February 28, 2009

February The Twenty-Eighth

OH WORLD and all the souls like mine
Who wander lost and afraid, wondering what tomorrow will bring.
Oh world and all souls like mine
Who ask what can I do to help others and end hunger and despair.
Oh world and all souls like mine
Who want to help and let the day go by without following through with intentions.
Oh world, held us all.
Help us see that we can help.
Help us learn the ways in which to do this.
Oh world, and all souls like mine,
Keep the faith.

- by the blog author

February 27, 2009

February The Twenty-Seventh

OH LOVE, I stood under the apple branch,
I saw the whipped bay and the small dark islands,
and night sailing the river and the foghorn's word.
My life said to you: I want to love you well.
The wheel goes back and I shall live again,
but the wave turns, my birth arrives and spills
over my breast the world bearing my grave,
and your eyes open in earth. You touched my life.
My life reaches the skin, moves under your smile,
and your shoulders & your throat & your face & and your thighs flash.
I am haunted by interrupted acts,
introspective as a leper, enchanted
by a replulsive clew,
a gross and fugitive movement of the limbs.
Is this the love that shook the lights to flame?
Sheeted avenues thrash in the wind,
torn streets, the savage parks.
I am plunged deep. Must find the midnight cave.

- From III. Les Tendresses Bestiales, by Muriel Rukeyser

February 26, 2009

February The Twenty-Sixth

O LORD GOD, grant to each and all of us to be so true to our high calling here on earth that, when we, each in his appointed time, shall be summoned to join the great company of departed souls, we may pass hence in peace and without fear, looking humbly for that fuller light which shall break upon us when the morning is come upon the unseen shore. Grant this, O Lord, for His sake Who is our life, Jesus christ our Lord - Amen.

photo of saints Domenic and Francis

February 25, 2009

February The Twenty-Fifth

To All Who Pass This Way

To all who pass this way
I will sing my welcome song
But only some folk stay
Be their journey short or long.

The ears upon the edge
Were the only ones who harkened
To my otherworldly pledge
As the days around them darkened.

Ho and come inside
You are all welcome ...

Found this welcome at the hermitage. Visit there sometime if you need a trip to the land of imagination, with a dollop of beauty.

February 24, 2009

February The Twenty-Fourth


LOVE is not all: it is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain;
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
And rise and sink and rise and sink again;
Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath,
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,
Or nagged by want past resolution's power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would.


February 23, 2009

February The Twenty-Third

O GOD, refresh and gladden my spirit; purify my heart; illumine my power. I lay all my affairs in Thy hands. Thou art my Guide and my Refuge. I will not be sorrowful and grieved any more. I will be a happy, joyful being. I will not be over-anxious any more. I will not let trouble harass me any longer. I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of my life. O God, Thou art kinder to me than I am to myself. I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord -- Amen.


LORD, make us to resemble even here the heavenly kingdom, through mutual love, where all hatred is quite banished, and all is full of love, and, consequently, full of joy and gladness.


February 22, 2009

February the Twenty-Second

by Brian Dunn

Eternal Spirit;
Oh, thou infinite ocean
Of love and light
In which we live and move
And have our being,
Awaken us, we pray.
Open our eyes
That we might see
The beauty and wonder
Of thy creation;
Open our ears
That we might hear
The still, small voice
Of thy Word;
Open our hearts
That we might respond
To thy indwelling presence
In every living creature.
In the dark labrynith
Of our pain and separation,
Sustain our faith, oh Lord,
And hear our prayer;
Illuminate the path
That will lead us home to thee,
And grant that we may be
A light to those we meet
Along the way.


February the Twenty-First

Done With Bonaparte

We've paid in hell since Moscow burned
As cossacks tear us piece by piece
Our dead are strewn a hundred leagues
Though death would be a sweet release
And our grande armee is dressed in rags
A frozen starving beggar band
Like rats we steal each other's scraps
Fall to fighting hand to hand.

Save my soul, from evil, Lord
And heal this soldier's heart
I'll trust in thee to keep me, Lord,
I'm done with Bonaparte.

What dreams he made for us to dream
Spanish skies, Egyptian sands
The world was ours, we marched upon
Our little corporal's command
And I lost an eye at Austerlitz
The sabre slash yet gives me pain
My one true love awaits me still
The flower of the Aquitaine.

Save my soul from evil, Lord,
And heal this soldier's heart
I'll trust in Thee to keep me, Lord,
I'm done with Bonaparte.

I pray for her who prays for me
A safe return to my belle France
We prayed these wars would end all wars
In war we know is no romance
And I pray our child will never see
A little corporal again
Point toward a foreign shore
Captivate the hearts of men.

Save my soul from evil, Lord,
And heal this soldier's heart
I'll trust in Thee to keep me, Lord,
I'm done with Bonaparte.

