Showing posts from March, 2012

The Prayer of St. Francis: a series

Every morning the Daily Office provided by Mission St. Clare includes the Prayer of St. Francis.  It's a beautiful prayer, but alas it appears St. Francis of Assisi, a 13th century saint, didn't say or write it, according to Wikipedia . It first appeared in France in 1912. It is, however, a beautiful prayer and a summation of how we should live the Christian life. So I decided to write a series of meditations on it and when I figured out it was 14 lines, have asked some friends and bloggers I admire to chip in and write about a particular line. My co-writers include: my friends Helena and Lory (who don't blog), Sarah of Whispers on a Journey , St. Henry , Christianne Squires , and Joseph Pote of Redeemed! . Here is the prayer: Lord, make us instruments of your peace.  Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon;  where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light;

A prayer for Presence

The Jesus Prayer comes from the Eastern Orthodox tradition but I first learnt it a few years ago during a Lenten series on Isaiah 55. It was taught as a breath prayer, breathing in on the first part of the phrase, breathing out on the second half. More on that in a moment. I struggled with it because it seemed to reflect a dated, medieval view of God. In truth, it was because I didn't want to acknowledge my faults. The version I learned was this: (breathing in) Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God (breathing out) have mercy on me, a sinner. I hadn't yet come to the understanding that I was broken, that we all are in some way. Nobody's perfect. (Your mileage may vary on what "sin" means for you.) The traditional prayer (which I'm bringing up before someone else does) goes: "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner." and it isn't used as a breath prayer either according to one website I read. Another version is: "Lord Jesus

Joy Dare Monday

I am thinking about using Ann's prompts next month. From what I read last Monday from various people's posts, some were wondering if using the prompts meant they couldn't share other gifts, and others found it difficult. I think that maybe looking at the prompts might open my eyes to additional ways to give thanks that I haven't seen yet. We'll see! 237. having time to read about everybody else's gifts 238. hearing rain throughout the night, so soothing and alive 239. dog woofing in his sleep 240. sunshine 241. warm blankets 242. a dog that hogs the warm blanket 243. gift of healing 244. refrigerator door handle 245. dogs sunning themselves 246. spending a good chunk of the day thinking and writing about God 247. pink hawthorn bushes blooming 248. being able to sing fairly well (am still congested) 249. dog's arthritic leg 250. silliness at work 251. first poppy 252. husband making dinner 253. "snot" in choir 254. grateful fo

When Loving Yourself Is Hard....

About a month ago, while watching "Glee", Quinn Fabray learned that she'd gotten into Yale, despite going from most popular cheerleader to teen pregnancy to goth rebel to blackmailer. If there was a mistake to be made, Quinn made it. Quinn said this to her Glee club friends on announcing her acceptance into Yale: "I wasted so much time hating myself for the mistakes that I made ... I was the only one standing in the way of myself. You can't change your past but you can let go and start your future." Yeah, I rewound the scene to make sure I got the quote right. Loving yourself is hard when you hate yourself for the mistakes you've made. In reality, I was loved and supported, but in that dark place I put myself, I couldn't see that. I think part of the problem was that I felt I hadn't been punished enough for the mistakes I made. I've already shared once the dread I felt when I faced God with my mistakes . All this to say that Quinn

Joy Dare Monday: Finding Gifts When Sick...

A shorter list this week, because I have been sick with whatever this cold/congestion/throat bug is. Ick. 223. waking up with a sore throat and feeling like a cold is coming on -- and going about my planned day anyway. 224. half hour afternoon nap 225. working from home (sick) 226. flowering calla lily handy for photo for Sunday "Notes" 227. blue fingers 228. fruit popsicles 229. light hearted workplace 230. scheduled bus not showing up (a gift because apparently someone had been sick all over the bus and it needed cleaning. Ew.) 231. "And God Cried" earworm (the second key change gives me chills). 232. actually taking a day off (still sick, but not working from home) 233. hubby doing all the laundry 234. wind howling around church 235. Tom's piano playing 236. My nose has finally started running. Praise be! Am linking this up to  Ann Voskamp's  "multitudes on Mondays" (or will as soon as it goes up!)

Praying through Art

I am enjoying my Suzi Blu class "A Lovely Dream" and green seems to have  become a theme. For growth, perhaps? Anyway, I thought I would share a couple of pages. We were asked to do self portraits in two different ways. I still think this page is too green, but it's okay. What I wrote in watercolor pencil and then washed over was this: God, I need to remember your love. I bow my head and pray for the constant reminder of your presence ...  I will praise and lift up my head to receive your boundless, infinite love, your grace, mercy and forgiveness. I give You thanks. Yeah, there was a bit I wrote that got washed almost completely out and I don't remember the prayer any more although I'm surmising from the bit I can read it has something to do with seeing God in others "for we are all God's..."

