Saturday, 30 June 2012

Time is a Gift

Anita's reflections on our use of time in Dreaming Beneath the Spires this morning have sent me back down memory lane to an old and favourite prayer of mine, 'Lord, I have Time,' by Michel Quoist. Here are the closing lines:

For time is Your gift to us -
But a perishable gift, a gift that doesn't keep.
Lord, I have time
I have plenty of time,
All the time You gave me,
The years of my life,
The days of my years,
They are all mine. Mine to fill,  quietly, calmly, 
But to fill  completely, right to the brim - 
To offer to You, that of their stale water
You may make a rich wine, as once at Cana for a 
human wedding feast.

I don't ask this evening Lord,
for time to do this or that.
I ask for the grace to do conscientiously,
in the time that You gave me,
the thing that You want me to do.

They made enough of an impression on me as a teenager; now that I can safely say I'm over my half century, they ring even more true. I've had the odd few health blips these last few years, and, although thankfully nothing sinister has made an appearance, each 'all clear,' (or rather - all clear as far as we can tell),  doesn't half jerk me out of my lethargy and make me assess my priorities. As I've been working these out in my rule of life, for instance, I'm realising that a) Worrying overmuch about others' (perceived) opinions of me is such a waste of precious time and  energy, and b)  The trickier choices aren't necessarily between 'good,' and 'bad.' In a  part of the world where many of us are blessed with a comfortable lifestyle , it's more often between a number of good things.

Discerning which of these God wants us to do - that's the rub...

Friday, 29 June 2012

Rule of Life - Finding a Pattern to Live By

Puffin Club Founder Members' Competition 1967

I've found it at last.    In 1967, I penned my list of rules 'to help some Puffins who had suddenly become "as clever as people" live wisely and happily,' I never guessed that 45 plus years later, I'd be chewing over my own 'rule' or 'way of life,' as a Franciscan tertiary. Those cheery little seabirds do have a habit of popping up for me, don't they? Would that I was so straightforward and uncomplicated now as I was at eight years old!  Here's what I wrote:

  • Puffins should not leave their babies alone.
  • Puffins should not fight at all.
  • Puffins should not leave their eggs to be eaten.
  • Puffins should be a little less shy.
  • Puffins should be very happy all the year.
  • Puffins should be as comical as they like. 
  • Puffins should be very sensible.  

Makes me smile, that last one; I was such a serious, conscientious little girl.   Yet, from a quick skim down the list, I can see that even then I'd an awareness of the areas where I needed to grow; a good rule of life challenges you to streeeetch yourself to the edges of your comfort zones, and shyness, negativity and anxiety are issues all too familiar to me even now. (Not sure about the eggs bit, though!).

I wonder where the other competition winners are now and whether  any element of their 'rules' still hold true for them  in later life? 

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Gazing into the mirror - St Clare

Look into this mirror of Christ daily,
ponder there your own face,
see what you need to become ready for God,
contemplate in this mirror Christ and his stupendous poverty,
look at his work on our behalf
consider his humility,
contemplate his love,
consider, look and contemplate
- from Clare of Assisi's letters to Agnes of Prague

Finding that quiet place - St Clare

Douai Abbey June 2012

I've been busy relating the alarms and excursions of last weekend to a fellow tertiary who missed our local area retreat . In all fairness, these only made up a tiny part of what I found a refreshing and challenging time out learning about the prayer  of St Clare of Assisi: she who exemplifies the more  contemplative strand of Franciscan spirituality and who, IMO tends to stay very much in the shadow of Francis. She's certainly challenging me  several years after my profession into TSSF, and at a time when my own rule of life is becoming, shall we say...slightly 'motheaten,' to look, pray, and ponder once again how I can ground my way of being.  Her life and actions really were congruent with what she believed. 

Any old way - to get back to the alarums: namely the fire alarm going off twice during the wee smalls of Sunday morning; all this against a soundscape din of some nearby 'do,' which rumbled on until dawn despite phonecalls from the monks and intervention by the police: As I lay there fuming, (hearing the dawn chorus being drowned out was particularly galling!), I  pondered again the necessity of being able to find a quiet place within myself regardless of the distractions coming at me from all sides. I didn't find that space just then, of course. If anybody has any handy hints do say. I'm sure many many have succeeded in finding peace amidst chaos; Saints all, I guess, which I very definitely am not!

