Meaning as an Essential Nutrient for Health

Good Day, God

While chatting with my wonderful husband, Kit, about how his older brother had died in his early 80’s while he, Kit was still alive at 88, I commented that church goers statistically live longer than non-church goers. I think by church goers it was referring to people with an active faith community.

But, as I said the words, it hit me! Having a sense of Meaning — helps us withstand the vicissitudes of life. And that reminded me of Fr. Rohr’s summation on meaning:
A trust in inner coherence itself. “It all means something!” (Faith)
A trust that this coherence is positive and going somewhere good. (Hope)
A trust that this coherence includes me and even defines me. (Love)

When I look at this image of Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh which has a photo of galaxies superimposed on it — I feel full of faith, hope and love. Perhaps, because the heavens do declare the Glory of God. Maybe because like this reminds me of the creative gifts we all have been given.

But health? Ah yes . . . when I awake in the middle of the night. . . filled with regrets of things done and left undone. . . I turn toward these beliefs. I can repent and ask to be forgiven. I can ask for enough love and compassion to forgive myself. I am, in short in a loving and meaningful universe.

Yes, I am in the same world as everyone else. A world of injustice, cruelty and pain. A world filled with creatures like me who have been given free will. Sigh . . . You have put this world into our hands . . . . People ask — how can God allow this. Well, God, as You know, I have also yelled at You: HOW CAN YOU ALLOW THIS.

When I pause to listen, I hear words out of scripture like
Pray for those in authority over you.
Pray for those who despitefully use you.
Bless bless, and do not curse.ove

Sigh — a big sad sigh. And I ask You — how will that help? And I seem to hear, It will help YOU. Praying for people isn’t about You changing them. It is about YOU changing ME! Alas my work seems to be — not about changing others but about changing ME. And even then, it is more about my praying the Welcoming Prayer. Welcoming Your Indwelling Spirit and opening to whatever YOU might want to help with.

And, I have noticed that there is nothing “magic” about prayer. Changing requires my full consent — even into my unconscious — and my slow hard work of cooperation. Dang! But, learning to value slow — instead of my former almost idolatry of fast — is helping.

So, I press on . . . with Hope and Faith and Love.

Story teller,

Posted in Centering Prayer, Choosing Meaning, connecting, Faith, health, hope, LOVE, Meaning, Prayer, resiliency, small meaningful moments, The daily details of love, the gift of persistent love, Welcoming, Welcoming Prayer

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