The Narrow Gate to the Sacred Path



THE NARROW GATE

Εἰσέλθατε διὰ τῆς στενῆς πύλης· ὅτι πλατεῖα ἡ πύλη καὶ εὐρύχωρος ἡ ὁδὸς ἡ ἀπάγουσα εἰς τὴν ἀπώλειαν, καὶ πολλοί εἰσιν οἱ εἰσερχόμενοι δι’ αὐτῆς· ὅτι στενὴ ἡ πύλη καὶ τεθλιμμένη ἡ ὁδὸς ἡ ἀπάγουσα εἰς τὴν ζωήν, καὶ ὀλίγοι εἰσὶν οἱ εὑρίσκοντες αὐτήν.

Matthew Chapter 7 verses 13-14

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. 

Entering through the narrow gate, is to face

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Mystery





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Drop the Pretense



Drop the pretense.
It is time to drop the pretense.  The urgency pounds my emotions. For months, thoughts, ideas and planning have been partial and Drop the Pretense confused. And writing – all writing – has been paralysed. It is time to drop the pretense. Why keep pretending that life is clear-cut?   Day by day, there is an overwhelming sense of endingness and emptiness. What lies ahead? More passionately, what do I believe about self, values and whatever now passes for faith. So, drop the pretense. Drop the pretense

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Faith as Freedom: Solidarity with the Alienated



The poor person is the product of the system in which we live and for which we are responsible. He is on the margin of our social and cultural world. Even more, the poor person is the oppressed, the exploited, the proletarian, the one deprived of the fruit of his labor and despoiled of being a person. For that reason, the poverty of the poor person is not a call for a generous act that will alleviate his suffering, but rather a demand for building a different social order. - Gustavo Gutierrez, ‘Faith as Freedom: Solidarity with the Alienated

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Happy Christmas 2015 – Joy in your Life Discoveries



JUST BEFORE CHRISTMAS I was suddenly surprised that Christmas was almost upon me.  The days seemed so full of other commitments and activities that Christmas did not dawn on me till a day or so ago when the first Christmas wishes began to arrive. ChristmasWhat should I do?  Well I could rummage through a few rarely opened drawers in the dining table where Margaret had already stocked up with cards for every occasion. Friends’ last year cards and the address lists will be there. But right now I can’t

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Thoughts From the Heart: Rip! Rip! Rip! then Wonder



  Thoughts From the Heart: Rip! Rip! Rip! then Wonder – Margaret Lawton an Aussie grandmother keeping in touch with my kids and grandkids, all over the world. This is the last of these personal blogs, all inspired by experiences of people and places in Grand Haven, Michigan.  Maybe now, so late in time, family and friends will again find them affirming, stirring wonder, imagination and emotions Rip! Rip! Rip! - Then the Wonder of Sunrise ” What made me suspicious was the ferocity with which I was ripping up a boxful of confidential files. All Saturday afternoon, I ripped, ripped, ripped, not

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Thoughts From the Heart: Clutter and Dreaming



Thoughts From the Heart: Clutter and Dreaming – Margaret Lawton an Aussie grandmother keeping in touch with my kids and grandkids, all over the world. Clutter and Dreaming dreamsDeep inside me lurks a very hidden dream. If I were to even whisper it to my husband, he would roll around the floor in the hysterical laughter of disbelief. My children may be more polite, but I think I would generally be seen by my family as a messy, cluttered hoarder. What is my dream then? I would dream of being

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Thoughts From the Heart: The Dance



Thoughts From the Heart: The Dance – Margaret Lawton an Aussie grandmother keeping in touch with my kids and grandkids, all over the world. The Dance danceThe wind blows strongly from the south. The sun shines warmly in a cloudless blue sky. My jacket is wrapped tightly around me in the cold, and gloves warm my hands . But the invitation to dance with the waves is too strong to ignore. It has been sitting in my own inbox for a week now, and today is the day

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Thoughts From the Heart: A Letter of Resignation



Thoughts From the Heart: A Letter of Resignation – Margaret Lawton an Aussie grandmother keeping in touch with my kids and grandkids, all over the world. A Letter of Resignation Dear Part of my Heart, ” It has been gradually coming to my attention that you are not pulling your weight. Our business has flourished, not necessarily in a material way, but it has occupied countless hours, many of which caused overtime, and too many sleepless nights. It has occurred to me that to dispense with your services would actually increase the firm's output, and heighten our effectiveness. I do not want

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Thoughts From the Heart: The Magnolia Tree, Symbol of Life



Thoughts From the Heart: The Magnolia Tree Symbol of Life  – Margaret Lawton, an Aussie grandmother keeping in touch with my kids and grandkids, all over the world. lifeWhen I arrived ”, early March, the tree looked dead. Its thick grey trunk emerged from the brown earth with a certain stubborn starkness, as if to say, 'I stay; this is my place you know'. From this solid base, thinner branches and, even slighter twigs, swayed dangerously as the wind howled around, in and out, as if to say, 'I'm a

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Thoughts From the Heart: Clutter and Cleansing



Thoughts From the Heart: Clutter and Cleansing - Margaret Lawton, an Aussie grandmother keeping in touch with my kids and grandkids, all over the world. clutter   I glance around our neighbourhood at the assembled bicycles, dolls, toys, cupboards and all that has been cleaned out of our houses and into our driveways this Spring. Ah! We say, that feels better.   My clutter is in my mind, I come to realise.  There is too much clutter in my mind. It used to be so simple. There was a Right, and there was a

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A Family Affair – Revisiting Margaret’s Writings



