is the initiate of the Mysteries.
He understands transformative power and
reminds us to live is to die and to die is to be reborn."
prominent creature this month, interestingly enough, has been vulture
who was present to me consistently and in tremendous numbers. Sitting
on trees, circling above, and devouring the dead - vulture was EVERYWHERE!
saw a flock of them one day on the ground -- too many to count as I drove
by. I have never seen anything like it. It was one of those 'Whoa' moments
that kind of take you're your breath away! How do you not consider vulture
with that kind of impact! We often see them circling in the air. They
are a patient and opportunistic bird. If they're circling, something is
about to die or they're waiting for traffic to clear 'cause dinner's ready.
And, vulture will pick it clean down to the bone.
research of the bird I found that they are a symbol of renewal -- they
can often been seen sitting in the trees facing the rising sun, wings
spread wide as if to welcome or embrace the coming day. Vulture is perhaps
the original Death Eater unlike those of Harry Potter fame, of course.
In my research of the symbolic nature of the bird I found that the Mayan
believed it to be a symbol of cleansing, renewal and transformation.
Brushing My Hair:
I get to you, Beloved,
The more I can see
It is just You and I
A knock at my door,
Who else could it be,
So I rush without
Brushing my hair.
I have begged
Is the use of vanity
At this late hour,
At this divine season,
That has now come
To my folded
If your love letters are true
I will surrender myself to
Who You keep saying
driving alone one Saturday morning and was thinking about the question:
What needs to die? I actually asked it out loud and repeated it. I looked
to the car in front of me and to its license plate which read: [IM 1ONE].
As if the Divine Beloved was saying, "I am 1. Get it, Lynn? ONE."
In that moment there was no 'me', there was no 'you', there was no 'we.'
There was only the sacred unity of 'I'. I was so stunned by the message
that I followed the guy into a gas station. I told him I collected license
plates and asked if I could take a picture of his. "Sure. No problem!"
He added, "I tell people it means eleven." "Interesting,"
I said. "To me it says 'I am ONE'."
plate was a confirmation of the message I had received earlier in the
month when a fox dashed across the road in front of my car. Fox speaks
to me of a oneness unlike any other. It seems that foxes are masters of
camouflage. They blend in. While they observe everything, they themselves
are unseen... unnoticed. In the winter their coats turn white, so, like
a chameleon, they blend with the snow. In the summer their darker coat
vanishes into the undergrowth of the forest. Complete oneness. And, as
such they also speak to me of humility. Can you blend into your surroundings
and not be humble?
the other day, I was driving and I just about had an accident because
the plate I saw said [I M PATE]. So, like "What are You telling me
now?" Right? I had to look it up. The 'pate' we are talking about
is not the delicacy one might eat, but rather 'pate' is a Middle English
term for bean, clock, dome, noggin, noodle, brain. So what needs to die?
Maybe who or what I think I am needs to change?
happens in the space that is created after all the clearing is done is
at least as important as the clearing itself. On December 8 we celebrated
the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We
heard in the gospel reading that day, the story of the Annunciation --
the announcement from God's Messenger, Gabriel, to Mary the purpose for
which she was sent - that Mary is to conceive a son and his name is to
be Jesus. (Luke 1:26-38) His greeting to her: "Hail full of grace,
the Lord is with you." I've heard the story so many times, yet the
words "full of grace" absolutely captivated me this year. It
occurred to me that Mary was filled to the brim with grace - completely
filled up. There was no space within her that didn't have grace in it.
No cell, no molecule that wasn't filled to capacity with grace. Once the
cleaning and clearing we're doing creates space, maybe the next step is
to ask to be filled - praying to be filled with grace.
does this all have to do with this month's mandala? Working from the outside
itself is very soft and flowing... like water. I chose the colors of autumn,
because it is the time of letting go. Nature shows us not only how to
let go but to go out in a blaze of glory. And yet, I plan to revisit this
in hues of blue. It seems more fitting... like water that washes all that
needs to go away -- away! As to the numbers:
ring holds 19 "setting suns." 19 has the energy of the "Last
Call!" and that sense of urgency I mentioned earlier. The vibration
of 19 holds perfect judgment - the judgment of God. In the 19th Chapter
of The bible we find two angels on their way to two cities. They rescue
Lot and execute God's judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah. (Genesis 19) And,
according to Ivan Panin (Verbal Inspiration of the Bible Scientifically
Demonstrated) the order of the Old Testament books was different in the
original Hebrew. If one accepts this original order in Hebrew, the 19th
Book would be Job. In this book Jonah is told by the Lord to go and preach
to the wicked city of Nineveh. They must repent or be destroyed. It is
also interesting to note that in the Hebrew text, Jonah's name is used
in the OT exactly 19 times. (Andrew Harris) My favorite definition for
repent is 'to change the direction in which one is looking for happiness.'
ring divides then we have a set of 24. I found things like 24 hours in
a day, 24 Elders on 24 thrones as noted in the Book of Revelation; the
wheel of rebirths; double harmony of the sky and the earth; but the symbol
that resonates most with me is "a complete harmony."
often associated in scripture with life, prosperous life, abundant life,
fruitful life. The prosperity can be in a physical or financial sense,
or in a spiritual sense. It might be representing the wealth and prosperity
acquired through diligent work or it might be the prosperity of divine
grace, a free gift.
a Master Number, The Master Builder -- a conceiver of tremendous plans
and has the power to make them happen for the benefit of all humanity.
22 has a need to devote themselves to something larger than life.
The number of what is completed, which forms a whole, a perfect and harmonious
unity. Think also the 12 tribes, 12 Commandments, the 12 apostles, 12
articles of the creed. In the context of the other numbers, I see this
12 representing the followers of Christ. As far as I'm concerned, if you
live a life in love, generosity, compassion, mercy, and justice, you belong
in that number whether you have a religious affiliation or not. Interesting
to me too, that the date of the eve of the Sagittarius New moon is 12-12-12.
It feels to me as if this date is divinely infused! The spring board of
things yet to come perhaps?
The number of the Son of God; if 1 is essence then 2 is existence; duality
the center is the perfection of 8 and the cosmic Christ.
the end of the day, the only questions I will ask myself are...
Did I love enough?
Did I laugh enough?
Did I make a difference?"
~ Katrina Mayer
all have the potential to make the world a better place.
Do all things with love, compassion, and with self-less intention."
are all visitors to this time, this place.
We are just passing through.
Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love?
and then we return home."
~Australian Aboriginal Proverb
powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth."
opens your heart. It opens your mind. It opens your soul and
turns you into the person you were meant to be
as you help another person become the person they long to become."
... yet I live, no longer I,
but Christ lives in me."
to me that what we do is not as important as how we do what we do. The
key question all month as been "What needs to die" To help us
zero in on the root of the issue, we might ask "Where and with whom
do we fail, or even worse refuse to love?" During this cycle I attended
a retreat day with artist, Brother Mickey McGrath, and spirituality author,
Fr. Richard Rohr. Brother Mickey told a story of a young mother who confessed
that she was having trouble getting her prayers in... the baby would wake
up and start to cry and her day would begin without her having completed
her prayers. (Now, I can see myself getting really frustrated in this
situation and being totally unloving because I can't do what I feel I
need to do.) And the priest's response was, "But, that is your prayer.
How you take care of your children when they cry IS your prayer."
expects but one thing of you,
and that is that you should come out of yourself
in so far as you are a created being made and
let God be God
~ Meister Eckhart
was on the way to a Funeral in early December and the question "What
needs to die?" of course, was on my mind. I keep coming back to that
license plate [IM 1ONE] and thoughts of being separate from God and therefore
from one another and all of creation. And my thought is that our breath
is God's breath. He breathes in and through us. So when God stops breathing,
our time here is done. And we do not leave here until we have fulfilled
the purpose for which we have been sent. The most intimate of connections...
pure surrender... letting God see through our eyes, to hug with our arms,
to do with our hands to sing and speak through our voices... which in
reality are all His. The work of this year, and especially this cycle,
has been to clean and clear, to get out of the way and let God be. A complete
and total surrender... a complete and total letting go. To be so infused
with grace, that in our living, loving and dying, we give birth to God.
Hugs and Blessings,
Sagittarius New Moon Mandala
December 13, 2012
"Take Christ to the World"
few months the naming of each mandala has been nearly last minute. As
a matter of fact, I hadn't named the Scorpio New Moon Mandala when I submitted
my Journal Entry to Sandra last month. Just before she went to publish,
and in haste, I named it "No Longer I." In truth, a mandala,
or any work of art with that name, would be much more beautiful and I
think truly breathtakingly magnificent. In actuality, a work by that name
would be the end result of having completely done the work of last month's
Scorpio New Moon Mandala - the work being cleaning, clearing, healing
and letting go of whatever keeps us from our highest expression.
of mine commented that my interpretation of Sandra's Scorpio New Moon
Mandala reminded her of intestines' which I found to be an interesting
observation. Her comment invited me to think about what intestines do.
They allow our bodies to absorb what nourishes us and to carry out, as
waste, what we do not need, or, in the case of toxins, to carry out that
which would do us harm. In essence, they help us to absorb what our bodies
need and facilitate the clearing out of what needs to go. Intestines were
not at all on my mind when I worked on that mandala, but it fits! It works.
In retrospect, a better name for the Scorpio New Moon Mandala would have
been something like "Cleaning House" or "Make Way"
or "Ready the Way"... "Prepare the Way"? One might
wonder what all this cleaning and clearing is about? What is it making
space for? Or, for whom is this new room being made ready?
I first saw the Sagittarius New Moon Mandala I couldn't wait to work on
it. It could not wait. It would not wait. There was an urgency about completing
it because it spoke to me of a person, an upcoming event and a way of
life. Working this time, then, from the center out:
four pointed star at the center, the crux stellata or the star cross,
in my mind can belong only to one person. Though thousands upon thousands
were crucified in ancient times, the cross is inextricably tied to Jesus,
figure of three (in blue) at first spoke to me of God in the form
of the Holy Trinity as triangular threes typically do. But, the more I
contemplated the shape of this particular three,(and yes, the hood ornament
of a popular car did come to mind as well ;-) it spoke more to me of peace
-- and joined at the center to the star cross this is a peace unlike any
X (in white) is sometimes used as a symbol for the Christ, whose name
in Greek begins with the Greek letter X or Chi. That's why we often see
the shorthand of X-mas... X for Christ.
four fiery-red points are actually the end-points of four large, interlocking
hearts. (These hearts also create the star cross at the center and the
larger, golden, cross-like extensions of that star.) Like a compass rose,
the hearts point to the four corners of the earth and are filled with
the fire, zeal and passion of Spirit.
Christmas lights -- The eight (representing the cosmic Christ) portrayed
in this lighthearted manner represent the joy of Christ.
twelve that were tightly wrapped around the cosmic Christ in last
month's mandala, are now filled to overflowing with the love, the peace
and the joy of Christ. Radiant and rooted in Him they reach out to the
all are several rings reminding me of the "sights" we've
seen in many of this year's mandalas and again begs the question, "What
do we have in our sights this cycle?" To give added emphasis to Christ,
the second person of the Holy Trinity, I colored the two center circles
shared this mandala with some friends just prior to Christmas Day and
I thank Sandra for using the first draft of it on the website as the mandala
meditation for the month. Teresa wrote to me,
reminded me of the star that must stay in our hearts all year
that led the Magi to Christ so many years ago."
I saw this mandala for the first time the text of one of my favorite songs
by Stuart Townend came immediately to mind:
love came down to earth, and made His home with men
The hopeless found a hope, the sinner found a friend.
Not to the powerful, but to the poor He came
And humble hungry hearts were satisfied again.
joy, what peace has come to us
What hope, what help, what love."
~When Love came Down to Earth
And "the twelve" in the outer ring brought this Paul Inwood
text to mind:
Christ to the world
Celebrate our faith manifest His love to all.
Take Christ to the World
Show that we are His by the way we live.
and over the message came:
underestimate the value of a random act of kindness
as it can positively change the life of another
in ways you never imagined."
people are beautiful.
Not in looks. Not in what they say.
Just in what they are."
have [not] lived until you
have done something for someone
who can never repay you."
Facebook~ Billboard via Kennedy's Cause
darker the times, the greater the need for you to shine bright.
Connect to loving kindness and compassion and
you will be a healing presence wherever you go."
~Katie Trafford/Cruise Control
can you do to promote world peace?
Go HOME... and love your family."
"She was an everyday angle
The kind without wings.
Walking around in the world, just like you and me.
An angel, living out love.
The kind of people we could use a lot more of
Just an everyday angel."
Facebook ~ Rodney Foster
bless means to wish, unconditionally and
from the deepest chambers of your heart,
unrestricted good for others and events."
you perceive as a small act of kindness,
may actually be a HUGE act of love for another person.
Never underestimate the power of love
no matter how small it may seem."
at the movies, the message came:
believes that it is only great power that can hold evil in check. That
is not what I have found. I have found that it is the small things, every
day deeds from ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay. Simple acts
of kindness and love."
~spoken by Gandalf the Grey in The Hobbit
day after Christmas, first thing in the morning, I had an appointment
to check and see how my new contacts were working out. As I was waiting
for my appointment a familiar popular song from "back in the day"
came over the airwaves. Thankfully I was the first appointment and there
was no one around. I was so caught by surprise by His message that I burst
out laughing... you just never know when, where or how a message will
come to you. There I was sitting in the waiting room of the office and
Jesus was singing to me. Yes, the voice singing the song was Pete Townsend,
but the more I listened to the words of the song, Let My Love Open
the Door, the more I knew that this was a message coming from Jesus.
I encourage you to read this, or better yet, pull it up on YouTube
or your own copy on vinyl, cassette or 8 track if you're still able to
play them ;-) and close your eyes - hear His voice and invite the message
people keep repeating that you'll never fall in love,
When everybody keeps retreating but you can?t seem to get enough,
My love open the door
Let My love open the door
Let My love open the door
To your heart.
everything feels all over, when everybody seems unkind,
I?ll give you a four leaf clover, take all the worry out of your mind.
My love open the door
Let My love open the door
Let My love open the door
To your heart... mmmmm... My love open the door...
have the only key to your heart,
I can stop you from falling apart
try today you?ll find this Way
come on and give Me a chance to say,
"Let My love open the door
It's all I'm living for.
Release yourself from misery.
There's only one thing gonna set you free...
That's My love...That's My love...
My love open the door
Let My love open the door
Let My love open the door
When tragedy befalls you
Don.t let it drag you down
Love can cure your problems
You.re so lucky I.m around.
My love open the door
Let My love open the door
Let My love open the door
To your heart..."
'Let My Love Open the Door' ~Pete Townsend
Having received His love by letting Him open the doors of our hearts,
we are able to truly and purely love ? to do for another without fear
or concern of cost or return of payment. The message inspired me to random
acts of kindness-- the simple ordinary things that were right in front
of me: I straightened the tie of my doctor, not because "perfectionistic
me" needed it to be straight, but because I knew he'd have a better
day if he didn't have to keep messing with it. (As I straightened the
tie he told me he was in a hurry to get to work that morning. His tie
got caught in the knot and would not lie flat.) On the way into the office
I had overheard "Mike" talking to a co-worker about how he had
spent 11 hours on Christmas day at a Care One facility with his wife who
is suffering with multiple sclerosis. On the way out I stopped and talked
to him for a bit and promised to hold them in prayer. And that was just
the first half hour of the day.
the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and their princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations
To bring peace among brothers
To make music in the heart."
~The Mood of Christmas by Howard Thurman
are many, many days I wonder why I'm on this earth. I ponder my purpose
and like the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" I wonder if my being
here really makes a difference. And then there are those moments... those
preciously profound moments when, because I am asked to use the gifts
and talents that I have been given, people are comforted and consoled
in a way that no one else in the room can or I am able to come to the
aid of an friend with a splitting headache because there is no one else
with my skill set that can help in the way that I can help. And I come
to know through those profound moments (of truly being hit over the head
with the message ;-) that my being here makes a difference.
I connect to these overwhelmingly profound moments, it gives me a new
lens with which I can see my impact on the ordinary day-to-day events
as well. Our being here makes a difference only when we shift our focus
from ourselves -- from what we need and what's in it for us -- and focus
on the people around us. We are here for one purpose though that purpose
may take many forms. We are here to be filled with love and to share that
love with the world. Not the wide-eyed, ooey-gooey, nostalgic or sexual
kind of love, but a genuine kindness- care-and-concern-for-others kind
of love... a way of being that is more concerned about the other rather
than the self. Each of us is endowed with gifts and talents that are meant
to be shared -- and it might be just as simple as twinkling eyes and a
genuine, killer smile that you share with everyone you meet. In the sharing
of our gifts and talents He blesses the world through us in a way that
is unique to each of us.
[Jesus] changed things. He is the single greatest agent of change in
human history. He made the lame walk, taught the simple, set captives
free, gave sight to the blind, fed the hungry, healed the sick, comforted
the afflicted, afflicted the comfortable, and in all of these, captured
the imagination of every generation...
first Christians intrigued the people of their time. So did the saints,
and so do ordinary people who embrace the Christian life today. In the
great majority of cases they don?t do anything spectacular. For the
most part they commit themselves to doing simple things spectacularly
well and with great love, and that intrigues people. Whom does your
life intrigue? Not with spectacular accomplishments, but simply by the
way you live, love and work."
~Rediscover Catholicism: A Spiritual Guide to Living with Passion and
Purpose by Matthew Kelly
"Jesus calls us to measure our years not in the ways of the world:
Not in terms of minutes and years, nor wealth or possessions,
But by the things of God:
in humble generosity to others,
in mercy and forgiveness joyfully given,
in holiness strived for,
in justice won
in peace realized,
in principles defended,
in beliefs lived."
~ Fr. Andrew Jamieson
"Christ has no body now on earth but yours,
No hands but yours, no feet but yours,
Yours are the eyes through which Christ?s compassion
Is to look out to the earth,
Yours are the feet by which He is to go about doing good
And yours are the hands by which He is to bless us now."
~St. Teresa of Avila
The past two days I've seen a group of twelve mourning doves... yesterday,
all together high up in a tree, and today, around the ground feeder in
the back yard. From the round, soft curves of their bodies and their dark,
sweet eyes, to the soft and comforting coo of their voices, they are humble
birds, soft and sweet. The Eastern Mourning Dove is the state of Wisconsin's
official symbol of peace and Michigan's state bird of peace. This sighting
in conjunction with the 12 of this mandala suggests that we are to be
bearers of comfort and joy in peaceful, tender and loving ways.
that for most people, Christmas is a celebration on a single day filled
with family, food and gift giving. For many Catholics and perhaps other
Christians, Christmas is a season to be celebrated and lived. But for
a rare few, Christmas, the celebration of the incarnation of divine love
-- of the coming of Emmanuel, God with us - is celebrated every day of
their lives in kind, generous, loving, caring and forgiving ways. It is
not what we do, but who we are because of Him that makes a difference.
It's the intention behind the action... not just the doing of good deeds,
but rather, the love that inspires those deeds that blesses the world.
done some cleaning and clearing and have made a little more room in the
inns of our hearts for the coming of the Holy One. Let His love open the
doors to our hearts that we may be filled to overflowing. May His love,
His joy and His peace abide in us so deeply and so richly that through
our love-inspired words and deeds He is made present to the world.
Hugs and Blessings,
Capricorn New Moon Mandala
January 11, 2013
those with insight shall shine like the splendor of the firmament,
And those who lead the many to justice, shall be like the stars forever."
When I first analyzed this mandala, I found a lot of fives (the perfect
man - got rid of his animal side) and sevens (perfect completion) - three
sets of 5 and three sets of 7... though it may appear that there are more
fives due to the mandorlas created by the interlocking circles. A mandorla
is an ancient symbol of two circles coming together, overlapping one another
to form an almond shape, here seen in light pink and magenta in the inner
circle. Mandorla is the Italian word for almond. This symbol is also called
the "Vesica Piscis." It is known as a threshold by some and
a gateway of birth for others. It symbolizes the interaction and interdependence
of opposing worlds and forces - spirit and matter for example. Although
the symbol has its origins before the Christian era, the early Christians
used the symbol as a method to describe the coming together of heaven
and earth, between the divine and human. Jesus and the Blessed Virgin
Mary are often pictured in the framework of the Mandorla. In the area
where the two circles overlap sits the God-human, a place we too are called
to be, where both aspects of reality coincide and become one. This speaks
to me of the call to embody the ultimate love - divine Love. And, the
overwhelming question this cycle has been, "Am I the best possible
version of myself that I can be?"
year at this time I was writing about geese and a wonderful woman at my
parish gave me a small stuffed goose to let me know that "people
are reading what [I] write." ;-) It was such a sweet, lovely gesture
and I placed it in front of that mandala as a reminder. It's been sitting
there all year! In December, as I was clearing out the frames in preparation
for the winter quarter, I had planned to put the goose in another location.
But on the first day of this cycle, the 12 doves from last cycle were
now sightings of 12 geese. I've been seeing them everywhere! It appears
that the goose is connected to this cycle, and I'm happy to say I'll be
keeping my little goose out for another year. Geese symbolize community,
communication, bravery, fellowship, determination, confidence, protection
and loyalty. Interesting... that, with all the five and sevens in this
mandala, 5+7 = 12 (a perfect and harmonious unit, wholeness).
colors came to me right away as well as I looked at this mandala. The
five pointed star in the middle for example, had to be blue. The five-pointed
star represents Jesus' birth and incarnation and I envision that light
burns in the heart of all who follow him. So why blue? Because the hottest
part of a flame is blue. The passion and zeal of last month's red hearts
have are now the fire of this month's five-pointed star. Also known as
the Epiphany star, this star, depending on the source, led the three Kings,
the three wise men/the three astrologers to the place of the Christ Child.
Regardless of occupation, through this eventful seek and find The Christ
was introduced to the world. The central flower created by the five small
interlocking circles, is a pre-Columbian symbol for the 5 pointed star
as well. The seven interlocking moons had to be a pale yellow. The shape
of the moon could be either Gibbous or Disseminating. From the Zodiac
Arts Moon Phase Calendar: The Gibbous phase is a time to analyze, prepare,
trust and gather information. The Disseminating phase is a time where
we gain clarity by sharing what we've learned through awareness - it is
a time of giving back to the community. Considering the sighting of the
geese and their communal nature, and the time of year, I decided that
these were disseminating moons. Another definite color choice was pink.
The color for unconditional love had to be in there as well. There is
a sense of heaven and earth in this for me... of tangible substance and
that which is not able to be physically grasped... like wisps of fragrant
incense. In addition, as I was coloring this mandala, it gave me the sense
of the early stages of development... when the cells are dividing. This
mandala is active... and holds a call to become something greater, something
truer, more authentic . This call to whol-iness is deeply felt. And so
this month, though relatively quiet for me, has been a time of tremendous
growth. More than any other mandala in this year of "elevation,"
this Capricorn New Moon Mandala has a tremendous call to elevate... to
actively embody or manifest the love of God in the world.
say we are known by the company we keep, and since I am on a quest to
become the best version of myself, I am spending less time on Facebook
and watching television and more time at church, in prayer, taking advantage
of the sacraments, spiritual reading and offering my musical talent to
my community at morning mass. I am also enjoying The Winter Feast for
the Soul (http://www.winterfeastforthesoul.com/), an online, 40-day winter
meditation retreat where many faith traditions share their method of meditation
or Centering Prayer. The Christian contemplative track by Carl McColman
is particularly good this year. In addition, I am SO looking forward to
the company of spiritual companions as I facilitate a Center Prayer group
at my parish on Wednesday mornings during Lent. That will start on Wednesday,
the 13th! I am also very watchful of the needs of my body. Adequate sleep
and food that nourishes is also on my radar.
is better when you are happy, but,
life is best when other people are happy because of You!"
the moment of happiness,
love and be loved!
That is the only reality in the world.
All else is folly."
Capricorn New Moon Mandala we are called to "shine like the stars"
to "proclaim the Holy One by the witness of our lives." As we
stand in the threshold, between what is and what is yet to be revealed,
may we strive to bring joy and peace into the world. Like a lamp that
is not hidden, but rather is set on a lampstand - may we by the service
of our lives truly shine with the light and the love of Christ and give
honor to His holy name.
Hugs and Blessings,
Aquarius New Moon Mandala
February 10, 2013
Peace Be With You
you are right now is the perfect place from which
to let go, learn and grow. Loosen your grip."
~FB: Gemma Stone
"One of the happiest moments ever,
is when you find the courage to finally let go -
of what you can't change."
~FB: Back Towards Light
has been springing up all over in this area of the U.S. since this cycle
began - early even for these parts. The daffodils and irises have been
peeking up out of the ground and are now about 6 - 7 inches above ground.
Though the winter birds, like the juncos (my favorite birds) are still
around, the song birds have been here for nearly 4 weeks already. The
males typically arrive first to find a place to raise their young and
build a nest in preparation for the arrival of the females. One male in
particular outside my house has been giving it "what for." Every
morning I can hear him saying, "Hurry up woman! It's cold here!"
The darkness is making way for the sunlight, which is getting brighter
and staying longer. Spring is also a traditional time of cleaning house...
getting rid of the old and making room for the new. Three days after this
cycle began, Ash Wednesday ushered in the 40 day celebration of Lent.
Lent literally means "Spring" and we are encouraged to clean
our interior houses, to clear away what no longer serves us or others
... to become more like the people we were made to be. About Lent Thomas
Lent [Jesus]... invites us to join Him in the desert and to share His
trials. The Lenten observances are designed to facilitate the reduction
of our emotional investment in the programs of early childhood. Liberation
from the entire false-self system (security/survival, affection/esteem,
power/control) is the ultimate purpose of Lent. This process always
has Easter as its goal. The primary observance of Lent is to confront
the false self. Fasting, prayer and almsgiving are in the service of
this project. As we dismantle our emotional programs for happiness the
obstacles to the risen life of Jesus fall away, and our hearts are prepared
for the infusion of divine life at Easter."
Mystery of Christ, p. 42
second year in a row, I associate darkness with this cycle. Last year
the fog that we often get in this area as we transition from winter into
spring invited me to consider how we find our way when we cannot see.
This year the events of my life caused me to ponder my ability to love
in the face of "darkness".
week since Ash Wednesday, I have been invited to consider in a deeper
way how well I love and how much can I endure and still chose to love.
My daughter and I attended mass Ash Wednesday evening in the presence
of a child who could not be consoled. It was an interesting exercise to
watch and observe how this inconsolable child affected the members of
the assembly and those who led prayer. Could we be with the pain and embrace
it? Or would we allow it to enter into ourselves and distract our focus...
allow it to affect our ability function? In essence, could we be in its
presence and still love? Although both my daughter and I went home with
a headache that night, I found it to be a wonderful experience of welcoming...
of being "with" and "in" agony. What an invitation
to Lent this was! Little did I know it was a foreshadowing of things to
and one day later my daughter injured her ankle at volleyball practice.