Grotty as we all felt though, pity the poor monks who had to be up and doing at silly o'clock for the first office of the day.  A real gathering of Saints!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Waundrynge heere, theyre ande everiewheyre

Start and finish - The Swan at Wilton
Is that rain I can see?
Ye olde Roman Road
Wilton to Crofton

Mr GP and Greenpatch dog stride forth.

Crofton Pumping Station

Our exercise for the week; a walk out into the wilds of Wiltshire earlier today. If you wondered at the faux Middel Englisshe  in the post title, this is a reference to an epic trip we made in 2010. This morning we revisited one of the places we hiked through then.

Monday, 25 June 2012

An English Country Garden

Here's a bouquet from the Greenpatch garden for you.  I love the scent of the blooms in the second photo. Does anybody know what this shrub is called? It flowers every year for a few weeks only,  bringing back memories of an elderly lady I used to visit many years ago. B lived in a nearby care home.  As she was going blind I made a point of choosing highly scented flowers as gifts and these were ideal.  She's long gone now, but whenever I smell these beautiful blossoms I'm reminded of her.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Mr M's Tour de France

Mr M, aka Mr Greenpatches, is back in the saddle. If mean maximal power curves are your thing, you should find plenty to keep you amused over on his blog.

He's also the man behind The Ultimate Why.

Capturing my thoughts

Frustration! I knew exactly what I wanted to write about. There it was: original,  crisp, insightful, profound, succinct. Qualities I'm not famed for; yesterday at spiritual direction,  I described my efforts at articulation as being like trying to wrestle a pop-up tent into its carrying case.

And, would you believe it? It was a dream. Oh great, just great! My attempts to drift back to sleep didn't work. And before you ask, yes, I do keep a notebook and pen by my bedside. When I finally came to, Greenpatch cat had jumped up and knocked them to the ground. Maybe he knows something I don't.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Mizzling or pizzling? 100 Words for Rain

 The Sun Has Got his Hat On down our way for once, and true to form, the wonderful has begun a search to find 100 words for rain. Some genius has just linked to this equally nifty  English Summer Beaufort Scale by the BBC. Wonderful. Shipoffools, you'll hate me for saying this, but you truly are the cyberspace equivalent of Radio Four sometimes; full of quirky yet beautiful and brilliantly well-timed little gems.

Shall I compare thee to a Summer's day?

Monday, 18 June 2012

Earworms - Is there a cure?

We're still recovering from Father's Day. Both birds returned to the nest to celebrate. Now they've both flown back to their own abodes, Maison Greenpatch would seem  terribly quiet were it not that Mr GP Jnr has left us  a wonderful (depending on your mood) 'earworm.' One of his pressies to his Dad was the latest Muppet Movie - titled, appropriately enough, The Muppets, and here's the opening number: Life's a Happy Song, sung here by Kermit the Frog and composer Bret McKenzie. There are plenty clips of the full number in all its toe-tapping glory on Youtube, but I've spared you that here, out of deference to  more  sensitive and  Eeyore-like readers, of which I count myself as one. Can't deny it's catchy, though....tumte tumte tum tum-tum tumte tumte tumtity tuuummm. Aaagh! I've  tried to overlay it  with the piece I'm currently learning, but somehow Britten's setting of O Waly, Waly, lacks the necessary 'bounce.' I guess even Eeyore has his good days. And I can sing a mean Ode to Joy, Beaker style.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

A right old tangle - testing, testing

At least I know where my gifting doesn't  lie!

Return of the Sustainable Smellies

I do choose them, don't I? A while back I wrote about my ongoing attempts to cut out chemical nasties, inspired by Raleigh Brigg's book Make Your Place.

