Inquiry: A Meditation

Rev. Diane Rollert, 17 February 2019

Each morning I rise to wonder
at the day.
The sun streaks across the horizon
in bands of rose-coloured light,
fingertips reaching to touch
the sky. 

This is the early morning prayer
I write each day. 
Ice and snow bar the door.
Our passage through this world
is interlaced, lifted up and limited
by the things we hold too dear,
by the stories we write for ourselves,
that become intrenched
in our hearts,
until the narrative is lost
and only the feelings remain.

Source of love,
unknown weavers of this life,
may we be like the youngest child,
with a mind open in curiosity,
living in the moment,
revelling in fascination
with the way
the smallest things work,
willing to try again and again
to embrace what isn’t yet known.

May we judge ourselves less harshly.
May we turn around the anger and hurt
into forgiveness for ourselves,
May we welcome
gentle understanding and gratitude,
as they arrive,
unexpected guests,
in the silence. 

Amen.

A Prayer for the Soul

Rev. Diane Rollert, 27 January 2019

We sit in silence
together,
aware of breath,
of heartbeat,
of thoughts,
and sensations,
of words,
that form
and disappear,
of feelings
that weave themselves
around us,
and remain too often
unexplained.

We are made up
of atoms
and molecules,
of elements
that were once
overwhelming heat
that became stars,
that became us. 

Us becomes me,
becomes I,
becomes you,
becomes this uniqueness
that exists,
as we sit
together
in this moment,
children of the ages,
the genetic code passed
down
from generations.

The Eternal
rests unnamed,
indescribable
in the equation of
the mystery that goes
unanswered,
the soul that we cannot
weigh,
or measure,
or see,
as it lives in the body
or leaves at the end.

The scientists and the theologians
cannot definitively prove,
not yet—
perhaps not ever,
what it is
that gives us life
leaving us with our faith
or our impatience
to guide us. 

We can only offer
in return,
our deeds,
our kindnesses,
our offerings of light,
to reassure each other
that no matter
where the answers lie,
we will care
for now,
for each other,
for this world.

We have been entrusted
with time,
with the nothingness,
and the everything
that may exist
long before us,
and long after,
or cease and never endure. 

Perhaps
we haven’t evolved
enough,
not yet,
maybe never,
to know the answer.

Perhaps there are mysteries
that are better left
as inexplicable,
and uncontrollable,
leaving us only with the power
to shape this one life
we are given,
to leave behind a legacy
that is formed by love. 

In this quiet that we share,
in this thinking and being
and breathing,
may you find loving kindness
for your own soul,
for the souls who sit beside you,
and in front of you
and behind you,
and for all the world’s souls,
as we live in the shadows
and the promise
of the mystery.

 Amen.

Blessed Be the Meeting

Rev. Diane Rollert, 16 December 2018

God,
spirit of life
ground of our being
are there prayers enough to save this world?

Where do we find sanctuary
on these darkest days
when sunlight touches us briefly
and then disappears?

 Rain follows snow
and ice threatens our passage.
Yet here we are safe,
we are warm,
there is enough to share,
to give,
to remember,
the meaning of openness and generosity. 

I give thanks for the love that exists
in this very place,
for the many kind souls
who find ways to reach out to each other,
who find their way here each week
to build community,
to welcome the stranger,
to prepare a feast
for all of us who need this shelter
more than we realize. 

I give thanks for the hope
that lives between these walls,
that finds forgiveness when
we are less than perfect,
that offers solace
when the pain of loss seems unbearable,
that lets humour and music
spill out into our hearts,.

The days may be short,
yet here we are,
bringing a bit more light into each other’s lives,
one candle at a time. 

Maybe these simple acts
are prayer enough—
the flame that is lit,
the silence that is held,
the songs that are sung,
the stories that are shared,
the sanctuary that is given
to strangers who become dear friends,
the hope in the eyes of the children,
the future that still waits,
reminding us that goodness,
kindness and honesty
still matter.

Holiday lights shine in the night,
the solstice waits for us,
and we, the guests and hosts,
meet at the door’s threshold,
finding oasis
in the welcome. 

Blessed be the meeting.
Holy be the sanctuary.

Amen.

Meditation Towards a Universal Kinship

Rev. Diane Rollert, 18 November 2018

The street lights shine
as the sun rises over city spires,
the promise of the sun’s warmth
reflected in the remaining snow.

The world keeps turning;
the beautiful and the decaying intertwine,
peace and war live side by side.

The word is still spoken,
of hope,
of a return to human decency. 