- Written by MARK KNOPFLER
From the album "Golden Heart," 1996

February 20, 2009

February The Twentieth

GRANT unto us, Almighty God, that we, communing with one another and with Thee, may feel our hearts burn within us, until all pure, and just, and holy, and noble things of God and man may be to us lovely, and we may find nothing to fear but that which is hateful in Thine eyes, and nothing worth seeking but that which is lovely and fair therein.
Let the divine brightness and peace possess our souls, to that, fearing neither life nor death, we may look to Thy loving kindness and tender mercy to lift us above that which is low and mean within us, and at last to give the spirit within us the victory, and bring us safe through death into the life everlasting. Hear us of Thy mercy, through Jesus Christ our Lord. -- Amen.


February 19, 2009

February The Nineteenth

O HEAVENLY Father, Who watchest always over Thy faithful people, and mightily defendest them, so that they be harmless preserved, I most heartily thank Thee that it hath pleased Thy fatherly goodness to take care of me this night past. I most entirely beseech Thee, O most merciful Father, to show the like kindness toward me this day, in preserving my body and soul; that I may neither think, breathe, speak, or do anything that may be displeasing to Thy fatherly goodness, dangerous to myself, or hurtful to my neighbor; but that all my doings may be agreeable to Thy most blessed will, which is always good; that they may advance Thy glory, answer to my vocation, and profit my neighbor, whom I ought to love as myself; that, whensoever Thou callest me hence, I may be found the child not of darkness but of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord -- Amen.

THOMAS BECON (1511-1570)

February 18, 2009

February The Eighteenth

ONE of the oldest and most powerful Sanskrit mantras.
It is believed if you establish this in your mind and carry on with your life and do the work that is ordained for you, your life will be full of happiness.
Twenty-four syllables; a triplet of eight syllables:

Bhuh Bhuvah Svah
Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi
Dhiyo Yo nah Prachodayat

~ The Rig Veda (10:16:3)

The Meaning
"O thou existence Absolute, Creator of the three dimensions, we contemplate upon thy divine light. May He stimulate our intellect and bestow upon us true knowledge."
Or simply,
"O Divine mother, our hearts are filled with darkness. Please make this darkness distant from us and promote illumination within us."

February 17, 2009

February The Seventeenth

FROM the Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., Feb. 5, 2009

President Obama: "Michelle and I are honored to join you in prayer this morning. I know this breakfast has a long history in Washington, and faith has always been a guiding force in our family’s life, so we feel very much at home and look forward to keeping this tradition alive during our time here.
"It’s a tradition that I’m told actually began many years ago in the city of Seattle. It was the height of the Great Depression, and most people found themselves out of work. Many fell into poverty. Some lost everything.
"The leaders of the community did all that they could for those who were suffering in their midst. And then they decided to do something more: they prayed. It didn’t matter what party or religious affiliation to which they belonged. They simply gathered one morning as brothers and sisters to share a meal and talk with God.
"These breakfasts soon sprouted up throughout Seattle, and quickly spread to cities and towns across America, eventually making their way to Washington. A short time after President Eisenhower asked a group of Senators if he could join their prayer breakfast, it became a national event. And today, as I see presidents and dignitaries here from every corner of the globe, it strikes me that this is one of the rare occasions that still brings much of the world together in a moment of peace and goodwill.
"I raise this history because far too often, we have seen faith wielded as a tool to divide us from one another – as an excuse for prejudice and intolerance. Wars have been waged. Innocents have been slaughtered. For centuries, entire religions have been persecuted, all in the name of perceived righteousness.
"There is no doubt that the very nature of faith means that some of our beliefs will never be the same. We read from different texts. We follow different edicts. We subscribe to different accounts of how we came to be here and where we’re going next – and some subscribe to no faith at all.
"But no matter what we choose to believe, let us remember that there is no religion whose central tenet is hate. There is no God who condones taking the life of an innocent human being. This much we know.
"We know too that whatever our differences, there is one law that binds all great religions together. Jesus told us to "love thy neighbor as thyself." The Torah commands, "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow." In Islam, there is a hadith that reads "None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself." And the same is true for Buddhists and Hindus; for followers of Confucius and for humanists. It is, of course, the Golden Rule – the call to love one another; to understand one another; to treat with dignity and respect those with whom we share a brief moment on this Earth.
"It is an ancient rule; a simple rule; but also one of the most challenging. For it asks each of us to take some measure of responsibility for the well-being of people we may not know or worship with or agree with on every issue. Sometimes, it asks us to reconcile with bitter enemies or resolve ancient hatreds. And that requires a living, breathing, active faith. It requires us not only to believe, but to do – to give something of ourselves for the benefit of others and the betterment of our world.
"In this way, the particular faith that motivates each of us can promote a greater good for all of us. Instead of driving us apart, our varied beliefs can bring us together to feed the hungry and comfort the afflicted; to make peace where there is strife and rebuild what has broken; to lift up those who have fallen on hard times. This is not only our call as people of faith, but our duty as citizens of America, and it will be the purpose of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships that I’m announcing later today.
"The goal of this office will not be to favor one religious group over another – or even religious groups over secular groups. It will simply be to work on behalf of those organizations that want to work on behalf of our communities, and to do so without blurring the line that our founders wisely drew between church and state. This work is important, because whether it’s a secular group advising families facing foreclosure or faith-based groups providing job-training to those who need work, few are closer to what’s happening on our streets and in our neighborhoods than these organizations. People trust them. Communities rely on them. And we will help them.
"We will also reach out to leaders and scholars around the world to foster a more productive and peaceful dialogue on faith. I don’t expect divisions to disappear overnight, nor do I believe that long-held views and conflicts will suddenly vanish. But I do believe that if we can talk to one another openly and honestly, then perhaps old rifts will start to mend and new partnerships will begin to emerge. In a world that grows smaller by the day, perhaps we can begin to crowd out the destructive forces of zealotry and make room for the healing power of understanding.
"This is my hope. This is my prayer." -- Further comments on the White House blog.

