in love

Grace and love like mighty rivers
Poured incessant from above
And Heaven’s peace and perfect justice
Kissed a guilty world in love

— William Rees, Hymn: Here is Love

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indispensable?

“I have come to believe that when we despair of praise, when the wonder of creation and our place in it are lost to us, it’s often because we’ve lost sight of our true role as creatures-we have tried to do too much, pretending to be in such control of things that we are indispensable.  It’s a hedge against mortality and, if you’re like me, you take a kind of comfort in being busy.  

The danger is that we will come to feel too useful, so full of purpose and the necessity of fulfilling obligations that we lose sight of God’s play with creation, and with ourselves.”

-Kathleen Norris, The Quotidian Mysteries

forbearance with each other

“We are also called to accept with compassion and humility the particular fragility, complexity, and incompleteness of each brother.  Our diversity and our brokenness mean that the tensions and friction are inevitably woven into the fabric of everyday life.  

They are not to be regarded as signs of failure, Christ uses them for our conversions as we grow in forbearance and learn to let go of the pride that drives us to control and reform our brothers on our own terms.”

-Paraclete Book of Hospitality

unfold us

Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee,

opening to the sun above.

 

-Henry J. van Dyke, Hymn: Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee

simple prayer

“One simple way to move from the mind to heart is by slowly saying  a prayer with as much attentiveness as possible.  This may sound like offering a crutch to someone who asks you to heal his broken leg.

The truth, however, is that a prayer, prayed from the heart, heals.

When you know the Our Father, the Apotsles’ Creed, the “Glory Be to the Father” by heart, you have something to start with.  You might like to learn by heart the Twenty-third Psalm: “The Lord is my shepherd…” or Paul’s words about love to the Corinthians or St Francis’ prayer: “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace…”

As you lie in your bed, drive your car, wait for the bus, or walk your dog, you can slowly let the words of one of these prayers go through your mind simply trying to listen with your whole being to what they are saying.  You will be constantly distracted by your worries, but if you keep going back o the words of the prayer, you will gradually discover that your worries become less obsessive and that you really start to enjoy praying.  And as the prayer descends from your mind into the centre of your being you will discover it healing power.”

-Henri Nouwen, Here and Now

you are mine

Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are mine.

 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;

and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.

When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.

-Isaiah 43:1-2