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“Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon
and then lay down with our blankies for a nap.”

~ Robert Fulghum

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Autumn Prayer

O God of Creation, you have blessed us with the changing of the seasons. 
As we embrace these autumn months,
May the earlier setting of the sun
remind us to take time to rest.
May the crunch of the leaves beneath our feet
remind us of the brevity of this earthly life.
May the steam of our breath in the cool air
remind us that it is you who give us your breath of life.
May the scurrying of the squirrels and the migration of the birds
remind us that you call us to follow your will.
We praise you for your goodness forever and ever. Amen.

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“Hospitality means inviting the stranger into our private space, whether that be the space of our own home or the space of our personal awareness and concern. And when we do so, some important transformations occur. Our private space is suddenly enlarged; no longer tight and cramped and restricted, but open and expansive and free.”

— Parker Palmer

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Nothing prepared me for what I saw. I realized that the young voice was coming from 83-year-old Jonas, who was singing the “Sanctus” by Beethoven, with a beauty that could not be explained. It was like the Soul of all life summoning each spirit who listened: Here! Here is the sound of all that is true. Hear the sound of the Love to which you belong. That afternoon I learned that Jonas had been sent to Siberia as a young man because of that voice. Because of the remarkable gift he had been sent to build roads and live in obscurity. Now he was an elderly man, but the voice had never aged. Truly, it existed apart from any space and time.

– from A NEW SET OF EYES by Paul D’Arcy
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I heard the first measures of music and was thinking how lovely it was to be in this small church in a distant land. Then a solo voice took over the room, filling everything with its power, and my next breath came with difficulty. I have never, anywhere, heard a human voice so Pure, a sound so penetrating: outside of me, then suddenly inside of me, tearing down resistances I didn’t even know I had … its love so piercing that everyone began to weep involuntarily. When I opened my eyes nothing prepared me for what I saw. The young voice was coming from eighty-three-year-old Jonas, who was singing the “Sanctus,” by Beethoven, with a beauty that could not be explained. It was like the Soul of all life summoning each spirit who listened.

– from A NEW SET OF EYES by Paula D’Arcy
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Welcome, Autumn, arms full of summer’s blessings
Come, enter our lives with your golden wisdom.

Come, representatives of the Lord’s creation.

For we have all traveled summer’s journey.

Be our guest and share the table with us.

From the harvest, may we share the goods and blessings of the earth…

Our hearts are the home of a banquet, so we sing a song of thanks

for all the gifts, talents, blessings and treasures that fill our lives. Amen

~ From Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim by Edward Hayes:.

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Autumn Blessings

You know it is fall when…

♥You begin to see the leaves changing into beautiful shades of gold and burgundy.

♥You notice the chill in the air.

♥You begin to want comforting hot soup.

♥You start thinking about how well a hot cup of cocoa would warm you up.

♥You find yourself thinking about having hot tea or spiced cider instead of cold drinks.

♥You start craving everything pumpkin.

♥You start pulling out sweaters and wooly socks.

♥You start pulling out fall decorations.

♥You begin to start planning your menu for your Thanksgiving dinner party.

♥You begin making apple and pumpkin dishes and goodies.

♥Your house smells like cinnamon and spices…yum!

♥You notice that daylight doesn’t linger quite as long.

~ Life On Our Mountain

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Autumn is a time of harvest
Reflection
Release
Rest
Anticipation.

May you be blessed with comfort.
May you be blessed with love.
May you be blessed with peace.
May you be blessed with warmth.
May you be blessed with love.
May you be blessed with the stillness of this season!

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Prayer for Autumn Days

God of the seasons, there is a time for everything; there is a time for dying and a time for rising. We need courage to enter into the transformation process.

God of autumn, the trees are saying goodbye to their green, letting go of what has been. We, too, have our moments of surrender, with all their insecurity and risk. Help us to let go when we need to do so.

God of fallen leaves lying in colored patterns on the ground, our lives have their own patterns. As we see the patterns of our own growth, may we learn from them.

God of misty days and harvest moon nights, there is always the dimension of mystery and wonder in our lives. We always need to recognize your power-filled presence. May we gain strength from this.

God of harvest wagons and fields of ripened grain, many gifts of growth lie within the season of our surrender. We must wait for harvest in faith and hope.
Grant us patience when we do not see the blessings.

God of geese going south for another season, your wisdom enables us to know what needs to be left behind and what needs to be carried into the future.
We yearn for insight and vision.

God of flowers touched with frost and windows wearing white designs, may your love keep our hearts from growing cold in the empty seasons.

God of life, you believe in us, you enrich us, you entrust us with the freedom to choose life. For all this, we are grateful.
Amen.

By: Sr. Joyce Rupp, OSM

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A Sweet Lesson On Patience …

A NYC Taxi driver wrote:
I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.. ‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90′s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940′s movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.

There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

‘Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.

She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness. ‘It’s nothing’, I told her.. ‘I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.’

‘Oh, you’re such a good boy,’ she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, ‘Could you drive through downtown?’

‘It’s not the shortest way,’ I answered quickly …

‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ she said. ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.’

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. ‘I don’t have any family left,’ she continued in a soft voice..’The doctor says I don’t have very long.’ I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

‘What route would you like me to take?’ I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I’m tired. Let’s go now’.

We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move.

They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

‘How much do I owe you?’ She asked, reaching into her purse.

‘Nothing,’ I said.

‘You have to make a living,’ she answered.

‘There are other passengers,’ I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.

‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,’ she said. ‘Thank you.’

I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life ..

I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life.

We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.

But great moments often catch us unaware – beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

— Anon