We were up into the wee hours of that Friday morning at Children's Hospital.
My daughter was diagnosed with a bad sprain and a fractured fibula. Too
tired to function, I had no choice but to relinquish my Friday morning
week our dog became gravely ill. I won't go into the gory details but
let us suffice it to say that when I returned home that day my kitchen
floor looked like a war zone... no exaggeration. Two hours later I was
able to get her in to see the Vet. She ended up staying for two days having
been diagnosed with a digestive disorder.
our dog... the only one left in the house was my husband who was traveling
on business the very next week. I wouldn't say I was fretful, or terribly
anxious, but I had asked friends to pray on that Thursday and in the back
of my mind I waited for the next shoe to drop. Gratefully he arrived home
safe and sound. I, however, exhausted from the day, was in bed by 8:30.
Just the thought of the possibility of something happening wore me out.
I was in the clear, the final Thursday of this cycle I had just finished
writing my first draft of this Journal Entry. As I shut my computer down
something happened... the screen turned blue (you know the kind of blue
that strikes fear in the heart...) and written on the screen were the
words: "If this is the first time you've seen this page... "
I waited for it to do its thing. Nothing was happening so I just shut
it down cold and decided to wait until the next day to deal with the consequences.
I said a prayer to the Archangel Gabriel and went to bed. Most gratefully
the computer started up just fine the next day and I was able to retrieve
to the above scenarios, I have a clarity I've never had about why I do
what I do. For example, I've noticed that I get anxious on the days my
husband leaves on his business trips. I also have trouble if the weather
is particularly bad on the day he returns. Recognizing this propensity,
this past week as I drove home from the airport, I said a little prayer,
"If it be Your will, Lord, keep him safe. Regardless of the outcome,
I know that You are with me always and will never leave me to face my
perils alone." Having detached myself from every possible outcome
and having put everything in the hands of God, I can say with absolute
certainty that Monday was a particularly good day.
or Unbidden, God is present."
~ Carl Jung
this is what Sandra's Aquarius New Moon Mandala says to me:
again, we have a "sight" in this mandala which asks, "What
are you looking at? What's your focal point?"
outer layer we have three (divine), large, ovals (seeds/eggs) in which
each is held a diamond shape (in the most simplistic terms which truly
does not do it justice, the diamond is a Native American symbol for wind
and creation. Interesting to note that in the book of Psalms, 104:3 it
is written that "God rides the wings of the wind.") Over the
top of these shapes are six (imperfect man - still with his passions)
interlocking ovals. Last spring you might remember, I awoke with this
feeling of elevation... "like a divine infusion intended to elevate
everything and everyone was on its way." The cell division from the
last cycle continues. Taking these symbols together they say to me that
God is busy and on the move. Something's cooking... and we - you and I
- are the reason for the activity.
center of the sight are six shapes:
circle, the center of our sighting device which frames
six sided figure formed by the overlapping of the 3 large diamonds in
the outer layer
next figure reminds me of the four interlocking hearts from the Sagittarius
New Moon Mandala - Take Christ to the World - reminding us to love and
to be love in the world.
a circle (one, unity, God) - barely seen, but there, on which rests
interlocking squares. They remind me of a quilt pattern called "Card
Trick." You may recall that a square can symbolize the earth. Placed
in this fashion, it says the ground is shaky... uncertain... like shifting
on top of the shifting earth is a six pointed star. If this were a stick
figure it would represent fixed stars like the Pole star. It is also
reminiscent of Chi Rho, the early Greek symbol for the Christ.
central to this mandala the three diamonds create a large peace sign.
In Psalm 23 it reads, The Good Shepherd "leads me beside still waters."
Water is often a symbol for the mind. So this peace... this place of still
waters, is a quiet and peaceful mind focused on Him.
is only as far away as we place Him and never as far away as we think.
For it is in Him that we live, move and have our being."
~ Mustard Seeds
Today, God is First."
think that this was a bad month for me. I can happily report that it has
been far from that! In addition to the challenging occurrences reported
above, I have been actively cultivating what I believe to be the most
important relationship anyone can cultivate - my relationship with God.
Through participation at daily mass and various scripture-based prayer
practices, along with Centering Prayer and service to my community, this
time spent surrendering to the presence and action of God within has been
my saving grace and my sanity through all of the insanity.
past weekend, we heard the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15: 1-3,
11-32). In his homily on this very familiar story, Fr. Andrew Jamieson
recognize ourselves and those we know, in the son who leaves, the son
who stays, and the father who rejoices in the prodigal's return.
as much as this parable tells us about ourselves, I think it also tells
us more about our heavenly Father - something we often miss in this
story, but something we desperately need to hear.
comes in the middle of the parable at the point when the son has decided
to return home. He begins the journey back to his father. And there,
almost as a passing thought, Luke inserts this beautiful and beautifully
revealing sentence: "While he was still a long way off, his father
caught sight of him and was filled with compassion." Luke tells
us the father then ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. That
brief moment is a revelation. The father didn't wait for his son to
make it all the way home. He didn't wait for him to set foot in his
house. When he saw his son, and recognized him, he could not contain
himself. He ran to meet him and took him in his arms. What love this
father must have had for his child. And what love our heavenly Father
must have for us."
matter how far we are from him, no matter the mistakes we've made, the
despair we've held in our hearts, no matter the distance... God waits
for us. God looks for us. God longs for us. We may be only a pinpoint
on the horizon but that is enough. We may be so far removed from God
that He can barely see us - but even that is enough. For when He sees
us making our way home, His heart is stirred. He sees us coming back
to Him and how does He respond? God runs! He doesn't hesitate. He doesn't
hold back. He doesn't wait for us to complete the journey we have begun.
He goes to us, and meets us, and completes the journey for us."
that it is not only God that is on the move, but in this mandala we, too,
are invited to move toward God. As we continue this journey of elevation,
and as we encounter the darkness within and without, this mandala encourages
us, no matter what occurs - no matter how shaky the ground underneath
us - to be ever mindful of how greatly we are loved and in turn to infuse
every situation we encounter with love; to keep our eyes fixed on the
Christ, the Light of the World, who leads us by the right path, will never
leave us to face our perils alone and bestows on us a peace unlike any
we have ever known.
Love, Hugs and Blessings,
Pisces New Moon Mandala
March 11, 2013
"No longer I, but Christ lives in me."
calls me to be one with God."
Active Prayer Sentence, March 13-20
From The Daily Reader for Contemplative Living
What a cycle! And SO tied to the previous one that I couldn't wait to
get my hands on the new mandala... the blooming of new life, a resurrected
life, a Christ-centered life. Within days of receiving the template my
initial thoughts were set down in color and sent to back to Sandra. I
have revisited it with little variation as seen above. SO much to tell
this cycle, but for the sake of brevity, only the highlights:
30: a readiness to witness; in varying sizes and densities representing
men, women, children;
In the center:
A set of 12 in the form of four sets of three - the manifestation of God
to the four corners of the world;
And the Stella Crucis or Star Cross which you might remember from the
Sagittarius New Moon Mandala at Christmastime, much larger now... radiant
you are what you are meant to be you will set the world on fire."
~St. Catherine of Siena
to be the you that you truly want to be.
Sometimes it's not more information we need,
but more courage."
forgetting what lies behind
but straining forward to what lies ahead,
I continue my pursuit toward the goal,
the prize of God's upward calling,
in Christ Jesus."
first day of Spring arrived within eleven days of the start of this cycle.
Last year I remember waking up with such excitement... you may recall
I wrote that it felt as if a breath of fresh air was being breathed into
all of creation... that the Spirit was infusing and elevating everything.
This Spring, however, was such a contrast. I awoke with such an ominous
feeling. And, I would describe it in this way: If each of us were a field,
we spent the past year cleaning and clearing debris, small rocks, twigs...
the easy stuff... the obvious things that are light and easier to take
care of (though many cycles were quite trying. I personally remember the
double Gemini cycles... a serious time of clearing!) In comparison, this
spring all that is left to clear out are the deeply rooted tree stumps
and large boulders... those deeply ingrained attitudes, habits and behaviors
of a lifetime that hold us back and keep us from being the people we were
created to be. Having struggled a lifetime with a couple of these "deeply
rooted tree stumps," the thought of tackling them once and for all
was perhaps why I was feeling so... ominous.
are a human being. You have a body and a soul.
The two are inseparable until death.
The body, as we know it now, is temporal, but the soul is eternal.
What is eternal should lead and reign over that which is temporal."
- Mustard Seeds
you have been called to live in freedom
- not free to satisfy your sinful nature,
but to serve one another in love."
~ Galations 5:13
I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord,
plans to prosper you and not harm you,
plans to give you a hope and a future."
~ Jeremiah 29:11
are endless possibilities for practicing mortification."
- Mustard Seeds
sense, doesn't it? That which "is eternal should lead and reign over
that which is temporal." And yet it is so challenging to live that!
One of the words that came across my path this month as we were nearing
the spring equinox was mortification. The Lenten practices of prayer,
fasting and almsgiving are ways of practicing mortification:
of the methods which Christian asceticism employs in training the soul
to virtuous and holy living. The term originated with St. Paul, who
traces an instructive analogy between Christ dying to a mortal and rising
to an immortal life, and His followers who renounce their past life
of sin and rise through grace to a new life of holiness. "If you
live after the flesh", says the apostle, "you shall die, but
if through the spirit you mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall
live" (Romans 8:13; cf. also Colossians 3:5, and Galatians 5:24).
From this original use of the term, we see that mortification, though
under one aspect it is a law of death, under another and more fundamental
aspect it is a law of life, and does not destroy but elevates nature.
What it slays is the disease of the soul, and by slaying this it restores
and invigorates the soul's true life." ~ Catholic Encyclopedia
And that is how I began to see my Lenten practices... through the eyes
of choosing life (elevating) instead of death and deprivation (destruction.)
It occurs to me that proper diet and exercise can be construed as a mild
form of mortification... . As I mentioned earlier, I was not looking forward
to tackling my tree stumps and boulders, but on April 1st - the day after
Easter - the energy shifted. I woke up and the struggle of the past year
was gone. It was a new day in many ways... even hopeful! I started exercising
again and choosing more nutritious foods more often. This lifestyle change
required little effort from me for a change... everything just began to
"God bestows His wisdom upon men and women in the classroom of silence.
May silence become a great friend of yours."
- Mustard Seeds
you allow your soul to be saturated with grace through prayer,
the sacraments, and a constant effort to remain united to God throughout
then you will begin to live your ordinary life divinely.
~ Mustard Seeds
not be content in showing friendship in words alone,
let your heart burn with loving kindness for all who may cross your path."
justly, love mercy, walk justly."
~ FB/the Attitude of Gratitude
My favorite image of Lent came in the form of a tethered colt on Passion
Sunday. In the processional Gospel for that day, Luke tells of a colt
that is tethered, untied and then carries Jesus into Jerusalem. I could
easily put myself in the picture as the colt... bound, untied and then
called into service by being the vehicle of Christ in the world. No matter
what we find, no matter what comes across our path, no matter how we are
received or treated, we are called to be bearers of the Christ in a world
so in need of Good News.
are like fireflies with the light of God in us.
Share that light with the world!"
make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
~St. Francis of Assisi
says I'm the language that unites all,
I speak to your souls
Listen to Me and accept me
I will make you whole and beautiful."
will direct your steps."
I know for sure... align with God and you will be shown the way, guided
and directed in every step. I have talked to God my whole life. I have
listened for His answers my whole life. He has never steered me wrong.
a very pleasant surprise this spring. Those who know me know that I AM
NOT KNOWN for my green thumb. I am lucky to get a couple of flowers on
my Christmas cactus at Christmastime. However, the plant is flowering
again - the week after Easter! Not only my plant, but several friends
and relatives have reported the same occurrence. This springtime blooming
is unique even for their plants. At first I was puzzled and then realized...
of course! At Christmas Christ is "reborn" in the hearts of
His believers. At Easter, we celebrate the Resurrection of Christ. It
is, indeed, a time of renewal... . A time of new life. Having died to
our selves, we, as this mandala suggests, rise with Christ and live in
Him alone - to be a life affirming, loving, compassionate people... a
people of service, a Resurrection people, filled to overflowing with the
Spirit and the love of the Lord.
the Father has sent me, so I send you."
And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them,
"Receive the Holy Spirit."
John 20: 21-22
Hugs and Blessings,
Aries New Moon Mandala
April 10, 2013
"See As God Sees."
so much to share this month, but I'm feeling that if you've followed me
for a while you how this works for me. You know that I look at life symbolically...
looking for divine messages in the ordinary, everyday occurrences of my
life... keeping my eyes open and drawing everything in: looking... questioning...
what does it mean? What is the significance? What is God saying? Funny,
eleven years ago I stared blankly at pieces of paper... and now the cup
associated with Aries are red, white, gold and deep blue. And with all
the hearts in this mandala, variations of red just felt right. I liked
the use of gold also as it represents the Sun, and God-like wisdom.
ring is decorated with 30 shapes, which remind me of the warming rays
of the Sun... 30 representing perfect balance in the cosmic organization;
the maturity of a crop; a maturity and a readiness to witness; also 30
degrees within each astrological sign. ~ridingthebeast.com
the circle six shapes, similar to the out-lying shapes, point outward
- Keywords for the constructive meaning of Six: Love, Harmony, Home, Responsibility,
Adjustment, Sympathy, Understanding, Domesticity, Guardianship, Stability,
Poise, Protection, Healing, Firmness, Balance, Idealism, Conscientiousness,
Justice, Burden-bearing, Service to mankind. ~Your Days are Numbered
by Florence Campbell
for Aries is related to the heart. Sandra has chosen to overlap 21 hearts
in this mandala in three sets of seven. The first set of seven hearts
lie sideways creating the baste of the "nest." The remaining
two sets point out to suggest an outward movement of love. This love is
not a given... but rather is "worked at." This is not a self-centered
or narcissistic love, but a love of and for others. It also has a Trinitarian
feel to it for me... God (3 -the Trinity) working in and through creation
Constructive Keywords for Eight: Power, Authority, Success, Material freedom,
Judgment, Discrimination, Executive ability, Organization, Leadership,
Management, Practicality, Thoroughness, Dependability, Self-reliance,
Control, the Power to succeed. There is also for me a "never give
up" quality to the number eight. ~Your Days are Numbered by Florence
of the circles seem to be connected to cross bars of a "sight"
which was a reoccurring symbol last year. The focus of this mandala however,
is the eye which sees. And for me not just any eye, but an eye that sees
through the lens of divine wisdom.
moons help create the iris of the eye. Astrologers use the symbol of the
crescent moon to signify a complex of psychological factors. While the
sun represents the infinite creative energy that is available to the individual,
the moon's function is to give form to this energy and help realize its
potential. For this reason in astrology symbolizes man's sensitiveness
and impressionability, the instincts, the subconscious, the emotions,
and the ability to react. The key word is personality, the inner individual's
outer shell that is continually formed and changed by what he or she experiences.
( ~from symbols.com)
at the center goes by many names: wheel cross, sun cross, Odin's cross
or Woden's cross. Nordic Odin and Teutonic Wuotan or Woden was the supreme
god of the Nordic religion before Christianity. Odin was the god of art,
culture, warfare and the dead. (If you've been watching the new show
'Vikings' you've been hearing a lot about Odin.) As has been its custom
the Christian Church has included this ancient pagan sign among the crosses
of its symbolism. It is also known as the gamma cross, the Roman Catholic
cross, the consecration cross and the inauguration cross. At the inauguration
of a church, the bishop, using blessed water or oil, draws the wheel cross
at 12 different places on the church walls. It is often used as a halo
in art, i.e. the spiritual power of energy that holy persons emanate,
is associated with its original meaning as a sign of power. ( ~from symbols.com)
You may remember last cycle, on the first day of Spring I was feeling
quite ominous about the year ahead... which was such a contrast to the
previous spring. The day after Easter this year (April 1, 2013) things
that I typically struggled with were moving so effortlessly... so easily...
life just flowed. To my surprise, on the first day of this cycle on the
way home from morning mass, this was in my path:
And, I nearly missed the message... scrambling for my phone I got this
shot just before it turned off the road and onto the field. For those
not familiar with farm equipment, this is known as a disc plow (also spelled
plough), disc harrow or in my younger years it was known to me as a discer.
I don't know if anyone else calls it that (those who know me know that
I tend to make up my own vocabulary ;-) but that's what I remember. Anyway...
by most standards this is one GI-NORMOUS disc plow! (Gigantic + Enormous)
There was some SERIOUS tilling to be done. Disc plows are ideal for deep
plowing and are typically the first piece of equipment to cultivate a
field in the spring - to begin the process of preparing the soil to be
planted with a crop of some kind. It is used to turn and break up the
soil to dry it out, to bury crop residues, which will be used as compost
for the new crop, and to help control weeds. (LOTS of symbolism that can
be applied to a life in this alone!) Could God have been any more clear?
By this He was telling me, "Don't worry honey... the cleaning and
clearing is done. The ground is ready. It's already time to plow and prepare
the soil for the planting of the new crop. " What a relief! And so
this cycle began.
were born with the ability to change someone's life - don't waste it!"
~ FB/TGIF-Today God is First
3 things can change our lives, dreams, suffering and love."
beautify this world we must carry out experiments in Love."
of having spent so much time in prayer during those 40 days of Lent sustained
me for 22 days after Easter. Now I've heard that it only takes 21 days
to create a new habit - and for those first 22 days of Easter there were
no struggles in my life - everything just flowed. But, I found that over
the course of those 22 days, the further away I got from Lent, the more
challenged I was to find or make time for prayer and spiritual reading.
The less time I spent in prayer, the more I began to struggle... until
the 23rd day when the floor fell out and I was in a free-fall... un-hinged...
and feeling not at all like myself - or not at least like the self I'd
like to be. Three days later, I followed a car with the license plate
that said [CLOSUR]. The car was completely eluding me - often changing
lanes. I couldn't get a decent picture so you're going to have to take
my word for it. Like that car, something in my life that would help me
gain closure and be at peace was eluding me.
because someone has their eyes closed does not mean they are asleep.
Just because someone has their eyes open does not mean they can see."
- Mustard Seeds
watchful-the grace of God appears suddenly.
It comes without warning to an open heart... "
all live lives of contemplation. The question is what do you contemplate?
Is it the riches of the world, or women walking by in the street?
Is it fame and power?
Or, is it the wonders of God, His creation,
and His spiritual gifts to humanity?"
- Mustard Seeds
am with you always..."
~the Gospel of Matthew 28:20
of our birds and animals have returned after their winter hibernation
or migration. The twin groundhogs from last May have survived the winter
and are regularly coming to the ground feeder with one of their parents
- I presume their mother. The Juncos have returned north for the summer
and to my son's dismay the mourning doves have returned and have once
again nested in the tree in the front of our house. The nest is very easily
seen through two windows - one of which is just outside my son's bedroom
window - hence his dismay. Again this year, two eggs were laid, have hatched
and both squabs, as they are called, though blind and covered with down
are faring well as of this writing. Both parents tend to the needs of
the two. One or the other is ALWAYS seen sitting on the nest keeping the
young ones warm, safe from predators and sating their voracious hunger.
Unlike most birds that feed seeds, insects or worms to their young, these
birds feed their little ones a milky substance, called Pigeon's Milk.
It is produced in the crop, located in the throat. It's quite something
to watch. The head of the squab literally enters the throat of the parent
as if it is being swallowed up. The image of playing hide and seek with
young children comes to mind. If they can't see you then they think they
are well hidden even though the rest of their body is in plain view. With
this image in mind, I think of these young squabs believing they are totally
surrounded and engulfed by the parent. Now as I said, one of the parents
is always with the young, protecting them, keeping them warm and if this
is all that happens the squabs will surely die. At some point the young
ones need to reach toward the parent to be fed - to be nurtured in a life-sustaining
way. Another image that comes to mind is an electrical gadget. It's useless...
no good unless it's plugged into the current!
wants full custody. Not just weekend visits."
~FB/TGIF via my cousin Mark
into the heart of love,
and come from that place in all your choices and decisions,
and you will find peace."
~FB Neal Donald Walsh via E
is He that is in you, than he that is in the world."
~ 1 John 4:4
What I have learned from my own experience this spring is that the type
of crop that is planted this spring will depend on my choices. If I want
to live a happy, joy-filled life and continue to grow in the direction
of my authentic self, the true Self... spending time with God through
spiritual reading and ongoing, daily prayer is crucial. And, not the laundry
list kind of prayer where I do all the talking and tell God all my troubles
- though there is a time and place for that form of prayer as well. But,
rather, what is needed is a type of prayer like Centering Prayer where
I sit, open and receptive like a newly plowed field and listen to the
One who is wiser, more knowledgeable and then to rest in God... in the
quiet... in the silence where God is best heard -not unlike the quiet
of that freshly plowed field in the early morning... a field in hopeful
waiting of the good things to come.
the ability to say everything without saying anything.
Action is the loudest voice.
- Mustard Seeds
spent the last year "elevating" the challenge of this year then
as I sense it... as I see it, is, in the words of Pope Francis, "to
allow Christ to take possession of our lives and transform them."
It is not enough to be aware of the presence of God. We, too, must do
our part, plug in daily and stay connected. Like that newly hatched and
blind squab reaching for nourishment from its parents, we, too, turn to
the Ultimate Reality in blind faith to be fed and spiritually nourished
- joined in sacred oneness - to be transformed in love through love. Then
and only then, can we truly see through eyes of our hearts. Then and only
then, are we free enough to love as God loves and to see as God sees.
Hugs and Blessings,
Taurus New Moon Mandala
May 9, 2013
"This Little Light"
is a morning inside you waiting to burst into light."
is my third time "around the wheel" as they say, paying extra
attention, making notes, connecting dots... and I'm beginning to see consistency
in theme from cycle to cycle yet variation in how the themes are manifested.
Again this year, I associate this cycle with labor pains. So often, pain
is necessary to facilitate growth as we let go of the former to give birth
to something new.
day before the Taurus New Moon I was greeted by the license plate above.
The "labor pains" had already begun and the AAH of this plate
spoke to my soul! "Aah" is the sigh of peace, contentment, detachment.
But what of the F46? Well....4+6 = 10 which I would find to be a prominent
number in Sandra's Taurus New Moon Mandala template which had not yet
arrived. Ten (1+0) is a one at a higher level... 'round the wheel and
up we go! 'Living at a higher frequency' came to mind. And for the 'F'
"faith' popped into mind. In retrospect, having now lived the month,
I can say the word was spot on!! Talk about "a sign' ...Uffda!!!
And so the cycle began...
are here to be light,
bringing out the God-colors in the world.
MT5:14/The Message ~walking in Spirit
of this mandala appears to be light... a radiating light that sets the
world on end though something or someone may want to hide the light! Colors
associated with Taurus are dark shades of yellows, creamy whites, pinks,
are found in this mandala. I was given a gift a couple of years ago for
my birthday... 365 candles - one for each day of the coming year. Every
night, I would light one of the candles on which was inscribed a "wish"
...truly a blessing for me. To this day it is one of my very favorite
gifts - EVER!!! In the summer months the ceiling fan would blow the candle
out so I ended up purchasing a globe to protect the flame. The light shining
through the globe cast shadows on the ceiling... as if radiating light
into the darkness - into the dark corners of the room. These soft, radiating
rings were the inspiration for this mandala.
The number of the Cosmic Christ. Constructive Keywords for Eight: Power,
Authority, Success, Material freedom, Judgment, Discrimination, Executive
ability, Organization, Leadership, Management, Practicality, Thoroughness,
Dependability, Self-reliance, Control, the Power to succeed. ~Your
Days are Numbered by Florence Campbell, M.A. Also, in musical terms
eight is an octave.
A square can be a symbol for the earth - the four corners thereof, ...also
stability, security, accountability, ready to build. ~Bro. Mickey McGrath,
Circles and Squares Workshop.
the squares is set on end... as if the earth has shifted. To me it signifies
upheaval and tremendous change. This "light" has the power to
shift that which is solid, firm, foundational and stand it on its end.
Instead of aligning with things of the world, then, we are now asked to
align with the things of heaven or Spirit. I chose blue for this square
for its higher vibration and the symbolism of communication.
star is encased in a ten-sided pentagram and encircled.... suggesting
an inner light - as if we're peering through a lens to see the light within.
of this "lens" are 10-rays of light - 5 of which are under what
appears to me to be "bushel baskets" - as if the light within
is being hidden or restricted either by our choosing or by someone else.
of 5+5 represents the two opposite current directions of the conscience:
involution and evolution. ~ ridingthebeast.com
is the lower becoming the higher, following an ascending octave.
is the higher determining or creating the lower, following a descending
this to be an interesting concept... evolution and involution... It seems
to me to be the dance of co-creation.
at the center of the 5 pointed star and connecting not to the square,
but to the 5th circle, we find 12 facets or 12 rays... twelve being the
number of what is completed, which forms a whole, a perfect and harmonious
unit. To me says wholeness. It also has the feel of 3x4 - of manifesting
the Trinity to the four corners of the horizon (~Ridgingthebeast.com)
... and in this case, beyond the edges to: FIVE.
Keywords for Five: Freedom, Progress, Versatility, Understanding, Variety,
Adaptability, Mental Curiosity, Life Experience, Cleverness, Un-attachment,
Sociability, Change, Discard, Travel, Adventure, Companionability. ~Your
Days are Numbered by Florence Campbell, M.A.
holiness is the beginning of everything and
the answer to everything.
- Mustard Seeds
...the spiritual journey is more than a psychological process. It is
of course primarily a process of grace. God also speaks to us through
nature. The more we know about nature, the more we know about the mind
of God." ~Fr. Thomas Keating, The Human Condition
day I saw the license plate, three mallard ducks, one hen and 13 chicks
caught my attention in a pond outside our church. The symbolism of duck
became increasingly poignant to me in this cycle:
duck, being at home on land, water or in the air, symbolizes the balance
between the physical, emotional and spiritual worlds that can only come
when we freely express ourselves. To the Celts the duck was a powerful
totem and a trusted ally on visionary journeys.
along with geese share the same symbolism of transition due to their migratory
nature. Ducks are also a Celtic animal symbol of honesty, simplicity and
Ducks also represent sensitivity, as they tend to be very sensitive to
their surroundings. Also viewed as graceful and agile - particularly in
the water, ducks are respected for their beauty and adaptation to nature.
are the largest and most diverse group of waterfowl. Frequently males
and females are colored differently, the males have brighter plumes, and
have different vocal sounds. They prefer being in places where they are
comfortable and will return to those places. They have a strong sense
of community and are social.
will remind us we sometimes need to return to the parts of ourselves that
need to feel safe and comfortable. It also teaches us to be graceful when
handling our emotions. Duck teaches us to drink sustenance from the waters
and Male Behavior
Female Duck is a very protective mother, attending to her brood and teaching
the young to swim and search for food. We can invoke female Duck for nurturing,
Once a year male Duck loses his bright plumage and is unable to fly. At
this time he silently hides in the reeds and plants that grow near the
water until he emerges able to fly once again. Male Duck is invoked for
the medicine wisdom to go within, withdraw and be silent when we go through
difficult transitions and stressful changes."
were so many great quotes this month:
was not having a bad day when He created you.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made."