Just been leafing through another Christmas pressie, Raleigh Brigg's charmingly illustrated and handwritten guide to making your own all -natural  lotions and potions. Everything from household cleaners, bug busters, face cleansers to gardening basics is there.  Ms GP bought it for me; we're both trying to phase out sundry 'nasties' like parabens and petrochemicals in the  bathing and cosmetic areas as much as possible - with varying success. We're pleased to have found a few brands worth giving a look in the High Street as well as the health stores. Though to be honest, it still is a bit of a lottery, labour intensive: entailing much peering short-sightedly (for me at least)  at labels and to-in and fro-ing to different stores. And don't talk about expense...ouch!  For us unscientific types, figuring out these ingredients lists can be like struggling to crack a code. Not all items with long, complicated names are necessarily harmful, conversely it seems as if every five minutes somebody somewhere is putting about scare stories about something which up to now we'd thought innocuous enough. 
                       Read on at the old Greenpatches if you want a good laugh  to hear about my attempts to solve the big haircolouring dilemma.

Meanwhile, varying success- one triumph being homemade spray starch (better still, why not stop ironing altogether I hear you say?). Simply add some cornflour (cornstarch if you live over The Pond) to water, shake it up and, hey presto! Your shirts will salute you, your jeans will stand to attention...if you forget to adjust the nozzle of the bottle to 'spray' setting, you'll also end up looking as if you've wiped your hands down the legs of your smart navy trousers after a mammoth scone baking marathon - as I discovered too late. My resident scientist, Mr GP, checked the label of a commercial brand and suggested an emulsifier of some kind. A couple of drops of grapefruit essential oil, a few shakes later, and we're back in business. Postscript - store in the fridge - there are no preservatives in this mix.

What next? With consummate timing, I've just embarked on a 'no nasties,' de-odorant campaign; aiming to try out several of the 'less harmful' brands. Outside the Sun Has Got His Hat On, arms and legs are exposed  in  pale profusion for all the world like a forest of mushroom stalks; I've a couple of meetings and a train journey later this week. This could be 'ehrm,' interesting. I'll keep you posted.

The Three Ways of Service

Tertiaries desire to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, whom we serve in the three ways of Prayer, Study, and Work. In the life of the Order as a whole these three ways must each find full and balanced expression, but it is not to be expected that all members devote themselves equally to each of them. Each individual’s service will vary according to his or her abilities and circumstances, yet each individual member’s Personal Rule of Life must include each of the three ways.
           - From the Principles of the Third Order Society of St Francis, Day 13

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Liturgically correct couture

Here's a first - somebody complimented me on my Sunday outfit: a tasteful combo of flowery blue indian blouse worn with blue linen travel trousers and blue 3/4 sleeve  embroidered cardi. Not exactly vintage fashion as with the   snap of my late, great (in both senses of the word) Auntie, but still...

In matters devotional, being  Anglican, I'm apt to give at least a nod towards the liturgical calendar. Readers of a similar persuasion will be familiar with the associated colours and will know that we've  embarked on Ordinary Time (green). If like me, you sometimes  find locating  the correct lectionary readings  like untangling a ball of wool after the cat's been playing with it, you'll welcome this llooonnnng stretch of well, ordinariness;  Just knit  your way from Weeks 1 to 7  as per instructions and all will be well. In my case, with a few  dropped stitches as the odd week mysteriously disappears; I've been known to reach Advent several weeks early or still be patiently purl one, plaining one in metaphorical and spiritual leafy green whilst everyone else is preparing for Christmas. It all adds to the excitement. Doesn't take much to amuse me you know.

Going back to church, we've one very elegant older lady in the congregation whose collection of outfits nearly   always manage to follow the liturgical colouring. Imagine my disappointment last Sunday when for once, she departed from the usual. What kind of spiritual state do you have to be in to sport a red and blue striped top, may I ask? Her explanation  - that she doesn't own a green jacket, sounded a bit feeble to me. Anyway, I was a fine one to talk she said, wearing blue from top to toe!

Anyway, to return to my unexpected 'bouquet,' which had  a hint of earwig in amongst the blooms. Somebody else remarked on how stylish and elegant I looked as I went up for communion, But weren't you  absolutely freezing, dear?! Well, yes I was actually, having come over all of a hot flash just before the readings, partly hormonal, partly the after -effects of my half hour walk uphill to church. No, there's no connection whatsoever with the content of the first reading, before you ask. So, off went my coat and by the end of the service my internal heating system was threatening to stage a walkout. You can't win. Never mind,  at my age I take my  compliments where I can find them.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Testing, testing

A word to the wise: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I should never have mentioned those hobgoblins.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

The dangers of organic gardening


Or  put another way -  Be fruitful and multiply, a revised vintage 'Greenpatch' first written in response to today's Old Testament reading.

