Varied Vessels

I love the multitude of ways spiritual companioning happens and the way invitations seem to “pop up out of thin air”! Last spring my spiritual director asked if I had any ideas to offer for a ritual of blessing she was creating as part of a women’s tea/shower to honor a young family member getting married soon. The women coming had known this young woman many years and would be writing individual blessings for the bride to be. Words and melodies immediately flooded my heart and mind in all shapes and sizes. I visualized the women each offering a blessing with a short musical (or spoken) piece as interlude between each one – all together a holy song and dance of blessing. I visualized moving from that experience to their giving and opening of gifts time, and after opening a laying on of hands time for this young lady with words that acknowledged what a gift she had been to them, and the continuing unfolding gift she and her new husband would be to the world together…  

Less than a week later, I was to facilitate a memorial service honoring someone who had died of cancer. The daughter of the partner of the deceased approached me to ask if I might be willing to bless a rosary left to her by her mom’s partner who had helped raise her. Again, words, metaphors and even movement for during the blessing time came flooding in with an incredible energy. Before the memorial service, we found a quiet space, lit a candle, and beginning with her holding the rosary, I shared some of the following: May these prayer beads bring a living prayer of peace into your life. When you hold them, may you again feel held in the love of this one you held most dear … Then as I put the rosary around her neck I offered: Whenever you should put these beads on, may you sense yourself clothed once more in her love in lively ways that make clear it is something holy and that makes you feel safe … She had tears. I had tears. Precious, sacred, holy, ground.

Friends, the multitude of ways spiritual companioning happens is a gift. There is gold in the multi-dimensional nature of who is blessed in the process after one says “yes” to be a part of it. Who was blessed more in these stories? The host of the party? The guest of honor? The participants? The one holding a precious rosary to be blessed? The one blessing it? When invitations to be a spiritual companion to other present themselves through ordinary, everyday places of life unfolding, it is like doors gently opening, inviting us into what Celtic tradition names as “thin places.” Those spaces and places where sacred things are more easily recognized. And in those times, we, like Mary the mother of Jesus, are invited to simply say “yes”, walk through, and in doing so become midwives of the holy – fresh “mothers of God” – new vessels for the birthing of the sacred into the world. Meister Eckhart, thirteenth/fourteenth century theologian, philosopher and mystic says, “We are all meant to be mothers of God.” I believe that. And I pray for the grace to be open to it and respond with my own “yes”, every day.

With you on the journey,

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