Prayers and Reflections

I created this reflection and ritual for Pause & Pray, an online retreat for Retreat Reflect Renew. I hope this helps you to love the questions as Rilke says and gives you rest in God’s care during transition, that place of threshold.

We continue this time of pause and pray, honoring what has been and how God is with us in it. Notice this is a time of transition, life opening to a new way of being, a new day. Let us hold this in our hearts and lift them to our God of Hope.

Share screen with video and birdsong:

I now invite you to notice the hope of the new day…the sun rising in the east, the morning song of the birds…a stirring of that liminal, in-between space of waking. What is to come? We may not know the answer to this question and yet in the mystery and unknown we are stepping into a new way of being in the world. You are rooted in the present, a place of transition, honoring what has been and where you are now, present with God, your Creator by your side… listen to the new day dawning…(birds chirping)… surrounding you are places of threshold, as each new day dawns, you enter a place of transition, your journey of movement toward hope in the new day.

The Celts describe thresholds as “thin times or places” where heaven and earth are closer together and the veil between worlds is thin. These are places and times when we are invited to the Holy Pause – places of endings and new beginnings in each moment of our lives; they happen daily, some more noticeable than others, some small and some big and more obvious…This threshold calls your whole being to God; these parts of you, your physical being, your emotional being, your mindful being, and your soul, all of you, all of us in the threshold.

At this time, I would like to share a ritual with you. This ritual is designed to open your whole self – body, heart, mind, and spirit – to slow down and be in the transition, the threshold in your life. Through this experiential prayer, you are opening to a deeper awareness of how God of Hope is working in you, through your body, emotions, mind, and spirit. The purpose of this is to ask yourself…What am I invited to notice as I step into the thresholds of my life at this time? 

You may stand if you feel comfortable or remain seated if you prefer. This can be done either way, though I will be standing. If you would like to take your shoes off, this may help you to feel more grounded.  the Lord’s words talking to Moses:  “Take off your sandals for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” (allow for that sensation of your feet against the ground) 

Welcome the presence of God within, deeply breathe in and out, feeling the gift of life in your breath. (3 times)

Notice your feet, feeling the ground beneath, the pressure of your weight from your heels, to the balls of your feet, and to your toes; slowly become aware of the space in your room. These spaces that surround you can represent parts of who you are at this time of transition, a place of threshold. In the threshold, the four parts of your whole being are integrated into your experience; you are in transition and are opening to God’s hope in your body in this new day…God’s hope in your emotions, God’s hope in your mind, and God’s hope in your soul. I will walk you through these four parts and invite you to pause and notice how you are drawn to God’s hope in the threshold of a new day.

We begin with the body…As you take in these thin spaces, you in the center, held with God, notice which direction draws you to the world of the physical. Don’t worry about why or overthink it but just allow yourself to be drawn to a place of your physical being, for example…maybe that means a place in your home where you feel your body at rest, or you may be drawn to where you can use your body to feel strong; take an inventory of how your body feels after this long year of pandemic; now step or turn into the direction, soften your stance, your whole body, and imagine a pulling of your crown upward, lengthening your spine, notice your breathing,…where do you feel transition in your body…are you noticing tension in your shoulders, or perhaps maybe a looseness in your body that you haven’t felt through this past year… notice if there is tension or a sense of relief dawning…What are you invited to notice as you step into the thresholds of your life with your physical body? …silence…becoming aware again of your breath, your feet grounded on the floor, step or turn back to center, deep breath in and out…

Now acknowledge your emotional being…What part of the room draws you? Allow yourself to migrate toward that direction. Maybe there’s a place in your home that symbolizes how you feel about this transitional time. I am drawn to the front door, a feeling of freedom. Is there a place that draws you to be honest about what you are feeling at this time of transition? Step or turn to this threshold of emotions. Allow the feelings to come and go, is there a feeling that is asking for some attention or nurturing…be with that…What are you invited to notice as you step into the thresholds of your life with your emotions? (silence)…bringing our awareness back, feeling your feet on the ground, having become aware of the feelings or the no feelings, back to center…

Mindfulness..connecting to the world of your mind, your intellectual being, noticing the realm of thought and mind, the place where we see and acknowledge what is going on, the child within that asks questions, is there a place in your home or somewhere outside your home beyond the walls where your mind is present to transition, a place where you sense God’s hope in your thoughts; a place of pondering, where you think about what you’ve been through during this pandemic, maybe there is an object or a place that symbolizes all you think about and what you use your mind for in this place of threshold; step or turn toward this direction, notice what thoughts are arising, what ideas are sitting and waiting for your attention…What are you invited to notice as you step into the thresholds of your life with your mind? (silence)…again feel your feet on the floor, your mind linked to your grounding on this earth we share, stepping or turning to your center… 

Lastly, Your Spirit – perhaps a place where you are most connected in your spiritual life or something that represents prayer for you, your  connection to God; a place in your house that you’re drawn to where you experience God’s hope…it may be out the window, a window to colors of nature, a place of prayer, the dancing candle, journey to that place…What are you invited to notice as you step into the thresholds at this time with your spirit? (silence)

Become aware of your breath, your body, your emotions, your mind, and your spirit, feel the weight of your body sinking into your feet…wiggling your toes in anticipation of stepping, of turning, coming to your whole being, wholeness, with God of Hope as your guide.

In a gesture honoring God in all aspects of your being, holding your arms open or giving yourself a hug, however your body is called to reflect your prayer at this time…let us pray together: Psalms for Praying by Nan C. Merrill, 108 p. 221 read aloud ~AMEN~  

Personal Reflection time – What do you want to honor during this time of transition? How are you recognizing it in your body, mind, heart, and soul?

Ritual created for Pause & Pray Retreat, Retreat Reflect Renew