March 31, 2009

March The Thirty-First

I THANK THEE, my Creator and Lord, that Thou hast given me these joys in Thy creation, this ecstasy over the works of Thy hands. I have made known the glory of Thy works to men as far as my finite spirit was able to comprehend Thy infinity. If I have said anything wholly unworthy of Thee, or have aspired after my own flory, graciously forgive me - Amen.

- JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630)

March 30, 2009

March The Twenty-Ninth

O THOU who chastenest whom Thou lovest, grant us grace, we pray Thee, to discern Thy love in whatever suffering Thou sendest us. Support us in patient thankfulness under pain, anxiety, or loss, and move us with pity and tenderness for our afflicted neighbors - Amen.


March The Twenty-Ninth

O GOD, my God, I am all weakness, but Thou art my Strength; I am ever anew bowed down by any trial, but Thou canst and willest to life me up. Let me not fail, O God, my Strength; let me not be discouraged, O God, my Hope. Draw me each day, if it be but a little nearer unto Thee; make me, each day, if it be but a little less unlike Thee; let me do or bear each day something, for love of Thee, whereby I may be fitter for Thee, to behold Thee. Let no day pass, let not to-morrow pass, without my having done something pleasing unto Thee. Thus alone would I live, that may live more unto Thee; thus would I die, longing to love Thee more - Amen.


March 28, 2009

March The Twenty-Eighth

A QUAKER SAYS: When I am in meeting for worship, I try to compose myself and loosen the hold that all the things I've been fretting about seem to have on me. I try to clear them from my mind, but find it very difficult. I want to empty my mind so that God can come in. I try to get in touch with Him and ask Him to be with me. I try to listen to what He wants to communicate to me. I don't feel that I want to ask Him for things specifically, but just entrust myself to Him along with all those I care about.
I want to be receptive to His influence and take it with me when I leave, so that it will strengthen me and enable me to learn from everything that happens to me, and understand the way that God wants me to go.

March 27, 2009

March The Twenty-Seventh

ALMIGHTY God, have compassion, we pray Thee, upon all those whose hearts are touched with sorrow, whose spirits are troubled, or cast down within them. O Lord, remember those to whom the burdens of this life bring disaster, or dimness or darkness of soul; and we pray Thee to have mercy upon all who suffer in body or mind from whatever cause. - Amen.


March 26, 2009

March The Twenty-Sixth

O LORD, we beseech Thee to bless and prosper this Thy household; grant us sweet reasonableness in all our dealings with one another; make us large-hearted in helping and generous in criticising; keep us from unkind words and from unkind silences. Make us quick to understand the needs and feelings of others; and grant that living in the brightness of Thy presence we may bring Thy sunshine into cloudy places - Amen.


March 25, 2009

March The Twenty-Fifth

O ETERNAL Purity! Thou are brighter than the sun, purer than the angels, and the heavens are not clean in Thy sight; with mercy behold Thy servant, apt to be tempted with every object, and to be overcome by every enemy.
I cannot, O God, stand in the day of battle and danger, unless Thou coverest me with Thy shield, and hidest me under Thy wings. Thou didst make me after Thine image; be pleased to preserve me so pure and spotless, that my body may be a holy temple, and my soul a sancutary to entertain Thy divinest Spirit, the Spirit of love and holiness. - Amen.

- JEREMY TAYLOR (1613-1667)

March 24, 2009

March The Twenty-Fourth

ALMIGHTY spirit that lives within us all,
Keep watch on our every coming and going.
And the smallest being on the earth,
And the largest,
Keep them in your care
And protect and encourage their thriving.

Make us all our brother's keepers
And allow us to see beyond our differences
To our sameness
And our need for one another.


March 23, 2009

March The Twenty-Third

O Blessed God, who neither slumberst nor sleepest, take us into Thy gracious keeping for this night. O Lord, in whom we trust, help us by Thy grace so to live that we may never be afraid to die; and grant that, at the last as now, our even-song may be, "I will lay me down in peace and sleep; for Thou, Lord, makest me to dwell in safety. " - Amen


March 22, 2009

March The Twenty-Second

KEEP us this night, O Lord, from all works of darkness, and, whether we wake or sleep, let our thoughts and deeds be in accordance with Thy holy will. Preserve us from all dangers and terrors of the night; from restless watcing and sorrowful thoughts; from unnecessary or fretful cares and imaginary fears. Let us awake to-morrow renewed in strength, and cheerful in spirit; may we arise with holy thoughts and go forth to live to Thine honor, to the service of our fellowmen, and the comfort and joy of our households. Hear us, O Lord, for Christ's sake - Amen.