~ Psalm 139:14 Spiritual inspiration via TGIF: Today God Is First
matter how many mistakes you make or how slow your progress
you are way ahead of everyone who isn't trying."
~ Unknown via TGIF
your chin up.
No one expected you to save the world...
otherwise you would have been born wearing a cape and tights.
Just do the best you can."
defeats in the eyes of the world are so often your victories in the eyes
~ Mustard Seeds
it takes a painful situation to make us change our ways.
~ Proverbs 20:30 HomeGrownHospitality viaTGIF
whispers to us in our pleasures,
speaks in our conscience but shouts in our pains:
(Pain) is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."
~ CF Lewis via TGIF
is painful. Forgetting is painful.
But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering.
~ Paulo Coehlho
ego says, "I shouldn't have to suffer."
And that thought makes you suffer so much more.
It is a distortion of the truth which is always paradoxical.
The truth is, you need to say yes to suffering
before you can transcend it.
~ Elkhart Tolle via Walking in Spirit
you are experiencing trials or troubles in your life, remember
everything in life, no matter how bad, comes to an end.
- Mustard Seeds
when things are falling apart,
they are actually falling onto place."
~ Melanie Blinkley
is a voice that doesn't use words. Listen."
is a difference between the human silence of embarrassment or shame and
the divine silence in which love finds its rest.
You must attain the latter.
~ Mustard Seeds
people gathering for all sorts of reasons in great crowds
society has almost been convinced of the overabundance of people.
We have forgotten how to appreciate and reverence
the wonderful treasure, the pearl, within each person.
~ Mustard Seeds
"being" of something changeable is not only what it actually
but what it still can be.
Our potential as human beings is enormous,
but relatively unexplored.
~ Mustard Seeds
is Light! Christ!"
~ Eph 5:14 via TGIF
Lord is my light. The Lord is my help.
The Lord is my salvation."
are my lamp O Lord. The Lord turns my darkness into light."
~ 2Samuel 22:29 via FB/Array of Hope
be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
and put on the new self, created in God's way
in righteousness and holiness of truth.
Therefore, putting away falsehood, speak the truth,
each one to his neighbor, for we are members one of another.
~ Eph 4:23-25
compassion for everyone you meet, even if they don't want it.
What appears as bad manners, or ill temper or cynicism is always
a sign of things no ears have heard, no eye has seen.
You do not know what wars are going on down there
where spirit meets the bone."
~ FB/Miller Williams via Tosha Silver
fixing and serving
represent three different ways of seeing life.
When you help you see life as weak.
When you fix you see life as broken.
When you serve, you see life as whole.
Helping and fixing could be the work of the ego,
and service the work of the soul."
~Rachel Naomi Remen from A Time for Listening and Caring
ultimate abandonment of one's role is not to have a self as a fixed point
of reference; it is the freedom to manifest God through one's own uniqueness...To
be no one is to be everyone. To be no self is to be the True Self. To
be nothing is to be everything. In a sense, it is to be God. For Christians,
it is to be a kind of fifth Gospel: to become the word of God and to manifest
God rather than the false self, with its emotional programs for happiness
and attachments to various roles, including the most spiritual. When you
have been liberated from them all, you are in a space that is both empty
of self and full of God." ~Fr. Thomas Keating, The Human Condition
is a Song... sing it.
Love is a Gift... bring it.
Love is a Wave... ride it.
Love is a Choice... decide it.
is a Blessing... share it.
Love is a Garment... wear it.
Love is a Gem... mine it.
Love is a Light... shine it. "
~JSB via Walking in Spirit
my very favorite prayer from this cycle, Becoming Christ by John
Lord, help me to spread Your fragrance wherever I go. Flood my soul
with Your spirit and life. Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly
that all my life may only be a radiance of Yours. Shine through me,
and be so in me that every person I come in contact with may feel Your
presence in my soul. Let them look up and see no longer me, but only
You, O Lord! Stay with me, then I shall begin to shine as You do; so
to shine as to be a light to others. The light, O Lord, will be all
from You; none of it will be mine; it will be You shining on others
through me. Let me thus praise You in the way You love best, by shining
on those around me. Let me preach You without preaching, not by words
but by my example, by the catching force, the sympathetic influence
of what I do, the evident fullness of the love my heart bears to You.
the experiences of this cycle I became ever more painfully aware of the
need to be like candlelight and tread ever so gently, every so lightly
in this plane... to not take things (including myself) too seriously,
and because I do not live in a vaccum it is important to consider, not
just my own needs, but the needs of others when making decisions and that
when expressing myself, it is important to stay grounded in love as if
one were speaking to Christ. I learned that what must be said will not
always be accepted - will not always fall on open ears and hearts. And,
as in the spring, for things to grow a little rain must fall. Tears can
be very therapeutic. At times such as these the company of good friends
is a treasure beyond compare.
way to handle the rough and tough stuff, is to lift it into the Light...
give it 100% to Abba/the Divine Beloved where, as Tosha Silver would say,
"the perfect solution is already selected." God truly does answer
prayers... though not always to our liking. I believe that God has three
answers for us: "Yes," "Not now," or "I have
something better in mind." So we lift it up and in the letting go
of outcomes we are guided to the solutions in the perfect way at the perfect
time. The key is to be open... to let go... to have faith and be one that
can be guided.
and more the Light calls me into the silence... into the prayer of quiet.
In this type of prayer the Divine Physician works in secret to shine light
on our darkness... excavating our false self system with its emotional
programs for happiness - transforming us into an ever increasingly loving,
compassionate, merciful, and benevolent people. And here's the paradox:
When we live in this "little way" ...this way of loving kindness...
the light of Christ shines - a light that shatters the darkness. As the
spring rains soften the earth, so the light of Christ softens hearts.
Through our kind and gentle ways we bear witness to His not so little
light dwelling within us and in each other. Let Him shine, let Him shine!
Let Him shine!
Hugs and Blessings,
Gemini New Moon Mandala
June 8, 2013
often the significance of an event is only understood after the fact...
with the passing of time as if seen through the rear view mirror so to
speak. Two days before this cycle began, a rooster made his presence known.
Rooster is a sign of illumination - the herald of the dawn... of a new
day... It is also about fanning out with brilliance, and showing the world
the shimmering facets of your personality. This speaks to me of truly
being you. Not the 'you' others want you to be - which is you in camouflage
to fit in - or the 'you' you think others want you to be - you hiding
under a mask of your own making - but, being authentically 'you' and sharing
the gifts that you uniquely bring to this world. I am reminded of a lyric
to a song that I am rehearsing as I write this: 'Will you love the you
you hide if I but call your name?' Are we hiding? From whom? And, why?
like pride, honesty, courage, vigilance, arrogance, strength, watchfulness
and flamboyance are also connected to Rooster. Perhaps the courage, honesty,
and, yes, pride to be who we truly are without apology?! If flamboyance
is your thing, then rock it - don't hold back! Or is there some arrogance
found within that that could use a dose of humility? Or perhaps your timidity
could use a shot of arrogance and strength to be able stand in your own
power - in your own way of being? What in our lives needs the watchfulness
of vigilance? With this herald, this cycle began...
associated with Gemini are lemon yellow, slate blue, and various shades
of violet. The color of the spectrum is orange.
rings of the past mandalas now have an angle to them... seven sides. Three
sets of seven. It's not soft, round and fluid like the previous mandalas
but moving outward in a Yang-type style which feels more like a series
of steps. And once again we have the shape through the entire mandala,
which goes by many names but was originally known as the Wheel Cross/Sun
Cross/Odin's cross as mentioned in earlier writings.
(again three... representing the holy... God, Trinity,) is prominent.
But in creating the central piece Sandra did a most remarkable thing...
BRILLIANT really! The entire central image is created with a single line
and can be traced in its entirety without lifting your pencil. From the
central flower out to the blue points this woven piece speaks of unity
- an interconnectedness. One image flows into the next and back again.
Though there seem to be three distinct elements of seven because of the
one line, there is a fluidity to it... a belonging to one another which
speaks to me of relationship. The central flower represents Spirit - of
the "unseen" - the "fragrance of Him whose fragrance is
intoxicating." Next are the "people" who appear to be bowing.
There is a reverence and a humility about them. When coloring this section,
I chose violet - my favorite color to represent people as it speaks to
me of remembering "who we are and Whose we are: Children of the Most
High and heirs of the Kingdom." There is both relationship and responsibility
in that statement. The violet pencil was very soft and prone to breaking
as I work on this mandala, reinforcing last cycle's message to handle
this part of creation in particular with a light hand and extra tender
loving care. I also depicted them holding light within as The Light dwells
within each of us. Next are the blue points - representing the expansiveness
of all of creation. Everything seen and unseen forms a perfect unity.
Artistic Expression, The Joy of Living, Freedom from Worry, Optimism,
Inspiration, Talent, Imagination, Good Taste, Sociability, Friendliness,
Kindness. ~Your Days are Numbered by Florence Campbell, M.A.
Perfect completeness and rest from work ~http://www.vic.australis.com.au/hazz/number007.html
SEVEN: Mental analysis, Technicality, Introspection, Peace, Poise, Scientific
research, Spirituality, Faith, Trust, Stoicism, Refinement, Wisdom, Silence,
"Theories and Fundamentals." ~Your Days are Numbered
from this cycle that caught my eye:
Be joyful in hope,
Patient in affliction
and faithful in prayer.
~ Romans 12:12/TGIF
you're giving your best to someone and it's not good enough
you're giving your best to the wrong person.
~ FB/calming your inner storm
no and having boundaries means
more time to devote to your divine purpose.
yourself from the inside out.
~ Soulful healing
love... We take care of what we love.
~ Jessica Ortner
my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God.
~ She Has a Name/Seeds of Hope Ministries
the reason someone smiles today.
made them a community.
~ Fr. Andrew Jamieson
is important to expect nothing, to take every experience,
even the negative ones, as merely steps on the path,
and to proceed.
~ Ram Dass
with no expectations.
~ Denise Kean
careful how you live.
You'll be the only bible some will ever read.
~ William J. Jones
are a 5th Gospel and people read you every day.
~ Perry Hartman/See 2Cor 3:2-3
we see other people in such a way that encloses them in their wrongdoing?
Or do we see them as Jesus does - in such a way that that allows them
~ Bishop Lumen Montiero from India on forgiveness.
May the stars carry your sadness away,
May the flowers fill your heart with beauty
May hope forever wipe your tears away
And above all, may silence make you strong.
~ Chief Dan George
smile is the lighting system of the face,
the cooling system of the head
and the heating system of the heart.
virtue will never be more tested than by your family.
- Mustard Seeds
relationship with God is the best relationship you can have.
judge. "You don't know what storm I have asked her to go through."
let the day pass without pondering the angelic civilization that surrounds
They are smarter than you; call on them for assistance.
- Mustard Seeds
task is not to seek for Love,
but to seek and find all the barriers within yourself
that you have built against it.
love and be loved is to feel the sun on both sides.
~ FB/Calming the Inner Storm
speaks to us all in a variety of ways.
He speaks to us where we are and in a way we can understand.
- Mustard Seeds
you are on this way, choose companions that are also pilgrims,
No matter their shape, color, or national origin.
If they are your people, go with them.
My Experience of the Cycle
of this new moon I was involved in providing music for a celebration of
100 Years of Love! The director of Francis House of Prayer, a diocesan
retreat center located in Willingboro, NJ, was celebrating her Golden
Jubilee - 50 years as a sister of St. Joseph. 50 years dedicated in love
to helping people, from many different backgrounds and spiritual affiliations,
find God. The retreat house is located on a farm and the land surrounding
the house has been farmed by the same farmer for the past 50 years. 50
years dedicated to faithfully and lovingly tending the land. Each does
their own thing. Each brings a unique beauty to the world. Because of
these two, Francis House is quite a special place. If you're ever in the
area, do yourself a favor and stop in! Peace and tranquility are quite
palpable. For me, it was a day of service, of sharing my gifts as well
as reconnecting with the family of Francis House... many of whom I hadn't
seen in quite some time. It was a most memorable day!
Rooster ushered in the month, Deer was very prominent. The meaning of
Deer is also associated with the dawn, the moon and the easterly direction.
Words like love, grace, peace, beauty, fertility, humility, swiftness,
regrowth, creativity, spirituality, abundance, benevolence, and watchfulness
are associated with Deer. It is rare to see deer in the daytime. I have
typically seen them at dusk or early evening. All of the deer I saw this
cycle were seen in broad daylight... not to be missed. Turtle also made
a cameo appearance. Did you know the turtle is one of the oldest living
animals walking on the earth today? The oldest turtle fossils date back
200 million years - highly symbolic. It indicates that turtle is a symbol
of longevity, endurance, persistence and the continuation of life, sometimes
against incredible odds. And because of its longevity, is attributed with
a symbolic meaning of wisdom. Furthermore, the turtle takes its wisdom
one day at a time - not reacting, simply accepting and moving on in its
natural methods. (Animal symbolism from www.whats-your-sign.com) How many
times have I wished I had taken a breath instead of jumping right in?
a double dose of a song by Marty Haugen called "Canticle of the Sun"
on the first day of this cycle. The text is adapted from a song originally
written by St. Francis of Assisi. From Wikipedia:
The Canticle of the Sun in its praise of God thanks Him for such creations
as "Brother Fire" and "Sister Water". It is an
affirmation of Francis' personal theology as he often referred to
animals as brothers and sisters to Mankind, rejected material accumulation
and sensual comforts in favor of "Lady Poverty".
Francis is said to have composed most of the canticle in late 1224
while recovering from an illness at San Damiano, in a small cottage
that had been built for him by Saint Clare and other women of her
order. According to tradition, the first time it was sung in its entirety
was by Francis and Brothers Angelo and Leo, two of his original companions,
on Francis' deathbed, (two years later) the final verse praising "Sister
Death" having been added only a few minutes before (his passing.)
then, was so intimate and familiar with the wonders of creation that he
embraced them as "Brother" and "Sister," that is,
as members of one family... in a very extended sense as "ohana."
If you remember the Disney movie, Lilo and Stitch (or if you happen to
live in Hawaii), you'll recall that "Ohana means family. Family means
nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten." When we, connected to the
Divine, can experience all life - both human and in all of creation -
as ohana, where everyone and everything matters and belongs, where all
are cared for, named and have a voice we can begin to grasp the symbolic
understanding of this mandala.
theme caused me to think about the symbols we might find in our everyday
life that represent this kind of unity. My first thought was an orange,
with the rind that holds it together and affords the fruit a barrier of
protection. Inside we find sections... some sections have seeds, others
do not, the sections are all different in size and shape, some sections
are large, some are small, some are oddly shaped, some hold two portions
within the skin - similar to a double yolk in an egg which reminds me
of twins - yet all belong... all belong to and come from the same orange.
read about a new finding... like "Avatar for real!" - where
the trees of the forest are connected to one another through a fungus
found in the forest floor. Through this network the trees in most need
of nutrients are fed and given priority. In places where the "mother
trees" are no longer found, the survival rate of saplings is greatly
image was that of a book. The cover and binding hold the book together,
protecting the pages and giving us a glimpse of what the story might be
about by its title. I thought of each of us as being like a letter. When
we combine/gather together we create words, phrases, paragraphs, chapters...
and I wondered, what story, individually and collectively, are we telling?
What does the gospel of our lives, this 5th gospel, say about what we
believe? About who we are? About how we love and care for one another
- especially the weak, the voiceless, the marginalized and the world we
all live on and in?
to say I had to giggle when I read the quote about family... that "virtue
will never be more tested than by your family." Few words are more
true. Inside or outside of our immediate families, in those unfortunate
circumstances where no love can be found, may we, at the very least, greet
one another with tolerance, dignity and respect remembering that when
we speak we speak to Christ. Even in discord we are linked... we are ohana.
with the greatest respect, admiration and love that I share the final
lines of the canticle in memory of Patricia "Trish" Robinson,
who, in the words of Sandra, was "mother, grandmother, great grandmother,
2nd mother, friend, mentor, spiritual advisor" (to which I add, poet
and writer), who passed from this life into the next during this lunation
Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Bodily Death,
from whose embrace no living person can escape...
Happy those she finds doing Your most holy will.
The second death can do no harm to them.
and bless my Lord and give Him thanks
And serve Him with great humility.
for the gift that she was and continues to be, we lift Trish up into the
light of Your Face knowing that in love we are never parted. May Sister
Death find us happy at the time of our passing from this life, having
been found, like Trish, serving the Lord, by our love and service to others
- each in our own valued uniqueness and giftedness, in compassionate community,
tending and caring for the world around us, with great humility.
Hugs and Blessings,
Cancer New Moon Mandala
July 7/8, 2013
"Home at Last"
each passing moment, a soul sets off to find itself.
day this cycle began we returned home from our family vacation. Because
technology was not available to us, we were not so distracted... so isolated.
And with no schedule, except a promise to show up for dinner at a particular
time, our vacation created an environment for re-connecting... playing
card games, talking, laughing, singing... just being together and enjoying
the company of family. The experience had such an impact that upon our
return, we were inspired to commit to technology-free Sundays. Part of
our Sabbath experience would include a weekly commitment to personally
connecting and interacting with one another and just being family.
the week of our return from vacation I left for my childhood home to celebrate
with my Godfather and his bride of 50 years. I connected with many relatives,
former neighbors and family friends that I had not seen in years. I was
able to stay with my parents who are full time RVer's - what a blast that
was!!! Too much fun! What a life they live!! And, So happy for them! This
cycle's travels caused me to ponder the concept of where a family dwells...
the various concepts and definitions of "home." And so this
associated with Cancer are light shades of blue and green, and iridescent
hues. The color of the spectrum is Yellow-Orange." ~ZodiacArts.com
the get go, there was an ease, a softness and a flow to this mandala.
The bold colors that I typically use were not going to work. My inspiration
came from the gemstones associated with Cancer: predominately the moonstone
and lesser the Crysocolla whose turquoise color reminded me of the beautiful
Caribbean Sea I had just left behind. So creating the light and shadow
of moon and the iridescence of the moonstone in particular became the
figure in this mandala is the Star of David strongly associated with Judaism,
"but also appears in the Buddhist, Theosophical and various other
Eastern and Westerns Traditions. It is fair to say that it is a symbol
of integration (linking heaven and earth - as above, so below)" ~
Mary Fortier Shea... and from my perspective, from the Lord's Prayer:
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
circles create the Star of David and the series of Mandorlas (Italian
for almond) or Vesica Piscus (literally the air bladder of a fish) that
surround it. "The circles symbolize interacting but complementary
opposites. The space within the overlap is the place in which we are called
to "remain", the "liminal space" Richard Rohr speaks
of... This is the place where you arrive after you leave one room and
have not yet entered another. In this place, you are living on the threshold
and this requires faith. All transformation takes place in liminal space."
~www.kyrie.com/symbols/mandorla.htm A Mandorla is also likened to a birth
passage way... a birth canal if you will.
are 12 moon-like, crescent-shaped ribbons (or maybe kite tails? More below
:) encircling 3 rings or bands. Twelve, the symbol of whole-ness - a perfect
and harmonious unit. Three, the number of divinity.
in the outer ring peek over the horizon. 30 - "perfect balance in
the cosmic organization" or "the maturity of a crop - a readiness
to witness." ~www.ridingthebeast.com.
to pay homage to a major influence of this cycle, the Goldfinch which
is described below, I added Yellow-Orange to the outermost ring. The color
also reminds me that a moon is receptive - it has no light of its own
- it can only give out what it receives from the sun in its own unique
way. Quite symbolic, indeed.
we live, where we were born, typically a place of comfort, safety, and
extreme familiarity - a place where one could walk with ease... completely
blind, in the dark and not stumble.
timing is always perfect.
~Today God Is First/TGIF
God guides, He provides.
a good idea
to let the One with the plan lead.
final days of this cycle, we were able to spend some wonderful family
time together again. We decided to go to what could be called our "beach
home"... our "shore home." Not a house, per se, but our
favorite place to be "down the shore" as they say here in the
northeast...the plot of sand we like to call "home away from it all."
It is very familiar, calming, relaxing and close by! We know where the
bathrooms are, the best places to eat - truly the only place to eat as
it has become tradition for us. We also know that we need to bring quarters
to plug the meter. As we turned onto the road closest to the beach, we
realized we had left the quarters back home, the street was a parking
lot, traffic was jammed and, having pain-stakingly traveled the entire
expanse of the road, a parking spot could not be had. Never had we seen
so many people! We decided to circle back around to where we had gotten
onto the road, but instead of turning left as we did the first time, my
husband decided to turn right and go to the next town over. As we left
our favorite stretch of beach behind, it was apparent that God had something
else in mind. Honestly, what could be better than the familiar? Sure enough,
within a couple of blocks we had snagged the perfect parking spot, there
were no meters to plug or worry about and the beach was not as busy...so,
there was more space to place our blanket and our beach chairs. It was
perfect. And a beautiful day to boot!
day this cycle I was scheduled to play for a funeral. My calendar said
10am... my head said 11am. I had left the house in a panic... too late
to make a 10am funeral on time but really early for 11am. The traffic
lights were yellow light after yellow light and finally I got the message.
I was being told to slow down and take it easy. Sure enough, the funeral
was at 11:00... no need to rush after all. The messages were all there.
look around and really notice all the abundance in nature.
It is unconditional and creative.
So be like nature. Unconditional and creative.
early animal visitors this cycle were Rabbit and Black Bird. Rabbit -
symbolic of abundance, comfort and vulnerability (do these words not speak
of home?) - is typically very timid and can literally be easily scared
to death. But my experience of rabbit was contrary in this cycle. Instead
of scurrying away frightened and scared, they tended to stay put... in
place... and did not move. There was an unusual, a-typical courage about
them - of standing their ground in the face of fear.
Black Bird in the back of my mind with a promise to look into the symbolic
meaning and then one day a tree full of them... too many to count... nothing
like getting hit over the head. So then, Black Bird... symbolic of "Transition
and Transformation... of life in the heavens, (higher ideals, higher path
of knowing) and the color black is symbolic of pure potential. Between
the two, there is no limit to human transformation. Through consistent
unveiling of your inner depths, positive/active utilization of these inner
impulses become exposed to the light of your own consciousness."
on what matters.
what brings you joy lead the way!
Just trust and let your heart sing.
~Jane Lee Logan @Princess Sassy Pants
we sat talking that first morning of my visit home ;-), my mother noticed
and drew my attention to a Goldfinch that was sitting on the passenger
side mirror of their RV facing forward. Words associated with Goldfinch
that most impacted me were "Joy, Simplicity, Appreciation, Happiness,
High Energy, Enjoying the Journey. When finches come into our awareness
it is a sure sign of ebullient times ahead - (I was there after all to
celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary. But there was more... so much more.)
Finches are a sparkly omen of high energy and bright days on the horizon."
~whats-your-sign.com (Now we're getting somewhere...)
past calls, don't answer. It has nothing new to say.
~Back Toward Light
in, breathe out. Move on.
~ Jimmy Buffetvia FB/Heart Highlights
live in the present moment and
open yourself to every new great experience to come,
you must forgive the past and leave it where it belongs... In the past.
~ Debbie Ford.
you need to let it go.
You cannot change what happened or bring back the past.
But you can change the future by being strong and
having faith in yourself.
A lot lies ahead of you... hope and new beginnings.
So take life by the horns and turn it around.
Be a wounded warrior, not a victim.
~FB/Back Towards Light
is learning something every day.
Wisdom is letting go of something every day.
what God says about you rather than what your past experiences are telling
journey will be much easier if you don't carry your past with you.
past is just a story. Once you realize this, it has no power over you.
~FB/ The Buried Life
been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn't worked.
Try approving of yourself and see what happens.
greatest gift you can give another is
the gift of unconditional love and acceptance.
~FB/Back Towards Light
Goldfinches also have a bouncy flight pattern... a happy-go-skippy kind
of way about them... it's not a straight shot - it's more like a dance...
a happy dance, a joy-filled dance. Yes! "Enjoy the journey,"
said the finch - and along with the side mirror was saying, "and
don't look back. Leave the past in the past. Drop the baggage you are
carrying - drop it where you stand and keep your eyes on the path ahead."
home has no address
My tracks leave no trace
I am neither body nor soul.
What can I say?
belong to the self of the beloved...!
The purpose of life
Is not to transcend the body,
But to embody the transcendent.
~ H.H. Dalai Lama
a Liturgical Musician, I am privileged to minister to those who grieve
and have played and sung for countless funerals. It is often said at one's
passing that they have "gone home to God." I have given this
statement considerable thought. It implies that God is not here... that
one cannot be at home in God here. My experience is SO contrary to this
statement. God is EVERYWHERE!!! The statement below hangs in my parent's
RV and while a 5th wheel is pictured, it can also be applied to our spirits:
is where you hook up.
guess what? Our spirits are hooked up, here in this physical plane! More
and more I understand that wherever the spirit dwells whether in body
or out of the body... is home. Being conscious of the presence of God,
getting out of the way and being a conduit for bringing heaven to earth
- now that's a purpose!
truth, we are nothing more than a conduit - PVC pipe if you will, through
which the grace of God flows. The ease of flow depends on how open the
pipe. A clogged pipe is formed by the debris of the false self. If you've
ever cleared out a piece of plumbing then you know what a nasty mess that
can be! The more consistently we surrender into the silence, into the
prayer of quiet, the more the Divine Plumber can free us from this false
way. The more free we are, the more authentic and God-like we become -
the more comfortable and at home we feel in our own skin.
positive attitude leads to a positive outcome.
~ On the wall at the New Glarus Brewing Company
the way you want to be remembered
~ Back Toward Light
local Whole Foods Market pays a nickel a bag for using recycled bags.
The customer has the option of receiving the 5 cents per bag or donating
it to a local charity. Two options are usually provided. One day, as I
was checking out, a lady stopped me and thanked me for shopping that day
and told me that I was making a difference by choosing to shop there.
A percentage of the day's sales was being given to a charity to help children
with special needs. The power of what we can do together - simple little
things like donating a nickel a bag to a worthy cause when joined by the
efforts of others can mean thousands of dollars to benefit those in need.
strong image for me this month was that of a kite. Uplifted and supported
by the breath of God, and tethered to the earth by the purpose for which
we have been sent, our ability to soar and allow God to bring joy into
the world through us depends on our lightness, our level of freedom from
the false self. So, to what can we surrender? What masks can be removed,
what baggage can be dropped right here, right now, so that God can lift
us to higher and higher altitudes bringing more and more peace, love and
joy into the world? What needs to be moved out so that God can live more
abundantly in us and through us? So that, like this mandala suggests,
we become a full-spectrum people... healed, whole and whole-ly.
task ahead of you.