Making The Sacrifice of Silence...

Silence, for me right now, is both a sanity-saver and a sacrifice. I struggle to be silent before God. Part of my Rule as an Associate of the Order of the Holy Cross (AHC for short, thank goodness!) has a section on cultivating silence: Personal Prayer I need to spend time in silence with God. I would like to have quiet time every day. Three times a week, however, appears to be workable. Yeah, my Rule is a bit informal in style. The first version was epically detailed, the 2.0 version got a little more concise, but still chatty. fountain at St. Mary's Retreat House My current practice is to head to the church sanctuary and take a seat in a pew. I set a timer (the Equanimity app ) and close my eyes. I usually start out with the Jesus Prayer  (I pray a slightly different version which I will blog about sometime!), breathing consciously, and being aware of my body. And then I try to stop my babbling mind from, you know, babbling. Which doesn't always work, probably becau

Joy Dare Monday...

The counting of my one thousand gifts are like the sacrifice of a thank-offering on the altar... 17   I will sacrifice a thank offering to you                and call on the name of the LORD.   18   I will fulfill my vows to the LORD                  in the presence of all his people,   19   in the courts of the house of the LORD—                  in your midst, Jerusalem.  -- Psalm 116 In Nan Merrill's "Psalms for Praying", she rewrites them like this:  "I will offer to You the gift of gratitude            and acknowledge your Loving Presence with joy. I will bear witness to You, O Giver of Life,            in the presence of all the people, In the Sacred Altar of my heart,            in your midst, O Beloved...." "sacrifice of thank-offering" == "gift of gratitude" ... and I just broke my rule of quoting a ton of scripture. Ah, well. Forgive me. How the wisteria looks this week! This week's list has been a struggle to compile,

Five Fun Facts...

Let's take a break from seriousness for a moment ... well, blue hats aside! The lovely Natalie over at Vanillery Garden asked us 5 questions. I thought it'd be fun to answer them here and leave her a link. Feel free to join in the fun! 1) What is your favorite movie and why? 2) How much time do you spend on your own? 3) Do you often ask yourself what others think of you? 4) What kind of temptation is impossible for you to resist? 5) Do you believe that 2012 will be the end of the world? 1) My favorite movie ... so hard to pick just one! I love The Princess Bride -- it's fantasy and funny and just wonderful. I also enjoyed the Young Victoria movie although I haven't seen it since it came out. If it's on TV, I'll just sit down and start watching A League of Their Own . That's an empowering story. And "there's no crying in baseball!" Oh here we go: The Pirate Movie . Does anyone besides me remember this one? Starring Kristy McNic

Joy Dare Monday ... Lenten Awareness

Work has been really busy and if it wasn't for the book I'm reading for Lent, I'd forget it was even Lent! ... no, that's not true. I've spent much of the week working on Holy Week for church (which is where I work), which has included some creative work that I am grateful for. Some interesting discoveries this week, or re-discoveries in a couple of cases. Plenty of things to be grateful for. I guess part of this counting of 1,000 gifts is the remembering, the relearning. My lessons this past week seem to be surrounding pride, and letting go of the outcome and accepting of something new that's been tried has failed. 181. getting home before it rains 182. heating 183. pound cake and lemon curd 184. hubby wearing headphones while playing SimCity so I wouldn't be disturbed 185. on the road to rediscovering being present with Jesus 186. deep royal blue of twilight 187. the planets (Venus, Jupiter) lining up under the moon 188. new growth on bushes 189. une

God's Love Stories: Who Else Is Telling A Similar Story...

There is so much out there that touches the heart. The following posts over the last month have been blog posts that have resonated with their beauty, their gratitude and their hearts reflecting the hearts of God. From the Feathered Nest , gorgeous photos and heartfelt sentiments. "I awake this morning with devout thanksgiving..." Ann Voskamp's posts are amazing, but I loved her post about getting out of one's comfort zone. the difficulty of learning to trust God and not want things to happen faster than they should, from Dolly of Soul Stops Pam from Frippery and I are reading the same book for Lent... Amy @ Make Me A Mary writes about how Jesus' grace never dries up , a beautiful post " Speak life. Share compassion. Receive grace. And handle yourself tenderly." - from "Chatting at the Sky" and for fun, learn about saints and "holy men and women" with Lent Madness , as saints face off much like basketball's March Madness