How I have yearned to gather your children togetherMatthew 23:37
as a mother hen gathers her brood under her wings!
When you envision home, what and who comes to mind?
Subtle is the distinction
between “shelter” and “haven.”
The first a temporary shield, the other sounds like heaven.
You have been refuge to the poor,Isaiah 25:4
haven to the distressed,
shelter from the storm and shade from the heat.
Offering more permanent anchorage,
haven desires to enfold;
providing safe harbor, a place to unburden.
For the tempest-tossed
any port or quay
Our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.Augustine of Hippo
As pandemic prolongs,
we shift from sheltering
to being anchored at home.
So much more than a dwelling,
home evokes that communion
we call belonging.
Just as every vision
is limited by the frame we place around it,
so too is our perception of home.
The relief we seek is right under our feet…Thich Nhat Hanh
If we understand our deep connection and relationship with the Earth,
we will have enough love strength and awakening
to look after ourselves and the Earth so that both can thrive.
Yet we are ever on the move.
Migratory by nature,
we harbor an ancient, nomadic heritage.
Wanderers and wonderers all,
our ache to belong lies at the heart
of our incessant questing and questioning.
Only fifty years ago,
intrepid space-age voyagers
looked past our moon to capture Earth rising.
Three decades later an orbiting telescope opened its eye
to our intergalactic neighborhood,
and expanded our home-scape.
Poised now at the brink,
all life on our planet
hangs in the balance.
Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home.Pope Francis
After a century
of abuse and neglect,
we have laid waste our holy habitat.
Along with living relations of every ilk,
we suffer the effects
of catastrophic home-sickness.
Across the planet entire,
millions seek shelter from violent injustice,
poverty, environmental disaster.
Fellow creatures flee firestorm,
exploitation, habitat devastation;
the harvest of our own nature deprivation
With wilderness under assault,
the indigenous curators of precious biodiversity
themselves face extinction.
Life is paradise, and we are all in paradise, but we refuse to see it.Fyodor Dostoyevsky
We have lost our way home.
No longer do we calibrate our days
to earth’s seasons: seedtime, fruit and fallow.
Recovery begins with the subtlest shift
that turns home into haven,
bringing heaven back to earth.
Thus, in looking after neighbors,
we are on the lookout
for all great and small creatures in our care.
Once more can we revel
in the primal revelation
Be thou a guiding star above,Columba of Iona
smooth path below,
kindly shepherd behind,
flame bright before us
this day, tonight,
As you attend to the stirrings within
and tend to life all around,
may you rejoice in the realization that you are already home.
As you hold open this haven,
may you know
the infinite depth and breadth of love abiding in you.