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Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

The Rocking Prayer

DSCN3869

My newest upstairs neighbor,

at 12 days old,

is held in her daddy’s arms.

Rocking back and forth,

my ceiling sings a rhythmic

c-r-e-a-k and creak,

c-r-e-a-k and creak,

lulling her to sleep

and soothing her downstairs neighbor.

This is a prayer of sorts,

this rhythmic creaking:

Oh, that every new life

could be held and rocked and loved.

Oh, that every soul that knows fear and loneliness

could be held and rocked and loved.

Oh, that the world would know of Your love that

holds and rocks each of us.

C-r-e-a-k, I love you.

Creak, I love you.

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Recently a few of us from our church gathered at The Hermitage for a retreat… the gifts were simple and profound.  I’m sharing a few of them that I received through the lenses of my camera:Blessed by the stones

Come to me… and be still

Glory

Beauty

Cleansed by Your love

Radiance

Come, follow me …

Our departing gift


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We tuck

our memories, our hopes

in Your embrace,

wait for

new blossoms

from the Womb of Life.

Greening of the Cross,

Pine Island Church, May 9, 2010

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“For the Beauty of the Earth”

For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies,

For the gift of another day, for the gifts which this day offers,

For the love which from our birth, over and around us lies,

For Your love that sustains us each day and for Your invitation to share Your love with others,

Lord of all, to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.


For the wonder of each hour, of the day and of the night,

For Your gifts of light and darkness, for joy in sharing the Light, for Faith to embrace the darkness,

Hill and vale, and tree and flower, Sun and moon, and stars of light,

For awe in the tiniest buds and the vast universe, for Your love that spans the cosmos,

Lord of all, to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.


For the joy of ear and eye, for the heart and mind’s delight,

For this season of Spring and Eastertide, for all the new life that is blooming within and around us,

For the mystic harmony, linking sense to sound and sight,

For the inner knowing and outer expressions of Your grace and mystery,

Lord of all, to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.


For the joy of human love, brother, sister, parent, child,

For companions on this journey of life, for grace and forgiveness needed to live with one another,

Friends on earth, and friends above, for all gentle thoughts and mild,

For the blessings of community near and far,

for the ongoing work of creating community where divisions run deep,

Lord of all, to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.


For Thy church that evermore, lifteth holy hands above,

For Your call to each of us to serve Your church and all of Your people within and beyond the church

Offering up on every shore, her pure sacrifice of love,

For Your presence in all places, calling all faiths to walk the way of Love,

Lord of all, to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.


Hymn by Folliott Sandford Pierpoint, 1864

Prayer response by Cathy Johnson, 2010

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Come and sit a spell

Hear the whisper of silence

And invite others

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Mandala on the Beach

Another of our projects for Way of the Monk, Path of the Artist online class was to create a mandala or an altar using elements from the Earth.  Walking along the beach I found plenty of objects to use as art materials, and discovered this to be a delightful activity.

As the forecast calls for lots of snow in the next few days, I’m going to keep this image close… to remember the roar of the waves, the squish of the sand, and the beauty of discarded objects gathered together.

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A Walk on The Beach

The on-line class Way of the Monk, Path of the Artist is an incredible experience.  I encourage exploring Christine’s blog and her on-line classes.  This reflection is one of the projects for this class.

Yesterday I walked on a different beach; my parents are here for February so I’m staying with them for a few days before I return to Michigan (I’m working hard at being present to THIS moment rather than anticipating returning to cold and snowy Michigan and missing my daily beach walks…) The skies were heavy with clouds and I was found myself eager to be out in this.

I also found myself looking for cloisters ~ of which there were several. Ripples in the sand.

Birds (egrets?) perched atop posts. Or, as Christine suggests, monks lining up for lauds!

Another fishing pier.

I recalled a photo of the Monastery Cloister in one of our daily emails from Christine that so captured my heart. So I asked whoever was present ~ the sea, the clouds, the gulls, the Holy One: why might the designers of monasteries choose the architectural beauty of repetition? Does it somehow support their (our) vows?  Then our class work with rhythms and seasons came to mind. Repetition. Rhythm. Does architectural repetition support an inner rhythm, repetition that is found throughout nature? Is Creation the first monastery? Hmmmm….

I found myself resonating deeply with these patterns and thoughts. A few weeks ago I read of someone speaking of feeling her center while at Chartres Labyrinth and I found myself feeling the same thing. Each thyme I walk the beach it becomes clearer, stronger.

My next station was a large gathering of seagulls. I noticed, as I had at the other beach, that many of them have only one leg.

When they flew up I watched for another leg and there wasn’t one.  I saw one that was missing its webbed foot. To what extent are we, humankind, responsible for this loss? Further down the shore there were many large pen shells washed up on the shore.

More than I’ve noticed before. A neighboring beach walker commented that the unseasonably cold temperatures have affected creatures like the clams. Another loss.

By this thyme a different hymn sang its way through my mind: “O sacred head now wounded.”  Oh, the Logos, the Cosmic Christ present at God’s first revelation, sacred creation, is wounded. By our lifestyles and choices, our intentions and neglect. We have much to learn.

I gathered up some of those pen shells, placed them in a holy circle, drew a spiral to the center, and opened it all to Love.

I found a shell that has a spiral although most of the outside has broken off.  But the center is intact. It called to me, representing collective stories of finding our center, the Truth, and the brokenness of our lives that has taken us there.

I placed this shell in the center next to the shell that forms a heart and offered a prayer of gratitude and sorrow, of healing and hope.

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