Sunday, December 28, 2008

Spiritual greed

I don't remember filing this image in my folder of contemplative images, but when I found it this morning it resonated with this poem I read today in Joyce Rupp's Prayers to Sophia:

Stream of Enduring Love,
I yearn to have a feeling of oneness with you.
I wish I felt a driving passion, an insatiable thirst.
Instead, there's just this steady hum of fidelity,
with an occasional flicker of intense longing.

Each day I deliberately place myself
in the midst of your stream of enduring love.
I want so much to feel spiritual refreshment,
to have your divine passion sweep over me
with the power of an energizing waterfall.

Stream of Enduring Love,
I must let go of my desire to desire.
You provide for what I need.
You keep my heart alive in your love.
More than this I do not need,
but my ego clamors greedily for more.

I will rest in the stream of your goodness,
let your enduring love quietly wash over me,
be grateful for all that I have.
I will quiet that incessant voice in me
that whines for something more.

Rupp refers to the emotion expressed in this poem as "spiritual greed," which seems a perfect way to describe this restless longing for peace. I know there is a lovely pure flower of serenity in there somewhere, but I just can't seem to fight my way through the weeds right now.

The blessing of memory is that I know this feeling well, and know it always arises at this time of year: it's one reason I have for so many years planned a retreat for January. And I find, as I sit in the midst of all these mental weeds, that the memories of all those past retreats sparkle like glimpses of refreshing water. I know the peace will come again, and must be content for now with the memory of that.

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