Yes, yes, yes! I do realise that what the serpent offered Eve  was as likely to be a pear, kiwi fruit or a bunch of bannanas as half a pound of Coxes.  But were they organic - I'd like to know?!  Was the slimy reptile an early example of  wanton exploitation in a consumerist society? Or was he simply out to make an honest penny?
And whilst we're on the subject - Mr Adam, Where  were you  when all this jiggery-pokery was going on? I've discovered a very telling phrase in current editions of the Bible, that was definitely conspicuous by its absence in the version we studied at school: "She gave some [fruit] to her husband who was with her!!!"   Suffering from a convenient attack of temporary deafness, no doubt. Very convenient! Thus (depending on your interpretation) condemming poor Eve to an eternity of being fruitful -  all without the benefit of National Childbirth Trust ante-natal exercises. I can just picture it:

She: Never again, you animal

Midwife: Now dear, remember what we practiced in our last session? Deep breath...and hold...(don't push!) little pants - there we go: 'puff, puff, puff...Mr A dear, you're looking ever so queasy. I think you'd best get up the other end and hold her hand... Mr A? Oh, a note. What's this? "Sorry! Can't stop. Off to subdue a few thistles."' Excuses excuses!

Now, where was I? Ah yes. What is 'dominion' and what is 'stewardship?' I think you'll have to wait 'til another time for my thoughts on that one.

To be a pilgrim: All Who would valiant be - Hobgoblin-free zone

                                            Feeble apology for a hobgoblin - Christmas 2010

Great full-colour cartoon by Dave Walker in this week's  Church Times supplement on Back to Church Sunday: What to expect incorporating some suggestions from his readers  adoring fans, including Yours Truly. Thanks Dave,  for including mine on inclusive language in familiar hymns.  If you're not expecting it (inclusive language, not Dave W), as was I this morning, it can cause not a little dissonance twixt eye, voice and brain, resulting in a strangled squawk not unlike that of poor John Bunyan's hobgoblin. I already knew that he'd been banished, along with the foul fiend; earlier than I'd thought -according to this info on the hymn based on a poem from Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, the modifications made by Percy Dearmer were made way back in 1906. Well, I certainly don't date back that far, yet I distinctly remember singing the original Who Would True Valour See throughout my schooldays. Maybe we used in in solidarity with the local boys' grammar school - according to one source, they had Bunyan's version as a school song. Ours was, and as far as I know still is One Church, One Faith, One Lord, (in itself a topic for a blog post), but I digress.

Going back to church today - whatever version we were singing, it read even more inclusive and san (nearly said 'sin') itised than Perce's masterpiece! All Who Would Valiant Be...? Never mind. One good thing to be said for modernising, at least it forces you to really concentrate on what you're singing about; easy to let the tried and familiar blind you to the underlying meaning. And to be honest, when I think about  the potential horrors in some of the more contemporary output, ('s Crappy Choruses and Horrible Hymns thread saw me through many a dark night), I'll forgive Newchurch any amount of inclusive language use.

It's just - if you've been brought up on robust Anglican hymnody and even more robust poetry: I remember learning Gerard Manley Hopkin's glorious  Pied Beauty, his  God's Grandeur, and Coleridge's Rime  of the Ancient Mariner, at school between the ages of seven and ten (so there, Mr Gove!), anything less can seem like dreaming in sepia tones when you've been accustomed to all the colours of the rainbow.

Nouvelle Cuisine - Steamed Fish

Steamy and oh so fishy goings-ons via The Beaker Folk and Letter From Home. Makes my own forays into Nouvelle Cuisine seem quite tame really.  Don't know what's got into everybody; I blame all this jubilation and weather we've been having lately.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Smoke gets in your eyes

Took advantage of Mr GP's absence at a BBQ to have my own cooking session en plein air, and give my kelly kettle, (seen here at Greenbelt 2011), it's first outing of the year. For the uninitiated a kelly or poacher's kettle is simply a double-walled metal chamber, with the water kept in the chimney wall. You  fill the base with fuel, place the chamber on top,  before lighting  it. The kelly then gives a convincing imitation of the eruption of Mt Vesuvius, and 3-5 minutes later le voila, tea is served! The beauty of this little chappie is that it's compact, light, can burn any fuel that's to hand  - green brownie points here - enabling you to whip up a quick cuppa at a moment's notice wherever you are, whether that's the riverbank, wilderness, even the desert... Yes, camel dung makes excellent fuel I'm told, not that I'm ever likely to be in a position to try that one out. It also appeals to the latent Girl Guide in me. After all, my patrol were awarded  the wooden spoon for best cooks 1972. (If my memory serves me rightly, lukewarm   porridge and lumpy mince of doubtful origin featured largely on our menus!)

