Dear Friends,

One of my companions on this respite time recovering from surgery is John O’Donohue’s Anam Cara. Right up front, he says: “This book is intended as an oblique mirror in which you might come to glimpse the presence and power of inner and outer friendship.” Anam Cara means “soul friend” and I wonder how many of us are friends to our own souls even before we befriend the souls of others?

He begins his book: “It is strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone. Behind your image, below your words, above your thoughts, the silence of another world waits. A world lives within you. No one else can bring you news of this inner world…In order to keep our balance, we need to hold the interior and exterior, visible and invisible, known and unknown, temporal and eternal, ancient and new together. No one else can undertake this task for you. You are the one and only threshold of an inner world. This wholesomeness is holiness. To be holy is to be natural, to befriend the worlds that come to balance in you…The heart is the inner face of your life. The human journey strives to make this inner face beautiful. It is here that love gathers within you. Love is absolutely vital for a human life. For love alone can awaken what is divine within you. In love, you grow and come home to your self. When you learn to love and to let yourself be loved, you come home to the hearth of your own spirit…When we love and allow ourselves to be loved, we begin more and more to inhabit the kingdom of the eternal.”

The Ninevites and Peter and Andrew and James and John in this Sunday’s readings, in the midst of all they had, were hungering for something more—that is why they turned their lives around so rapidly when invited. This O’Donohue reading will be our second reading. The community of seekers at The Spirit of Life gives us courage to befriend our own inner life and to reach out to each other as kindred spirits and companions on the journey. We are so grateful that you are a part of our lives!

This Sunday is also our spiritual discussion group featuring Marianne Duddy-Burke, Executive Director for Dignity USA who will meet with us to share her work and the issues that Dignity is presently addressing. One of the most important of these is the joint effort between Dignity and Call to Action “Equally Blessed.” Equally Blessed seeks equal treatment for Lesbian Gay Bi-sexual Transgendered people within the Church and within society at large based on seeing LGBT people as having equal dignity in the eyes and heart of God. One of their most prominent initiatives is promoting an end to anti-gay violence and bullying, a campaign that they have sent to the US Bishops. We hope you join us to hear Marianne!

We wish you peace and dreams fulfilled in the year ahead as you journey in and journey out befriending your own spirit and that of others.

Blessings in this time of new beginnings,

Ron & Jean