A FAMILY AFFAIR ” Where do I begin this tale of a family affair? Does it begin under a lamp-post in Kings Cross Sydney where my husband-to-be asked me to marry him? Or, does it begin in a dusty, dry, sparsely populated town on the edge of the wheat belt in Western Australia, where my first son was born in the local hospital. He shared the nursery with an aboriginal baby. His three sisters, with his father, trudged up the hill to visit him in all the dust and dry heat. We returned to Sydney. However, our Western Australian experiences shaped our spirits

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In Loving Memory Of Margaret Lawton



MEMORY OF MARGARET LAWTON - SPEAKING HER TRUTH memory of Margaret LawtonMargaret brought a life of service, whether it was working in a remand centre or teaching high school students, or English as a second language … She took us on picnics with Vietnamese refugees … She went over and above to support students or family, friends or clients … Margaret encouraged all of us to speak our truths … She was the least selfish person I have ever known, and has made an outstanding positive contribution to many

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Courage to dream is to move on from safe places



courage to dream   Throughout the year various Christian Lectionaries cite Martin Luther King, worker for civil liberties, as a model for those who live with courage to dream.  The text of his famous address remains fundamental for everyone who owns justice as the heart of their Christian faith. It calls every generation to live with the same courage to dream.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gevdV4LvipQ COURAGE TO DREAM THAT FIRES IMAGINATION courage to dream With so much media attention on political and

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A Vision for a World where Love is Loosed to Heal



'Where love is loosed to heal': a Meditation Homily based on an image of the potter from a reading of the prophet Jeremiah chapter 18 and a prayer based on that image and sometimes attributed, but lacking textual attribution, to St Irenaeus.IN THE HAND OF THE ARTIST: WHERE LOVE IS LOOSED TO HEAL

It is not you who shape God; it is God who shapes you.

If then you are the work of God, await the hand of the Artist who does all things in due season.

Offer the Potter your heart, soft and tractable, and keep the form in

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Unafraid to Be …



UNAFRAID TO BE … This is a chapter written almost ten years ago for a book on Christian responses to homosexuality.  The book was briefly published then as quickly withdrawn.  I was at first a member of the book's panel of authors.  As discussion drew to a conclusion my thoughts were so distant from the rest of the panel that the chapter became an appendix reflecting a contrary view.   The paper has sat unread and un-referred to for the past 9 years.  Maybe that was for the best: I am quite past church controversy.  Maybe no-one will ever wish to read it but it is still largely my

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A Corner of my Place where God and the Streets Intersect



WHERE GOD AND THE STREETS INTERSECT  ” Finding where God and the streets intersect marked so many points in our lives.  Here are some of the early stages of Margaret and Bill's personal journey. We bundled the possessions of ten years and the detritus of forty together as Margaret and I shifted house into retirement. At 65 the church denomination had done with us and we must now make an uncertain journey into a more private and personal world. The emotions were bleak and painful. In the end the journey wasn’t far; just a couple of hundred metres along the road, but for all the

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Surrendering to the Sacred



SURRENDERING TO THE SACRED: CELEBRATING BEING HUMAN I celebrate those who showed and taught my generation the beauty and power of ‘surrendering to the sacred’. This multi-layered discovery has energised life commitment from adolescence till now. Some of this was distinctly religious and Christian. Some of it was secular and downright God-denying. But all of it was transformingly human. Stage by stage from adolescence till now, surrendering to the sacred has awakened spirit and action to beauty, to surprise and to conflict. surrendering to the sacredYou test yourself through

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Hidden beauty and human possibility



This is my life story of hidden beauty and human possibility.  When I was a ten-year-old child two stones came into my possession.  Apart from memories they are all I have left of childhood.  An opal encases one stone; I found it on a footpath at the end of lonely ride from Norton Street Leichhardt to White Bay.  To this very day, it has always been either beside my bed or close by my study desk.  It has awakened in me a sense of beauty where I never expected to find it.  I meet this every day in

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Interbeing the Heart of Living in Communion



INTERBEING AS A FOCUS ON OTHERS interbeing ” I seek to live in communion with the world around me and, to the best of my ability, with all sentient beings. I am a constantly changing self, responsible for my own actions yet learning to unselfconsciously embrace others. Only as I balance this dual state of being am I made whole. My theology, really my values system, sums up in a single word 'interbeing', shaped for his community by Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hahn. The idea behind the

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A Perpetual State of Transformation



”   Perpetual State of TransformationEverything is in a perpetual state of transformation, motion and change. However, we discover that nothing simply surges up out of nothing without having antecedents that existed before. Likewise, nothing ever disappears without a trace, in the sense that it gives rise to absolutely nothing existing at later times … Everything comes from other things and gives rise to other things … In nature nothing remains constant. Opening words of David Bohm, Causality and Chance in Modern Physics, (Routledge: London, 1997). The moment I read

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Becoming Who One Is



Untitled Becoming who one is, is a matter of developing oneself existentially, of expressing oneself artistically, and of entering into that kind of relation with Being (God) which alone offers a prospect of salvation.  Christopher Macann, Professor of Philosophy Regent’s College London, Philosophy Now, Nov/Dec 2014. There is life-changing moment when someone’s words grasp your imagination.  They stir the core of your being.  ‘The love of Christ overwhelms us …’ ” I sat spellbound as Edwina Gately spoke to a huge Chicago audience on her initiation into

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Anguish To Be Born and Reborn



Do not ask us to answer again as then we answered. For it is anguish to be reborn and reborn. The evenings bring with them that same steady anguish to be reborn and reborn. Evenings are always long, so long that, by early morning hours, I hope for that instant of calm where the mind’s turmoil ceases. The anguish to be reborn and reborn waits its new day affirmation. Waking evening thoughts are ablaze with ideas, with hopes, with distractions – yes, mostly distractions. All-life has been an upsurge of people, events and discoveries but now the twilight moves to a steady

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