At the end of my retreat in the Redwood Mountains I find myself in a deeper state of consciousness and fuller sense of being. I am abiding under the wings of the Alpha and Omega. Even though my excursion to the beach did not lead to the breathing in one with the rhythm of the ocean I had hoped for, my breathing is attuned to God as the plenum out of which all things come and to which all things return. I have an artistic visualization of that as the wings of the Alpha and Omega, a cosmic reality embodied by a new consciousness rising up in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a new image of the spirit taking wing, in humanity. There is a freedom and a bold creativity in that new understanding. I do not need to travel to the ocean to connect with it. God is indeed all around me and within me, breathing in and through me. Christ, the Alpha and Omega, the Mystical Body is our Catholic way of naming this cosmic understanding of the creation of all that is. We are not lightyears away from this reality, it is our being. We are that which is, the I am. But we can only sense this when we can gently set aside the "little" me, the "ego" who wants to claim and control us. I can let the deeper truer me be the gentle mother who sees my own little self kindly like a little child pulling at my skirts saying, "Me, me, me! Watch me, mommy!" Although this new image of the Alpha and Omega stretches my imagination, I have deep faith in its goodness and its truth because I know that it yields the fruits of the Spirit by which I have learned to recognize the Truth. Where there is love (agape); joy (chara); peace (eirene); patience (makrothumia); kindness (chrestotes); goodness (agathosune); faithfulness (pistis); gentleness (prautes); and self-control (egkrateia), there is Truth. My prayer is that all can find their way to being in this Truth for the greater good of all that is and healing of all that divides and dissembles. Here is a good site to learn more about the fruits of the Spirit http://www.spirithome.com/fruitssp.html.