Religion, and the spirituality that keeps it fresh, holds the power to transform our lives.  Take Holy Week, for example.  Holy week is an ancient practice of soul-care.  It is, at its core, a mapping of the human journey—from our grand entrance, through ups and downs of our lives, into suffering, death, and final transformation.  Holy Week aims to teach us to walk our journey with courage and hope, no matter what may come our way.  Holy Week is a crash course in being human, and being human well. 

I don’t know where else we can go to school ourselves in what it means to live well.  There are, of course, classes and books and teachers—many of them quite good and helpful.  But over the course of my life and ministry, I’ve come to more fully appreciate this ancient practice as some of the best soul-care available, some of the best teaching on living and dying well that we can find anywhere.  What’s more, it’s an annual ritual that we do together.  Over and over, in the course of a life, we come to this annual renewal of our understanding and practice of what it takes to live well.

So I write to invite you into Holy Week.  I invite you into all of it, all eight days.  Here’s a little map for your journey:

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AuthorChris Neufeld-Erdman
CategoriesBE

My wife, Patty, and I are just back from a week along California's Big Sur coastline, one of the most astonishingly beautiful places on earth.  Just type Big Sur images into your web browser and see what I mean.  

Nature is God's art and it nourishes something deep within us.

Today I stumbled on a piece by Daniel Ladinsky who's spent his life writing contemporary renderings of the ancient mystic poets.  Here's what Ladinsky says about nature; his description gets at what I feel when I am drawn into the vast, Divine canvas: 

"Nature and art are sacred breasts we can feed on to grow. They are vital to our evolution. They offer a jailbreak or leave from the madness and demands we can get caught in. Of course love does that, too. Love dissolves boundaries and ultimately removes any contour that is not luminous." 

For more on the nature of nature and art and love, and especially poetry, see Ladinsky's full blog post on Huffpost here

Go there, because if you can't get to the Big Sur coastline or any other place of extreme beauty, you can pick up a poem and it might carry you into ecstasy.  (And Ladinsky's got a couple great poems in his essay, especially the spiritually flirtatious poem by Rumi, The Body is Like Mary). 

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AuthorChris Neufeld-Erdman
CategoriesBE
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