We can speak of love,
but we know the frustration
we can harbour in our hearts.

We can speak of common ground,
but we know the differences
that can divide us.

We dream of a universal kinship,
of all of us, the entire planet,
waking up one day to sing in harmony. 

It’s a dream that we know
has an infinitely small chance
of being realized in our lifetimes. 

But what greyness would descend
without the world’s dreamers. 

So for now,
we continue working toward peace,
we continue reminding ourselves
to nourish love and not anger,
we encourage each other

to stay strong on the journey,
and we move toward honesty
in the stories we share.

We let our faith lead us
toward the stranger,
toward each other,
and away from fear.

We do more than speak,
we reach out
in forgiveness for our imperfections
and in love for our humanity,
and the divinity that dwells within us,
with the eternal love that guides us
toward our better nature,
toward our deeper kinship.

Amen.

A Prayer for Our Ancestors

Rev. Diane Rollert, 14 October 2018

Spirit of Life,
Source of Love,
may we give thanks for the blessings of our ancestors—
inherited and chosen.

May we offer up our mistakes,
and our misgivings,
as we take responsibility for the burdens
they have left us.

May we hold onto the light
they have granted us,
while we move with the clarity
that they did not have.

May we work in solidarity
with those whom their actions
may have harmed.

May we learn from our own accomplishments
and mistakes
as much as we learn from theirs.

May we join with those
who love all the earth’s relations
and generations.

May we open the space
for each spirit
to find its own way home.

May we work toward
meaningful connection.

May we never give up trying.

Amen.

Meditation for Dignity and Freedom

Rev. Diane Rollert, 30 September 2018

Spirit of life
Source of love,
there is the beauty we witness,
the pouring out of a soul,
the story of a life,
lived with courage
to fight for freedom,
to never give up dreaming of peace.

There is the sorrow we share,
the finite reality of being mortal,
the desire for dignity,
that is not always met with justice,
the wrenching feeling of being asked to let go,
when we want to hold onto the living forever.

There is the incompleteness of a story,
that leaves us wondering,
if we have responded with enough
understanding
or love.

There is the world,
aching in its losses,
the loss of innocence of children,
the futility of war,
the injustice of the oppressor
who demands privilege
when the truth has been hidden,
when lives are crushed
in service to ego.

We know we are not perfect,
that we are ridden with flaws,
that we have amends to make,
and a life’s work to complete
before it is too late.

In this silent moment we share,
may we fill this space with love,
for the self that is longing and lonely,
for the ones that surround us,
who need love as much as we do.

May we fill this space with love
for all the courageous story tellers
who share their truth,
and for those of us not able to speak,
who still carry words to be shared
in the silence of our hearts.

May the love that surrounds you
wash over you,
heal you,
and make you whole.

Amen.

June Morning Meditation

Rev. Diane Rollert, 6 June 2018

Ground of our being,
we walk in beauty this day.
Sun has turned the canals and river to gold,
trees are dancing in green,
lilacs are living out their final days,
fragrantly thankful,
as they greet the emerging peonies.

This is spring,
finally—
The gateway to summer,
the moment when everything 
returns to life
and beckons us 
to respond
with a resounding yes.

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A Blessing for Mothers and Others

Rev. Diane Rollert, May 13, 2018

Blessed be the mothers who brought us into this world
Whose wombs carried us,
From whom we heard the first sounds of life.

Blessed be the ones in our lives who have shown us love,
Whether we have called them mothers, fathers or parents, 
Whether we have known them by blood or by adoption.

Blessed be our presence on this earth
No matter what our joys or regrets may be
No matter how we count our blessings.

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A Spring Blessing

Rev. Diane Rollert, 6 May 2018

Spirit of Life,
Ground of our being,
God,
and Nameless one,
Gracious silence:

We hunger for home,
we thirst for belonging,
we long to know 
that we too 
are blessings to this world.

Sometimes we forget
how to honour each other,
how to love,
or how to give and receive.

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Early October Meditation

Rev Diane Rollert, 1 October 2017

Source of love,
Spirit of life,
Everything is connected.
The beginning and the ending,
the life we live in between.
Our imperfections and our pain.
This ground we stand on,
this firmament of blue sky that stretches out above us, 
the drops of water clinging to the fence,
reflecting the morning’s rising golden light,
the pine needles on the path,
and the falling leaves that crackle beneath.

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Letting Go

Rev. Diane Rollert, 24 September 2017

Ground of our being,
Source of life,
how precious is this breath we breathe
as we come into this world.

