Oh Death, Where is thy sting?

We are the emptiness at the centre of the universe holding all together giving witness to its self-disclosure. We were created so that the universe could know itself. Man is the answer to the universe’s “Why?” We reach from the beginning and the end of time to the God that created us in his own image. We are part of that vibration at the centre of the smallest particle of existence and part of the great bang of the WORD that created all.

How are we different from the animals of the fields and the birds of the air? We were created in God’s image to know all, to be all. Man knows himself and is one with God. We have all; we ask nothing. We must die before we die. Death comes as a confirmation of life. We die to know beyond a shadow of a doubt how to find God and our beloved within us. The inevitable conclusion is that death can’t be the end. After death we live hidden within Christ and our beloved. I am within her, she is within me. My soul to her soul; Her soul to my soul; we are one. On the grief journey, every so often you completely let go and your beloved comes to meet you as Christ came to meet Mary Magdalene outside the tomb. Your heart opens, and you realize you have found God and Us! Christ is in us and we are in Him.

Nothing exists without something being aware of it. “I am” is all important. It is what God calls Himself. It is His name. I am because I am aware of myself. The universe exists because we are aware of it. It is God being aware of himself. Patricia lives because both she and I are aware of her. And most importantly God is aware of both of us.

Christ’s Body
By Simeon the New Theologian 
(in Cynthia Bourgeault’s The Wisdom Jesus page 135)

We awaken in Christ’s body
as Christ awakens our bodies,
and my poor hand is Christ. He enters
my foot and is infinitely me.

I move my hand, and wonderfully
my hand becomes Christ, becomes all of Him
(for God is indivisibly
Whole, seamless in his Godhood).

I move my foot, and at once
He appears in a flash of lightning.
Do my words seem blasphemous – Then
Open your heart to Him

And let yourself receive the one 
Who is opening to you so deeply.
For if we genuinely love Him,
We wake up inside Christ’s body

Where all our body, all over, 
Every most hidden part of it,
Is realized in joy as Him.
And he makes us utterly real.

And everything that is hurt, everything
That seems to us dark, harsh, shameful,
maimed, ugly, irreparably
damaged, is in him transformed

and recognized as whole, lovely 
radiant in his light.
We awaken as the Beloved 
In every last part of our body.

So almost two years after my beloved Patricia’s death on January 7, 2017 this is where my grief journey has led me.

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One with each other and God

Jesus teaches that man and wife are to become “one flesh” (Matthew 19:6) When we marry two souls become one. A presence is formed in each other. Each feel that they can face anything as long as the other is present. That presence in each other grows stronger as the marriage ages. Even death does not part that presence, what God has joined together only God can pull apart.

That emptiness you feel around your heart when your beloved dies is not emptiness. It is your departing spouse expanding around your heart. She is moving into the infinite just beyond the finite. Remember the infinite is often describe as a void, an emptiness. She is still One with you but is now also One with the infinite beyond time and space.  She sees everything she knows all of you.

She is everywhere, transformed into pure spirit to enter the divine realm. Our two hearts are still united in the new form of our One. Her physical life and death have become mystical life and love. Her soul and spirit have become One. It is the beginning of what C. S. Lewis named to his friend Sheldon Vanauken, “God and Us.” Your beloved has merely gone before to help you to lay down your self, your individuality, your ego, to become One with her in God. There are many states of consciousness in the Kingdom of Heaven. She has laid down her ego to be One with you and God in the Kingdom of Heaven within you! “God and Us” forever.

Believe! Accept nothing less than her presence, recognize her presence within you. This is the good news Christ was teaching.  Yes, there is pure love. God is Love. Trust in Him!

This is what Elizabeth Barrett Browning meant when she wrote: “I love thee to the level of every day’s most quiet need by sun and candle-light. I love thee freely, as men strive for right. … I love thee with a love I seemed to lose with my lost saints. I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death.”


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Wherefore art thou…

I cry in my agony,
“O Patricia, Patricia, wherefore art thou; why must thou be dead? You loved me royally, as I love you!”

She answers softly from deep within,
“I am everywhere, my love, everywhere. Still one with you! Love is forever!”

Why is that part of us that is aware of being everything is hidden from us? Why does the eternal “I” that sees my heart, my soul, my mind and my body not know itself? Only poets and mystics seem to be aware of that “I am” which is within us.

We pray and search for the Kingdom of Heaven all our life. That is, the person that is aware of our heart, our soul, our mind and the Lord our one lord is searching to know God and himself. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7) And so Death provides an answer, it delivers us from all our fears and unites us with God. It opens the door unto you.

Heaven is a state of being, your forever home. You feel the presence of your beloved; you are One in Heaven with everything, one with God. As Christ taught’ Heaven is within us here and now. We associate it with where we most want to be – Pat’s “GARDEN kingdom, keeping up our silent conversation in robes of joy of every hue.” It is indeed a miracle to discover Heaven is “the inmost me and you to nurse no longing for another, to forge the soul and its desire together gently, openly and forever.” The answer seems to be union with God. Pat and I finally reunite in God and Us!

I love my beloved Patricia with all my soul because my soul never stops or forgets. I love her as myself; I am she and she is me, we reach together for the ends of being. Love is stronger than Death! We let go life to be born again. Yes she is “everywhere.”

