It is wise in your own life to be able to recognize and acknowledge the key thresholds: to take your time, to feel all the varieties of presence that accrue there, to listen inwards with complete attention until you hear the inner voice calling you forward.John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between us
To read this week:
by John O’Donohue
Crossing a threshold is more than one moment in time; it is an ending and a beginning. When we take the step over a threshold, we are crossing into a new frontier. Everything that was once so steady, so reliable, must now find a new way of unfolding. We will need to choose carefully what we will take with us and what we will leave behind.
As you read the articles for this week reflect:
- What thresholds – big ones and little ones – are you now facing? Life without a beloved person? A new job? A new home? Retirement?
- O’Donohue says, “At this threshold a great complexity of emotion comes alive: confusion, fear, excitement, sadness, hope. What are the emotions that accompany this threshold crossing? Are you surprised at your own emotions?
- What wisdom have you learned in past times of threshold-crossings that you can call upon now?
What is preventing you from crossing your next threshold? What gift would enable you to do it?
More resources for week 2 – Crossing Thresholds
On the Threshold
Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern
From Quest for Meaning
Thresholds are sacred, says Rev Amy Zucker Morgenstern. “They are about change: shedding one identity and taking up another. In other words, they are about being and becoming, that great balance of our lives.” We need rituals to mark them.
Celtic Christianity and the gift of thresholds
From Faith and Leadership
In the Celtic Christian tradition, there are prayers for literally crossing a threshold, but also prayers for the metaphorical crossings in our lives: for dawn and dusk, for the start of a new task, for the beginning of a journey. The threshold is a designated space or time to open to God.
The Wisdom Years
“Thresholds invite discernment and offer us the opportunity to release everything to which we cling too tightly,” says Christine Valters Paintner: “our need to be right, our need to feel secure, our wanting to be in control.”
From the Rev. Patricia Riggins: “As I read Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation, I realized that Jonah crossed a threshold, and a rather large one at that: going into and coming out of the great sea beast. And even after that experience, he struggled mightily with where God was leading him and what God was asking him to do. In the end he protested against God’s actions.
When have you crossed a threshold that was difficult, painful, even frightening?
When have you a crossed a threshold only to be dismayed at what you found, even in God’s actions?
Read Jonah’s story
Read Richard Rohr’s reflection on Jonah