Not as great as the power behind you.
my flight to and from Wisconsin, I was so struck by cloud formations.
One in particular looked so ominous! Like a wall - a towering wall of
dark clouds, straight up it went. As we approached it I began to wonder
what would happen once we entered it. Would it cause trouble with the
flight and make for a bumpy ride? Interestingly enough, and like most
ominous looking things, it was really nothing. It looked far worse than
it was. As we entered it, I found that I could still see the ground unlike
the white "happy" clouds where once you enter them, you can't
see a thing! This "ominous wall" was nothing more than a grey
is a series of liminal spaces... thresholds... doorways.... of standing
between where we most recently were and our desire to be in perhaps a
happier place... a better place. And, the continuous process of surrender,
letting go and of walking by faith. The above picture was taken at Olbrich
Botanical Gardens in Madison, Wisconsin during my recent visit there.
I thank my Mother, the consummate photographer (with an amazing eye) for
the picture! And, my Father for making it possible for me to share it
with you. She takes them, he downloads them. :) This picture spoke volumes
to me... of standing on this side-where we are, seeing the comfort of
the bench on the other side and the dark space in between... the path
that must be traveled to reach a place that holds the promise of the comfort
of home. There is no over, no under, no path around...there is only through.
And, what of the dark passage? What fear keeps us bound and unable to
move forward? Or like the wall of clouds, is the darkness really nothing
is necessary is that we trust the One with the plan. Like our day at the
beach, God often has a better idea and, as mentioned above, perfect timing.
All we have to do is to listen, trust, be not afraid and follow where
He leads... to where heaven meets earth, where God meets us. Home to Self.
Home... at last.
Hugs and Blessings,
Leo New Moon Mandala
August 6, 2013
Sacrificial love is self-sacrifice with the pure motivation to
alleviate the suffering of others. This supreme love is suffering
love, love that requires involvement in the knotty problems of
the world, love that bears with the failings and weaknesses of
others, love that is committed to helping others regardless of
The world offers you comfort,
but you were not made for comfort.
You were made for greatness.
~Pope Benedict VI
absolutely exhausted the day before this cycle began, but spent time preparing
for the Communion Service I was scheduled to lead on the 6th - the day
of the new moon. I had thought a couple of weeks prior to get a sub as
my daughter was having oral surgery that day, but figured I had sufficient
time to do both. I arrived at church that morning, reflection in hand.
At the same time another leader arrived thinking she was on the schedule.
We went into the Sacristy, a place where one prepares for Liturgies...
sacred books, linens, garments and empty vessels are also stored there
in preparation for their future use. We checked the schedule and sure
enough, I was the scheduled leader for the service that day. There was
a time when my ego would at least have thought (if not said out loud),
"I am right!!" Or "I'm on the schedule so I'll do it."
(It has been said of me that I am duty bound to a fault.) But in that
moment the tension left me and a softness washed over me. I explained
that I had thought to get a sub a couple weeks back - actually she was
an answer to prayer and if it would be okay with her, I would leave and
she could lead the service that morning. With the sweetest smile on her
face, she agreed. So I left. My daughter had a much better morning and
I was given the gift of being a more loving mother. Did I mention that
we were celebrating the Feast of the Transfiguration that day? The feast
when sleeping disciples awaken to see the Lord's glory. That evening I
was reflecting on the day... how that softness had stayed with me and
the question arose: If I am love (and by extension if we are love) how
does love express itself? Moments later I received Sandra's Leo New Moon
Mandala template. Could the answer to my question have been more perfect?
And so the cycle began...
associated with Leo are the primary colors (red, blue, yellow), colors
of the sunset and gold. The color of the spectrum associated with Leo
is yellow. Gem is Ruby. Power stone is Amber. Metal is Gold. Bold, generous,
commanding, and vital are the key words reflected in these colors.
Circles radiate out from the center as if to send the message it contains
outward. Seven - to be complete or full (~Australis.com.)
figure is a cross - it appears to me to be a Tau cross. "This graph
was originally a Semitic symbol, the tau cross, St. Anthony's cross,
crux commissa and the Robbers' cross. It appears to be associated
with life and security." ~symbols.com
The Franciscan Friars:
first recorded reference to the TAU is from Ezekiel 9:4, "Go
through the city of Jerusalem and put a TAU on the foreheads of those
who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done
in it." The TAU is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet and
looks very much like the letter "T".
the Fourth Lateran Council, on November 11, 1215, Pope Innocent made
reference to the TAU and quoted the above verse in reference to the
profaning of the Holy Places by the Saracens. (Could this be more
timely with all that is going on in the world?) It is widely accepted
that St. Francis (of Assisi) was present at the Fourth Lateran Council
and that he heard the words of Pope Innocent III when he said, "The
TAU has exactly the same form as the Cross on which our Lord was crucified
on Calvary, and only those will be marked with this sign and will
obtain mercy who have mortified their flesh and conformed their life
to that of the Crucified Savior. From then on, the TAU became Francis'
own coat of arms. Francis used the TAU in his writings, painted in
on the walls and doors of the places where he stayed, and used it
as his only signature on his writings. St. Bonaventure said of St.
Francis, "...He traced it on himself before beginning each of
his actions." ~ http://www.thefranciscanfriars.org/taucross
seeing the five flowers encased in circles I immediately thought of the
"five wounds of Christ" - hands, feet, side. Since one is larger
than the rest the number 5 is expressed as 4+1: 4/Matter + 1/Spirit =
Incarnated Consciousness. (~ridingthebeast.com) So the wounds then, symbolize
a physical death... death to the thoughts, ideas and ways of the world.
In choosing death - death of the ego - we also chose life to a higher
way of being - a place from which the fragrance of Christ emanates and
intoxicates the world.
the cross are three forms. (3 = divinity) At first I thought them to be
hearts, but upon further study found them to be drops - like blood, sweat
and tears. But because of the five wounds, I decided they represented
blood (red) and water (blue) that flowed from the side of Christ when
pierced by the sword. In Immortal Diamond, Richard Rohr states that the
blood symbolizes Eucharist, the price of letting go, and the water Baptism,
an invitation to union and being nourished by the divine.
love express itself? Though sacrificial love...by letting go and letting
to this cycle was the sighting of swans. I wish I had had the forethought
to have taken a picture. It was amazing! On the 4th, as we traveled to
our favorite "beach-home" we passed this sweet little lake FILLED
with swans! Never have I seen so many in that spot. Symbolism from Whats-your-sign.com:
first symbolic clues from the swan can be taken from observing them
in nature. They are waterfowl, closely connected with water, even
nesting near the water.
is symbolic of: Fluidity, Intuition, Dreaming, Emotions, Creativity.
this respect, we can intuit the swan's appearance in our lives as
an arrow pointing to our dreamier depths and feelings. Furthermore,
we get the sense of balance from swan meaning as it lives harmoniously
amongst three of the four Aristotelian elements. Grounding herself
on earth, lofting to great heights in the air, and winding through
waters with magnificent elegance.
associated with Swan are: Love, Grace, Union, Purity, Beauty, Dreams,
Balance, Elegance, Partnership, Transformation (ugly duckling),
swan may also bear messages of love and relationships. They pair for
years, sometimes male-female unions are sustained for a lifetime.
When the swan glides upon the waters of our awareness, it might be
a symbol of love, and a reminder of the blessings found in our relationships.
makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.
~Zora Neale Hurston
your faith be bigger than your fear!
comes to us that belongs to us
if we create the capacity to receive.
~ Robindranath Tagore
love is human.
To feel pain is human.
Yet to still love despite the pain is pure angel.
is the vital core of the soul,
And of all you see, only love is infinite.
is not a dress rehearsal... Seize the day.
~Sanctum the movie
have learned to give not because I have too much,
but because I have known the feeling of not having.
~ FB/Back Towards Light
is who you think you should be
Relaxation is who you are.
calm does not mean you're doing nothing.
It means that you're responding with purpose rather than panic.
~ Ralph Marston
human's best chance of finding God is to look in the very place where
they abandon God."
~ Meister Eckhart as quoted in Immortal Diamond by Richard Rohr
is right there in the experience of your falling.
beliefs don't make you a better person,
your behavior does.
~FB/the Optimism Revolution
my deepest wound I saw Your glory. ~
St. Augustine/Gruenwald Guild
you don't believe in miracles,
perhaps you have forgotten you are one.
is the greatest gift for it holds no wrong and
it keeps the heart filled with joyous bliss.
you do in conscious union and love is prayer.
~ Richard Rohr
is the archetypal name for all those
who live out their True Selves and know its Source.
Immortal Diamond by Richard Rohr, p 181
life not lived for others is not a life.
single act of love makes the soul return to life.
~St. Maximilian Kolbe, Feast Day
kind to a stranger.
You might just change someone's life forever.
gotta dance like there's nobody watching
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.
~Wm. W. Purkey
yourself and you will sanctify society.
~St. Francis if Assisi
is that never sleeps, nor even rests
Nor stays too long for those that do.
Love is a language that cannot be said.
is a language the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
world is changed by your example,
not your opinion.
your little bit of good where you are;
its those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.
every effort to change things you do not like.
If you cannot make a change,
change the way you've been thinking.
You might find a new solution.
~Maya Angelou "Letters to my Daughter"
there is hatred, let me sow love.
~St. Francis of Assisi
can all do small things with great love.
~Blessed Mother Teresa
to enter through the narrow gate,
for many, I tell you will attempt to enter
but will not be strong enough."
Magdalene is the icon and archetype of love itself -
needed, given, received and passed on.
~Immortal Diamond, p 180
cycle I have witnessed and been the bearer of sacrificial love in large
and small, simple and profound ways. I have been in awe of the efforts
of people who have stood up for others being unjustly treated or persecuted
throughout the world at this time. This love so often takes the form of
parents, who, for love of their children, will do what is needed at personal
cost to themselves. All this through a love that is, as modeled so well
by Mary Magdalene, needed, given, received and passed on. We cannot give
what we, ourselves, do not have. We cannot do what we, ourselves, have
not experienced. Each time we choose love, we choose death... death of
the ego/me-centered self... because love - sacrificial love - is by definition
self-less. And, though my efforts this cycle pale in comparison to the
sacrifice of others I have read about, by entering the narrow gate in
my own life experience, I have been moved out of my comfort zone, have
been challenged and stretched, have faced fears (not as gracefully as
I would have liked at times), I have fallen and risen again to face the
challenge set before me... all for the sake of love. Sacrificial love
is at once a way of being and a way of doing. It is often messy, challenging
and requires courage, faith and trust in something greater than oneself.
this Journal Entry with a quote from Pope Benedict. This kind of love
sets greatness on its ear - greatness that is contrary to the way the
world views it.
says, "While we live, we are always being given up to death for
Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal
flesh" (2 Cor 4;11). Thus, according to his view, the passion
and resurrection of Christ are going on all the time. They are always
present and not limited to an historical moment. It was rather an
historical moment which introduced the eternal values of the cross
and resurrection into the whole of time. We participate in Christ's
divine life through baptism and the other sacraments. As a consequence,
we must learn how to express the risen life of Jesus rather than our
false selves in our conduct and relationships. To attain this union
involves the transformation of our inmost being and all our faculties
into the mind of Christ. This is the very fullness of salvation. The
chief expression of the mind of Christ is found in the classical text
of Philippians 2:5, 7-8, NRSV:
the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus...
emptied... humbled.... obedient...
~Daily Reader for Contemplative Living, August 11
year I had a very real sense as the year began what the theme of 2012
was about. It has taken me to this point in this year to crystallize the
idea that all the cleaning and clearing of 2012 was to make room for the
divine to be expressed in and through us. I was compelled to revisit the
first mandala I did for this year and decided my first representation
was spot on.
of the overlapping hearts are shaded in brown. In retrospect it represents
love coming out of the darkness... out of the dirt... out of the mud.
Though the path challenges and faith and trust are required to follow
where He leads, we are charged to bring heaven to earth one baby step,
one loving moment, one loving gesture at a time in and through our own
unique way and circumstance. We were not made for comfort, we were made
for greatness. Through choosing love in its many forms at personal cost
to ourselves through mercy, forgiveness, justice, standing up for what
is right and true in loving and peaceful ways God alleviates the suffering
of others through us and we embody the Christ-Life of Sacrificial Love.
Hugs and Blessings,
Virgo New Moon Mandala
September 5, 2013
"Seek What Is Above"
of the new moon the license plate pictured above appeared in front of
me. [THE BUCK] As if to say, "The buck stops here." There was
such a measure of responsibility in those two words. And, these questions
flooded my mind: What am I responsible for? What is mine to do? What am
I putting on myself that actually belongs to someone else? Do I fully
embrace my responsibilities? And, so the month began.
associated with Virgo are pale earth tones, slate blue, deep shades of
violet and green Like many Virgos I know: down to earth, unassuming, understated,
colors that compliment (or get along well) with other colors (people).
There are no fireworks here! No bold attention getting here. Just a quiet
sweetness that oozes from every pore. The color of the spectrum associated
with Virgo is Yellow-Green... the color of nature in the late summer.
If you live in the north you may be seeing hints of yellow in nature as
the vibrant greens give way to the golds, oranges and reds yet to come.
Echoing the Virgo pallet, the gem is Peridot and the power stone is Amethyst.
Flowers associated with Virgo are the morning glory and the pansy - truly
the sweetest of flowers, don't you think? Virgo energy is critical, discriminating,
modest, and service minded.
Virgo New Moon mandala template created by Sandra Mosley, the center figure
is created by a single line in a repeating pattern which forms a flower.
Within the flower are what appear to me to be vases, or empty vessels
- something that can be filled. The use of the single line to create this
flower symbolizes for me an interconnectedness... a singular, sacred one-ness
which is further expressed by the circle that surrounds it. The pattern
repeats 8 times. Eight for me the number of the Cosmic Christ. You can
find more on the significance of the number 8 at www.ridingthebeast.com.
encasing the repeating pattern of eight rests on a six-pointed star -
a symbol strongly associated with the Jewish people.
Hirsch Goldberg in his book The Jewish Connection states: "The
Star of David is not of Jewish origin- and the ancient Israelites
never used it as their religious symbol"(they used the Menorah
or Seven Candlestick). So, why did the six-pointed star become known
as the Jewish star? This symbol was widely adopted, not because the
Jewish people chose it, but ironically because Adolph Hitler forced
all Jews to wear a yellow six-pointed star during the holocaust. The
word holocaust means burnt offering, and the six-pointed star was
used in the past when burnt human sacrifices were offered to Moloch
and Ashtoreth in Baal worship. The few Jews who had anything to do
with the Six-Pointed star (hexagram) were those who were involved
in occult practices. Back to Hitler, would he put anything good on
a Jew? Hitler meant to insult and destroy the Jews, and being wrapped
up in the occult (read the book, The Nazis and the Occult ), he may
have meant the Jews to be his burnt offering for power.
resonates with me in this story is the term "burnt offering"
- a sacrifice - to choose to become a sacrifice... that the intention
with which we live our lives, by our choosing, can be sacrificial in nature...
an offering in love to Love.
this rests on a background of eight - but not equally spaced. It appears
to me that a cross is the framework that holds these images. In the outer
rings are outward-pointing triangles (representing the Trinity.) Like
so many of my experiences in this cycle in particular, whether we trod
in darkness or sunshine, in times of trial or prosperity and abundance...God
is present... loving, leading, guiding, and pointing the way.
it time you gave yourself to God completely,
once and for all?
you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams
and you will always look lovely. ~Roald Dahl
Funny, the first time I wrote this, I used the term moonbeams :)
time for quiet moments,
as God whispers and the world is loud.
was getting a lot of pictures of rainbows and double rainbows on Facebook:
The double rainbow is a symbol of transformation.
Everything in this life can be used to transform us,
To bring us closer to our essence and our dreams.
is a great exercise for expressing renewal and transformation!
Check out Auntie Moon and the Virgo anti-aging moon ritual.
Find something that needs polishing and allow it to symbolize something
in your life that needs to be renewed or transformed in some way. This
could be a great Lenten exercise as well.
Spirit is the heart of the world.
The active prayer sentence from 8/22-9/10
~Daily Reader for Contemplative Living, Thomas Keating
all you need is a hug from the right person and your stress will melt
~FB/Back Towards Light
not chase people. Work hard and be you.
The (right) people who belong in your life will come find you and stay.
Do your thing.
~Back Towards Light
when it hurts
Even when it's hard
Even when it all just falls apart
I will run to You
'Cause I know that You are
Lover of my soul
Healer of my scars
You steady my heart.
~Kari Jobe, "Steady My Heart"
you conquer your selfish self all your darkness will turn to light.
the quiet, even state of mind.
When praised by some and condemned by others
free your mind from hate and pride
and gently go your way in peace.
is the infallible sign of the presence of God.
us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
~ Psalm 90
greatest obstacle in life isn't danger, its boredom.
~Dr. Evelyn Vogel, Season8 of Dexter
the vigil of The Feast of the birth of Mary, Queen of Peace,
Pope Francis invokes Catholics to prayer and fasting,
and the whole world to pray for peace.
things are coming.
~Back Towards Light
you stop chasing the wrong things,
you give the right things a chance to catch you.
~Back Towards Light
you are down to nothing,
God is up to something.
much of the world is broken and
I want to be part of its healing.
~Back Towards Light
God steps in, miracles happen.
blessed to be stressed.
~Back Towards Light
of what is above, not of what is on earth.
you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God...
to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly:
immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire,
and the greed that is idolatry...
By these you too once conducted yourselves,
when you lived in that way.
But now you must put them all away:
anger, fury, malice, slander,
and obscene language out of your mouths.
Stop lying to one another,
since you have taken off the old self with its practices
and have put on the new self,
which is being renewed, for knowledge,
in the image of its creator.
Here there is not Greek and Jew,
circumcision and uncircumcision,
barbarian, Scythian, slave, free;
but Christ is all and in all.
happens until the pain of remaining the same
outweighs the pain of change.
~ Arthur Burt
presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,
through the shedding of his blood ? to be received by faith.
A beautiful description of Yom Kippur and the Baptism of Jesus can be
found at http://www.arrayofhope.net/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=12&Itemid=162
who wish to sing always find a song.
that all your mistakes now serve a purpose
instead of serving shame.
~ FB/women at the Crossing
God is the reason to live,
you will never have a reason to quit.
are blessed with a deep connection to God that
will allow you to know your true worth and
understand why you are here.
never know how strong you are,
until being strong is the only choice you have.
~FB/Back Towards Light
ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.
would you do in the last hour of your life?
Where would you be?
Who would remember it?
What would it look like?
How do you want to be remembered?
~ Man in the Red Bandanna, A documentary about Tyler Jewell
who perished on 9/11, saving others.
that can stand, stand now.
If you can help others, do so.
~ Man in the red bandanna, the last words of Tyler Jewell
as a gift to be given to others
Vocation: to be given to another
destiny is not only to find love;
it is to be the most loving person you can be.
~Lovability by Robert Holden
love my friend neither with my heart nor with my mind.
Just in case heart might stop, mind may forget.
I love them in my soul.
Soul never stops or forgets.
of all, I ask that supplications, prayers,
petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone,
for kings and for all in authority,
that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life
in all devotion and dignity.
is my wish, then, that in every place the (people) should pray,
lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.
~1 Tim 2:1, 8
mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
more light you allow within you,
the brighter the world you live in will be."
you get the best light from a burning bridge.
~ Don Henley
we are not discouraged; rather, although our outer self is wasting
away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this momentary
light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory
beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what
is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is
began with [THE BUCK] and the theme of responsibility and as we neared
its end that theme came down hard as everything for which I am responsible
occurred all in the same week. When children are healthy and special or
seasonal projects are well managed and scheduled, there's usually no problem.
But the craziness of that week came down to partially poor planning on
my part and partially sometimes stuff just happens. I won't bore you with
the laundry list of happenings, but I was totally stretched to the extreme.
I can't remember a time I was that busy! Typically when I over reach and
take on too much, I become short tempered and am neglectful of the needs
of my body, mind and spirit... like not getting sufficient sleep or grabbing
the closest thing to eat, healthy or not so healthy or not taking time
in my day to center.
be to God, none of those were evident during that week. As a matter of
fact I rather enjoyed the week. My energy is struggling a bit in this
last week of the cycle, but the "week of insanity" itself was
quite remarkable. It ended in a retreat day on the last Saturday morning
of the cycle. I had the extreme pleasure of attending a half-day retreat
at my parish sponsored by the women's group A.C.T.S., which stands for
Actively Caring Through Sharing. After the week I had had, the morning
of rest and connection was much needed and appreciated!! The theme of
the retreat was based on a book by Joanna Weaver and could not have been
more perfect for me. It was entitled, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha
World. (Luke 10:38-42). So how do we take care of the responsibilities
of our lives, do what needs to be done (and truly is not that list never
ending?) and still find/make time to seek what is above? I have found
throughout the month it is not so much what we do, but how we do it, not
so much the attention we give to things, but our intention. By inviting
God into the ordinariness of our everyday lives, our lives are blessed,
the people we meet are blessed - everything just flows - and, everything
one of the things I on my list during the "week of insanity"
was to take my car in for service. It was truly the last straw to the
week. The key battery had been LOW for some time. I noticed one evening
that one of my headlights was out and my husband was leaving on business
for a couple of days so I decided that I REALLY needed to take care of
it. Now, one of my least favorite places to be is the dealership where
I bought my car. I have had SO MANY bad experiences there that it is truly
the last place on earth I want to be. The next morning I called to see
if I could get in the same day (I could already feel the tension in my
shoulders at the thought of having to be there.) They had a spot open
at 1:30. Great! I decided if I'm going to have to be there, I would make
the experience as positive as I could. So I gathered up a prayer shawl
that I was working on and went in. I was promptly greeted by a smiling,
jovial gentleman, who turned me over to the service guy (who truly could
have been a Virgo - so sweet!) who notified me that there was a factory
recall on the windows that needed to be addressed - that was going to
add 45 minutes to my time there above the key and the headlight, but I
agreed to take care of it. I turned down a free car wash because when
I go there I'm typically there half a day. I didn't want to be there any
longer than necessary.
I made my way to the waiting area, took a seat and a deep breath, said
a prayer and got to work on the shawl. After a few minutes one of the
other ladies in the room came over to ask about what I was making. We
had the best conversation! And for the first time EVER the work on my
car was done UNDER the estimated time! I was out of there in 38 minutes!
That NEVER happens. And I was having so much fun talking to Sue, that
I really wasn't ready to leave. She gave me her card and a promise to
drop off a book that she recommended to me. I got in the car, took the
identifying tag off the review mirror and drove home. Once home, as I
was throwing the tag away I looked at the number: 4333. And, then laughed.
"I Am Here," He said to me through the numbers..." Wherever
you go, I AM WITH YOU." The tag is now in my prayer space. I had
opened myself to the events of the day without any attachment to outcome,
invited God into the dreaded and the mundane and from beginning to end,
the whole experience was such a blessing!
leave you with Psalm 23 For Busy People, which was shared at the retreat:
Lord is my Pacesetter
Lord is my pacesetter...I shall not rush.
He makes me to stop for quiet intervals.
He provides me with images of stillness which restore my serenity.
He leads me in a way of efficiency through the calmness of mind
and His guidance is peace.
Even though I have a great many things to accomplish each day,
I will not fret, for His presence is here.
His timelessness, His all importance will keep me in balance.
He prepares refreshment and renewal in the midst of my activity
by anointing my mind with His oils of tranquility.
My cup of joyous energy overflows.
Truly harmony and effectiveness shall be the fruits of my hours
For I shall walk the pace of my Lord and dwell in His house forever.
Hugs and Blessings,
Libra New Moon Mandala
October 5, 2013
"Dance in the Light"
the Balsamic Phase of the Virgo cycle I came across a beautiful patch
of mushrooms underneath a towering pine tree. I saw this:
thought of this:
word that popped into my head was community... followed by fun and delight.
There seemed to be a strong sense of joy-filled community in this gathering?little
did I know at the time how my understanding of these little fungi would
shape this cycle. And so the month began?
associated with Libra are pastel shades, yellows and blues. The color
of the spectrum is green. Flower is rose. Gem is opal. Power Stone is
Diamond. The colors suggest softness, but the stones sparkle, shimmer
and shine. With Libra we enter the second half of the natural year. In
terms of the body, we reach the center or the heart chakra - the place
where heaven meets earth. In Traditional Chinese Medicine the feeling
associated with the heart is joy.
mandala is joyful and whimsical and has a "go with the flow"
sort of feel to it. It almost dances. There are three sections and the
number 8 is prominent. The outer ring holds eight kisses - more on that
in notable quotes as to the character of the kisses. The middle or second
section reminds me so much of twirling around the dance floor - there's
movement and a flow to this section. Threes kept popping up for me this
cycle - all birds ... threes that suggest a newness of life - very spring-like
in nature and a sense of elevation - of loving and living on a higher
frequency. Something new is definitely brewing... so I decided to honor
the dance of the mushrooms and the sparkle and shine of the gem and power
stone by placing three balls of glitter in each yellow section. In the
center section we have two intertwined ribbons which encircle an eight-petaled
flower. Yellow - the color of joy. Pink - the color of unconditional love.
Green - in terms of chakra represents the heart. Eight - the number of
perfection, infinity, the cosmic Christ.
the same time I came across the mushrooms I was waiting in the entryway
of the High School for my daughter and I observed the officer at the attendance
desk as he interacted with the students. He is truly one genuine human
being. He brings his own flavor to his job in a most remarkable way. I
came away from the experience thinking, "This guy brings himself
to the party!" Full on... full throttle... HIMSELF! And, so many
of the messages at the time were about being true to self. Be who you
are and those of same thought and mind will flock to you. Almost as if
to say, "stop hiding... stop being who the people in your life want
you to be... and just be you!!!" This is a time to reset, reboot...
Remember who you are! Like the rebooting of a computer that gets rid of
the "bugs"?. Come clean. Just be purely YOU!
are like children.
You don't want them driving the car but
you don't want to lock them in the trunk either.
~FB/Thanks for Sharing
greatness consists in the fact that she wants to magnify God, not herself.
~ Pope Benedict XVI, an invitation to Faith
for a cause not for applause.
Live to express not to impress.
Don't strive to make your presence noticed
Just make your absence felt.
This poster hangs at the entryway of my daughter's school
is a death/rebirth quality to the month.
Theme RESET. ~Powerpath
the presence of your own loving attention you create
the inner conditions that are necessary to step into
the next greatest evolution of yourself.
