23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jesus Heals a Deaf and Mute Man Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him. After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”). At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.
We … are invited to reflect upon the importance of openness, and to acknowledge the many ways in which we can be more open to God’s call to the fullness of life. For Mark, life and joy will be found by those who become true disciples of the Crucified One, and so enter with him into his glory.
Contemplative Prayer and Centering Prayer
Prayer is not a request for God's favours. True, it has been used to obtain the satisfaction of personal desires. It has even been adopted to reinforce prejudices, justify violence and create barriers between people and between countries. But genuine prayer is based on recognising the Origin of all that exists, and opening ourselves to it … In prayer we acknowledge God as the supreme source from which flows all strength, all goodness, all existence, acknowledging that we have our being, life itself from this supreme Power. (God) One can then communicate with this Source, worship it, and ultimately place one's very centre in it.
Taken from Piero Ferrucci, Ineffable Grace (p. 254) found in Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening by Cynthia Bourgeault p.3
Transformation and Prayer
The heart of healing work is transformation – transforming pain, wounds, self-imposed limitations grief, and loss, and discovering within them a gift or grace.
The Healer is not only present in the traditional practice of medicine or other healing arts such as … herbalism, massage … and so forth. The Healer also works through spiritual direction, retreat work, psychotherapy and any way that a person accesses this archetypal aspect of the self to overcome inner divisions.
When we pause and turn to the Healer we have inside of us, we can ask for the way forward. This doesn't mean that we don't seek the healing gifts of others but that we don't give away our power to heal in that relationship.
Illuminating the Way: Embracing the Wisdom of Monks and Mystics, Christine Valters Paintner, p.87, 88
Sometimes we need to welcome our 'small selves' - the poor, meek, humble parts of ourselves – to allow our big radiant selves to be in service to them. We need to welcome wrestling as a spiritual practice, rather than avoiding it.
Consider asking yourself: When I encounter moments when I am not in control, not putting my best foot forward … can I relax into the moment? Can I accept the truth of my own imperfection?
Taken from 'The Artists's Rule: A Twelve Week Journey', by Christine Valters Paintner p.87
Saint John Chrysostom
St. John, named Chrysostom (golden-mouthed) on account of his eloquence, came into the world of Christian parents, about the year 344, in the city of Antioch. His mother, at the age of 20, was a model of virtue. He studied rhetoric under Libanius, a pagan, the most famous orator of the age.
In 374, he began to lead the life of an anchorite in the mountains near Antioch, but in 386 the poor state of his health forced him to return to Antioch, where he was ordained a priest.
St John Chrysostom
The Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Early in the fourth century, Saint Helena, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine, went to Jerusalem in search of the holy places of Christ’s life. She razed the second-century Temple of Aphrodite, which tradition held was built over the Savior’s tomb, and her son built the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher on that spot. During the excavation, workers found three crosses. Legend has it that the one on which Jesus died was identified when its touch healed a dying woman. The cross immediately became an object of veneration. https://www.franciscanmedia.org/exaltation-of-the-holy-cross/
You are invited to Light a Prayer Candle for your intentions here … as often as you like.