February 16, 2009

February The Sixteenth

Prayer for our Nearest and Dearest -

O GOD, fulfil every need of theirs, according to Thy riches in glory in Christ Jesus. And may the peace of God which passeth all understanding guard their hearts and thoughts in Jesus Christ. -- Amen


February 15, 2009

February the Fifteenth

O LORD, we beseech Thee that Thy people may grow ever in love toward Thee, their Father who art in heaven, and may so be schooled by holy works, that ever, as Thou dost pour Thy gifts upon them, they may walk before Thee in all such things as be well-pleasing in the sight of Thy Divine Majesty - AMEN.

February 14, 2009

February The Fourteenth

O HEAVENLY Father, we have loved Thee but not enough, we have sought Thee but not diligently, we have seen but not perceived, we have heard but not understood, we have hoped for things heavenly, but clung to things of earth, and our hearts have been far from Thee the Holy One.
Draw them now in mercy unto Thyself, O God, that the time to come be not as the past, but that, finding, perceiving, understanding, and loving Thee, we may have rest and joy undisturbed for evermore. - AMEN

photo by Ned Fenimore

February 13, 2009

February The Thirteenth

"HAVE a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts ... ."
- Charles Dickens, from "Our Mutual Friend," 1864

"Pip, dear old chap, life is made of ever so many partings welded together... ."
- Charles Dickens, from "Great Expectations," 1860

"The men who learn endurance, are they who call the whole world brother."
- Charles Dickens, from "Barnaby Rudge," 1841

February 12, 2009

February The Twelfth

LOVER of our souls,
Come into these cold and empty hearts of ours,
Come to fill them with light, warmth and love,
With the heavenly music,
With the sound of the eternal harmony,
With the footfalls of the saints that rejoice in Thy bliss;
Thou art Lord of all, Master of suns and stars,
Yet art Thou our Beloved,
The Saviour of our souls from death and night.

Come, our Lord, Thou Love of our souls,
Come to purify and uplift our failing hearts,
Come to impart unto us the eternal joy of those that are in bliss with Thee.


February 11, 2009

February The Eleventh

Buddhist Prayer

MAY I be well, happy, and peaceful.
May my teachers be well, happy, and peaceful.
May my parents be well, happy, and peaceful.
May my relatives be well, happy, and peaceful.
May my friends be well, happy, and peaceful.
May the indifferent persons be well, happy, and peaceful.
May the unfriendly persons be well, happy, and peaceful.
May all meditators be well, happy, and peaceful.
May all beings be well, happy, and peaceful.

February 10, 2009

February The Tenth

O MERCIFUL God, be Thou now unto me a strong tower of defence, I humbly entreat Thee. Give me grace to await Thy leisure, and patiently to bear what Thou doest unto me; nothing doubting or mistrusting Thy goodness towards me; for Thou knowest what is good for me better than I do. Therefore do with me in all things what Thou wilt; only arm me, I beseech Thee, with Thine armor, that I may stand fast, above all things, taking to me the shield of faith; praying always that I may refer myself wholly to Thy will, abiding Thy pleasure, and comforting myself in those troubles which it shall please Thee to send me, seeing such troubles are profitable for me; and I am assuredly persuaded that all Thou doest cannot but be well; and unto Thee be all honor and glory - Amen.
Lady Jane Grey, 1553

February 9, 2009

February The Ninth

O LORD, grant that each one who has to do with me today may be the happier for it.
Let it be given me each hour today what I shall say, and grant me the wisdom of a loving heart that I may say the right thing rightly.
Help me to enter into the mind of every one who talks with me, and keep me alive to the feelings of each one present.
Give me a quick eye for little kindnesses, that I may be ready in doing them and gracious in receiving them.
Give me quick perception of the feelings and needs of others, and make me eager-hearted in helping them. - Amen

February 8, 2009

February The Eighth

BLESS the people of Australia.
Protect them from the fires that burn their land today.
Bring back from the ruins the rich soil and vistas
That grace their land.
Bring cooler temperatures, moisture to soothe the dry land.
Protect the animals and guide the hands
Of those who work constantly,
Through the early morning hours and the evening hours and beyond.
Help them. Give them strength, courage and hope.