God did not give us a spirit of cowardice
but rather of power and love and self-control.
~2nd Timothy 1:7
appreciate all that I am and all that I have.
Tomorrow has not yet come.
We only have today.
Let us begin.
~Bl. Mother Teresa
are you serving those in need?
Mom and Dad, about my leaves, I gave them all away. That's what you do
~Timothy Green, The Odd Life of Timothy Green
Francis has been making headlines for lots of things he has been saying
this month, but what he has really challenged me to think about is my
relationship with the poor... So, this month, I encourage you to think
about your relationship with the poor. Jesus loved them. Too often, at
best we tolerate them, or worse, we ignore them. But God continues to
invite us into a relationship with the less fortunate of this world, and
through them we find ourselves immersed in God.
~ Matthew Kelly
commit to being a dancing monk,
cultivating creative joy and
letting my body and "heart overflow with
the inexpressible delights of love."
~ Abby of the Arts
& Mary... Just be.
out that gentleness within that encourages people to be comfortable around
are the endless love.
You are the heavenly song.
You are the mother and the father.
You are the one I will always know.
want that love that...
split the ocean
Made the winds tremble
Roared like thunder
Will raise the dead
Lifts us to ecstasy
Is the silence of eternity.
used to think that the Talib would come, and he would just kill me. But
then I said, 'If he comes, what would you do Malala?' then I would reply
to myself, 'Malala, just take a shoe and hit him.' But then I said, 'If
you hit a Talib with your shoe, then there would be no difference between
you and the Talib. You must not treat others with cruelty and that much
harshly, you must fight others but through peace and through dialogue
and through education.' Then I said I will tell him how important education
is and that 'I even want education for your children as well.' And I will
'That's what I want to tell you, now do what you want.'
~Malala Yousafzai, 16 year old Pakistani advocate for women's rights and
access to education.
is a special occasion.
best place in the world is in the arms of someone who will not only hold
you at your best, but
will pick you up and hold you tight in your weakest moment.
~ Back Towards Light
me with your glance
so my eyes can shine with Your love.
world is in dire need of change. People are hurting.
People are turning to empty promises searching for answers.
All along, we have the answer: Jesus.
Holiness Revolution, your eyes will be awakened to the need for change
in this world.
You will be challenged to live a life of radical discipleship that brings
It is time to stop making excuses and start taking action. Only from God,
only from the saints,
does true revolution come. Will you join the revolution of holiness?
~ Holiness Revolution, Dan DeMatte
God bless each one of us with prayerful spirits and gentle hearts formed
God will use prayerful spirits and gentle hearts as instruments to bring
- Mustard Seeds
a rainbow in someone else's cloud.
you become brave enough to be silent,
the answers you seek will finally reveal themselves.
~ Cheryl Richardson
the noise of the world you will find the pathway to hell.
In the silence of prayer you will find the narrow trail leading to eternal
is too short to waste any amount of time on wondering what other people
think about you.
In the first place, if they had better things going on in their lives,
they wouldn't have the time to sit around and talk about you.
What's important to me is not others' opinions of me, but
what's important to me is my opinion of myself.
~ C. JoyBell C.
Because life is too short to be anything
brothers, rejoice. Mend your ways, encourage one another,
agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will
be with you.
one another with a holy kiss. All the holy ones greet you.
grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and
the fellowship of the holy Spirit be with all of you.~2 Corinthians 13:11-13
your mind dance with your body.
~Yogi Detox tea bag tag
is beauty in your presence.
~ Yogi Detox tea bag tag
~Taditional Medicinals Detox Tea bag tag
~Traditional Medicinals Detox tea bag tag
~ Deacon Joe DeLuca
As if I weren't already getting the message, the homily, given in the
last days of this cycle by our good Deacon Joe DeLuca, was all about being
winds have returned. Mother Nature is cleaning house... blowing leaves
and dead twigs from the trees. A week ago, I calculated my Werewolf Name
from a Halloween Facebook post: Fierce Hound - and the shoe fit! I thought
it was a good idea to join Mother Nature and do a cleanse of my own. Having
lived a simpler life and eaten a mono diet for five days now, I find that
my heart is lighter and my head is clearer. I feel healthier. In this
cycle, I have realized a great emotional healing in my life... one that
I have long held. I have polished yet another section of my tarnished
spoon representing this newfound "lightness." (For more on this
practice, see Auntie Moon's Virgo Anti Aging Moon. http://auntiemoon.wordpress.com/2013/09/04/the-virgo-new-moon-cycle-the-anti-aging-moon/)
Having taken this time for self care, it seems that I am much more "myself."
end of the cycle, a new growth of mushrooms emerged in a spot near the
first grouping. Interesting things - these mushrooms... when they are
fresh and coming out of the ground their caps are tight. The older they
get the more open the cap - almost umbrella-like - to the point that eventually
the edges begin to turn upward reaching for the sun. Mushrooms are agents
of change and transformation... changing dead organic matter into rich
soil. They are ANCIENT - dating back some 90 million years. They can be
used not only as food and medicine (great immunity builder!) but can also
be used in bioremediation, to absorb and digest dangerous substances like
oil, pesticides and industrial waste, in places where they threaten the
most interest to me, was the fact that they are all connected by what
cannot be seen. It is a hidden kingdom. The part of the fungus that we
see (the mushroom) is only the "fruit" of the organism. The
living body of the fungus is a mycelium (vegetative part) made out of
a web of tiny filaments called hyphae. The mycelium is usually hidden
in the soil, in wood, or another food source and can cover great distances.
we - you and I and everyone on the planet - like these lovely little mushrooms
are all connected by something that cannot be seen. We are in relationship...
whether we want to be or not. And we are called to live from this divine
source. Yes, we are imperfect. Yes, we say and do things that cause great
pain to ourselves and others. Yes, many of us hold emotional pain that
needs to be expressed and released. But... we are called to be more. We
are called to be holy... called to be saints... called to be conduits
of the cosmic Christ in the world - to hear His music and dance. To bring
the best expression of ourselves that we can muster to this party called
life! And, finally for once and for all let all fear and expectations
go and just be ourselves! Ours is not to wallow in the darkness... but
to seek out and dance in the Light!!!
Hugs and Blessings,
Scorpio New Moon Mandala
November 3, 2013
early signs of this cycle were the words "practice, practice, practice,"
and a license plate that read [ZOMB RDY] which I interpreted to mean Zombie
Ready. Interesting... but, nothing quite took my breath away like the
first image of the cycle. I was driving to church to play for morning
mass, and lying there on the side of the road was a dead deer. Standing
on top of the deer was a vulture... a very... large... vulture. In an
instant I went from one transforming agent - those lovely little mushrooms
of the last cycle -to another. I wish I had stopped the car to take a
picture so I could share it with you. The image was so jolting; however,
that I can call it up as vividly in my mind as the day I had first seen
it. The deer, (death) and the Vulture (agent of transformation) all in
a single image -ominous... jarring.... and one can't help but wonder what's
coming next. And so the month began...
associated with Scorpio are dark shades of red and black. The gem is topaz
and the power stone is garnet. The color of the spectrum is green-blue.
are four sections of the mandala each holding a multiple of six. In the
outermost circle, 24 interlocking arcs (24: complete harmony); 12 interlocking
arcs in the next (12: completed, that which forms a whole, a perfect and
harmonious unit, wholeness); 18 arcs split in half by a circle that divides
(the divide suggests choice or change/metamorphosis; 18: In Hebrew, each
letter has a numeric value. The number 10 is the letter Yud. The number
8 is the letter Ches (Chet). Ches-Yud spells the word Chai, which means
"living" or "life." (~www.jewishanswers.org) In the
center is a six-pointed star which holds in its center various sets of
six. A six pointed star is a symbol for fixed stars, in particular the
pole star (www.symbols.com). Used as a guide then, one can always find
home or at the very least the right direction. For me, there is an inherent
struggle in the number six... of holding both the things of the world
and the things of heaven... or perhaps the struggle of having to choose
between the two. The fixed star at the center gives us stability... ground
to stand on. It gives us a point of reference from which all our actions
and decision originate. It radiates outward, through the choices that
bring life and help us live to the full, into wholeness and eventually
complete harmony with the cosmos. Perhaps another word for the 24 is divine
union. It is not an easy road. It is the narrow gate so often quoted as
few choose to travel by that road.
one become a saint?
Just like your times tables: Practice, practice, practice...
~Deacon Chris Murphy
the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you,
and you in Him,
in accord with the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ.
~2 Thes 1:12
Breathe out everything else.
Silence take you to the core of life.
Always a lesson.
not to be overcome by evil,
But to combat evil with good.
is an echo. What you send out, comes back.
What you sow, you reap.
What you give, you get.
What you see in others, exists in you.
that surrounds you
is but temporary.
came to this place with
only one thing ~ self.
can love or hate.
Self can build up or tear down.
Self can tell the truth or tell lies.
Self can walk in the light or in darkness.
the self will last forever.
deeply, build up others in truth, BE the light you already are.
this manner you will leave with all the beautiful things you came with.
~ it is the only thing you own.
~the Other Side of Ugly, Letters to Humanity/Sheri
reward of our work is not what we get,
but what we become.
is the Devil's radio
So don't be his DJ.
~ FB/Holy Bible
yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.
you always know angels walk with you.
~ Jane Lee Logan
says, "Once everything falls into place, I will find peace."
Spirit says, "find your peace, and everything will fall into place."
~ Marianne Williams
If I like it, it's mine.
2. If it's in my hand, it's mine.
3. If I can take it from you, it's mine.
4. If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.
5. If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
6. If I'm doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.
7. If it looks just like mine, it is mine.
8. If I saw it first, it's mine.
9. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically
10. If it's broken, it's yours.
11. If it's broken, but you are having fun playing with the pieces, it's
12. If there is ANY doubt, it's mine.
people grow up they realize that
it becomes less important to have more friends and
more important to have real ones.
~ FB/A Different Approach
the type of person you want to meet.
don't know the actual meaning of maturity, but for me
maturity is when a person hurts you and
you try to understand their situation rather than
hurting them back.
~FB/Beyond the Veil Where Angels Ascend
sit and wait,
Go out there and feel life.
Touch the sun and
Immerse in the sea.
may feel lost and alone, but
God knows exactly where you are and
He has a good plan for your life.
~ FB/Holy Bible
who are too weak to follow their own dream
will sometimes try to find a way to discourage yours.
~ FB/Calming Your Inner Storm
matter what we face in life,
God will be there with us.
Only God can turn our worst tragedies into victories.
~ TGIF (Today God Is First)
follow me and
you will find the way.
inner work to do whether sailing through tranquil waters or stormy seas
is one and the same. Returning time and time again to being the silent
peace at the center of the wheel, life spins all around us, while we,
at ease, are going nowhere,
exercising our Higher Consciousness, of empty, spacious Awareness, staying
connected to being the hub, all remains eternally calm and still.
~ FB/David, Walking in Spirit
up to you to find beauty in the ugliest of days.
~ FB/Spiritually Thinking through Waves of Gratitude
you connect to The Silence within you
That is when you make sense of the disturbance going on around you.
~Stephen Richards FB/Watching Whales via Soul Speaking
the midst of your struggle lies the ability
to help someone through theirs.
Don't Give Up!
~ FB/Kennedy's Cause
of conflicts is due to difference of opinion
90%is due to wrong tone of voice.
~ Ritu Ghatourey via FB/Health is wealth
company will never give you a positive life.
Examine what you tolerate.
challenges, bumps in the road are often first signs
that a great healing has begun.
two most important days in your life are
the day you were born and
the day you find out why.
~ Mark Twain
are God's masterpiece.
~ Eph 2:10
are more powerful then you know and
you are beautiful just as you are.
~ Melissa Ethridge
am my most powerful when I am working with life
rather than against it.
~ Anita Moorjani
next time Satan reminds you of your past,
Remind him of his future.
people need drama like oxygen.
Stay positive. It will take their breath away.
~ Paul Coelho
aspire to be a giver
A giver of love.
A giver of good vibes.
A giver of strength.
~ FB/The Joy of Dad
didn't give you the strength to get back on your feet so you could
run back to the thing that knocked you down.
the end of the day, the only questions I will ask myself are:
Did I love enough?
Did I laugh enough?
Did I make a difference?
~ FB/Holy Bible
don't always need a plan.
Sometimes you just need to
breathe, trust, let go, and see what happens.
~ Mandy Hale
world is like a mountain.
Your Echo depends on you.
If you scream good things, the world will give it back.
If you scream bad things, the world will give it back.
Even if someone says badly about you, speak well about him.
Change Your Heart to change the World.
day someone is going to hold you so tight that
all your broken pieces will stick together.
I close the door to the past and open a door to the future,
take a deep breath, step on through and
start a new chapter in my life.
~FB/The Joy of Dad
a life that tickles your soul.
~ Suzanne Zoglio
(change the direction in which you are looking for happiness) and
be willing to change.
~ Daily Reader for Contemplative Living, Fr. Thomas Keating
all your complaining to the Lord,
and He will bear it and transform it.
~ Jer 31:25
Lord, Grant me the ability to speak kindly,
respond gently, and at times, to hold my tongue.
I want my actions and reactions to please and reflect You and Your Love.
~ FB/Holy Bible
best stories will come from your struggles.
The seeds of your successes are in your failures.
Your praises will be birthed from your pains.
I have never seen a storm last forever.
~ FB/Holy Bible
friend, you've got nothing to be scared of.
I'm here and you're not going to do this alone.
~ McGarett, Hawaii Five O
motto at my high school was, "LUCEAT LUX VESTRA,"
which is Latin for "LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE."
On each day of my life to live this motto will be a new challenge.
- Matthew Kelly, Mustard Seeds
I look at him I see myself.
When I see myself, I see him.
are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway
you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and
some genuine enemies.
you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.
you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.
the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.
the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.
open and patient with your learning and growth.
would like to express my gratitude for you...
For the person you are.
~from the movie: Meet Joe Black
deserve nothing less than love.
fully what you cannot change.
love is spoken here.
we could look into the hearts of others and
understand the hardships that everyone of us faces daily,
I think we would treat each other with more
gentleness, patience, tolerance and care.
~FB/Walking in Spirit
in [Jesus]all the fullness was pleased to dwell,
~ Colossians 1:19
could argue that Love can be a powerful transformer. Forgiveness - really
just love in another cloak - is another agent of transformation and change.
We promise to do many things for love and in the name of love. But my
personal experience tells me that there is a stronger agent of change
yet... The real power to change and transform comes from the invitation
to let go, to release, to allow one's self to die in large and small ways.
Noting rattles the cage, moves the heart, brings our attention to what
is most important or makes us finally take a firm hold of life than an
invitation from the Angel of Death. Everything stops. And what becomes
the focus of our life in those moments is what is most important to us
-most often, it's the people we love. The questions have often been asked,
"If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today?
How would your life change? What would you be doing? Who would you do
it with? Who or what would you hold on to? Who or what are you being invited
to let go of and leave behind?"
has interesting ways of reshaping a heart... of teaching us to love in
greater and broader ways. The most obvious perhaps is to serve... to help
someone in need or to accompany someone on their journey in ways that
even if for a short time alleviate pain and suffering. To be a listening
ear... much needed laughter...a soft shoulder... a conduit of grace in
times of difficulty. Sometimes God will just sneak something in and catch
you by surprise. For example, while we were watching the Macy's Thanksgiving
Day parade a commercial for Wells Fargo come up. It's a little over a
minute and a must see as we head into the holiday season. The selfless
generosity represented here will make your heart smile! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3W23IZo8eg
I keep going back to that first image of this natural year... the image
of the tiller. And, having experienced more than half this year I am coming
to a different interpretation of the symbol. Though at the time it was
a sign of relief for me, I have come to know that this year was not at
all time to plant as I had earlier thought, but rather a time to till...
literally... to break the crust, turn the soil and allow the space for
what is buried deep within to come to the surface - however ever painful
- to be experienced, felt, acknowledged and released.
of death in large and small ways throughout our lives offer us opportunities
to be transformed. The Zombie in us is at the ready. When death invites,
will we choose return to old, mindless, and perhaps destructive habits?
Or will we embrace the change and pay more attention to what is most important
- to live more freely...more lovingly in the light? All I can say from
my experience so far this year: never doubt for a moment that God has
a plan for your life. It doesn't mean that life will be a bed of roses.
It doesn't mean the road will be smooth or the journey uneventful. All
it really means is that we are held in Holy Hands. We are guided and loved
beyond words and that we are not alone. (Remember the mushroom...connected
by what cannot be seen?) There is a plan for this pain, for this anguish,
for this temporary challenge or what may appear to be trial by fire. Held
in those hands it is safe to let go and let God (or go with the flow if
you prefer.) In terms of eternity anything that happens here is truly
temporary. And in times of transformation, of death and rebirth, Faith
and Trust are the best of companions. (and the love and care of family
and friends is a tremendous gifts!) Keep them close as you travel this
journey called life, all the while staying fixed on the Pole Star -on
the One in whose holy hands we are held and by whose hands we are guided
- and all will be well as we endure the transforming fire.
Hugs and Blessings,
Sagittarius New Moon Mandala
December 2, 2013
all the cycles this year, this one was perhaps the most startling. Not
because anything in particular was said or read, seen or sighted, but
because there was literally nothing. No animal, no bird, no sun, no license
plate. Nothing... nothing but overcast stillness... quiet... solitude...
which were quite palpable. At a time when the commercial world was ramping
up, the earth was eerily quiet... still... waiting... resting... and calling
me to do the same. And so the cycle began...
associated with Sagittarius are true blues and lighter shades of purple.
The color of the spectrum is blue. The gem is Turquoise and the power
stone is Lapis Lazuli.
glance a song text came to mind. The author of the text is unkown and
the first English translation was done by Theodore Baker. The music was
written in 1599 and first harmonized by Michael Praetorius in 1609. 'Es
ist ein Ros entsprungen' has become a timeless, classic Christmas Carol
and Marian hymn. And in lieu of the traditional analysis:
How a Rose E'er Blooming
Lo, how a Rose e'er blooming
from tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse's lineage coming,
as those of old have sung.
It came, a floweret bright,
amid the cold of winter,
when half spent was the night.
Isaiah 'twas foretold it,
the Rose I have in mind;
with Mary we behold it,
the Virgin Mother kind.
To show God's love aright,
she bore to us a Savior,
when half spent was the night.
empty me of me, so I can be filled with you.
~TGIF/ Today God is First
looked in temples, churches and mosques.
I found the Divine within my heart.
is more present to us than we are to our selves.
~St. Francis deSales
is the absence of judgment.
know...the only thing that really matters is that
the people you love are happy and healthy.
Everything else is just sprinkles on the sundae.
~Paul Walker 11/12/73~11/30/13
understanding comes love.
you planted Hope today in any Hopeless Heart.
If someone's Burden was Lighter because you did your part.
If you caused a Laugh that chased some Tears away.
If tonight your Name is Taken when someone Knees To Pray,
Then your day has been Well Spent!
you are always trying to be normal
You'll never know how amazing you can be.
beautiful life doesn't just happen.
It is built daily by prayer, humility, sacrifice and hard work.
~ unknown; FB/Holy Bible
often becomes what he believes himself to be.
If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is
possible that I may end
really becoming incapable of doing it.
On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely
acquire the capacity to do it even if
I may not have it at the beginning.
that is worth cherishing begins in the heart,
not the head.
~ Theme of my reflection for Daily Mass
great in little things.
~St. Francis Xavier, feast day
is the God of second chance.
He will never give up on you.
~TGIF/Today God Is First
all of us is a light that can guide us
even in our darkest hour.
~unknown; FB/Waves of Gratitude
honoring God with your life.
Stay in peace.
Trust His timing and
God will open doors that no (one) can shut.
~JCLU Forever (Jesus Christ Loves U-Christian clothing)
am a product of God's grace.
No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin,
or his background, or his religion.
People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be
taught to love, for love comes more
naturally to the human heart than its opposite.
~Nelson Mandela 7/18/1918 ? 12/5/13
poverty is not a task of charity,
It is an act of justice.
It is man-made and it can be overcome and
eradicated by the actions of human beings.
is so much brighter when we focus on what truly matters.
Fall in love.
firmly believe in small gestures:
pay for their coffee, hold the door for strangers, over tip, smile or
try to be kind even when you don't
feel like it, pay compliments, chase the kid's runaway ball down the sidewalk
and throw it back to him,
try to be larger than you are? particularly when it's difficult.
People do notice, people appreciate. I appreciate it when it's done to
(for) me. Small gestures can be an
effort, or actually go against our grain
(I'm not a big one for paying compliments...),but the irony is that almost
every time you make them, you
feel better about yourself. For a moment life suddenly feels lighter,
a bit more Gene Kelly dancing in the rain.
Jonathan Carroll (born 1949),Author
Don't see everyone's flaws,
Don't listen to everything you're told
Don't speak if it's not kind
Always look for the good in people.
Not everything is truth.
Only speak words of kindness.
~Live Life Positively
love be at the center of your attention.
FB/Walking in Spirit
you need to look at life from a different perspective.
~FB/Waves of Gratitude
don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter.
But the roots are down there riotous.
pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses
as the stone of the fruit must break, that its
heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
could you keep your heart in wonder at the
daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem
less wondrous than your joy;
you would accept the seasons of your heart,
even as you have always accepted the seasons that
pass over your fields.
you would watch with serenity through the
winters of your grief.
of your pain is self-chosen.
is the bitter potion by which the physician within
you heals your sick self.
trust the physician, and drink his remedy
in silence and tranquility:
his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by
the tender hand of the Unseen,
the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has
been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has
moistened with His own sacred tears.
~ Khalil Gibran
really matters in a pencil is not its wooden exterior
But the graphite inside.
So always pay attention to what's happening inside you.
have within you more love than you could ever understand.
is not a time nor a season, but a state of Mind.
To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy,
is to have the real Spirit of Christmas.
~ Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States
today, treat everyone you meet as if
they were going to be dead by midnight.
Extend to them all the care, kindness and
understanding you can muster, and do it
with no thought of any reward.
Your life will never be the same again.
~ Og Mandino
I look back over this year grateful I had not known what was coming. After
the cleaning and clearing of 2012 I was not looking forward to another
year of same... yet alone at a deeper level. The quiet and stillness of
this cycle remains ? from beginning to end has accompanied me. It's as
if we're slowing down as one does when changing direction. Think of a
car or a bicycle turning a corner... one must slow down to make the turn.
My dreams are telling me that life is similar, yet different. The conversation
of the natural world tells me this is no time to hermit... to isolate...
but a time to be connected to like minds, like the migratory birds...
to travel in community... with a community that "soars."
taken the ancient practice in recent years of receiving a word for the
year. My word for 2013 was "abundance." Even with all the challenges
of the past year, I can look back and see the abundance of God in my life...
having received what was needed in every moment and circumstance ? wishing
now I had been more patient and trusting. Over the past few weeks I have
been speaking to God about the word for the coming new year. While out
shopping for a gift, I was looking at some Willlow Tree figures. One caught
my eye ... cute but the word was similar to abundance so nope... that
wasn't it. Another one caught my eye. It was a female figure lifting up
a dove. I was thinking it probably said "peace" and while peace
is a wonderful thing, the word was not rocking my world. You know it when
you know it. The third time past the figure I just had to pick it up and
see what was underneath. The word nearly took my breath away. It said:
SOAR. It's going to be an interesting year. For more on this ancient tradition
and selecting your word for 2014: http://abbeyofthearts.com/blog/2013/12/09/give-me-a-word-2014-fifth-annual-abbey-giveaway/
"stillness" and "waiting" have a feeling of threshold
to me... of standing in the doorway between rooms...not in the previous
room, but not yet in the next one either. After the events of this year,
this liminal space is most welcome. I am quite content to be here... to
rest... to catch my breath and allow God the space to work. No matter
what lies ahead, this I know: God is with us and God will provide for
all that is needed. 2013 taught me that. As we journey into 2014, let
us be mindful to bring forth the highest possible good in every situation,
to carry the Christ within, bringing love, joy and mercy to those we encounter.
Let not Christmas be a day nor season, but a mindset that we carry with
us throughout the coming year. Let us be courageous, like Mother Mary,
Theotokos - God-bearer, and endeavor to be conduits of God's grace in
whatever manner we are called to present it.
by a saint typically accompanies my word for the year. The quote below
recently made itself known. Wishing you every possible grace and blessing
in the New Year, I leave you with this quote by Teresa of Avila:
Let nothing trouble you, let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing; God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
He who possesses God lacks nothing:
God alone suffices.
Hugs and Blessings,
Capricorn New Moon Mandala
January 1, 2014
New Year! And what a year it is shaping up to be! Last cycle you might
recall I had written that, at a time when the world was ramping up in
celebration, I was called to slow down into the stillness and the quiet
that was so present to me in the natural world at the time. That it was
almost as if I were slowing down so as to be able to make the turn in
the road ahead. And make the turn I did. What a shift! With the new cycle,
the new moon , the new month, the new year I came to realize I was coming
out of a grief I had been carrying for some time. Three years ago at this
time of year, I began the process of sending my oldest off to college.
I began marking time... noticing "last time for this" and celebrations
he would no longer be here to celebrate. And as excited and happy as I
was for him, as open-handed ("letting go") and as supportive
as I thought I was, I had became aware during this cycle that I was still
holding grief at the loss of his presence in my life. When he went off
to college, we stopped eating at the dinner table - a place where his
presence would obviously be missed. For the most part, I did what was
necessary... and I truly didn't care about many things including the care
of my body. I had stopped exercising. I used to be such a good cook...
a quality I just couldn't seem to hang on to. If anyone had told me as
I was grieving, I would have laughed at the thought. And yet, here I am
in the realization that it was truly a time of grief for me. Grief is
an interesting thing... truly a "winter-time" of life. And just
as Spring arrives when it arrives regardless of the date on the calendar,
grief takes as long as it takes and no one but you can decide when it's
over. I am most grateful to those who walked the path with me in love...
with prayers and patience... accepting me for where I was and not trying
to push me into a life I was not yet ready for.
to question who I was becoming now that my children were leaving the nest.
During this cycle I joined an online retreat experience through Abby of
the Arts (which Sandra Mosley had introduced me to some time ago - Mahalo!)
and I found myself trying to introduce myself to a group I had never met.
"I am____" - the name usually comes first and then we often
define ourselves by any number of relationships (daughter, sister, friend,
wife, mother), occupation (church musician, cantor), interests (leader
of prayer, artist,) and way of life (contemplative, Catholic.) I found
that "I am ____" can also relate to descriptions of body (overweight
and out of shape) and feelings (exhausted, apathy.) In this exploration
of "I am_____" this cycle began:
first glance the words "The Light Within" came to mind. Capricorn
energy is focused, organized, responsible, serious. What more appropriate
time is there to strengthen our resolve by compiling our New Year's Resolutions?
