For centuries, dominant culture and the Church have differentiated between spirit and matter, creating a split that has allowed us to treat creation, other people, and even ourselves as less-than the beloved of God that every Created thing is. Healing this split is made possible by Grace. One way we can cooperate with Grace is by adopting a paradigm shift to unitive thinking, a capacity which can be cultivated in prayer and meditation and through thoughtful words and actions. In unitive thinking, we consciously acknowledge the places of darkness in ourselves, rather than projecting them on to “others,” and we celebrate our gifts and right actions, deeply receiving divine blessing.
This month, February, we celebrate Valentine’s Day (Feb 14) and Ash Wednesday (Feb 17) launches us into observance of the season of Lent. February is also Black History Month, an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Other days of honor are World Wetlands Day (Feb 2), Feed the Birds Day (Feb 3), World Bonobo Day (Feb 14), World Hippopotamus Day (Feb 15), World Pangolin Day (third Saturday of Feb) and my mom’s birthday (Feb 28, she will be 84, for those who are keeping track). Let us not forget Purim (Feb 26) among all these opportunities to observe the re-sanctifying of our relationships with God and other, and in the process to acknowledge our own power to bestow blessings, for the good of all life and Creation.
Practicing unitive consciousness is a wonderful contemplative practice, if you haven’t already set your prayer intention for Lent. For support, you could join Heart Centered Meditation every morning or evening, where a supportive, virtual community holds 20 minutes of silence after a reflective reading; the silence is followed by an opportunity for sharing. This month is ripe with opportunities to continue fostering deep and abiding love for ourselves, our God, our communities and Earth as we look forward to Easter’s joy.
May it be so.
Liz Walz, ASP
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