(Untitled)

O Lord, take our mouths and speak through them;
Take our hands and work through them,
Take our minds and think through them,
And take our hearts and set them on fire.

– William Sloane Coffin, Jr.

(Untitled)

“Imagine that Jesus is calling you today. He extends a second invitation to accept His Father’s love. And maybe you answer, “Oh, I know that. It’s old hat.”

And God answers, ‘No, that’s what you don’t know. You don’t know how much I love you. The moment you think you understand is the moment you do not understand. I am God, not man. You tell others about Me – your words are glib. My words are written in the blood of My only Son. The next time you preach about My love with such obnoxious familiarity, I may come and blow your whole prayer meeting apart.

Did you know that every time you tell Me you love Me, I say thank you?”

― Brennan Manning,, The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out

(Untitled)

Living Deep and Wide

Let us swing wide all the doors and windows of our hearts

on their rusty hinges
so we may learn how to open to life.

Let us see the light in the other and honor it
so we may lift one another on our shoulders
and carry each other along.

Let holiness move in us
so we may pay attention to its small voice
and give ourselves to life fully with both hands.

—Dawna Markova, except from Wide Open: On Living with Purpose and Passion

(Untitled)

I had to seek the Physician
because of the pain this world
caused me.

I could not believe what happened when I got there –
I found my
Teacher.

Before I left, he said,
“Up for a little homework yet?”
“Okay,” I replied.
“Well then, try thanking all the people
who have caused
you pain.

They helped you
come to
me.”

Love Poems from God – D. Ladinsky

(Untitled)

PRAYER OF THE EMPTY WATER JAR

Jesus, I come to the warmth of your Presence
knowing that You are
the very emptiness of God.
I come before You
holding the water jar of my life.
Your eyes meet mine
and I know what I’d rather not know.

I came to be filled
but I am already full.
I am too full.
This is my sickness
I am full of things
that crowd out
Your healing Presence.

A holy knowing steals inside my heart
and I see the painful truth.
I don’t need more
I need less
I am too full.

I am full of things that block out
Your golden grace.
I am smothered by gods of my own creation
I am lost in the forest of my false self
I am full of my own opinions and narrow attitudes
full of fear, resentment, control
full of self pity, and arrogance.
Slowly this terrible truth pierces my heart,
I am so full, there is no room for You.

Contemplatively, and with compassion,
You ask me to reach into my water jar.
One by one, Jesus, you enable me
to lift out the things
that are a hindrance to my wholeness.
I take each on to my heart,
I hear You asking me
” Why is this so important to you ? ”

Like the murmur of a gentle stream
I hear You calling,
” Let go, let go, let go! ”
I pray with each obstacle
tasting the bitterness and grief
it has caused.

Finally
I sit with my empty water jar
I hear you whisper
You have become a space for God
Now there is hope
Now you are ready to be a channel of Life.
You have given up your own agenda
There is nothing left but God.

Macrina Wiederkehr OSB
Seasons of the Heart

(Untitled)

As the rain hides the stars and the clouds veil the blue skies,
so the dark happenings of my life hide the shining of your face.
Yet, if I may hold your hand
in the darkness, it is enough.
Since I know that,
though I may stumble in my going,
you do not fall.
Amen.

(Untitled)

“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.”

~ Bernice Johnson Reagon

(Untitled)

Love only grows by sharing. You can only have more for yourself by giving it away to others.

Perhaps the most important word in success and happiness is the word,”ask.”

Always give without remembering and always receive without forgetting.

Develop an “attitude of gratitude.” Say thank you to everyone you meet for everything they do for you.

Ask for what you want. Ask for help, ask for input, ask for advice and ideas – but don’t be afraid to ask.

Develop a benovolent world view; look for the good in the people and circumstances around you.

– Motivating Quotes

(Untitled)

You Are Mine
Author: David Haas
Copyright: © 1991 GIA Publications
Verse 1
I will come to you in the silence,
I will lift you from all your fear.
You will hear my voice,
I claim you as my choice,
be still and know I am here.
Verse 2
I am hope for all who are hopeless,
I am eyes for all who long to see.
In the shadows of the night,
I will be your light,
come and rest in me.
Verse 3
I am strength for all the despairing,
healing for the ones
who dwell in shame.
All the blind will see,
the lame will all run free,
and all will know my name.
Verse 4
I am the Word that leads all to freedom,
I am the peace the world cannot give.
I will call your name, embracing
all your pain,
stand up, now walk, and live!
Chorus
Do not be afraid I am with you,
I have called you each by name.
Come and follow me,
I will bring you home;
I love you and you are mine.

(Untitled)

Calming Effect of Beautiful Snow

SNOW – the Beauty of the Beast

I feel sorry for those who live where there is not even one good snowfall per year. This is neither to be disrespectful of the beauty of others’ climates nor to suggest that certain ones are superior to others. However, I want to share with you some of the beauty of snow, of this gift from Mother Nature. One hears the news media report about airport delays, school closings, poor highway conditions and the longer daily commute. But the “negative news people” neglect to describe the benefits which are highly aesthetic and spiritual.

A significant snow changes one’s priorities in a good way. Trivial things are put on hold. A Valentine’s Day blizzard in the Northeast long ago inspired a sage narrative column from Andy Rooney. As he described his time with the falling snow, he observed that all the people who usually need to go out fussing at night just to pick up some item or other at the store, didn’t. Yes, when road conditions become challenging, we are forced into the Zen practice of living in the now. And what a beautiful now it is.

Peaceful Silence

First, picture a snowfall. No gooshing wind or ice pellets – just a blanket (what a comforting analogy) of snow coming to us. The Christmas hymn Silent Night contains a phrase which aptly describes it: Heavenly Peace. A non-windy snow “storm” is so beautifully quiet. While there is so much action for the eyes to take in, paradoxically it is so “soft” on the ears. Furthermore, a snowfall changes the usual outdoors sounds. Everyday scraping, clanging, blaring, scratching noises are transformed into muffled hints. Even comforting, common sounds are magically transformed into special resonances. When I was a young girl, I had the great fortune to live one and a half blocks from a trolley stop. Yes, the Shannon Drake line had its tracks running through a scraggly woods at the bottom of the hill. Of course, we were all familiar with its clak-ed-dee-clak-check-clak either slowing to stop or hastening in tempo until it attained travelling speed. But to hear it in the snow time: bliss! A happy, familiar clatter was muted from brazen brass horn into tender oboe.

Natural Beauty

A snow-draped world is a marvelous, breath-taking treat for the soul. It frosts the trees and places doilies on bushes. Windows receive intricate etchings of frost. Roofs grow icicle teeth. But, besides transforming the banal into white-veiled wonders, snow partners with light to re-create new vistas. Whether it is from sun or from one’s nightly-lit lamppost in the yard, the light energy bounces and sparkles on the snow, scattering like gems. Snow is like a prism scattering light into the rainbow of hues. Bonus: there is no admission price for the display.

Symbolic Color White

In many traditions and religions, the color white represents goodness and purity. In the study of human auras,the color represents the Divine. This is connected to one’s spiritual path and connection to the universe. In Black Hat-style Feng Shui, white is the color associated with creativity and children. Also, in our American culture – white or off-white is often the color of a blank piece of paper. A white paper is full of opportunity. It is the Tabula Rasa, the clean slate, the opportunity to go in any direction, to create.

If these aspects of snow are ones you have missed, the next time you can be in a snowfall, perhaps you can now enjoy the beauty it has to offer. I hope you will see it with appreciative eyes

– Maren Morgan