"At middle age the soul should be opening up like a rose, not closing up like a cabbage."
-John Andrew Holmes
Showing posts with label prayer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label prayer. Show all posts

Thursday, August 8, 2013

I love the green, lush coating of Virginia creeper on the stone wall here. It's the front lawn of the Catholic church around the corner. I have a thing for Catholic churches....so old and mysterious, weighted with solemn dignity. I am also intimidated by them though, which is why I walk past, have even prowled the grounds of this church but have never satisfied my longing to inside. They are beautiful but they feel exclusive, exotic and special but also set-apart and purposely exclusive. I do mean to actually go in. I want to slip in sometime and pray in the light slanting down from the stained glass windows, light a candle and genuflect at the beautiful altar. It's a kind of introverted Mommy fantasy of mine, private prayer in the small cathedral around the corner.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Can't Get Enough Benedictus!

A couple of times a week I am in the car driving and the boys are listening to endless loops of Little House on the Prairie on cd and I feel like the chauffeur. This is when I put in my headphones and push play on my iPhone's Divine Office app. I know this sounds totally canned but it's true. I drive down the highway and listen to/pray through morning prayer complete with cathedral bell sounds and a meditation chime at the appropriate spots, sometimes even a little chant for my listening pleasure. For those who don't know, this is an ancient Catholic ritual something like the Muslim's morning call to prayer a cyclical, rhythmic spiritual pattern. It calms me, it makes me feel less used and lonely and it gives me a tiny spot of reflection and peace and on the highway no less!

My favorite part lately that I can't seem to get out of my head comes at the very end, it's called The Benedictus, the final blessing, the part that really reverberates for me is this last stanza:
English: Sunrise.
Image via Wikipedia
"In the tender compassion of our God,  the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace."

Muslim prayer beads
Image via Wikipedia
Isn't that gorgeous? I may have to paint it on a canvas or inscribe it on one of the walls in our house.  I think only way it would be better is if it was prayed over me as the sun rose, in the door of a candlelit cathedral or on a cliff over the sea.
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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tiny Bouquet

I have been thinking Lenten thoughts, going over ways to add penance, giving and prayer to my life in more ways and one of the ways I've been working on is a silent walking time first thing in the morning. Time to pray, listen, be still, hear and just generally not be online or on my phone or carrying on two or three conversations at once with the boys. I've been enjoying it a lot and am starting to wind my walk down with a little poking around type browse around my own yard to see where spring is showing up and what little touches of new life I see. This week, I saw that my Lenten Rose is blooming! It was just an unlabeled, cheap grocery store potted variety that I put in the ground after it finished blooming for me indoors last year.

I so hoped it would take, a Lenten Rose has been on my gardeny wishlist for a long time and lucky, lucky me...I got one for a pittance at my local grocery! I think I bought a mixed pot of several different cream, pink and burgundy shades and it looks like only the dark wine color has managed to set itself firmly into the soil. Still amazing to me that even when we are getting temperatures in the 30's and sometimes even 20's this brave little flower does its thing, undeterred. I have noticed that there are still several upcoming buds so I took to liberty of bringing one indoors to enjoy in a bottle. What a treat to have a small bouquet from my own garden in February!

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Friday, April 29, 2011

Poetry Friday: Baking + Stress

 Happy Poetry Friday to you all! Today I am sharing a poem about catastrophe. Not all poetry is about the pretty. Sometimes there is panic and mania and life feels all at ends. It's hard to share this kind of poem. I done one other, about my sister that was this shade of vulnerable but still every little bit of open and honest about faults and weakness feels like another level of nail-biting nervous. That said, I truly believe in the feelings and the honesty that writing can bring to the world and in the bits embedded in this poem. I hope you are able to use it in small small way. 

Blueberry Papaya Cucumber Juice and Chocolate ...Image by Food Thinkers via Flickr
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Metro: Don't PanicImage by nevermindtheend via Flickr

Chocolate Cake, Balm for All Ills

It is a small private emergency, I have forgotten that I told our hostess
I will bring dessert and there is so much to do and so, so little time.
In short: the normal harried crush of motherhood.
I am having the panicky, slo-mo meltdown that I have on these occasions,
When I am asked to be a She-Atlas and also look graceful to boot.
I feel like my spleen might suddenly leave my body without my permission.
I alternately cry and curse and do a few harried circles in the kitchen.
There is no time and I promised to arrive, grinning at her front door
The diaper bag, purse and baby on one arm and a laden plate in the other
With moth-wing flutters pantry to counter, I assemble ingredients for,
What else? Chocolate cake, balm for all ills.
I don’t take the time to level the cups or even measure some items.
I sprinkle and drizzle and let powders fly in fevered tempo.
The counter, my chest and the nearby wall are bathed in cocoa dust.
The oven has somehow magically heated while I pour and mix and fling,
And yet now, the countertop is littered with dirty dishes in uneven, teetering stacks.
So, at the last, I end up on the very tile below the sink, a portrait of desperation
Holding the shining bowl between my ardent hands, I lean over the cake pan
And have my own silent confessional about housewifery, stress and other
Desperate, laden topics; principly, my urgent need for this cake to work.
Kneeling on the kitchen floor, I pour my fragrant prayer out in swirling brown eddies
Into the buttered pan, every scrape of the spatula says: ”Please. Please. Please.”
I have whirled into 5,000 Our Fathers and done all other manner of penance once
I manage to nudge the dripped upon pan into the yawning mouth of the oven.
I stay there on the floor a moment, forehead on my smudged fingers.
And I leave my prayer baking in the mercy of the God who understands the private 
Emergencies of all manner of people, even small somewhat harried housewives

If you'd like to read previous Friday creations, feel free to click on the poetry tab at the top of the page labeled "Original Verse." You can sit reading for a good while if you have a mind, the collection is ever swelling.

If you'd like to participate in Poetry Friday yourself or read a cross section of poetic inspiration please step on over to our hostess Tabatha's blog, The Opposite Of Indifference.
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