I hope you've made some good ones - the ones that really speak to your
spirit! Colors associated with this sign are black, dark blues, and greys,
and earth tones. The color of the spectrum is blue-violet. The gem is
onyx or jet and the power stone is quartz crystal.
sets of 5 - inner star, outer pentagon = manifestation, I often also think
One set of 6 - (personal meaning) struggle, choice, decision; can also
relate to home and homing
Four sets of open-ended 3s - These look like triangles to me but the tops
are missing. I think back to the Gemini New Moon Mandala of June 1, 2011
- where the triangles were content to just be where they were... static
and unable to move without some type of outside influence to urge them
onward. This arrangement speaks to me of movement... of taking the lid
off and "letting something out" ... allowing the divine to move
in the world
3 vesica picsis/mandorla-like diamonds - (mandorla is Italian for almond)
a symbol for threshold, gateway, of birthing
An inner circle surrounded by 15 triangle "tops" or points at
the center- all pointing outward: 15 is a dynamic and creative agent;
it represents the blooming of life in the creation ~ridingthebeast.com
The inner circle speaks to me of potential...
mandala as a whole speaks to me of revelation... of revealing, or more
specifically giving birth to, the Light within.
is the measure of our ability to bear crosses.
~Teresa of Avila
me with miracles
Like rain soaking the cracked desert floor.
Caress my soul
With Your grace.
Steep me in Your love
Like peaches in wine...
For I am utterly and shamelessly
Your very own.
resolution I always make and try to keep...
Rise above the little things.
~ John Burroughs
do not need to know precisely what is happening,
or exactly where it is all going.
What you need is to recognize the possibilities and
challenges offered by the present moment,
and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.
~ Thomas Merton
plans for you started long before you were born.
Trust Him. He's got this!!
~ FB/TGIF: Today God Is First
I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.
plans to prosper you and not harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.
wants to reach out and touch every person on earth.
He wants to extend the hand of love and friendship to all.
The problem is very often the only hand He has to use
is the one attached to the end of your arm.
- Mustard Seeds
what you value" seems like a great mantra for the next six weeks
What brings me pleasure?
What yields me experiences of inner harmony?
How can I create more beauty in my life?
What truly fulfills me in a relationship?
How do I treasure myself? Self affirm?
Move your attention away from the external as the arbiter of beauty,
and connect to the radiant sense of inner beauty that we all have,
accepting ourselves in a deeper and richer way.
~ Stephanie Gailing
is the first blank page in a 365 page book.
Write a good one.
~ Brian Tracy
Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair,
but manifestations of strength and resolution.
~ Kahlil Gibran (1883 - 1931) via Zodiac Arts newsletter
can become anyone you want to be.
It doesn't matter what happened to you or
what you've done!!!
What matters is WHAT YOU DO NEXT!
have a plan.
Do you trust me? - God
~ TGIF/Today God is First
your intentions be good - embodied in good thoughts,
cheerful words, and unselfish deeds - and
the world will be to you a bright and happy place
in which to work and play and serve.
~Grenville Kleiser, (American author 1868-1953)
at one another and see the goodness there, regardless.
Look for the good in difficult situations in the world that
seem difficult and so unnecessary.
~ John Morton
not let your life be like a shooting star,
which lights up the sky for only a brief moment.
Let your life be like the sun that always burns brightly in the heavens,
bringing light and warmth to all those on earth.
~ Matthew Kelly
for the Senses
your body be blessed.
May you realize that your body is a faithful
and beautiful friend of your soul.
And may you be peaceful and joyful
and recognize that your senses
are sacred thresholds.
May you realize that holiness is
mindful, gazing, feeling, hearing, and touching.
May your senses gather you and bring you home.
May your senses always enable you to
celebrate the universe and the mystery
and possibilities in your presence here.
May the Eros of the Earth bless you.
- John O'Donohue in Anam Cara
not to resist the changes that come your way.
Instead let life live through you.
And do not worry that your life is turning upside down.
How do you know that the side you are used to is better
than the one to come?
time to grow up.
~ George Sands, Being Human
A Blessing for Women's Christmas
is so much
I want to say,
as if the saying
could prepare you
for this path,
as if there were anything
I could offer
that would make your way
you step out
you will see for yourself
how nothing could have
made you ready for this road
that will take you
from what you know now
to what you cannot perceive
in your dreaming
or as it gives a glimpse
I can tell you
this journey is not
It is not about how far
you can walk
or how fast.
is about what you will do
with this moment, this star
that blazes in your sky
though no one else
open your heart
to these shimmering hours
by which your path
to the light that shines
on what you will need
to those who go with you,
and those known only
by their blessing, their benediction
of the road that is
Jan L. Richardson from the book Night Visions: Searching the Shadows of
Advent and Christmas.
Will it help you become the best version of yourself?
Make this question a constant part of your inner dialogue.
~Matthew Kelley, the Narrow Path
Storms make trees take deeper roots.
cannot become more like Christ and not become more perfectly human.
- Mustard Seeds
I trust in your plans.
Please show them to me.
- Mustard Seeds
most important thing in life is
to learn how to give out love and to let it in.
~ Mitch Albom
put the LIFE back into life.
accomplish great things,
we must not only act, but also dream;
not only plan, but also believe.
~ Anatole France
Act great, and
~Yogi tea bag label
I was reminded recently of a story from the desert fathers where an Abba
says to a seeker,
"Do not feed your heart what does not nourish it."
This can be easier said than done,
since we are inclined to so many "comforts" which only serve
to numb and distract us from life.
~ Christine Valters Painter
play a wrong note is insignificant.
To play without passion is inexcusable!
~ Ludwig Van Beethoven
soft. Do not let the world make you hard.
Do not let pain make you hate.
Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness.
Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree,
you still believe it to be a beautiful place."
I offer peace today?
Did I bring a smile to someone's face?
Did I say words of healing?
Did I let go of my anger and resentment?
Did I forgive?
Did I love?
These are the real questions.
I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will be many fruits,
here in this world and the life to come.
~ Henri Nouwen
hope you live a life you're proud of.
If you find you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over
~F. Scott Fitzgerald
get tired of doing little things for others.
Those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts.
Song to My Body:
Body when we dance we are hearing the earth
we are seeing its songs
we are its waves and its whirlings
and its rock bottom
when we sing we are huge inside
we are the first cave
we are the lighting of the stars
we are the sound of the river
flowing in the dark.
~ Elizabeth Cunningham, from her book "Small Birds"
soul should always stand ajar,
ready to welcome the ecstatic experience!
~ Emily Dickenson
most beautiful things in life have to go through a lot of dirt
before they get to blossom.
~ Will "Story" Rivera
knocking and the joy inside will eventually open a window and
look out to see who's there.
Fatigue makes cowards of us all.
guard yourself against excessive tiredness.
~Matthew Kelly, the Narrow Path
breath vibrates in yours, in your voice.
It is the breath of God that you breathe - and you are unaware of it.
~Theophilus of Antioch
is said that simple pleasures are the best.
Do what you can to keep a clear conscience.
It is the ultimate simple pleasure.
you are dust, and unto dust you shall return.
This life is fleeting.
Make your life count.
~ Matthew Kelly
we heal ourselves, others are healed. When we nurture our dreams,
give birth to the dreams of humankind. When we walk as loving aspects
of the Earth Mother,
we become the fertile, life-giving Mothers of the Creative Force.
When we honor our bodies, our health, and our emotional needs,
we make space for our dreams to come into being.
When we speak the truth from our healed hearts,
we allow life abundant to continue on our Mother Planet."
women, we are continually writing the history of the Legacy of Women.
We cannot point a finger at men or each other without owning the pain
of past generations
who forgot how to give or teach human compassion.
Our own family trees are filled with teaching situations and with tragic
that may have blinded our own Ancestors to the values of truth as it
is found in love.
Now, the destiny of wholeness of the human race falls to the Sisterhood
because all things are born of woman."
~ Jami Sams, The Thirteen Original Clan Mothers
am a feather on the breath of God.
~ Hildegard of Bingen
of Bingen offers this beautiful image of being a feather on the breath
This is a radical act of yielding ourselves, surrendering our expectations
about how our lives should go and embrace things as they really are.
Hildegard invites us to say yes to where God might carry us.
What would it mean to offer obedience to the divine presence speaking
through our bodies?
means the radical yes to God's daily invitations.
It means making space to hear and see those shimmering moments.
It means saying yes to what I discover there in the stillness.
Holy pause and holy yes seem to dance together.
~ Christine Vaulters Painter, Abby of the Arts, online Abbess
remember who you are,
you need to forget who they told you to be.
want you to listen to me very carefully, Harry. You're not a bad person.
You're a very good person, who bad things have happened to.
Besides, the world isn't split into good people and Death Eaters.
We've all got both light and dark inside us.
What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are.
~Serious Black, Harry Potter, Order of the Phoenix
you want to know who you are?
Don't ask. Act.
Action will delineate and define you.
~ Thomas Jefferson
is the reason of my life.
~Bl. Teresa if Calcutta
Are All Energy; New Study Offers Evidence That We Are Vibrating Frequencies
A new scholarly research paper reports the development of a new imaging
that gives credence to the importance of our "vibrational frequency"
being a key element of life.
The idea that proteins in our body vibrate has always been suspected,
but this new technology has given us the first verifiable evidence that
this is true
and is able to be observed on the smallest of scales.
are God's beloved...Yes, you!
~FB/San Rafael First UMC
arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward.
When life is dragging you backward with difficulties,
Imagine that it is going to launch you into something great.
Lord, for the gift of who I am.
~ Thomas Keating, Daily Reader for Contemplative Living
Active prayer sentence 1/26-2/4
are constantly in a state of becoming... giving a fuller expression to
the gifts we are.
As I emerge from this winter-time of life, I can
look back over the past six months or so and see how God/the Divine Beloved/The
Universe... whatever name you give to the Source of all that is... has
been gently nudging and pulling me back into life. I certainly have more
energy and am more focused on what is life-giving for me. But just as
the ice must melt and the earth soften before Spring truly arrives regardless
of the date on the calender, I am guided by mother earth to be patient
with myself - to ease in and not "run on the ice that is still in
need of melting."
family recently joined a gym and I met with Sue Singer, fitness director
and certified personal trainer at Snap Fitness in Medford, NJ. She suggested
I create a vision board. I've done them before and decided to give it
a go. In the creation of the board, I found it to be important to be totally
devoid of what I thought should be on it and chose only those words, phrases
and pictures that grabbed me - made me say, Ooooo! Ahhhhh! Ohhhhhh! Mmmmm...
and Hmm... By keeping the mind out of it, it is truly a message from my
spirit. In it are images of a passionately lived life - not to be held
back by a body with limitations. It speaks of being the best possible
me I can be, aging well and in good health - of being "well preserved",
and (now that my children are getting older and will soon all be out of
the house) to making connections with friends and a deeper connection
to my Lovie-Dearest. It reminds me that I am a work in progress and asks
"How good can you feel?" The doorway puzzled me at first. Why
that picture? I've come to understand that the doorway represents choice
- my choice to "walk through the door" - which has become code
for taking care of my body, the vessel of my spirit. Every time I see
the door I ask myself, "Did I walk through the door today?"
It can also apply to life in general and the question "Am I truly
living? Or just taking up space?" The central greenery was so important
to me. In the online retreat I am taking we talked about Hildegard of
Bingen, a 12th century Benedictine Abbess, who was also a theologian,
visionary, musical composer, spiritual director, artist, preacher and
healer, who was recognized as a saint in 2012. One of her fundamental
principles is Veriditas or the greening power of God. This central
picture represents the desire for a life that has the life-giving lushness
of this greenery - a fullness of life that is cultivated in both body
and spirit. And the reminder "La vie est belle" - that life
is, indeed, beautiful.
of our life experiences form and shape us... through the experiences we
choose, those that are imposed upon us by others and those that naturally
occur because that's just the way life works (such as the natural progression
of having children and watching them grow into the world). Through all
of our experiences - all the different threads that make up the fabric
of our lives - like the weaving of a fine tapestry we are constantly growing...
developing... becoming. And the more I contemplate the question "I
am ____" the more I have come to believe that I am, you are, we are
GIFT - each one God's special and unique gift to one another endowed with
a myriad of talents - some cultivated over time through concentrated effort
or life experience and others naturally inherent. And, when we choose
to be the gift we are, we become light in the darkness, given to bring
comfort, mercy, and love with tenderness, patience, and compassion.
have become so aware of the rhythm of this life and how much it reminds
me of the seasons of the year... All of life is comprised of these natural
cycles - of newness and growth, of fullness and ripening, of quieting
and letting go, and of stillness, waiting and the death that is needed
to springboard us into newness once again. I have definitely turned the
corner and am more sensitive and compassionate toward those experiencing
the winter-times of their lives for having had the experience. I feel
as though I am waking up. I am more myself than I have been in some time...
perhaps ever. I'm consistently exercising again and back in the kitchen
cooking (and baking) up some really delicious and nutritious foods. My
fatigue and the occasional sense of "overwhelm" remind me to
be patient with myself... to not take on too much and to be especially
attentive to those things that nourish me and to reconsider involvement
in those things that deplete me. But, I am definitely moving toward a
spring time of life once again. The circle at the center of this mandala
captivates me... and, I wonder what it is that I am giving birth to at
this time? One can only hope that it is a fuller, more authentic expression
of myself and the knowledge of the gift of who I am.
Hugs and Blessings,
Aquarius New Moon Mandala
January 30, 2014
"You are the Light of the World"
are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
It is set on a lampstand,
Where it gives light to all in the house.
mentioned in last month's journal entry that I had felt that for 6 months
or so I could feel like I was being pulled out of my grief and back into
life. One of the ways that happened was through the formation of a new
ministry at my parish. I awoke abruptly one early summer morning... VERY
early... too early to get up and yet sleep would not come, so I decided
to get out of bed and do some Centering Prayer. What else is there to
do at 2:30-3:00 in the morning? As I sat, the thread that kept going through
my mind was an invitation to start a Prayer Shawl Ministry, the when,
the how, and the why of it... everything one might need to know to get
one started. So many times I gently brought my sacred word forward and
yet the message was persistent... unyielding. Since the prayer time was
not at all restful, I decided to do another 30 minute set. This time it
was much more peaceful as I could sit quietly, undisturbed and watch thoughts
float by. Feeling a little more refreshed yet still too early to make
noise in the house, I decided on a third set. Again, the "instructions"
were insistent. I finally said, "Okay, Okay! I got it! Will do!"
The sun began to rise and it was time to move into the day. September
came. I set the date of the first meeting, set up posters, put notices
in the bulletin and set up a donation bin where members of the parish
could donate their yarn. 22 women joined the group. We have been meeting
on 3rd Thursday of each month since to pray, craft, and consider avenues
for our talents and gifts. We've even set up another date in the month
for those that want to learn. The work of our hands and hearts has gifted
and blessed couples at their wedding rehearsals, the homebound who feel
alone and forgotten; they have warmed and comforted those who are going
through a hard winter, and those that grieve, they have blessed couples
who are preparing to welcome a child into their homes through natural
birth or adoption and at the end of January our youth group took supplies,
coats and our new, handmade scarves to the homeless whose address is Tent
City, Camden, NJ. So often these garments are received with tears of gratitude
and a realization that someone out there cares enough to craft simple
yarn into something warm and comforting as a symbol of love, care and
concern. We had our January meeting two weeks prior to this new moon and
there was no time in my crazy schedule to bundle, label and get the newly
made shawls ready for our various ministries to pick up and deliver. And
yet, on this day, the day of the Aquarius New Moon - a time marked by
brotherly love and humanitarian efforts as well as innovation and ingenuity
(I was thinking I need to find a quicker and easier way to get these ready
"for market" LOL) I finally had time. Interesting synchronicity
don't you think? And so the month began...
first thought: You are the light of the world which is the title given
to the work. Colors associated with Aquarius are white, electric blue
and lighter shades of blue. The color of the spectrum is purple. Gem is
amethyst. Power stones are sapphire and black pearl.
I found this mandala to be very complex and profound! 10 is a reoccurring
number in this mandala... in the center flower, the 10-pointed circle,
and the outer petals. The circle is divided into four parts, which makes
it directional in quality... We can get a sense of the North, South, East
and West in the division. A large triangle is easily missed as the central,
crystal-like flower draws the eye.
then, being the symbol of matter in harmony; along with the triangle we
get a picture of the Creator and creation... coexisting in peace. I felt
moved to color the background different shades of purple, representing
the four directions and the seasons they represent: N/Winter, E/Spring,
S/ Summer and W/Fall. This indicates to me that this message of "being
light" through acts of brotherly love and humanitarian effort is
not just for a season - such as Lent for example when one might focus
on charity - but rather a year round, full time way of being.
can't help but think of the song made famous by the 5th Dimension when
I look at this mandala, particularly the third paragraph:
the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars
is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius
Age of Aquarius
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the mind's true liberation
the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in...
than letting the sun shine in... this mandala invites us to be the light
that we are and let the light shine... out!
the Holy Spirit Christ himself is present in us and takes form in our
Through us, he is the one who prays, forgives, spreads hope and consolation,
Serves our brothers and sisters, draws close to the needy and the least,
creates unity and sows peace.
were made from love
to be love
to spread love.
know myself by my acts of humanity.
Affirmation, Zodiac Arts Newsletter
New Year of the Wooden Horse asks: Are you awake?
always that you have not only the right to be an individual.
You have an obligation to be one.
You cannot make any useful contribution in life unless you do this.
me, to be a saint is to be myself. Therefore the problem with sanctity
and salvation is
in fact the problem of finding out who I am and of discovering my true
what you long for and you will discover who you are.
Phil Cousineau, The Art of Pilgrimage
meaningful life is not being rich,
being popular, being highly educated or
It's about being real, being humble,
being able to share, and touch the lives of others.
It is only then that we could have
a full, happy and contented life.
your little bit of good wherever you are.
It's those little bits added all together that overwhelm the world.
walking along a beach, an elderly gentleman saw someone in the distance
lean down, pick something up and throwing it into the ocean. As he got
closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, picking up
starfish one by one and tossing each one gently back into the water. He
came closer still and called out, "Good morning! May I ask what it
is that you are doing?" The young man paused, looked up, and replied,
"Throwing starfish into the ocean." The old man smiled, and
said, "I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?"
To this the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going
out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die." Upon hearing this, the
elderly observer commented. "But, young man, do you not realize that
there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every
mile? You can't possibly make a difference!" The young man listened
politely. Then he bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it back
into the ocean past the breaking waves and said, "It made a difference
for that one."
ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean.
But if that drop was nothing the ocean, I think that ocean would be less.
I do not agree with the big way of doing things...
To us what matters is an individual.
To get to love the person, we must come in close contact...
I believe in person to person, every person is Christ for me,
And since there is only one Jesus,
That person is the one person in the world at that moment.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta
our busy lives we often overlook the simple acts of kindness and generosity
that we are able to extend and receive.
We don't realize that God is present in the good we hardly notice, ...
Yeah, it's a big ocean. But, in the vision of God, every drop of grace
Rev. Andrew Jamieson
Ill. (AP) Three waitresses at an Illinois restaurant say they could only
stare in disbelief when a woman over the weekend handed them each a $5,000
check. The woman told the waitresses to use the money for school and "everything
else in life." The money will be used to pay for a last semester
for one of the waitresses to earn her associate degree in criminal justice,
which was too expensive, but she will now return to school.
your bread with the hungry.
Shelter the oppressed and the homeless;
Clothe the naked when you see them,
And do not turn your back on your own.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
And your wound shall quickly be healed;
the world know why you're here
And do it with passion.
Dr. Wayne Dyer
awaken in Christ's body
As Christ awakens our bodies,
And my poor hand is Christ.
He enters my foot, and is infinitely me.
move my hand and wonderfully
My hand becomes Christ, becomes all of Him
(for God is indivisibly whole,
Seamless in His Godhood.)
move my foot and at once
He appears like flash of lightening.
Do my words seem blasphemous? Then
Open your heart to Him
let yourself receive the one
Who is opening you so deeply.
For if we genuinely love Him
We wake up inside Christ's body
all our body, all over
Every most hidden part of it,
Is realized in joy as Him,
And He makes us, utterly, real,
everything that is hurt, everything
That seemed to us dark, harsh, shameful,
Maimed, ugly, irreparably
Damaged, is in Him transformed
recognized as whole, as lovely,
And radiant in His light
He awakens as Beloved
In every last part of our body.
Symeon the New Theologian, 9th-10th c Eastern Orthodox monk
Hurt people hurt people.
That's how pain patterns get passed on,
generation after generation after generation.
Break the chain today.
Meet anger with sympathy,
contempt with compassion,
cruelty with kindness.
Greet grimaces with smiles.
Forgive and forget about finding fault.
Love is the weapon of the future.
the reason someone smiles today
The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation
say you are confused because it is complicated.
Allow Paul to clarify and simplify things for you.
This is the will of God: That you be saints.
Matthew Kelly, The Narrow Path
negative mind will never give you a positive life.
as Jesus loved?
Everyone, always, wholeheartedly.
Fr. James Martin, SJ
the thing about inner beauty?
Unlike physical beauty which
Grabs the spotlight for itself
Inner beauty shines on everyone
Catching them, holding them in its embrace
Making them more beautiful too.
not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world.
It's our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel
L.R. Knost, Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting Through the
Ages and Stages
does one fly?" she asked pensively.
"You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being
Trina Paulus, Hope for the Flowers
is my teacher.
Some I see. Some I subconsciously attract.
Often I learn simply by observing others.
Some may be completely unaware that I'm learning from them,
yet I bow deeply in gratitude.
greatest strength lies in the
Gentleness and tenderness of our heart.
the tapestry of life, we're all connected.
Each one of us is a gift to those around us.
Helping each other be who we are,
weaving a perfect picture together.
on earth is a choice we must make,
Not a place we must find.
Dr. Wayne Dyer
will make you rich.
candle loses nothing by lightening another candle.
Go light the world!
Living with Christ
you're going to rise,
You might as well shine.
you not know that you are the temple of God,
And that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
...the temple of God, which you are, is holy.
1 Cor 3:16, 17b
a game changer and really very simple. Be the light that you are! No striving
to become... no working toward..."You ARE the light of the world."
When we stop instead of walk past... when we help instead of ignore...
listen instead of turning the other way... smile instead of scowl, we
ARE light and that light shines on everyone in the room. And yes, it really
is just that simple. And as I have said and written on numerous occasions
on a grander scale you can wear yourself out doing this work - There are
SOOOO many in need... so much to be done - so be mindful of your physical,
mental, emotional and spiritual needs and limits. Thomas Merton said,
"To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting
concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many
projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to the
violence of our times." There will ALWAYS be a multitude of starfish
to throw back into the ocean. Know when to stop and take care of you so
that you can rise the next day and serve the many you will encounter with
patience, tenderness and love. So where do we start? Consider: What's
important to you? What makes your heart weep? What stops you dead in your
tracks with compassion, sympathy, empathy? What breaks your heart? What
feeds your soul? If need be, what can you let go of to work for that?
Ask God and be open to what comes... as crazy as it might seem to you
in the moment... be open and trust that The Eternal Light will guide you
to where you are to be, doing what is your purpose to fulfill, shining
a light that only you can shine. In the meantime, smile more, stop and
smell the roses - actually, don't just smell them but really look at them
and take in their beauty - that goes for people too! (Well, maybe not
the smelling part but you get the picture!)... hold a few doors, let the
person behind you in the grocery line with just a few items or the one
in a terribly hurry (or a crying child) go ahead of you... love your children,
your spouse, the people in your life and be the light of the world...for
Hugs and Blessings,
Pisces New Moon Mandala
February 28, 2014
"Unless A Grain of Wheat"
Pisces we reach the end of the natural year and review and release in
preparation for the new natural year fast approaching. The buzz word for
the cycle has been compassion - for myself and others and has been coming
to me from a variety of sources. Compassion literally means to suffer
nature, the trees in particular have been ''speaking'' to me this cycle.
The cleansing spring winds have arrived and I muse at how a strong wind
can make the trees dance. I pondered how it is that they can sway so from
side to side and fall crashing to the ground. I marvel at their rootedness
and I question, ''What roots me?'' On the way to church this morning,
I noticed that the trees are getting especially fuzzy as they prepare
to ''leaf out'' and ''put on'' their new spring coats. When they released
their leaves in autumn various homes were revealed...bird nests and hornet
nests that had been safely enclosed in the blanket of leaves remained
visible throughout the winter months. With the coming spring, they will
be covered, enclosed...safely hidden and protected once again. And I wondered,
''What makes its home in me?'' I have spotted a solitary bald eagle on
two different occasions in two different places in the past month... a
rare sight for this area of the country. I have only seen one prior to
these sightings in the decade or so since we moved here. My maiden name
is Adler which means eagle in German so this particular bird has much
significance for me. Crow continues to make her presence known and the
mourning doves are once again nesting in the tree outside my window. The
morning air is filled with the happy song of our feathered neighbors as
they return from their winter?s sojourn. After uncharacteristically brutal
winter we?ve had I don?t think I could be happier to say ''spring is in
the air.'' Hope, renewal and new life are making their presence known.
associated with Pisces are shades of purple and iridescent greens. The
gem is Aquamarine, the power stone Tourmaline and the color of the Spectrum
is violet-red. Christians around the world entered the season of Lent
five days into this cycle. Interesting to me, the color associated with
Lent in my faith tradition is also violet-red (where Advent is a blue-hued
violet or depending on the parish, blue.)
eight petal ''flower'' at the center instantly reminded me of wheat -
winter wheat in particular... and hence the name. And this passage from
amen, I say to you,
unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies,
it remains just a single grain of wheat;
but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
wheat is planted in the autumn to germinate and develop into young plants
that remain in a vegetative state all winter long (appearing to be dead)
and resumes growing in the spring.
Eight - perfection, infinity, cosmic Christ, divine power, new life, initiation.
ten circles around the ''wheat'' represent endings and beginnings. Ten
holds all the numbers that precede it, and so the colors of the spectrum
were chosen. Everything that has gone before has brought us to this time...
to this place... to this moment - it?s all part of our fabric.
(7+8+1) Large, egg-like ovals hold the majority of the space in this mandala
and for me express a great deal of energy - like electrons revolving around
a nucleus. These ovals are sectioned off by 16 lines emanating from the
center circle of ''wheat.'' 16 indicates achievement of the material power;
being considered the ''final'' number of emanation, it represents the
Incarnation completed, (according to Abellio.) I chose the color Aquamarine
here with a glitter overlay. Unfortunately, the scan doesn?t pick up the
glitter. This area pops, sparkles and shines!
suns peek over the horizon in the outer band. My favorite symbolic understanding
of this number from J. Boehme sees there the symbol of the divine humanity.
