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Posts from the ‘Blessing’ Category

The Gift of the Breath

Breathing in . . . Breathing out . . .

Breathing in . . .
Breathing out . . .

Every breath we draw is a gift of God’s love; every moment of existence is a grace.

– Thomas Merton

More on Being a Blessing

The more alert we become to the blessing that flows into us through everything we touch, the more our own touch will bring blessing.
– David Steindl-Rast

blue_heron

I recall that when I saw this magnificent bird, I was surprised that so many walked or ran by without stopping or seeming to notice. How many things do I miss when I am preoccupied?

May We All Become Lovers

May those whose hell it is to hate and hurt be turned into lovers bringing flowers.
Shantideva, 8th century

Can we offer a gift more lovely or loving than flowers?

Wisdom from Willie Nelson

When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.
– Willie Nelson

It’s that time of year when we count the blessings of autumn

Some Stories Are Worth Retelling!

The sun rises every morning. Yes, some stories are worth telling again and again.

In San Francisco, the day dawns upon us from on high.

Thursday’s Responsorial Psalm is the Canticle of Zechariah (also known as the Benedictus – a blessing). We pray this every day as part of our Morning Prayer or Lauds. We hear this canticle again during the season of Advent as we retell the story of the coming of Christ.

Some stories are simply worth telling again and again!

Blessed are you, God of Israel, for You have visited and redeemed Your people,
And have raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of Your servant.

As You spoke through the mouths of Your holy prophets from of old,
That we should saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all who oppress us;

To perform the mercy to our ancestors, 
and to remember the holy covenant, 

The oath he swore to Abraham and Sarah, to grant us deliverance from evil,
That we might serve you without fear
In holiness and righteousness all the days of our lives.

And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High, 
For you will go before the Holy One to prepare God’s ways.

To give knowledge of salvation to God’s people
In the forgiveness of their sins.

Through the tender mercy of our God
When the day shall dawn upon us from on high

To give light to those who sit in darkness
And in the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.

This particular version of the Canticle of Zechariah, written in inclusive language, is found in the People’s Companion to the Breviary, published by the Carmelites of Indianapolis. This beloved prayer has been “translated” into many versions, been put to music, and has been sung and chanted throughout the history of the church. We continue to love to tell the story.

Let Us Learn from the Poppy

We see, contained in a simple poppy: grace, abundance, joy, hope, generosity . . . the list goes on.
And we receive blessing when we open our hearts to that poppy and all she offers.

Gracious offering of the poppy

When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.
– Maya Angelou

Let us learn from the poppy.

 

What a Blessing a Few Days at a Ranch Can Be!

In Saturday’s First Reading from the Prophet Jeremiah we read,

I will appoint over you shepherds after my own heart,
who will shepherd you wisely and prudently.

– Jeremiah 3:15

How fortunate I have been to recently spend some time at Rafter 7 Ranch, a working sheep ranch. Besides being a fun and relaxing experience, I had the opportunity to capture many shots of the sheep. Even more wonderful was the opportunity to feed them.

Feeding one of the “orphaned” lambs.