- CASPAR NEUMANN (1648-1715)

March The Twenty-First

COME and gone
My second day missing a prayer.
What would it have been?

A prayer for guidance
A prayer for hope
A prayer for comfort
A prayer for how to love
A prayer for how to continue
A prayer for how to endure
A prayer for how to live the best life
A prayer for how to make the best of things.

That's what my prayer would have been for
And is for ... now.

- by the blog author

March 20, 2009

March The Twentieth

THANK YOU for spring
And the flowers and newness of the hidden life
This world holds - over and over again.

A lesson to learn is that the earth
Comes fresh again every day, each moment.

Daffodils, crocus, green buds, scudding clouds filled with rain.
All of this and more awaits us
Within the scope of this place
Called earth.

- by the blog author

March 19, 2009

March The Nineteenth

O THOU Hope of all the ends of the earth; Thou in whom our fathers hoped, and were not confounded; Thou, who knowest whereof we are made, and whereby our shortcoming, have pity on us, O Lord. O Helper of the helpless, and Stronger than the strong, remember all who are in distress of mind, body, or estate; succor them according to their need. It is meet and right, in all things, for all men, in joy and sorrow, alone and all together, to remember and worship Thee, to trust in Thee, and praise Thee, Lord and Father, King and God, Fountain of life and immortality, Source of everlasting good. Thee all the heavens hymn, and higher spirits praise, crying to each other, or going on the work which Thou givest them, and so perfecting praise. Blessed be the Dweller of Eternity, my Strength and my Deliverer, my Salvation and my Refuge, for ever - Amen.


March 18, 2009

March The Eighteenth

GIVE me the power to forgive.
Give me the power to forgive.
Give me the power to forgive.
Give me the power to forgive.

Give me the power to forget.
Give me the power to forget.
Give me the power to forget.
Give me the power to forget.

Give me the power to stand up for myself.
Give me the power to stand up for myself.
Give me the power to stand up for myself.
Give me the power to stand up for myself.

Give me the power to love myself.
Give me the power to love myself.
Give me the power to love myself.
Give me the power to love myself.

The world is good.
The world is safe.
Love is all.
Love is everything.

-My chant, by the blog author

March 17, 2009

March The Seventeenth

Our Father, which art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done,
in earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
[For thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory,
For ever and ever.

March 16, 2009

March The Sixteenth

LORD of life and death,
We thank Thee for the great adventure of life,
With its untold possibilities,
Its incalculable changes,
Its mighty opportunities.

We thank Thee that - if we have Thee with us -
There is no monotony or weariness in the world;
But we go on - for ever exploring and adventuring,
Across new seas where ship has never sailed before;
Through trackless forests where human foot has never trodden.

We thank Thee that, for those who dwell with Thee,
Each day opens new a continent of vivid experience,
Each day shows new a world to conquer;
For Thy love is new every morning,
And life with Thee is daily born again from its beginning. - AMEN.


March 15, 2009

March The Fifteenth

TOO Precious a Prayer to Recite

This prayer is too special
To recite out loud.
Too precious to write down
In case the gods that upset things are listening.
Let us be circumspect and keep
Inside our hearts our hopes and dreams
For another.
Let us wish only the best
For them - joy, love, peace.
This much we know:
There could be no better outcome
Than the wish we wish for them.

- by the blog author

March 14, 2009

March The Fourteenth

I PRAY You’ll be our eyes,
and watch us where we go,
and help us to be wise
in times when we don’t know.
Let this be our prayer
when we lose our way:
Lead us to a place,
Guide us with Your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.
La luce che Tu dai (The light that You give us)
I pray we’ll find Your light
Nel cuore resterà (will stay in our hearts)
And hold it in our hearts
A ricordarci che (reminding us that…)
When stars go out each night
L’eterna stella sei (You are the everlasting star).
Nella mia preghiera (In my prayer).
Let this be our prayer
Quanta fede c’è (there’s so much faith)
When shadows fill our day:

Lead us to a place,
Guide us with Your grace,
Give us faith so we’ll be safe.
Sognamo un mondo senza più violenza (We dream [of] a world without more violence)
Un mondo di giustizia e di speranza (A world of justice and of hope).
Ognuno dia la mano al suo vicino (Everyone give your hand to your neighbor),
Simbolo di pace e di fraternità (Symbol of peace and brotherhood)

La forza che ci dai (The strength You give us)
We ask that life be kind
È il desiderio che (is the wish that)
And watch us from above.
Ognuno trovi amore (everyone may find love)
We hope each soul will find
Intorno e dentro a sè (around and within himself)
Another soul to love.

