Friday, June 05, 2009

Barbara Brown Taylor

An interesting quote from Barbara Brown Taylor, in her book, Leaving Church, after she finds that life in a rural parish is just as 'busy' as life in the inner city - interesting, as this same 'busyness' is a prime factor in ministers burning out. (page 75, HarperSanFrancisco paperback edition, 2007)

I had moved to the country in order to lie down in more blessed fields, to live closer to the Divine Presence that had held me all my life, but I had once again become so busy caring for the household of God that I neglected the One who had called me there. If I still had plenty of energy for the work, that was because feeding others was still my food. As long as I fed them, I did not feel my hunger pain.

And one other quote, about her visit to Ireland:
Later I would find the Celtic which God's 'big book' of creation is revered alongside God's 'little book' of sacred scripture. I would also find Christian mystics such as Bernard of Clairvaux and Julian of Norwich, who found heaven on earth in union with the Divine. 'I have had no other masters than the beeches and the oaks,' Bernard wrote in the twelfth century, while Julian recognised the love of God in a hazel nut in her hand. Hildegard of Bingen coined the word viriditas ('green power') to describe the divine power of creation, while Francis of Assisi composed love songs to Brother Sun and Sister Moon.
'You never enjoy the world aright till the sea itself floweth in your veins,' wrote the seventeenth-century Anglican priest, Thomas Traherne, 'till you are clothed with the heavens and crowned with the stars; and perceive yourself to be the sole heir of the whole world, and more than so, because men are in it who are every one sole heirs as well as you.' Since I had received Christian education that taught me to view creation as both fallen and inert, I was happy to discover these dissenting opinions, but they only confirmed what I already knew to be true. I did not live on the earth but in it, in communion with all that gave me life.

(Page 81-82)

More on leaving Church here.

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