Holy Longing

22 05 2008

Our restless hearts possess a “holy longing” as the nineteenth-century author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe so beautifully describes it. This holy longing is to live passionate, rather than passive, lives. – excerpt from Something More.


In the calm water of the love-nights
Where you were conceived, where you have conceived,
A strange feeling comes over you
When you see the silent candle burning.

No longer caught up int he obsession of darkness,
A desire for higher love-making
Sweeps you upward.

Finally distance does not make you falter;
Flying soaring, arriving in magic
And insane for the light,
You are the moth,
And you are gone.

And so long as you do not accept this truth
And be willing to die, so that you might live,
You will always walk this dark earth
A troubled guest, alone.

What really stroke me on this poem was: be willing to die, so that you might live
It is a popular image used in many texts and books including the Bible, a clear and drastic way to present what must happen in order to find our way. Scary and painful but ultimately liberating once we embrace it.

And talking about passion, you might want to check Passion Before Paycheck, you’ll love it!

Life Defining Moments

15 05 2008

Life has a way to take us through many routes and places along our personal journey. At times dramatic events are the ones to move us forward or bury us alive; love and death come to mind.

To me love is the force that make all things possible, without love there is no life. But today I want to talk about death.

Death is the reality we all need to face at one time or another but that we many times choose to ignore. Nobody prepare us for the experience and each death encounter is different from the next. I’ve heard that the book Preparation for Death is an excellent one in this regard. Every time I come face to face with death is an opportunity to welcome the reality that pain and sorrow is an integral part of life, it’s life changing. It’s also a reminder that this is not our home, it’s the battle ground for our soul.

When someone dies, not only the person’s life goes through our mind but our very own existence up to that point. The experience transform us. We question why it had to happen? What are we still doing here? What is the reason for our existence? When will our time come? What memory of us would we leave behind? In a dramatic encounter with death even our own spirit can feel shattered and the light of hope and joy that once was part of our life leave us for a while, sometimes forever.

Faith is what helps deal with death, as Christians we know that death is a process towards a new life, not the end. We feel lost because we can’t see the person anymore and we long to hear their voice, but they still exist, they have been transformed and one day we will be reunited with them. One consolation is that the person won’t have to continue with their earthly struggle, the one we have to endure still and in the case of a long painful sickness, they are not suffering anymore. Even then not all of that justifies their parting from our life, all we can do is trust and believe in the promises made to us by God.

The best thing we can do with this experience is to let it transform us in a positive way; treasuring and living every moment of our life realizing that our life could end at any given moment. Doing our best to live our earthly mission today and don’t leave anything for tomorrow. Embracing life with passion and joy, being true to who we are and what we stand for. Like Paulo Coelho says: Die Living.

Clary Lopez, author of Simplicity, Richness of Life

To Nydia and Jason with love

Die Living, Not Dead

26 03 2008

“And death is possibly the most important thing. We are all walking towards death, but we never know when death will touch us and it is our duty, therefore, to look around us, to be grateful for each minute. But we should also be grateful to death, because it makes us think about the importance of each decision we take, or fail to take; it makes us stop doing anything that keeps us stuck in the category of the “living dead” and, instead, urges us to risk everything, to bet everything on those things we always dreamed of doing, because, whether we like it or not, the angel of death is waiting for us.”– Paulo Coelho

What is life supposed to be? Mere existence or a sum of experiences fully lived? I wonder as we somehow get from living each and every moment to navigating on autopilot through life. When did all of this happen and why? Life is not static, it evolves and changes and sometimes those changes are not welcomed or accepted. Familiarity and comfort is regarded with stability but there comes a time when we may not feel that way anymore. I guess our outlook changes the moment we face death. Dying is such a final state even to those of us who believe in resurrection that it makes us dig deep within ourself. In order to rise to eternal life we must experience death, the same goes when we are to experience a necessary transformation in our life, something has to die inside of us in order to be re-born. We know a transformation is necessary because there is a nagging sense of pain and sorrow within we can’t shake off from our soul. The more we resist it the more it hurts.

These periods of our life have been called many things but my favorite so far is Dark Nights of the Soul, Thomas Moore wrote a book with that title and as I read it I identify to all that I’m feeling at this moment. I don’t agree with everything he writes but the core of the matter is there and I can relate. I was studying St. John of the Cross writings months before I came to this stage in my life and in a way I see it as the prelude to a great transformation of mind and spirit in order to connect fully to what God had in mind for my life.

This is a short passage from Dark Nights of the Soul:

Your dark night is preparing you to be yourself. It is reenacting your birth as a person. It is offering you an alternative to absorption in your manipulative culture.

Your dark night is forcing you to consider alternatives. It is taking you out of the active life of submission to alien goals and purposes. It is offering you your own approach to life. You can sit with it and consider who you are and who you want to be. you can be fortified by it to stand strong in your very existence. You can be born again, not into and ideology that needs your surrender, but into yourself, your uniqueness, your God-given reality, the life destined for you.

The question now is if we are going to let our life to evolve and be transformed or if we are going to continue to hide behind our fears and begin to die inside? It takes courage to move on to an unknown path but it is ultimately a matter of life or death of our own spirit.