I chose the colors of the watermelon tourmaline for this band. Tourmaline,
for its cleanings properties...watermelon in particular for its balancing
properties. The colors just make me happy when I look at them. Maybe this
particularly long, brutal winter has me longing for warmer summer days?
is so much energy in this mandala! It speaks to me of endings and beginnings...
of death and a movement toward the new life that awaits us. And at the
center of it all is our connection to Christ.
Frequently people think compassion and love are merely sentimental.
They are very demanding.
If you are going to be compassionate, be prepared for action.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu (born 1931); Nobel Peace Prize Winner
can be great...because anybody can serve.
You don't have to have a college degree to serve.
You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve.
You only need a heart full of grace.
A soul generated by love
Martin Luther King Jr.
calm and carry on?
I'd rather raise hell and
change the world!!
you have experienced in life has served a purpose:
it brought you here, to this exact point.
Your struggles and tragedies and triumphs brought you here.
To this night.
To this moment where you can now choose to be happy,
where you can now choose to serve with excellence,
where you can now open to love,
where you can now live as your highest self.
You've been through enough.
Brendon Burchard - Live. Love. Matte
every minute you are angry
You lose 60 seconds of being happy.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
every minute you are angry, worried, anxious...
You lose. Period.
I tell you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or drink,
or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds in the sky;
they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns,
yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are not you more important than they?
Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?
Why are you anxious about clothes?
Learn from the way the wild flowers grow.
They do not work or spin.
But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor
was clothed like one of them.
If God so clothes the grass of the field,
which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow,
will he not much more provide for you?
...But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given you besides.
Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.
Gospel MT 6
a group of 50 people was attending a seminar.
Suddenly the speaker stopped and decided to do a group activity.
He started giving each one a balloon. Each one was asked to write his/her
name on it using a marker pen. Then all the balloons were collected and
put in another room.
these delegates were let in that room and asked to find the balloon which
had their name written, within 5 minutes. Everyone was frantically searching
for their name, colliding with each other, pushing others around and there
was utter chaos.
the end of 5 minutes no one could find their own balloon.
Now each one was asked to randomly collect a balloon and give it to the
person whose name was written on it. Within minutes everyone had their
speaker began- exactly this is happening in our lives. Everyone is frantically
looking for happiness all around, not knowing where it is.
happiness lies in the happiness of other people. Give them their happiness;
you will get your own happiness. And this is the purpose of human life.
with Virgil Sanchez, Myro Casas and Singh Ravinder Ramgarhia
Source: I Can't Believe It
question is not, "Will you find your wings?"
But rather, "What will you wear with all those magnificent feathers?"
Curly Girl Designs
To Do List:
Let go of Judgment.
Be open to possibilities.
Smile a lot.
Trust my intuition.
yourself with the Dreamers and the Doers,
the Believers and Thinkers
but most of all
surround yourself with those who see the GREATNESS within you,
even when you don?t see it yourself.
is the wish to see others free from suffering.
The Dalai Lama
do not understand the mystery of grace -
only that it meets us where we are and
does not leave us where it found us.
zest life acquires when we allow ourselves
to be filled by the love of God!
compare yourself to other Christians.
Compare yourself to Christ.
He's the one you're following.
tongue has no bones,
But it is strong enough to break a heart.
Be careful with your words.
connection to Spirit
restores your confidence
relieves your anxiety,
and frees you from the desire to
control everything in your life.
say ''yes'' to the present moment.
What could be more futile, more insane,
than to create inner resistance to what already is?
What could be more insane than to oppose life itself,
which is now and always now?
Surrender to what is.
Say ''yes'' to life -
and see how life suddenly starts working for you
rather than against you.
past is a ghost,
The future a dream.
All we ever have is now.
stood in the storm
And when the wind did not blow her way
She adjusted her sails.
is the supreme paradox of the Christian spiritual tradition that we become
filled with joy precisely in the measure that we contrive a way to make
of ourselves a gift. By emptying out the self in love for the other, we
become filled to the brim with the divine life. The smile of that Missionary
of Charity, which was the same smile Mother Teresa bore, signaled the
presence of a joy that no wealth, no security, no pleasure, no honor could
possibly provide, and that can emerge even in the most miserable context.
secret to joy is self-giving love. Mother Teresa imparted that to her
and she offers the same lesson to us.
Fr. Robert Barron
and love who you are,
You are a beautiful and powerful reflection of divinity.
prayer may be awkward
Our attempts may be feeble,
But since the power of prayer is in the One who hears it
And not in the one who says it
Our prayers do make a difference.
are a pencil in the hand of God.
Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta
have just three things to teach:
These three are your greatest treasures.
the sweetness in your own heart
Then you may find the sweetness in every heart.
Living under Christ's kindness
to remember there is nobody else in the universe like you and
reclaim your power as both a human and a divine being.
on earth has a purpose,
every disease an herb to cure it,
And every person a mission.
This is the Indian theory of existence.
Mourning Dove/Christal Quintasket, Native American author
if you looked in the mirror and saw your character
instead of your face?
Sue Fitzmaurice, author
mind is a garden,
your thoughts are the seeds.
You can grow flowers, or
you can grow weeds.
Ritu Ghatourey, author
smallest act of kindness is worth more
than the greatest intention.
the road to happiness
by helping others.
Fortune Cookie message/FB share from Tosha Silver
will be waiting here.
For your silence to break.
For your soul to shake.
For your love to wake.
who is concerned about the Christian personality and
its self-realization will always be anxious, willy-nilly, about his own
while the witness of Christ par excellence speaks thus:
He must increase and I must decrease.
Hans Urs Von Balthasar, Swiss theologian and Catholic priest,
author You Crown the Year with Your Goodness
in such a way that if anyone should speak ill if you
No one would believe it.
message at the heart of the Christian faith is this:
your life is not about you.
Father Robert Barron
praying one day a woman asked,
"Who Are You, Lord?"
He Answered, "I Am".
But, Who Is I Am? She Said.
And He Replied .."I Am Love, I Am Peace,
I Am Grace, I Am Joy,
I Am The Way, Truth, And The Light ...
I Am The Comforter,
I Am Strength, I Am Safety,
I Am Shelter, I Am Power, I Am The Creator,
I Am The Beginning And The End,
I Am The Most High".
The Girl With Tears In Her Eyes Looked
Toward Heaven And Said,
"Now I Understand.
But Lord, Who Am I?"
Then God Tenderly Wiped The Tears
From Her Eyes And Whispered,
"You Are Mine".
your only available transportation is a
Leap of faith.
you get the best light from
a burning bridge.
yourself on fire and
seek those who would fan your flame.
you were called for freedom, brothers.
But do not use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh;
rather, serve one another through love.
Olaf: Some people are worth melting for.
Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping
district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved
all those people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not
be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like
waking from a dream of separateness, of spurious self-isolation in a special
world, the world of renunciation and supposed holiness... This sense of
liberation from an illusory difference was such a relief and such a joy
to me that I almost laughed out loud... I have the immense joy of being
man, a member of a race in which God Himself became incarnate. As if the
sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now
I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But
it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are
all walking around shining like the sun.
it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths
of their hearts, where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach,
the core of their reality, the person that each one is in God?s eyes.
If only they could all see themselves as they really are. If only we could
see each other that way all the time, there would be no more war, no more
hatred, no more cruelty, no more greed...
I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship
yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.
It will not lead you astray.
only way to do great work is to love what you do.
If you haven't found it yet,
is but one question: Does our Lord want me to do this for Him?
Dr. S. Mary Glowery, JMJ, Servant of God
is in giving ourselves,
emerging from ourselves
that we find true joy.
unto others is a great big step in healing whatever hurts you.
Bro. Mickey McGrath
the center of every rose window is a depiction of Christ (even when Mary
seems to be the focus, she is carrying the Christ child on her lap), and
then wheeling around him in lyrical and harmonious patterns are the hundreds
of medallions, each depicting a saint or a scene from scripture.
message of the window is clear: When one's life is centered on Christ,
all the energies, aspirations, and powers of the soul fall into a beautiful
and satisfying pattern. And by implication, whenever something other than
Christ--money, sex, success, adulation--fills the center, the soul falls
expressed this same idea when he said, "Seek ye first the kingdom
of God and his righteousness, and the rest will be given unto you"
(Mt 6:33). When the divine is consciously acknowledged as the ground and
organizing center of one's existence, something like wholeness or holiness
is the result.
live your life on the rim of the circle, but rather at the center.
Focus on that reliable, unchanging point where Christ resides.
Fr. Robert Barron
I began this natural year with the Mandala ''See as God Sees.'' To truly
see as God sees we must die - not a physical death - but death to the
part of us that wants what it wants when it wants it - the part that desires
power, control, affection, esteem, security and survival - the Me, Me,
Me part of us. To see as God sees, we must look with love and compassion
upon the other and know that they are us and we are them, united in the
most sacred of bonds at the deepest, purest level of being where there
is only love... dwelling in radiant beauty...shining like the sun... in
indescribable peace and contentment. And the paradox of it all, is that
we find our joy and happiness in this human form when our life is not
about us...but rather, when we give our lives away - when we are more
concerned for the happiness of others. And that, at its core, is a Christ
centered life. He must increase...we must decrease. May the Beloved One
find a home in us so that, like the wheat which grows and produces more
through its death than it can as a single grain, we may pour ourselves
out for the life of the world.
Love, Hugs and Blessings,
Aries New Moon Mandala
March 30, 2014
#freshstarts, #Love, #Hope
in the balsamic phase I start getting a sense of what's coming. But the
day before the new moon nothing was really registering. That evening driving
home I finally got it!! And I laughed! Following the theme of the past
three years and speaking metaphorically, we've been preparing a plot of
land for planting -preparing for a new way of being: the first year we
cleared away small stuff... Things easily removed. The following year
we uprooted dead trees and cleared away large boulders... Not fun and
not a year I would care to repeat, but necessary. Thinking back to last
year I am humbled to remember that sometimes a symbol can be misinterpreted.
After having been through two years of cleaning and clearing I really
wasn't up to another one. Upon seeing the tiller last spring I was relieved
to think that we were getting ready to plant, only to find that it was
indeed going to be another cleaning and clearing year? this time at a
very deep level. On the last day of the balsamic phase...the second day
of a three day "soaker" (soaking rain) the symbol came: RAIN!!!
The symbol for this year is rain! And as much as it pains me to say it...
we're still not planting -still in the process of becoming. We may dream
about those beautiful flowers and long for their intoxicating fragrance
or those amazing garden grown vegetables - drooling already, especially
over the tomatoes - but this year it's all about that first spring rain.
During the winter months the earth compacts and hardens. The tiller begins
the process of breaking up the dry, dense, hard earth and allows what's
buried beneath to rise to the surface. Tilling cracks the crust, and turns
under old, outworn growth as compost for future growth. But the first
rain of spring? What's the big deal about the first spring rain? It softens.
And so this new natural year and the Aries cycle began...
energy is assertive, competitive, impulsive, pioneering. Colors associated
with Aries are light, bright shades of red, white, gold and deep blue.
Color of the spectrum is red. Gem is diamond. Power stone is ruby. The
germination from last cycle continues... and something new unfolds. From
the outside in then:
circles, not concentric, but are reminiscent of last month's "budding"
Three: invokes expression, versatility, pure joy of creating, fruitfulness.
perpendicular, intersecting rectangles create a cross, not unlike
the Red Cross or a medical first aid symbol.
This cross with equal sides can also symbolize relationship and balance,
~Br. Mickey McGrath, Circles and Squares mandala class
"on point" - square symbolizes earth to me... solid... grounded
... the four corners of... but this one is standing "on its ear"
which says to me, whatever is being revealed or birthed is new...
radical... will change the way the world looks at things or the way
the world functions.
concentric circles - brings our focus to the center, like a target,
a bulls eye.
Four quadrants - not directional in nature (NSEW) but along with the
concentric circles creates a sight of sorts - along with the concentric
circles focusing our gaze.
Four diamonds - again not directional, but here perhaps added to indicate
something precious, rare, valuable; or a covenant - like marriage.
Diamonds are often given in promise of marriage.
Four intersecting circles - creating mandorlas/vesica piscis that
form the central cross. Mandorals (Italian for almond) are symbols
of womb and "birthing" - door ways through which the divine
manifests... the coming together of heaven and earth... spirit and
Four: stability, grounded nature, solidity, calmness, home-ing, get
back to your roots, center yourself. Can also indicate a need for
persistence and endurance. ~whatsyoursign.com
Cross: symbol of sacrificial love.
the whole thing what appears to me to be a hash tag (#) but also turned
on its side - a new way of communicating?
it rains look for rainbows.
When it's dark look for stars.
that deciding to be happy and healthy
requires courage and focus.
It is ever so much easier
to let allow negativity and fear to run your life.
Dr. Christiane Northrop
believe the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness.
Whether one believes in religion or not,
whether one believes in that religion or this religion,
we are all seeking something better in life.
So, I think, the very motion of our life is towards happiness...
"Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World
will be a time when the world needs you to be courageous
When your family and friends count on you
When your dreams are on the line
When giving up won't make sense any more
When the power of love
begs to break through.
time is now.
Brendon Burchard, author of Life's Golden Ticket
would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if
he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and
more time tasting her sweetness and
respecting her seniority.
E. B. White
is our collective and individual responsibility
to preserve and tend to the environment in which we all live.
Dalai Lama XIV, he says pointing to his brain
Do something today your future self will thank you for.
only we can bring the wisdom of the body to consciousness,
spirit will no longer be homesick for home.
Marion Woodman, Leaving my Father's House
is the supreme paradox of the Christian spiritual tradition that we become
filled with joy precisely in the measure These last few years I have been
asking the question of how I might not just see caring for my body as
woven together with how I care for my vocation, as the body is the vehicle
for my expression in the world. I am beginning to see the care of my body
itself as the primary vocation, regardless of how that facilitates my
is a subtle, but profound, shift I have been working to integrate. What
if beneath the many important things I am called to do in this world,
the most fundamental of those is to cherish my body being, this sacred
vessel, my soul's address. Not just so I can work harder, but because
my body, just as it is, is the most profound voice of wisdom I can access
and the very shape of my being in the world.
if you are in this world to learn to cherish and adore this exact vessel
that is your birthright? How might this change your relationship to your
Christine Valters Painter Phd.
like you love yourself.
Move like you love yourself.
Speak like you love yourself.
Act like you love yourself.
you do love yourself.
(Or else you absolutely should.)
The Light Within, about the previous quote
the confrontation between the river and the rock
The river always wins
Not through strength
But by perseverance.
should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day
unless you're too busy;
Then you should sit for an hour.
Old Zen Saying
are stronger than you think.
FB/Letters of Gratitude
content with what you have;
Rejoice in the way things are.
you realize there is nothing lacking
the whole world belongs to you.
wish for it.
Work for it.
FB/The Get in Shape Girl
The Eagle is a sacred messenger and omen of good news. With great courage
it soars over all the trouble below. Like the eagle, you have great clarity
of vision - follow it...
(Three circling eagles circling overhead this morning ?amazing!)
you love the ocean?
Keep an ocean mind.
you believe in God or not does not matter so much,
whether you believe in Buddha or not does not matter so much;
as a Buddhist, whether you believe in reincarnation or not does not matter
You must lead a good life.
And a good life does not mean just good food, good clothes, good shelter.
These are not sufficient.
A good motivation is what is needed:
compassion, without dogmatism, without complicated philosophy;
just understanding that others are human brothers and sisters and
respecting their rights and human dignity.
Dalai Lama XIV
are three gifts you control
With these three you can change your whole life and the whole world.
Sue Fitzmaurice, author
is a stereotype that we must be depressed at Lent. Lent is the Church's
springtime. Jesus says this is the time of fulfillment. As his ambassadors,
we must embrace joy.
Lent we are called not just to be born again, but to have a relationship
with Jesus, not just in the bread and wine, but with each other. If we
can't find the presence of God in each other, then we'll never find it
in the bread and wine.
David Haas, composer
Resurrection is the very heart and soul of Christianity. Without the Resurrection,
Christianity collapses. It's the standing and falling point of the faith.
Therefore, to deny the Resurrection is to cease to be Christian. You might
pick up bits and pieces of Christianity here and there, and you might
follow Jesus as a wise spiritual teacher, but without the Resurrection
the whole thing falls apart.
more practically, the Resurrection is key to spiritual detachment. If
God has a life for us beyond this life, one not so much opposed to this
earthly life but inclusive of and beyond it, then I'm able to wear this
world much more lightly. I'm not as obsessed with finding my joy here.
who are not convinced of the Resurrection, who believe they'll just die
and that's it, naturally chase after wealth, pleasure, power, and honor.
But once you're convinced of the Resurrection, you know this world isn't
ultimate. You can let go of those earthly pursuits, stop chasing them,
and aspire toward a life on high with God, which is a life of love. Becoming
a person of love thus becomes your central goal.
Fr. Robert Barron
you go through a hard period,
When everything seems to oppose you,
... When you feel you cannot even bear one more minute,
NEVER GIVE UP!
Because it is the time and place that the course
Rumi, The Essential Rumi
don't always need advice.
Sometimes all they really need is a hand to hold,
an ear to listen, and a heart to understand them.
me the strength to focus this week,
to be mindful and present,
to serve with excellence,
to be a force of love.
these things matter most:
How well did you love?
How fully did you live?
How deeply did you let go?
are confined only by the walls you build yourself.
renewal is achieved at the cost of some pain.
St. Francis deSales
completely honest with yourself.
It requires real effort, self awareness and grace.
Matthew Kelly, The Narrow Path
speak to everyone in the same way
whether he is the garbage man or
the president of the university.
is a gift designed to
transform my life.
world is transformed through suffering love.
Fr. Robert Barron
beauty shines brighter than that of a good heart.
No. You're so much more.
hard to fly when something is weighing you down.
through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer Thee this day all my thoughts, words, actions, joys, and sufferings.
Daily offering, Short form
we say, think and feel are extremely important.
But it's what we do that changes our world.
Paul Boynton, Begin with Yes
yourself be carried by others to God.
Pope John XXIII
XIII shows us it's okay to have a sense of humor, as a matter of fact
I think its a requirement of the spiritual life. He was a joyful person.
People were drawn to him, drawn to his sense of humor, drawn to his jokes.
So, I always say John XIII's Message for us is, "Have a laugh...for
Fr. James Martin about Pope John XIII
life richly lived is actually filled with good days and difficult days
Hearts overflowing and broken hearts too. It all comes with the territory.
You've been through a lot and now you're ready to be bold and brave and
you know that, whatever happens, you'll be OK!
Into the mystery we go.
Paul Boynton, Begin With Yes
Thanks for this beautiful life and please forgive me if I don't love it
FB/Daily Bible Message
This blessing takes
one look at you
and all it can say is
even in pain.
Holy even when weary.
In brokenness, holy.
In shame, holy still.
Holy in distress.
Holy when being born.
Holy when we lay it down at the hour of our death.
open your eyes
For one moment
see what this blessing sees,
blessing that knows
how you have been formed
and knit together
in wonder and
that folds its hands
when it meets you;
receive this blessing
that wants to kneel
you who are
home for God
in this world
calls us to the path of yielding and surrender, where we release our own
agendas and need for
accomplishment and keep asking where our bodies are asking us to go next.
there is anything one thing I hope for you after this journey together
it is to remember this commitment to gentleness with yourself. Imagine
if we each have softened our edges and made a willing descent into the
dark and lush space of flesh? Imagine if we no longer held ourselves bound
to the endless criticisms of how we look, both external and internal?
if humility could remind us of the root of the word, humus, or earthiness?
What if humility called us back to the work of softening again and again,
until our armor had all been laid aside and out of the tender places grew
blossoms and fruit?
Christine Valters Painter
This laboring of ours with all that remains undone,
as if still bound to it,
is like the lumbering gait of the swan.
then our dying? releasing ourselves
from the very ground on which we stood?
is like the way he hesitantly lowers himself
into the water. It gently receives him,
and, gladly yielding, flows back beneath him,
as wave follows wave,
while he, now wholly serene and sure,
with regal composure,
allows himself to glide.
Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Barrows and Macy
this is not your home
but you live in-between
the stars, moon and sea
where you resonate
near edges and borders
shore of rocks and waves
land and river
the space with those
you practice love
is not a house
condo, villa or studio
but how you dwell
in each place of your life
there are as many spaces
as there are vegetables
and plant species.
comfort in unrest
and know we are all made
for something more
between particles and stardust
the living One is within
your chest and breast
and lives in the ache
of your longing to belong.
world is temporary
but the love you know and feel
for daffodils and dance
children and creativity
friends and fauna
music and manna
as you were made from dust
You carry the universe
the mark of great longing.
by quenching with false waters
Retire into the life
created from the inside out
an eternal home
a heaven within.
is inside and outside you
here is the space for taking care
of your precious essence.
Make peace with your desire
and be brave
to know you are enough
a home unto yourself.
we couldn't laugh we'd all go insane.
we move into this new year
let us remember that sometimes
it's okay to listen to your heart.
I know it's risky.
Take that leap of faith.
Happy New Year everybody.
Character Sam Ahern, Jr. as he addresses the crowd in the movie New Years
Lang Syne" is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1788
and set to the tune of a traditional folk song. It is well known in many
countries, especially in the English-speaking world, its traditional use
being to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight.
By extension, it is also sung at funerals, graduations and as a farewell
or ending to other occasions. The international Boy Scout youth movement,
in many countries, uses it as a close to jamborees and other functions.
song's Scots title may be translated into English literally as "old
long since", or more idiomatically, "long long ago," "days
gone by" or "old times". Consequently "For auld lang
syne", as it appears in the first line of the chorus, might be loosely
translated as "for (the sake of) old times".
take a cup of kindness yet for auld lang syne.
are so many things in this world we can't control...earth quakes, floods,
reality shows...but it's important to remember the things that we can:
like forgiveness, second chances, fresh starts. Because the one thing
that turns the world from a lonely place into a beautiful place is love.
Love in any of its forms. Love gives us hope.
Hope for the new year. That's new year's eve to me. Hope. And a great
Sam Ahern, Jr. conclusion to the movie New Years Eve
As we enter this new year, let us raise a toast to honor all that has
gone before - the good, the bad and the ugly, for within each have been
lessons to be learned and assimilated. Let us also remember to be patient
and kind with ourselves. Sometimes I get frustrated with myself... with
my humanness... thinking I should be growing more... be more than I am.
I was driving the other day and the sight of this tiny tree just struck
me... spoke volumes.... and I thought in the scheme of things we are not
mighty oaks nor towering pines, but sweet, tender, saplings... perhaps
thinking or pretending that we are mighty oaks or towering pines. In this
time of softening, let us remember our sweetness, our sincerity, our purity,
our holiness... and take the risk to be vulnerable once again.
As the first rain softens the earth come spring, may compassion soften
our hearts that we might also consider what others might be feeling and
experiencing... and as best we can imagine, walk a mile in their shoes...
to speak in soft tones with kind words... or perhaps lend an ear to listen,
a soft shoulder to cry on... anything to make their road a tad easier
to travel. And let us walk softly on this tender earth.
you every grace and blessing as we journey through this great party called
Happy New Year everyone!
May the softening begin!
Hugs and Blessings,
Taurus New Moon Mandala
April 29, 2014
looked for conversations with God all my life. The last 11 years, however,
have intensified and I have developed what I would call a symbolic life.
And by that I mean, because Spirit speaks in symbol, everything means
something...everything, and by extension everyone, communicates a message.
It requires that one of the ways we hear is with our eyes. And so as I
go about my day I'm always looking for The Message...what do I need to
know...what is God saying to me today? I never go looking for anything
specific, but like Lectio Divina (one way of praying with scripture) I
pay attention to what catches my attention, what pops out at me...strikes
a chord. Often these messages come through nature, though it can come
from a billboard sign, a license plate, a song, quotes, lines from movies...really
anywhere! And I have found that a message will keep coming until I get
a hold of it and fully unpack it. Last month, with the new natural year
and the Aries new moon, a 3 day-soaking rain became the new "umbrella
symbol" for the year. I stated that the first spring rain softens
the earth. So, this year would be about softening the heart...a softer
side to life and living. On the first two days of this cycle, during the
Taurus new moon, once again, we had a soaking rain ? two days this time
- and I was asked to revisit my interpretation. It occurs to me, that
in addition to softening, a spring rain also awakens...it tells sleeping
nature, "Wake up! Awake and sleep no longer! It's time! Get up! Get
dressed and put on your best coat! It's time to live once again!"
These spring rains can also cause flooding, requiring us to get creative
and take a different route. So soften! Wake up! Take a different route!
('cause whatever it is, it's not working?) And so the month began...
initial feeling of this mandala was living "In The Flow." Lots
of expanding energy! From the center then:
the twelve (wholeness) crescent moons (expansion, growth, struggle, opportunity)
as a flower bud beginning to open...in the process of revealing the gift
that it is. There is movement...the movement of unveiling...revealing...yielding
to the gift held within. The flower is held by a hexagon (six is symbol
of home ? a place of safety, comfort, ease, close abiding relationships,
refuge from the world.)
the flower and the hexagon is a triangle ? a symbol of divinity for me.
You'll notice that the triangle extends beyond the square (square representing
earth, the place of physical manifestation.) All of these shapes converge
at the center of a five-pointed star. These "thin" stars often
remind me of the physical body... head, arms, legs. So it appears that
all of this activity is centered at the heart... in the heart.
larger triangle is found outside "the box"... God within...God
without...like a fish in water, we being the fish and God the water. The
outer area also holds 12 "petals" if you will...what is budding
or being unveiled within the heart is flowering out in the world. These
twelve petals hold at their tips 24 triangles. Twenty-four. The symbolic
number for rebirth.
are bathed in the sweetness of Your grace.
Preface Prayer, Holy Thursday
the best thing you can do is
not think, not wonder
not imagine , not obsess.
Just breathe and have faith
that everything will work out for the best.
What herb am I? Sage.
You're the type of person who has already learned a lot from living. For
you, life has been a character building exercise.
Your dream is to live a life you cherish. You don't want to waste time
on things that don't matter. You are always
observing and thinking. You appear calm and self-possessed to the outside
world. You are concerned with inner beauty.
You think once we understand ourselves, we are beautiful on the inside.
feel called to do what I do.
Temple University Hospital commercial
is about you letting go of your insecurity.
This is about you letting go of what other people think.
This is about you learning to accept your imperfections.
Dr. Jen, sports Psychologist to Candace Cameron Bure on DWTS
cares what other people think?
With a picture of Sally smiling and swinging on a swing set/FB:Snoopy
doesn't live here anymore.
wherever it is needed.
Born this Way via Art of Dharma
people treat other people is a direct reflection
of how they feel about themselves.
Light Stays Retreats
have inside you everything you need for today.