Let this be our prayer
(Let this be our prayer)
Just like every child
(Just like every child)
Needs to find a place:
Guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we’ll be safe.
E la fede che (And the faith that)
Hai acceso in noi (You have lit inside us)
Sento che ci salverà (I believe will save us).

Celine Dion The Prayer Lyrics

March 13, 2009

March The Thirteenth

AS Thou keepest the stars in their courses,
So wilt Thou guide our steps in perfect harmony, without clash or discord of any kind,
If we but keep our trust in Thee.
We know Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee,
Because he trusteth in Thee.
We know that if we but acknowledge Thee in all our ways
Thou wilt direct our paths.
For Thou art the God of Love,
Giver of every good and perfect gift,
And there is none beside Thee.
Thou art eternal, immortal, invisible,
In all, through all, and over all, The only God.
And Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory forever and ever - AMEN.


March 12, 2009

March The Twelfth

On Hearing A Symphony of Beethoven

SWEET sounds, oh, beautiful music, do not cease!
Reject me not into the world again.
With you alone is excellence and peace.
Mankind made plausible, his purpose plain.
Enchanted in your air benign and shrewd,
With limbs a-sprawl and empty faces pale,
The spiteful and the stingy and the rude
Sleep like the scullions in the fairy-tale.
This moment is the best the world can give:
The tranquil blossom on the tortured stem.
Reject me not, sweet sounds; oh, let me live,
Till Doom espy my towers and scatter them,
A city spell-bound under the aging sun.
Music my rampart, and my only one.

- Edna St. Vincent Millay

March 11, 2009

March The Eleventh


Today I heard the sound of laughter
Coming from the rooms of my house,
Echoing down the hall.

Shrieks of little girls, shouts from a boy.
A busy house full of slamming doors,
Cups of coffee, dishes of apple pie and ice cream.

Thank you for this day when
I got to visit with family
If even for just a little while.

Family is a blessing
And love is the ultimate reward.

- by the blog author

March 10, 2009

March The Tenth

O KING of Paradise, where light abounds and life reigns, give to our dear ones who are with Thee (especially . . . . . ) a full share of Thy treasures, that they may always be white with Thy purity, tranquil with Thy peace, and glad with Thy joy. Let us live vividly in their present love as they live in ours, until the time of separation is past, and we are taken to the place whither they have gone before, there to dwell with them in the perfect fellowship that knows no end -- Amen.


March 9, 2009

March The Ninth

From the I CHING
(I seem to get this one a lot - six straight lines)

The Creative Principle. Sublime Success! Persistence in a righteous course brings reward. 9 for the bottom place: the concealed dragon avoids action. 9 for the second place: the dragon is perceived in an open space; it is advantageous to visit a great man. 9 for the third place; the Superior Man busies himself the whole day through and evening finds him thoroughly alert. Disaster threatens - no error! 9 for the fourth place: leaping about on the brink of a chasm - no error! 9 for the fifth place: the dragon wings across the sky; it is advantageous to visit a great man. 9 for the top place: a wilfull dragon - cause for regret! 9 for all six places: a brood of headless dragons - good fortune!

- Photo by Judy Wise

March 8, 2009

March The Eighth

Thank You, Father

FATHERS hold you when you have bad dreams
And they comfort you when all is lost it seems.
Fathers teach you to dribble a basketball and shoot a free throw
And they lead you as you grow.
Fathers teach you how to drive a car
And they try to teach you how to putt for par.
Fathers wipe the tears of your broken heart
And they hold your hand when you don't know how to start.
Fathers quiz the boys who take you on a date
And they scold those boys who bring you home late.
Fathers carry you on their shoulders when you're too small to see
And they watch as you giggle when they bounce you on their knee.
Fathers extend their feet to you when they teach you how to dance
And they always give you a second chance.
Fathers wait in the wings while you start your own life
And they pray for a husband to make you a wife.
Fathers walk you down the aisle on your wedding day
But fathers never really give their little girls away.