Luckily nobody passing by the Greenpatch residence at about 5.30 this evening  caught sight of the smoke signals, or if they did, heard the cursing, blinding and puffing and had the presence of mind not to call the fire brigade. It was just me, re-discovering the knack of getting the sodding thing to keep burning. There's a certain technique to this (which I didn't quite master at GB whilst trying to brew up in a howling wind on the first day!) It Consists of pointing the kettle into the prevailing wind, blowing vigorously into the holes in the base, head down like a demented hen, whilst simultaneously posting fuel as fast as you can into the chimney. It took a few trial runs and a moud of messy ash today  before I  realised that I'd have to put  aside romantic backwoodsmen notions of scavenging for pine cones, kindling and grasses -  and settle for  using billions of little squares of cardboard;  far more efficient and less smoky.

 Not the best of timing, I must admit, kellying on the same day as having my hair done. I pong as if I smoke 60 a day. Great cup of coffee though.  However, I need to get in a lot more practice before I can fulfil my dreams  of plentiful hot water for cuppas, washing, and sneaky late night hot water bottles. at GB.

Going round in circles

We shall not cease from exploration 

And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started 
And know the place for the first time. 
     T.S. Eliot -- "Little Gidding" ( Four Quartets)

Following  my profound "thunks" on the labyrinth earlier, here are some images that have and continue to have a profound effect on 'Growing Greenpatches' . Much processing going on offline; maybe some of it will find its way onto this blog. Wandering round in circles isn't as counterproductive as it might appear at first, I'm finding. I've had plenty of practice after all; whether it involves pulling on my spiritual or actual walking shoes, when I take the time to stop and reflect on Who I am, despite my gumblings about blisters, bumps, and all kinds of other woes, I realise that underneath it all, I'm enjoying the journey. "All will be well..."

Friday, 8 June 2012

Recycled Grass Clippings

                                            Gotta Love Lawnmowers - Ms GP's tribute to the British Lawnmower Museum

A Letter From Home's horticultural hoo-hahs have inspired me to rake through the mouldering Greenpatch compost heap to  recycle some ancient grass clippings. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to exercise my undoubted gifting of encouragement. 

Severe Weather Warning

I'm stretching the definition of 'ecological' here... and realise that making light of our favourite topic may not be entirely appropriate given the latest BBC Weather Warning.

Yet optimism will out: Just couldn't resist pointing you towards a suitably Anglican take on matters meteorological, an old favourite, courtesy of The Mastersingers.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Top Ten Weather related Songs cont...

1. The Sun has got his Hat on
                           2. It's Raining Men, preferably in the original Weather Girls version.

                       3. Singin' In the Rain

           4. Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and The Waves Thank you Crafty Green Poet

           5. Lovely Day – Bill Withers

                     And so on...




Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Whether the Weather again - Top Ten Weather related Songs

From the sublime - the poem I posted this morning, to the ridiculous - a great article on that staple of Brit conversation - Weather Talk: Is there a way to make it interesting? Of course there is! Without further ado, I'm proud to present the GP Top Ten Weather Related Songs:

1. The Sun has got his Hat on
           2. It's Raining Men, preferably in the original Weather Girls version.
           3.  Singin' In the Rain

           Over to you now... Which hits  would you choose?

(Should the blog police be lurking ready to pounce,  I realise none of this is remotely theological, ecological or vocational. I defy anybody to say it's not a top runner for winner in the 'totally illogical' category, however.)

Summer IS icumen in - Found Poem

Another Found Poem,  inspired by Quinn Creative's book, Raw Art Journaling. I'm not sure it's complete yet; who knows -  officially, Summer still has three months to run!

