A Canvas …

What would you do with a canvas,
a brush, and colours?

What could you bring to a table set blank
with paints, and space to make your mark,
to leave your print.

I have a feeling He’s given us permission
to pick the paints,
and the colours that reflect us. Continue reading “A Canvas …”

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The Lenten Blessing — A Franciscan Benediction …

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain in to joy. Continue reading “The Lenten Blessing — A Franciscan Benediction …”

Welcome Home …

I could not be a poet without the natural world. Someone else could. But not me. For me the door to the woods is the door to the temple.
— Mary Oliver from Upstream

Welcome Home

Alone in the alien, snow-blown woods,
moving hard to stay warm in zero weather,
I stop on a rise to catch my breath as the
setting sun—streaming through bare-boned
trees—falls upon my face, fierce and full of life. Continue reading “Welcome Home …”

One Heart Grace (Grace Before Meals) …

As we make ready to eat this food
we remember with gratitude
the many people, tools, animals, and plants,
air and water, sky and earth,
turned in the wheel of living and dying,
whose joyful exertion
provide our sustenance this day. Continue reading “One Heart Grace (Grace Before Meals) …”

17 Statements of Gratitude …

  1. Thank you, God for the times You have said “no.” They have helped me depend on You so much more.
  2. Thank you, God, for unanswered prayer. It reminds me that You know what’s best for me, even when my opinion differs from Yours.
  3. Thank You, Lord, for the things you have withheld from me. You have protected me from what I may never realize.
  4. Thank You, God, for the doors You have closed. They have prevented me from going where You would rather not have me go.
  5. Thank you, Lord, for the physical pain You’ve allowed in my life. It has helped me more closely relate to Your sufferings on my behalf.
  6. Thank you, Lord, for the alone times in my life. Those times have forced me to lean in closer to You.
  7. Thank you, God, for the uncertainties I’ve experienced. They have deepened my trust in You.
  8. Thank You, Lord, for the times You came through for me when I didn’t even know I needed a rescue.
  9. Thank You, Lord, for the losses I have experienced. They have been a reminder that You are my greatest gain.
  10. Thank You, God, for the tears I have shed. They have kept my heart soft and mold-able.
  11. Thank You, God, for the times I haven’t been able to control my circumstances. They have reminded me that You are sovereign and on the throne.
  12. Thank You, God, for those people in my life whom You have called home to be with You. Their absence from this earth keeps my heart longing for heaven.
  13. Thank You, God, that I have an inheritance in the heavenly places…something that this world can never steal from me and I could never selfishly squander.
  14. Thank You, God, for the greatest gift You could ever give me: forgiveness through Your perfect Son’s death on the cross on my behalf.
  15. Thank You, God, for the righteousness You credited toward me, through the death and resurrection of Jesus. It’s a righteousness I could never earn or attain on my own.
  16. Thank You, Father, that You know me, You hear me, and You see my tears. Remind me through difficult times that You are God, You are on the throne, and You are eternally good.
  17. And thank You, Lord, not only for my eternal salvation, but for the salvation You afford every day of my life as You save me from myself, my foolishness, my own limited insights, and my frailties in light of Your power and — Cindy McMenamin

Continue reading “17 Statements of Gratitude …”

Thanksgiving Song …

Grateful for each hand we hold
Gathered round this table.
From far and near we travel home,
Blessed that we are able.
Grateful for this sheltered place
With light in every window,
Saying welcome, welcome, share this feast
Come in away from sorrow. Continue reading “Thanksgiving Song …”

The Tree That Survived The Winter …

The tree awakened earlier than usual one morning and stretched her arms toward the horizon as if to invite the early rays of dawn into her world. She shivered with delight, wiggling her roots in the muddy earth, which had only recently yielded its frozen hardness.

She sensed something was different. Her roots seemed to be extending further and more firmly into the soil. Her arms seemed to embrace more of the world, not with the timid gestures of a sapling afraid of tangling with the wind, but with the freedom of knowing that the wind could not topple her. Continue reading “The Tree That Survived The Winter …”

I Just Want To Do Love Right …

Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world. All things break. And all things can be mended. Not with time, as they say, but with intention. So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally. The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.
L.R. Knost

There is a lovely idea in the Celtic tradition that if you send out goodness from yourself, or if you share that which is happy or good within you, it will all come back to you multiplied ten thousand times. In the kingdom of love there is no competition, there is no possessiveness or control. The more love you give away, the more love you will have.
John O’Donohue from Anam Cara

Continue reading “I Just Want To Do Love Right …”

A Blessing for One Who is Exhausted …

When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes on the strain until it breaks;
Then all the unattended stress falls in
On the mind like an endless, increasing weight,

The light in the mind becomes dim.
Things you could take in your stride before
Now become laborsome events of will. Continue reading “A Blessing for One Who is Exhausted …”