My Latest “Creed”

I’ll be the first to admit–but often the last to accept–that I’m a sucker for creeds. I have an almost obessive  need to believe in something or someone.  It makes sense because I gave my mind, heart, and soul to Catholicism in order to become a nun so many years ago.

I’ve long since freed myself of formal religious beliefs, convents, and other imprisoning belief systems, although,  I’m loving the following. . .

  The Cathar Creed

“It has no membership, save those who know they belong.

It has no rivals because it is non competitive.

It has no ambition – it seeks only to serve.

It knows no boundaries, for nationalisms are unloving.

It is not of itself because it seeks to enrich all groups and religions.

It acknowledges all great teachers of all the ages who have shown the truth of love.

Those who participate, practice the truth of love in all their being.

There is no walk of life or nationality that is a barrier.

Those who are, know.

It seeks not to teach, but to be, and by being, enriched.

It recognizes that the way we are may be the way of those around us because we are that way.

It recognizes the whole planet as a being of which we are a part.

It recognizes that the time has come for the supreme transmutation, the ultimate alchemical act of conscious change of the ego in to a voluntary return to the whole.

It does not proclaim itself with a loud voice, but in the subtle realms of loving.

It salutes all those in the past who have blazoned the path, but have paid the price.

It admits no hierarchy or structure, for no one is greater than another.

Its members shall know each other by their deeds and being, and by their eyes and by no other outward sign, save the fraternal embrace.

Each one will dedicate their life to the silent loving of their neighbour and environment, and the planet, will carry out their task, however exalted or humble.

It recognizes the supremacy of the great idea, which may only be accomplished if the human race practices the supremacy of love.

It has no reward to offer, either here or in the hereafter, save that of the ineffable joy of being and loving.

Each shall seek to advance the cause of understanding, doing good by stealth and teaching only by example.

They shall heal their neighbour, their community, our planet and living beings in whatever form they take.

They shall know no fear and feel no shame and their witness shall prevail over all odds.

It has no secret, no arcanum, no initiation, save that of true understanding of the power of love and that, if we want it to be so, the world will change, but only if we change.

All who belong, belong; they belong to the Church of Love.”

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It’s about Loving Me

heart in Ink

Today is Valentine’s and I awoke to find a voicemail telling me that I am a very loving person. I’m seldom acknowledged as such and struggle to take it in.

As a  proper former nun, I should be allowed to consider myself nice, considerate, respectful, deferential, and even thoughtful. But loving? I’m not sure why it moves me so to take it in.

My tears flow like rain after a long drought, moistening and loosening what feels tightly bound within. Perhaps it’s the space I’d so long ago begun to reserve for what I had hoped would be filled by God.

Maybe I’ve finally begun to fill it with me.

Mornings

glen-2Rather than force myself into a gym this sunny Portland morning, I trekked with dozens of other Portlanders around the perimeter of the Glendoveer Golf. Since I recently learned that senior citizens qualify for free membership at some of the local gyms, I’ve debated about joining.

However, the mere thought of being confined inside like a robot discourages me. I already spend more time indoors than is recommended for humans, and prefer walking outside where I can take in the fresh air, stop and chat with the dog-walkers, and enjoy the sights in the neighborhood.

Even the rain doesn’t stop me. Until the wind makes fighting an umbrella too difficult. Returning home with cold cheeks, muddy shoes, and my lungs filled with the fresh air is reward enough. I treasure my morning encounters with Nature.