With some solitude and space this weekend, I reflected on the “Now I Become Myself” retreat that I led in December. Our closing blessing, serendipitously discovered by Sara, settled into my soul as a prayer, my heart’s longing to become more myself.
The blessing written by Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, to follow, begged for images to be created into my own prayer card.
May you grow into your greatest, bravest, most loving self
May you stand tall and unafraid of the great, exquisite, bright light within you that is straining to get out.
May you trust that light, and may you hear the still small voice within that whispers to you about what you need and who you can be.
May you follow the light and the voice wherever it may take you–even to places you hadn’t guessed, hadn’t imagined, that haven’t been part of the plan.
May you remain always curious, open, and eager to grow.
May you walk through your life with wonder, radical amazement, and gratitude.
May you stay kind and gentle.
May you regard others with compassion, generosity, and the benefit of the doubt.
May you seek always to be of service to offer of yourself to those that need help–that need you.
May you speak out bravely against injustice.
May you make of your life a blessing.
May your thoughts, actions and very being be an offering to the transcendent, to the great stream of life, to…the Holy One.
An “I am one who” reflection serves as a reminder of who I am in my becoming:
I am one who is becoming, “gathered into one intense gesture of growing like a plant.” (Now I Become Myself, May Sarton)
I am one who stands tall in the gathering of spirits.
I am one who receives light, learning from others, wise ones and the saints, living and passed on.
I am one who is light. I am an offering. I have a voice that can make a difference.
I am filled with wonder, amazement, gratitude, kindness, gentleness, and compassion.
I am one who embraces the hope and courage of this blessing—to be unafraid, to trust, to listen, to be curious, eager, and open. I am one who consents.
I am not alone in my becoming and this is a comfort. The images on my card serve as a reminder that I have my community, the gathering of spirits. The image on the top left, watching over the stand-tall-becoming self is artwork created by Jan Richardson, titled “A Gathering of Spirits.” A signed print of the original artwork hangs in my living room, reminding me always of community. The image on the bottom left of the card is metal artwork on the doorway to Egbert-Gymnasium at Münsterschwarzach Abbey in Schwarzach, Germany, the motherhouse of Christ the King Priory, where I am an oblate. This life, our becoming, is “a school for the service of the Lord.” (Rule of St. Benedict, Prologue)
During retreat, we discussed and experienced the value of community—in becoming more of who we are created to be and how to be of service to others. We are not alone in creating our truest self and a better world.
“Community is about drinking from the same well of belief and giving myself to the same life goals as those with whom I have promised to make this journey.”
–Joan Chittister, OSB, The Monastery of the Heart
We shall be known by the company we keep, Ma’Muse sings. This song has become a reminder since Joyce Rupp shared their music at the Boundless Compassion retreat. The gathering of spirits in our lives remind us that we are an offering, that “we shall learn to lead in love” by circling together.
It is time now. We are becoming.
“We shall be known by the company we keep
By the ones who circle round to tend these fires
We shall be known by the ones who sow and reap
The seeds of change, alive from deep within the earth
It is time now, it is time now that we thrive
It is time we lead ourselves into the well
It is time now, and what a time to be alive
In this Great Turning we shall learn to lead in love.”
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