands; Rome and Australia; the centre and the edges. I wonder if, among other things, I am going to the edges to re-find the centre, if Louise will be the moving force in the years to come...

And I think this is my desire... "bless us, Oh Lord, and these thy gifts..."

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Life comes around...

This year is a strange and rich one... as I sort of learn German in the beautiful city of Munich. The other day as I wandered to mass in pensive mood without the daffodils, I was stopped by this elderly woman at the pedestrian crossing (here they wait at the red light), and enthusiastically told in a German I just about understood that life was schön [wonderful]... as she pointed up and down LeopoldStraße... 

that although she was old, she could love and enjoy life...and wasn't it wonderful? I was moved.

And then last week, I found myself in various places in Madrid, the city I contend made me a missionary; the first place I ever worked in seriously and experienced the incomparable joy of seeing someone come to know Christ through you.And I stood in front of the Palacio Arzobispal of Alcalá de Henares, where I lived for my first two years of theology (philosophy really). 

In truth, it felt surreal: another woman in another life ... and yet familiar. It had been so hard. And yet, it took me a while to drag myself away... and as I tried to ask Jesus what that time meant, why I was drawn. I begin to sense that in the midst of it all, those years had been the ones during which my roots sunk deep. I laid the foundations, and they are, despite myself, firm. Many other things have had to and will have to shift (to be perfect, a la Newman, often and ever-changing...), but that one is deep. The first cut is the deepest...


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Consolation in and of the Body?

Consolation in and of the Body?

I have only recently started running.

And I am still a beginner – I avoid hills and run, following the alleged advice of Eamonn Coughlin “as slowly as I can, for as long as I can”. But it feels great. There is something about ‘feeling’ life through my body as my feet hit the ground and the cold air my face…I love it! I still need to push myself into that first step of making time, changing clothes to face the cold… but I love it. It is a physical –spiritual practice and place of discovery for me.

And it makes me think – there is a sort of ‘consolation of and in the body’, right? A sense, somehow, ‘without previous cause’ of God’s presence in and through stretched muscles and flesh moving to a rhythm marked from within and without. And it makes me wonder if there could not be a  “discernment (also) through the body” as well – that when we face important decisions (or daily ones), does God not also allow us sense in how we feel about ourselves in-our-body-in-the-world, what could be right? And I know discernment implies a lot of other elements and aspects, but perhaps this one has been overlooked? The joy of the flesh that God really wanted to come to visit… Cf. Jn 1:14.