Spiritual stargazers discovering wonders
Speak out Summer puzzles.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Jubilee- Kelly Kettles, Choirs, Corgis and Cupcakes

                                                 Jubilee cupcakes

Just off the phone to GP son, who's at a street party in Norwich.

Back down south in Maison Greenpatch, celebrations so far have been more low key. Highlights to date:

1. Cupcakes I bought this luscious lot above in the Saturday market. They didn't last long!

2. "Rock" Went with friends to a performance of the Roger Jones musical about the calling of Simon Peter. Great fun; very moving.

3. Choir I made a one-off visit to Newchurch choir to join in singing Zadok The Priest as part of the joint Jubilee celebrations; the Queen's Diamond coinciding with the 50th Anniversary of the ordination of  a retired priest and member of the congregation. Which brings us to...

4. The Royal College of Music Chamber Choir in all their bedraggled splendour singing their hearts out in the river pageant finale. Did you see them? Talk about true British spirit; they weren't going to let a piddling shower of rain stop the show! Marvellous! (Though I must admit to having snoozed through much of the rest of the pageant.)

5. The Queen's home movies Well, that gave us a glimpse into  the lives of the Royals that we've not  come across before. Two snippets in particular, made me smile: one scene at Balmoral where the family were seen brewing up on a poacher's kettle, just like my favourite Kelly Kettle. And those stars of the show, the  ubiquitous corgis, especially Prince Charles's throwaway reference to the breed's snappiness (corgis being originally bred to round up cattle); there were not a few scared sentries around, apparently. Ouch! Too close to home. I've still  clear memories of the Headmistress's corgi at my prep school, who struck terror into the hearts of everybody, and was perfectly capable of bringing an entire 'crocodile'  of nicely brought-up young ladies and accompanying teachers to a terrified halt! Research has revealed that my memories aren't playing me false, either!

Mr GP, needless to say has completely ignored the entire shebang in favour of pub with his mates and golf. But shhhh...he's not noticed that I've sneaked in and changed the radio from Planet Rock to Classic FM's wall to wall Jubilee themed favourites!  All together now....

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Jubilee - Let the festivities commence!

...and I could have sworn that my bunting (see 2011 Greenbelt pic) was neatly stashed away with my craft supplies. Not so, it seems. Item 1 on the 'to-do' list for the day: rake out my rucksack from the tottering pile under the stairs and check there.

There is an alternative - get going on the handy bunting kit that Ms GP gave me for my birthday. Given the combined lack of a  machine and my sewing skills, we could be in for a long wait. Your Majesty - would you mind posponing the celebrations for a month, or three?

You Shall Live - Ezekiel 37

The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley; it was full of bones.  And he led me round among them; and behold, there were very many upon the valley; and lo, they were very dry. And he said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" And I answered, "O Lord GOD, thou knowest." Again he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.  And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the LORD."  So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone.  And as I looked, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live."  So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great host.  Then he said to me, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, 'Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off.'  Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you home into the land of Israel.  And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people.  And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land; then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken, and I have done it, says the LORD."
        - Ezekiel 37 (RSV)

Friday, 1 June 2012

Blessed Are...

A blessing based on The Beatitudes which I used last night in prayer group. It's from the conclusion of  Margaret Silf's Landmarks: An Ignatian Journey.

bless the poverty in your heart, which knows its own emptiness, because that gives me space to grow my Kingdom there.

I bless that in you that touches others gently, because everyone responds to gentleness, and gentleness can capture even hardened hearts.

I bless that in you that grieves and aches for all that is lost or can never be, because that is my opportunity to comfort you with my much greater love.

I bless that in you that longs and strives after your own deepest truth and after truth for the world, because even as you pray, I am constantly satisfying these deep unspoken longings.

I bless you every time you show mercy and forgiveness, because that is like a little window in your heart, setting you free from resentment and opening up a space for me to enter and to heal.

I bless the purity of your heart, because that is the elusive center where your deepest desire meets mine. That is where we meet face-to-face.

I bless the peacemaker in you, that in you that seeks the peace that passes understanding, knowing the cost of its obtaining, because that is what I sent my Son to give, and in your peacemaking you become my daughter or son.

I bless even those things in your experience of journeying with me that feel like persecution and abuse and misunderstanding, because they are the proof that your faith is no illusion.