February 7, 2009

February The Seventh

PRAYER? What is prayer? What are blessings?
If I send a paper boat out onto the lake am I any more likely to see it return than I am the blessing I ask for?
Prayer, plea, request, a set of words;
To hope for something as a result of an entreaty to a being we can't see.

I will send this thought out into the world
Of all minds thinking alike:
Bring us clarity of purpose.
Bring us clarity of purpose.
Bring us clarity of purpose.

- by the blog author

February 6, 2009

February The Sixth

Give us some direction today
To find a way to become a better person,
A more loving friend,
A more helpful parent,
A more disciplined citizen of our planet.

Help us find joy in the ordinary
Beauty in the simple object
And worth in our work.

Let us pause and remember
The simple lessons we learned
From our teachers and parents
On how to value others
And use our energies for a higher purpose.

Blessed Be
-by the blog author

February 5, 2009

February The Fifth

GLORY be to God for dappled things -
For skies of couple-colour as a brindled cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced - fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things, counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He father's-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

- by Gerard Manley Hopkins

February 4, 2009

February The Fourth

who hast planted in us a desire to be freed from the bondage of things seen and temporal,
grant that we may be increasingly delivered from their yoke;
and, that we may be truly and always free,
reveal unto us the power of those things which are not seen and are eternal.
We would walk through this world cheerfully and hopefully, seeking evermore to serve Thee with faithful hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord - Amen.
- William Angus Knight

February 3, 2009

February The Third

Prayer For Peace

WE PRAY to the great Spiritual Power in which
we live and move and have our being.
We pray that we may at all times
keep our minds open to new ideas and shun dogma;
that we may grow in our understanding of the nature of all living beings
and our connectedness with the natural world;
that we may become ever more filled with
generosity of spirit and true compassion and love for all life;
that we may strive to heal the hurts that we have inflicted on nature
and control our greed for material things, knowing that
our actions are harming our natural world and the future of our children;
that we may value each and every human being
for who he is, for who she is,
reaching to the spirit that is within,
knowing the power of each individual to change the world.

We pray for social justice,
for the alleviation of the crippling poverty
that condemns millions of people around the world
to lives of misery - hungry, sick, and utterly without hope.
We pray for the children who are starving,
who are condemned to homelessness, slave labor, and prostitution,
and especially for those forced to fight, to kill and torture
even members of their own family.
We pray for the victims of violence and war,
for those wounded in body and for those wounded in mind.
We pray for the multitudes of refugees, forced from their homes to alien places
through war or through the utter destruction of their environment.

We pray for suffering animals everywhere,
for an end to the pain caused by scientific experimentation,
intensive farming, fur farming, shooting, trapping,
training for entertainment, abusive pet owners,
and all other forms of exploitation
such as overloading and overworking pack animals,
bull fighting, badger baiting, dog and cock fighting and so many more.

We pray for an end to cruelty,
whether to humans or other animals,
for an end to bullying, and torture in all its forms.
We pray that we may learn the peace that comes with forgiving
and the strength we gain in loving;
that we may learn to take nothing for granted in this life;
that we may learn to see and understand with our hearts;
that we may learn to rejoice in our being.

We pray for these things with humility;
We pray because of the hope that is within us,
and because of a faith in the ultimate triumph of the human spirit;
We pray because of our love for Creation, and because of our trust in God.
We pray, above all, for peace throughout the world.

- by Jane Goodall

February 2, 2009

February The Second

Angel Blessing at Bedtime

bless and angels keep
Angels guard me while I sleep
Bless my heart and bless my home
Bless my spirit as I roam
Guide and guard me through the night
and wake me with the morning's light.

- Traditional

February 1, 2009

February The First

FORGIVE me my sins, O Lord, forgive me the sins of my youth and the sins of mine age, the sins of my soul, and the sins of my body, my secret and my whispering sins, my presumptuous and my crying sins, the sins that I have done to please myself, and the sins that I have done to please others. Forgive me those sins which I know, and those sins which I know not; forgive them, O Lord, forgive them all of Thy great goodness - Amen.
- Private Devotions, 1560