Our community of contemplative's journeyed together to St. Francis in the Woods near Coyle Oklahoma. Our heart intentions were to hear our heart songs and sing them to ourselves and each other. It began with a blessing and ended with a multitude of blessings. A time together beyond our wildest imaginations.
My soul, like the dry earth was longing, yearning, burning, for the gentle rain of your spirit. I was close but on a road going in the opposite direction. It was long and winding and the further away I went, the deeper the ruts became from too many other rains. I called out to you in my frustration and you gave me clear direction. You greeted me at my arrival, carried my luggage, read BAGGAGE, up the stairs ahead of me. You were the loving mother welcoming home the prodigal daughter, lost and alone after spending it all. There are many ways to spend it all. I followed as you ascended the stairs, not knowing you were taking me to the "upper room". You greeted me in every stranger's smile and the warm hugs of those I knew, who welcomed me as if in home coming. I didn't know that I'd been gone so long or how much I had missed my family. You surrounded me all through the day and night with a warm circle of loving women, who made me feel safe, protected and accepted. In them you were my shelter from the storm raging outside. You listened with their ears to my stories and held my sadness gently in their hands, and then in their joy you lifted it up and carried it away. My heart was broken open with the beauty of your spirit inhabiting all of us in the sharings, the grounds, the buildings where we sat in sacred communion and shared community in the very heart of the three in one. You healed my ache, my longing for what I didn't even know I needed. You sent me forth in joy to proclaim the good news that love is who we are and what we are called to share in our words, actions, our very being. You sang your songs of love over us and we remembered who we are and why we were called. You restored my soul with your deeper connections. When I am feeling lost or alone, I will remember the body of Christ alive in this group of joyful, spirit filled women and I will give you gratitude and praise, as I share this message in the world. Rose Braun
Song of Songs
In the secret recesses of the heart
beyond the teachings of this world
calls a still, small voice
singing a song unchanged
from the foundation of the world.
speak to me in sunsets and in starlight.
speak to me in the eyes of a child.
You Who call from a smile
my cosmic beloved
tell me who I am and who I always will be.
Help me to remember
that I am both the singer and the song.
This is the reading I brought to the altar for our retreat "Into the Woods". In re-reading it, I notice it beckons the Beloved to communicate without words...I take this with me from the retreat: we met the Beloved in the smiles and tears of sweet courageous sisters; in songbirds and hummingbirds and cows who recognized the Divine in us; in lush landscapes inviting us to seek and gape in awe; in the breaking of bread and sharing of cup with one another; and in the sacred silence. All of these were a Divine litany without words. I am truly blessed from sharing this time with all of you. We are the singers and the song. Hugs Cathy O'Conner
TBC's Spring Retreat "Into the Woods" at St Francis was such an incredible experience. I had the wonderful gift of joining together with with 15 of the most beautiful, loving, and caring souls. God's love radiated through each of you and I could feel His amazing love flood through the atmosphere! What a precious weekend full of so many blessings. Sweet memories were made that I will forever treasure. Thank you for touching my heart with love, I'm beyond grateful! Xoxox - Paige
Soul friends allow each other to feel safe enough that without weighing words or measuring thoughts they are able to pour themselves out, trusting that the other will keep that which is worth keeping and, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.