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Yes we still LOVE!

It happens more often now. I catch a glimpse of you out of the corner of my eye or with my mind’s eye. You speak to tell me a family truth or about something that has pleased you, some day to day comment or just that you love me still. Your 1970 anniversary poem echoes in my heart, my soul and mind:
“You love me royally, as I love you,
seated together in our garden Kingdom,
keeping up our silent conversation,
clothed in robed of joy of every hue.
For us, our royal love has had no parallel:
It rooted, grew, and like a miracle
spread to the garden where in now we sit,
clothed in the fragrance of God in it.
“And this long miracle is to discover
the inmost me and you,
to nurse no longing for another,
to forge the soul and its desire together
gently, openly and forever.
“Nothing grows but common flowers
outside our Kingdom’s wall.
Here alone the magic lies,
we ask nothing; we have all.”
Patricia my love this poem ring’s even more true as we approach the year of our fiftieth anniversary. Yes my love “the bones and blood remember.” Am I going back to another solitude or forward to the Garden Kingdom you so often dreamt of, the Heaven within us? Have we come to C.S. Lewis’s “God and us?” In this shadows of a shadow that contains our love have we found the entire universe, God knowing himself?

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Paradise enow

Seeing what is to be in my dream before I awoke.
Thou beside me singing on a highland shore.
A crimson sun rising over the sea.
Lilacs all around, the scent of their opening in the light of dawn.
This is Eden, the garden that was meant to be Heaven.
We ask for nothing more;
we have all in each other just as it began.
We are full no longer empty, we are one again with each other forever.
On the blanket before us:
A jug of wine, a loaf of bread and
A book of your verse open to your poem, ”Seeing October”:

Dance of leaves on cobalt sky,
flare and startle of cardinal’s wing:
these I store against the day I die.

Nets of gold in the afternoon:
crimson darting in mid-air,
embers underfoot, glowing in the gloom.

Sunset flush on red brick wall,
windows winking like spectacles,
beneath the eyes of stars, blue evenfall.

Deep the dark, my candle dead:
Midnight’s breath will blow me blind.
Then all I stored today will light my mind
Till morning breaks ahead.

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Most inspirational passage I have read all Week

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Essentially, from a wisdom perspective, this second beatitude is talking about vulnerability and flow. When we mourn (and we’re talking about true mourning here, not complaining or self pity) we are in a state of freefall, our heart reaching out toward what we have seemingly lost but cannot help loving anyway. To mourn is by definition to live between the realms. “Practice the wound of love,” writes Ken Wilber in Grace and Grit, his griping personal story of loss and transformation. “Real love hurts; real love makes you totally vulnerable and open; real love will take you far beyond yourself, and therefore real love will devastate you.” Mourning is indeed a brutal form of emptiness. But in this emptiness, if we can remain open, we discover that a mysterious “something” does indeed reach back to comfort us; the tendrils of our grief trailing out into the unknown become intertwined in a greater love that holds all things together. To mourn is to touch directly the substance of divine compassion.  And just as ice must melt before it can begin to flow, we, too, must become liquid before we can flow into the larger mind. Tears have been a classic spiritual way of doing this.  –Cynthia Bourgeault, The Wisdom Jesus; transforming heart and mind – a new perspective on Christ and his message (Shambhala, 2008)  page 43

I read this (and all of her chapter 3, “The Kingdom of Heaven is within You.”) after Fr. Victor Kischak’s sermon at Wednesday’s mass on The Beatitudes (Matthew 5: 1-12) These eight short sayings lay out Jesus’ s core teachings in a wonderfully concentrated and compelling format. His commentary was truly inspirational leaving me wanting more. Cynthia’ book filled that need – it reinforced what Fr Kischak’s sermon was preaching.

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I am therefore I think!

“I am, therefore, I think” God is, therefore, I Love. Patricia is, we love, therefore, we are One with each other and God.
Heart, soul, mind and body are God’s. Render unto God the things that are God’s: heart, soul, mind, and body.
It is being aware of yourself and God that proves existence. We just know we are and that God exists. It is a compulsion of the heart, soul, mind and body.
I know Patricia Bow dwells within me; that God has joined us together as One. She loves and comforts me as God loves and comforts us. We are still One joined together by God; even Death cannot part us. We are Everywhere – One with everything.
We accept existences, the Presence and God. We know the “I am who I am”, that is God! (אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה)
The Lord our God is one Lord and we shall love the Lord, our God with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our mind, and with all our strength as He commanded.
Patricia Bow November 1984
October past, like vital middle age,
quicker than fear or expectation gone,
November storms upon us, lean and wan,
all silvered, like King Lear upon the stage
It’s growing old that sets him in a rage:
the grave indignity of being bundled on
before his business properly is done;
they snatched the book before he’d filled the page.
November’s tears, like stones against the glass
bite bitterer than summer’s velvet rain.
The green blood bleaches from the tattered hill,
the red from wrinkled cheek. He dreads the pass
to icy sleep. Then takes up hope again,
recalls the Resurrection, and is still.
{Pat and I received the dreadful diagnoses the she had only 2 to six months to live on November 15th 2016.]
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