- by Mahfooz Ali
p.s. It would have been my father's 94th birthday today.

March 7, 2009

March The Seventh

MAKER and Lover of beauty,
we adore Thee for the splendor of the universe.
Help us to use its wonders and its loveliness as an open door through which we shall enter into the imperishable beauty of Thy Kingdom, through Him in whose face the full beauty of Thy being shone, Jesus Christ our Savior - Amen.

March 6, 2009

March The Sixth

I WILL SAY unto my God, my Lord, and my King, "O how great is the abundance of Thy goodness, O Lord, which Thou hast laid up for them that fear Thee." But what art Thou to those who love Thee? What to those who serve Thee with their whole heart? In this especially Thou hast showed me the sweetness of Thy love; that, when I was not, Thou madest me, when I went far astray from Thee, Thou broughtest me back again, that I might serve Thee, and hast commanded me to love Thee. I would I were able, at least for one day, to do Thee some worthy service. Truly, Thou art my Lord, and I Thy servant, who am bound to serve Thee with all my might; and this I wish to do, this I desire; and whatsoever is wanting unto me, do Thou, I beseech Thee, vouchsafe to supply -- Amen.

March 5, 2009

March The Fifth


To laugh is to risk appearing the fool,
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental,
To reach out for another is to risk involvement,
To expose feelings is to risk exposing the self,
To place ideas and dreams before the crowd is to risk loss,
To love is to risk rejection,
To live is to risk dying,
To hope is to risk despair,
To try at all is to risk failure,
But risk we must,
Because the greatest hazard of all is to risk nothing,
For those who risk nothing, do nothing, have nothing … are nothing.

Show up ... be honest.

March 4, 2009

March The Fourth

EVERY gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.
Dwight David Eisenhower
34th president of the United States

March 3, 2009

March The Third

LOVELY wonderful life.
Happiness abounds.
Then suddenly, without warning,
Everything crashes and the day is dark.
I wonder where it all went.
What happened?
Things were so sunny, so lively, so full of fun
And now they're gone.
Was it me? Did I take my eye off the prize? Did I hesitate when I should have jumped?
Did I jump when I should have hesitated?
I don't want to think about it.
I'm tired. I'm bored. I'm sorrowful. I'm realizing I can't be in control all the time.
Give me some rest for the night and I'll begin again tomorrow, because right now I don't want to think about it.
- by the blog author

March 2, 2009

March The Second

Buddha's Teachings

Lord Buddha preached: "We will have to find out the cause of sorrow and the way to escape from it. The desire for sensual enjoyment and clinging to earthly life is the cause of sorrow. If we can eradicate desire, all sorrows and pains will come to an end. We will enjoy Nirvana or eternal peace. Those who follow the Noble Eightfold Path strictly, viz., right opinion, right resolve, right speech, right conduct, right employment, right exertion, right thought and right self-concentration will be free from sorrow. This indeed, O mendicants, is that middle course which the Tathagata has thoroughly comprehended, which produces insight, which produces knowledge, which leads to calmness or serenity, to supernatural knowledge, to perfect Buddhahood, to Nirvana.
"This again, indeed, O mendicants, is the noble truth of suffering. Birth is painful, old age is painful, sickness is painful, association with unloved objects is painful, separation from loved objects is painful, the desire which one does not obtain, this is too painful - in short, the five elements of attachment to existence are painful. The five elements of attachment to earthly existence are form, sensation, perception, components and consciousness.
"This again, indeed, O mendicants, is the truth of the cause of suffering. It is that thirst which leads to renewed existence, connected with joy and passion, finding joy here and there, namely, thirst for sensual pleasure, and the instinctive thirst for existence. This again, indeed, O mendicants, is the noble truth of cessation of suffering, which is the cessation and total absence of desire for that very thirst, its abandonment, surrender, release from it and non-attachment to it. This again, indeed, O mendicants, is the noble truth of the course which leads to the cessation of suffering. This is verily the Noble Eightfold Path, viz., right opinion, etc."

March 1, 2009

March The First

WE humbly pray Thee, O Father in heaven, to guide us through the darkness of this world, to guard us from its perils, to hold us up and strengthen us when we grow weary in our mortal way; and to lead us by Thy chosen paths, through time and through death, to our eternal home in Thy heavenly kingdom; which we ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord -- AMEN.