How painful it is to let go
of those we love.
There are no words
for the weight of loss,
but inside we hold the memories,
the eternity of love,
the depth of gratitude.

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Forgiveness for the New Year

Rev. Diane Rollert, 17 September 2017

Glorious day.
The golden sunlight rising into clarity.
A moment of summer warmth
Before the days shorten
And the cold descends.
This is a day for returning to the source.
For remembering the sweetness of life
For asking ourselves and each other
For forgiveness
for all the wrongs of the past year.

Even we, who are so sure of ourselves,
We have our silent regrets.
Even we, who are so unsure of ourselves,
We need release from all that weighs too heavily upon us.

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Meditation for a Playful Mother’s Day

Rev. Diane Rollert, 14 May 2017

Whatever your burdens may be,
whatever weight you may carry
upon your shoulders,
whatever worries may fill your mind
and tighten your heart,
may this time of quiet
bring you peace.

And if you have come
brimming with joy,
if you have come
with thanks singing in your heart,
may your joy
spill over
as a gift to those around you.

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Meditation for Easter and April

Rev. Diane Rollert (beginning with words by Debussy)

Lorsque au soleil couchant les rivières sont roses,
Et qu'un tiède frisson court sur les champs de blé,
Un conseil d'être heureux semble sortir des choses
Et monter vers le coeur troublé.
Un conseil de goûter le charme d'être au monde
Cependant qu'on est jeune et que le soir est beau
Car nous nous en allons,
Comme s'en va cette onde:
Elle à la mer,
Nous au tombeau.

            —Claude Debussy

Dear Source of Love,
It is not night for us yet, 
but on this Easter morning,
may the stones that weigh upon our hearts,
the barriers that close us into ourselves,
be lifted.
May the compassion of spring break through the clouds.
May we give thanks for this changing season,
for what will bloom next,
despite the fears and worries we carry
from the burdens of a wounded world.
Whether in joy or in sorrow,
this day is marked by its difference from last year.
Each of us stands with a new perspective
on all that has happened
since spring became summer
became fall became winter.
Into the silence may we breathe all that goes unspoken,
the losses and the gains
of yet another spring,
of yet another Easter.
 
Amen. 

Compassion

Rev. Diane Rollert, 9 April 2017

Compassion,
you are the I and the thou
that begins in the womb,
the loving, caring,
desire for connection,
the internal response
that moves us to know
each other’s suffering.

You are at the heart
of everything,
of this faith,
and all that is good in humanity.
You are at the centre our being
in its most fragile and beautiful form.

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Spring Equinox

Rev. Diane Rollert, 26 March 2017

The equinox has come.
The position of the sun
making its claim for spring.
Yet a soft snow fell the other night,
dressing the trees in white,
and covering the streets once again
with winter’s cold blanket.
“Don’t promise what you cannot keep,”
someone joked last week,
yet I know the warmth will return,
with the growing sunlight.
It always does,
although it may never coincide
with the words written on the calendar.

Oh Source of Our Being,
I wish that I could promise change,
good health, the ease of being,
peace and the end of strife. 
I wish that I could be as sure
about human outcomes as I am
in the eventually changing seasons.
I wish that honesty was something
that came easily and purely,
without doubts.
We each must have stories
we’d tell, but find silence a kinder path.
Reason moves us toward truth,
but finding the way toward clarity
requires something deeper in ourselves.

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To Be Honest

Rev. Diane Rollert, 20 February 2017

To be honest,
I find growing older
to be both terrifying and liberating.

After all, I was raised during a time
when we were told,
good girls don't stand out.
With age comes a new voice
that sets aside the old restraints.

To be honest, 
being a minister
is always about love and boundaries.

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A Prayer for Love and Justice

Rev. Diane Rollert, 12 February 2017

Red sky this morning
Whispering over blue ice and snow,
Black trees in silhouette
branches moving slowly
in quiet anticipation of the storm to come.

The earth holds us in its calm embrace,
waiting, waiting for us
to wake up and acknowledge
the circle that surrounds and connects us.
Billions of points of light
that depend on all the others
to burn bright.

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Songs of Resistance Meditation

Rev. Diane Rollert, January 29, 2017

A month of resistance.
A lifetime of resistance.
Each of us have our stories to tell:

The internal battles
to find ourselves,
the external battles
to confront injustice;
the young girl
long ago in France
resisting the cruelty of war and occupation;
the young trans activist today,
facing an uncertain world
where identity is under attack,
where the threat of war
and the overheating of the planet
loom larger with each day.

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