Centering Prayer

19th and 20th October
Reflection, Spiritual Series, Pandemic

Entering a liminal space… what might we do about it?

This week we reflect with Br Donal Leader and Monica O’ Reilly on their respective experiences of “cocooning.” Many of us had to cocoon in this time of pandemic to protect ourselves, the stranger and those we love. For every one of us life changed radically. Some embraced the experience, others struggled. Some welcomed the solitude, others hungered for the physical contact of loved ones. What was your experience? How were you held in this time?

Jude Currivan, of the WholeWorld-View Community, wrote recently, “A caterpillar exists to eat. Its aim is to consume as much as possible. When there is nothing left to devour, evolution forces its isolation into becoming a chrysalis; within which it dissolves. In the breaking down of its old form, a new form begins to evolve into a butterfly. One morning, it breaks through the wall of its chrysalis. It waits for its wings to dry in the warmth of the Sun, and then it flies.

A butterfly exists to pollinate. Its aim is to sip the sweetness of flowers. And as it does so, it fertilizes life. We have been a caterpillar species; consuming, not only all that Gaia could spare in her generosity, but much more. Now cocooned by physical distancing, we can choose to breakdown who we thought we were. To surrender; not to the will of man, but to the evolutionary impulse of the Universe.

To dissolve our separated sense of self and co-create imaginal cells of potential; linking up and lifting up to form organelles of emergence. We can reframe and more deeply understand, the breakdown and dying of the old and breakthrough and birth of the new; not as a crisis but as a metamorphosis. Instead of plunderers we can become pollinators.”

This evokes the questions voiced by Sue Monk Kidd in her book When The Heart Waits. She asks:

• Am I being asked to enter a new passage in the spiritual life?
• Am I being asked to dismantle old masks and patterns and unfold a deeper, more authentic self – the one God created me to be?
• Am I being compelled to disturb my inner universe in quest of the undiscovered being who clamours from within?

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