Use it all up.
Tomorrow you'll wake up with exactly what you need for that day.
the fact that God has made you a gardener...
To root out vice and plant virtue.
St. Catherine of Siena
the path of Love we are neither masters nor the owner of our lives.
We are only a brush in the hand of the Master Painter.
we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little
The only consequence is what we do.
history, the crow has been associated with
both positive and negative symbolic meanings.
The most common are:
magic; mystery of creation
Destiny, personal transformation, alchemy
Being fearless, audacious
Trickster, manipulative, mischievous
Other traditional meanings associate the crow with bad omen, death, and
The crow also carries the power of prophetic insight and symbolizes the
void or core of creation.
Spirit Animal Info.
everything in a pure, still heart
and let there be for every pulse a thanksgiving
and for every breath a song.
Konrad von Gesner
love means loving the unlovable.
To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable.
Faith means believing the unbelievable.
Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.
G. K. Chesterton via Matt Mahr
would like my life to be a statement of love and compassions
and where it isn't...that's where my work lies.
now I tell you, have nothing to do with these men, and let them go.
For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy
But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them;
you may even find yourselves fighting against God."
God pushes you to the edge, trust Him fully
because only two things can happen.
Either He will catch you when you fall or
He will give you wings to fly.
psychology says, "Find yourself; the answer is in you."
Jesus says, "lose yourself. The answer is in Me."
MT 16:25 - Spirit 104.5
use my hands, my feet, my voice, my heart.
Use whatever you need of me in the service of Your love.
I am Yours. You are mine. We are one. Amen.
Personal prayer, 5/18
by paschal JOY
Preface prayer, Easter
Start an epidemic.
Billboard on Stokes Road, Medford, NJ
the end of the cycle I had a visitor in my car. This could be the transition
into the next cycle:
Symbolic Wasp Meanings
The prime season of the wasp is spring, and so it is symbolic of new beginnings,
and starting new projects.
wasp is very social, and has special means of communication with its family.
When the wasp appears in our lives it is a message for us to consider
our own methods of communication. The wasp might be a sign that we may
need to express ourselves more clearly.
the wasp is symbolic of communication, order and productivity, those who
encounter the wasp may ask themselves:
all my affairs in order?"
"Am I aligning myself with my goals?"
"Am I procrastinating about something?"
"Am I keeping myself from reaching my highest potential?"
"Am I allowing my progress to be held back by others?"
The first sign came in the balsamic phase of Aries. I license plate that
said GRR8FUL. It just made me smile and reminded me that I have much to
be grateful for. A soft heart is grateful.
just been enamored with the unfolding of spring in our area this year...
the "wee ones" in particular. I've been on the lookout all month
for the goslings and baby birds ? signs of new life...new beginnings...the
continuation of life. I have been watching the crab apple tree in the
back yard from buds and bees to early "fruit." The landscapers
have been busy and chopped off a limb of one of the trees. The tree had
other ideas and sprouted new limbs. I watch the growth of the pine trees...growing
very slowly... perhaps just an inch per year and I am reminded to not
get too frustrated with my own personal growth or lack thereof. I've noticed
that new growth comes in a different color...a lighter green than the
rest of the plant. There is a joyfulness in the color that says, "Here
are the new ones!" There is an ease as it all unfolds... Not to worry
or be anxious. All is as it is meant to be. As another license plate frame
stated: Life is good! Enjoy it!
is joy and an ease in living in the flow...even when driving in Memorial
Day traffic. We went to Belmar on Memorial Day Monday for a much needed
day off. We have often gone there over recent years during the summer
months for a day to unwind. It is just BLISS! As we got into town, the
traffic was very heavy. I said, "No worries. The perfect parking
spot is already selected and waiting for us." My husband laughed,
frustrated with the slow movement of traffic. My son said, "You think
she's kidding?" Sure enough, there it was and for the first time
since we've been going, we didn't have to pay for parking. And the drive
home was a breeze too.
time I was asked to play last minute for a funeral instead of singing
for it. I didn't have time to pull my music before I left, so I just got
in the car and thought I'll just let the cards fall where they may. Wouldn't
you know it? I had green lights all the way to church... that NEVER happens!
Record time! (The cantor had the same experience.)
found that I need to find a different route in the care of my body. I
have found than when I am in transition, the vehicle of my spirit (and
The Spirit) is the first to go by the wayside. During this cycle, I finally
had time to research and compile some healthier recipes and menus for
the coming warmer weather.
of other quotes caught my attention this cycle as well:
you! And thanks for the feedback.
I need to see what people like or don't so I keep going in the right direction.
can change our lives. We can do, have and be exactly what we wish.
To the first quote I would say, "Always, always, ALWAYS follow your
heart." The heart ? the place where heaven meets earth...this seat
of the Spirit will never lead us astray. The path before us might be confusing,
counter-cultural, counter-intuitive, even challenging ? but it will never
steer us wrong. Using our body as a compass, if feels right in the body,
it's a good thing. Even if we don't want to do it...it will feel right
in the body if it is meant for us to do.
the second quote: "This is only true if we are in alignment with
what God wants." Everything has its time...its place. When feeling
overwhelmed take up the next most important task in the spirit of child-like
trust. What needs to get done will get done when it is time ...and let
everything else go. When at a crossroads and not sure what next?...or
where? We open our hands and ask for guidance again in child-like trust
knowing the answer will come at the appropriate time. I have found that
the truest path is to be found when we open our hands - let go of what
we want - and offer ourselves as a conduit to the divine to express the
gift... doing the will of the One Who sent us...fulfilling the purpose
for which we have been sent for the life of the world...for the greatest
possible good ... bathed in the sweetness of God's grace, overcome with
joy, to live In The Flow.
Gemini New Moon Mandala
In All Your Glory
I've been exploring the softening of these Spring rains. And you may recall
last month I wrote that it has been my experience that a symbol will reoccur
until you "get it"... until you pick it up. Well... guess what?
Yup. Rain again! (And five days of rain surrounding the full moon as well.)
I had picked up the message... I understood it, but it wasn't enough just
to understand it. I had to take the next step and integrate it into my
life. On the 28th of May, the balsamic phase of the previous cycle, as
I wrote about being in the flow, I was as far from that concept as one
could be. It was an overly programmed, busy day. I was working on a deadline
and had no wiggle room in my schedule... .no room for errors... no time
for adjustments... "clockwork" was key! And my darling daughter
decided to stay after school to finish a project and missed the bus home
which would make us late for her appointment. And I. Blew. A gasket! Went
off on a rant, dropped what I was doing and out the door I flew. And so
the previous cycle ended and this cycle began:
in the very center we have a description of the duality of our being:
square and star... .heaven and earth...above and below... spirit and matter.
Yet, the light within cannot be contained by the physical body...like
an aura it shines out surrounding the physical body, affecting the energy
is the dominant number -found around the small center circle, the 12-armed-star
and "the party line." More about that below.
Twelve is the number of what is completed, which forms a whole, a perfect
and harmonious unit. In the ancient civilizations, like Oriental and Judaic,
it corresponds to the plenitude, the completion and the integrality of
a thing. Represent the manifestation of the Trinity to the four corners
of the horizon - 3 X 4. Number attributed to the government of the world
or the cosmos. It is the creative capacity, and in some religions, it
expresses also the Divine Mother.
prominent number is Six and is seen in the two stars:
The symbolism behind number Six is legend. With Venus as its ruler, Six
represents harmony, balance, sincerity, love, and truth. Six naturally
reveals solutions for us in a calm, unfolding manner. We invoke the Six
when we need delicate diplomacy when dealing with sensitive matters. The
spiritual meaning of number Six also deals with enlightenment; specifically
"lighting" our path in areas we require spiritual and mental
balance. Sixes beckon us to administer compassion and consciously choose
forgiveness in a situation.
Four of the two squares:
The symbolic meaning of number Four deals with stability and invokes the
grounded nature of all things. Consider the four seasons, four directions,
four elements all these amazingly powerful essences wrapped up in the
nice square package of Four. Fours represent solidity, calmness, and home.
A recurrence of Four in your life may signify the need to get back to
your roots, center yourself, or even "plant" yourself. Fours
also indicate a need for persistence and endurance.
In the outermost circle is what I like to call "the party line."
For those who may be unfamiliar with this concept:
telephone systems, a party line (also multiparty line or shared service
line) was an arrangement in which two or more customers were connected
directly to the same local loop. Prior to and during World War II in the
United States, party lines were the primary way residential subscribers
acquired local telephone service. British users similarly benefited from
the party line discount. Farmers in rural Australia used party lines,
where a single line travelled miles from the nearest town out to one property
then the next.
"party line" is one continuous looping line which lends movement
and energy to the mandala...but the energy is not as frenetic as one might
first suspect. Each large loop holds two smaller loops and shares them
with adjacent, adjoining loops. They are interconnected... the energy
is slower, deliberate, contained, yet potent and powerful.
all, the cross beams of the four directions...north, south, east, west...along
with the circles are reminiscent of last years "sights" giving
us a sense of focus.
makes something better is connection.
RSA Shorts - The Power Of Empath
her friend Nelson Mandela passed away last year, Maya Angelou wrote
"No sun outlasts its sunset, but will rise again, and bring the dawn."
Maya Angelou dies, 88, author, poet, civil rights activist, playwright,
actress, director, composer, singer and dancer.
But above all, she was a storyteller - and her greatest stories were true.
Fr. Andrew Jamieson
15:4 A gentile tongue brings healing.
Its amazing what a few kind words can do.
Words have healing power.
one minute please stand here in silence
look at the sky and
contemplate how awesome life is.
The mind Unleashed with M. Caleykix
On the Feast of the Ascension of Jesus into Heaven
no Wi-fi in the forest,
but you'll find a better connection.
The Mind Unleashed
believe in God.
Daily Bible Message FB
Actions speak louder than words:
than anything else in the world, Hailey Bretzius, 9, wished she could
share her favorite book - Wonder by R.J.Palacio, and its powerful message
to choose kindness-with her classmates at Burns Park Elementary school
in Ann Arbor. 5-year volunteer with the Make-A-Wish Foundation said, "It's
the first wish I've had that the child was thinking of other people."
signed up for Smile.amazon.com,
You shop. Amazon gives.
Choose a charity and 5% of eligible Amazon Smile purchases will be donated...automatically.
8 year old Michael Diamond of Ohio lost his grandmother recently. He overheard
his parents talking about how they couldn't afford a proper burial, so
last Thursday, he decided to help out by setting up a stand selling Kool-Aid
to raise money for his grandmother's funeral.
$55 dollars worth the first day, but the local news found out about it
and did a story on Michael. The next day tons of people came out to buy
Kool-Aid! Some people paid $100 a cup. By Monday, he had raised over $5,500!
Enough to give his grandmother a decent service. One boy with a selfless
plan + lots of generous people = inspiration and respect.
birthday of Sir Nicholas Winston
Who rescued 669 children destined for death camps from Nazis,
arranged for them to have homes and smuggled them to Great Brittain.
nothing dim the light that shines within.
Live more complain less.
More smiles less stress.
Hate less, more blessed.
to let go should be learned before learning to get.
Life should be touched, not strangled.
You've got to relax, let it happen at times,
and let others move forward with it.
~ Ray Bradbury via Elephant journal on Facebook.
Ed: Kate Bartolotta
love a verb.
Because some questions cannot be answered by Google.
the Good Samaritan,
may we not be ashamed of touching the wounds of those who suffer,
but try to heal them with concrete acts of love.
Pope Francis on Twitter
of all, let love guide your life.
Col. 3:14 via The Art of Dharma
learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel.
a good Christian demands concrete action and deeds.
Pope Francis, VATICAN CITY
love, luxury, rare and delicate beauty, strength, virility.
and fawn crossing the road in front of me today:
Deer, Power Animal, Symbol of Gentleness, Unconditional Love and Kindness
Deer has entered your life to help you walk the path of love with full
consciousness and awareness, to know that love sometimes requires caring
and protection, not only in how we love others, but also in how we love
speak louder than words;
let your words teach and your actions speak.
St. Anthony of Padua
should not worry about what they do
but rather what they are.
If they and their ways are good, then their deeds are radiant.
If you are righteous, then what you do will be righteous.
We should not think that holiness is based on what we do
but rather on what we are, because it is not our works
that sanctify us but we who sanctify our works.
Meister Eckhart, Dominican theologian
words you speak become the house you live in.
past, thank you for your lessons.
Dear future, I'm ready.
Dear God, thank you for another chance.
big fan of the notion of the inner child. It can be a really healing construct.
Once, when I was going through a particularly dark season of self-loathing,
I taped a sweet photo of myself (age 2) on my mirror, and taught myself
that any harm I did to me, I also did to HER. It made me kinder and more
tender to myself. Imagining other people's inner children makes me kinder
and more tender to them.
Inner Child is a good thing.
days, though, I spend less time thinking about my Inner Child lately,
and more time focused on my INNER CRONE ? the old lady who lives inside
me, whom I hope to someday be. Because she's a serious bad-ass.
old ladies always are bad-asses. I'm talking about the real survivors.
The women who have been through everything already, so nothing scares
them anymore. The ones who have already watched the world fight itself
nearly to death a dozen times over. The ones who have buried their dreams
and their loved ones and lived through it. The ones who have suffered
pain and lived through it, and who have had their innocence challenged
by ten thousand appalling assaults... and who lived through all of it.
is a frightening place. But you simply cannot frighten The True Crone.
Some might consider the word "crone" to be derogatory, but I
don't in the least. I honor it. The crone is a classic character from
myth and folklore, and she often the bearer of great wisdom and supernatural
power. She is sometimes a guardian to the underworld. She has tremendous
vision, even if she is blind. She has no fear of death, which means: NO
days, when my Inner Child gets all fluttery with the panic of living,
I just ask myself: " WWMICD?"
"What Would My Inner Crone Do?"
that same question. See what she tells you.
One thing I can promise you she will never say? She will never say: "WORRY.
She will more likely tell you this: "ENDURE."
us free our mind for a moment.
Let us release from the roar of distraction,
and sense our heart and our space.
Let us simply be afloat in awareness,
a harmony and acceptance and gratitude to what is all around us, now.
Yes, let us simply be. Amen.
Brandon Burchard, author of Life's Golden Ticket
found god in myself
and i loved her
i loved her fiercely
~ Ntozake Shange, American playwright and poet
The turtle totem wisdom teaches us about walking our path in peace and
sticking to it with determination and serenity. Slow moving on earth,
yet also incredibly fast and agile in water, those who have the turtle
as totem or spirit animal may be encouraged to take a break in their busy
lives and look around or within themselves for more grounded, long-lasting
solutions. Traditionally, the turtle is symbolic of the way of peace,
whether it's inviting us to cultivate peace of mind or a peaceful relationship
with our environment.
By Elena Harris, SpiritAnimal.com Editor
practice art, no matter how well or badly
is a way to make your soul grow.
I know that words matter.
I know that I can build up my family or tear it down just with my words.
I pray that you would help me today to be in control of my words and
use them to build my family up.
In Jesus' name, AMEN!
not working...needed to scrub, uninstall old programs (old version of
Java causing problems and upload update).
It works now!!! On another note...a cup of Java in the morning is really
helpful these days!! Lol
dutch-oven-sized horseshoe crab seen at Ocean City
With a mixture of moon, copper, feminine and that hard exoskeleton...
we start to get a symbolic-horseshoe-crab-dialog that says something like...
"Yes, I am soft on the inside. I am beautiful, vulnerable, sweetly
feminine...but you've got to get past my hard exterior to find my lovely
silver linings of beauty." That's a fabulous message for women and
men alike, isn't it!? This is about being aware of our inner tenderness...
our innate beauty... and encapsulate ourselves in a layer of tough power.
Although I'm sure men can appreciate this in their own lives...I think
the symbolic message is more profound for women. It's all about balance
(as Venus would have it).
It's about being utterly lovely, but uber-powerful too.
It's about harmonizing soft vs. strong.
the facts in my head get bored and decide to take a walk in my mouth.
Frequently this is a bad thing.
Scott Westerfeld, So Yesterday
to the Contemplative life will actually gain more souls that way.
It's wonderful to do something beautiful for God
but much more so, to be something beautiful for God.
That's what we're called to do.
Mother Cecilia Snell, Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, Lent at
a way, we're each here to express the music in our soul.
being seen in all of your glory.
always seem to find in this cycle a challenge of some kind... to clean
and clear out. This year the cycle was about making amends... of "do-overs"
and fresh starts and forgiving the past. From our dog who was in bad need
of grooming to a friendship that had been strained, to my computer which
needed to get rid of old programs to function properly once again (Java
joke aside, it made me question what old programs I held that need to
be scrubbed out as well - once and for all.) Sometimes you just need to
clear the air and let the pieces fall where they may... and start over.
It often requires us to be vulnerable and truthful... to be truly human
and acknowledge our limitations... to forgive easily and often...especially
ourselves. And then, begin again. Continue. Endure.
a nutshell, the lesson of this cycle: Let us not spin our wheels caught
up in what we do, or have done for that matter, for what we do, tied to
this physical plane, can be prone to momentary error... error in judgment,
second guessing, filtered through the programs for happiness that never
satisfy. The "doing" of this world can also be rooted in those
false programs for happiness. Rather, let us be more concerned by what
we are. To be something beautiful for God... whose works and words, then,
are good, righteous, and radiant. Be more concerned by what you are...
that rare and delicate beauty and risk being seen in all your glory!
Hugs and Blessings,
Cancer New Moon Mandala
Ambassador of Love
first day of this cycle in my Catholic faith tradition we celebrated the
Sacred Heart of Jesus. The next day we celebrated the Immaculate heart
of Mary. The theme of heart and what is planted there has been a major
focus this cycle as we explored scripture passages about seeds, soil (beaten
path, rocky ground or thorny), Sower, and weeds. Having been inspired
by a group of Benedictine Sisters at the end of the last cycle through
a PBS show called 'Lent at Ephesus,' I found myself longing for more structure...
and a need for more of a rhythm to my day. I decided to incorporate more
prayer by praying the Liturgy of the Hours, which, along with the Mass
is the official public prayer life of the church. I signed up for an online
retreat based on The Hours, which I will enjoy in the month of August,
but I wanted to start integrating the prayer in preparation for the retreat.
I belong to a group of Dancing Monks in the World and polled them as to
what resource to use. In addition to the resources, one person suggested
I move into it slowly. The "go get'em" "do it all"
in me decided to just jump right in to the whole prayer! After a few days
I found myself realizing what wisdom she had given me and deleted the
reminders to pray from my calendar. I found that, of all the prayers,
I very rarely miss the first prayer of the day so I decided to started
in love with this mandala from the get go! It unfolds so softly and gently.
Bee popped in at the end of the last cycle and visited again early in
this cycle. The triangles instantly became my nod to Bee. Shortly after
came Dragonfly and the shapes behind the "bees" quickly became
dragonfly wings and the blue of daytime sky behind them.
flower in the center (10: new beginnings at a higher level, the upward
spiral of life) gently unfolds. It appears to be at the center of the
"5" which speaks to me of the five points of the body -head,
hands, feet. The flower then is at the "heart" of the 5 and
from the beginning was pink in my mind -the color of unconditional love.
The pink is again repeated in the 12-sectioned band (12: whole), which
surrounds the star-filled night sky. It occurs to me as I write this that
these lights could also be a nod to the fireflies, which began their evening
dance during this cycle. In any event we have light in the darkness.
gentle arcs or new moons surrounding the flower (7-completion, 6-home
and homing) create this sense of outward movement and suggests that what
is coming to fruition -the fragrance of whatever it is that is blooming
- is intended to be shared -intended to intoxicate ever so gently, softly,
lovingly or perhaps suggest the bloom yet to come? And behind them all,
though star-like in shape, which suggests a "night light" -
feels more moon-like to me.
is the sense then, of blooming or flowering in the soft, gentle glow of
moonlight... where the interior shadow places dwell. Interestingly enough,
dragonfly is my symbol for the spiritual journey. And who doesn't know
a busy bee? So then to balance the busy with the contemplative in the
light of day and allowing what is hiding in the shadows the space to reveal
its gift. Standing in the light of day... no longer hiding... balanced...
whole... and w-holy.
emotions will never die.
They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.
heart just aches for her:
-brings to mind how desensitized and oblivious
we can be to the needs of the people we come in contact with...
how what is okay for one or many (the waiting room of the OBGYN)
is wholly inappropriate for another (the tragedy occurring in their midst.)
No matter your obstacles, live a happy life:
Don't focus on what you can't do... focus on what you're passionate
Make adjustments and put things in the CAN DO category.
Surround yourself with people you want to be around.
Appreciate and love your family, friends and acknowledge your mentors
and your community.
Keep moving forward.
Always have something to look forward to... something to strive for.
Never miss a party if you can help it.
The wisdom of Sam Berns, who passed from this life at the age of 17
from the rare disease progeria,
which causes rapid aging and various other side effects,
none of which could prevent Sam from leading a happy life.
as a snake sheds its skin,
we must shed our past over and over again.
seen in this car ride "honeycomb-like" rear lights on another
unfortunately not ready to take a picture and traffic began to move.
Keywords for Bee Meaning and Symbolism
Speaking of family, community and nurturing... bee meaning primarily deals
with the theme of life. Aside
from the unique way they insure continuation of colonies - the bee provides
life for a huge faction
within nature... .Flowers. Bees flit from flower to flower-gathering pollen
for their purposes. Pollen
clings to their fuzzy legs, and when the bee visits another nearby flower,
the pollen rubs off - thus
pollinating the plant - assuring its continued survival. In this light,
the bee asks us what we are doing to
insure the growth of our inner gardens. If our heart is a garden,
how are we pollinating it?
What kinds of beauty can we visit in order to allow growth
in our hearts, dreams, minds and emotions?
What are we feeding ourselves in order to feed our dreams?
for this cycle:
In family life, love is the oil that eases friction,
the cement that binds closer together, and
the music that brings harmony.
Eva Burrows (1929 - ) Australian community welfare organizer
Via Zodiac Arts Newsletter
Fr. Andrew's homily on the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
do want to be a burden on my loved ones just as I want them to be a burden
on me - it's called looking after each other... My existence
is fundamentally bound up with yours... Of course, I will hold your hand
in the long hours of the night. (Stop talking) about being a burden. I
This is what it means to love you. Surely, there is something extraordinarily
beautiful about all of this."
DrGiles Fraser is priest-in-charge at St Mary's Newington in south London
and the former canon chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral.
He writes the column Loose Canon for the Guardian
the "Sacred Heart" of Jesus, the compassionand love of God is
revealed; in the emptying of
His heart we are made new in the "water" of God's life-giving
reconciliation and resurrection;
in the generosity of His heart, our spirits are enriched and animated
in the wisdom and grace of God.
God's love is at the heart of every kindness.
Dayspring Thank You card cover from a Prayer Shawl recipient
It is important to note that Saints Peter and Paul, the two men we call
the "pillars of the church," were
both flawed and gifted human beings. Peter, the "rock" upon
which Jesus built his church, was a simple
fisherman who was the first to recognize Jesus as the Messiah and also
the first to deny knowing him.
Paul, an educated Roman citizen, intended to imprison Christians but
ended up becoming a follower of
Jesus himself. He was Christianity's first missionary, establishing
communities throughout the
Mediterranean world. We are each called to live the gospel message.
These stories offer reassurance that our weaknesses are not too much
for God to overcome.
the journey isn't so much about becoming anything.
Maybe it's about un-becoming everything that really isn't you
so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.
if I fall?
Oh, but my darling... what if you fly?
FB: Kind Spring
choose... to live by choice, not by chance.
To make changes, not excuses.
To be motivated, not manipulated.
To be useful, not used.
To excel, not compete.
I choose self-esteem, not self pity.
I choose to listen to my inner voice. Not the random opinion of others.
- Unknown via the Mind Unleashed
can't just give up on someone because the situation's not ideal.
Great relationships aren't great because they have no problems.
They're great because both people care enough about the other person
to find a way to make it work.
Unknown shared by Lynette DeTata
grass isn't greener on the other side.
It is green where you water it.
via The Mind Unleashed.
you are alive with joy, gratitude, and genuine interest in others,
you are your most beautiful.
Now go stun the world.
Brendon Buchard, Live. Love. Matter
a mute man can sing in his heart.
invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.
Ralph Waldo Emmerson
had the power all along my dear.
Glinda, the good witch
Let your power guide you home.
day I was making waffles.
The way the light was shining on them
it looked like they were studded with diamonds.
What makes your heart sparkle?
What brings you joy?
People are made for happiness.
Rightly, then, you thirst for happiness.
Christ has the answer to this desire of yours.
But he asks you to trust him.
True joy is a victory,
something which cannot be obtained without a long and difficult struggle.
Christ holds the secret of this victory.
Top 10 Quotes of Pope John Paul II
at World Youth Day 2002. (Welcoming Address, 2)
the classroom of silence.
Matthew Kelly via Array of Hope
past is your lesson.
The present is your gift.
The future is your motivation.
hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their
Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty
and the pursuit of Happiness.
Declaration of Independance, John Adams, HBO Mini-Series
yourself out of your bad mood.
Studies show that even a 10 minute walk
immediately boosts brain chemistry to increase happiness.
Let them discover.
Let them struggle.
Let them find their way.
This is their journey.
Let them fly.
Sue Fitzmaurice on children
practice is not just sitting and meditating.
Every act, every breath every step can be practice
and can help us be more ourselves.
Thich Nhat Hanh
asked, "what have you gained by meditating?"
He replied, "Nothing!! However let me tell you what I have lost:
fear of old age
you are accountable to yourMaker for all your words and actions.
Abigail Adams to her son as he leaves on a journey with his father, John.
us remember that love lives by sacrifice and is nourished by giving.
Without sacrifice there is no love.
St. Maximilian Kolbe
Collect, morning mass
thought of the egg whites from earlier in the week... how they sparkled...
so it's not just about light but
sparking light... A light that is active and alive... that literally dances
been contemplating the bee I saw on my back patio earlier in the week
See collage above. Right in
the middle of the slab, not to be missed. I've been wondering what that
was all about. As you can see,
she was perfect in every way but literally dead on her feet. And I wondered,
"Am I living my life to the full
or am I dead on my feet? Am I just going through the motions? Or do I
bring loving intention to
everything I do?" We're also taking some vacation time this week
so I also "read" into her the need to
take some rest... and not overdo it this week. So easy to be the busy
bee and get caught up when what I
really need is to kick back and recharge. Since we're not going anywhere
in particular I'm making sure to
program some meaningful family time and fun into the week.
I open my mouth and my mother comes out.
Unknown via Mary Borris
the light in other's and
treat them like that's all you see.
Dr. Wayne Dyer via Kennedy's Cause
are not artists because we create beautiful and tangible things or events.
We are artists because we
live in awe... then endeavor to share our wonderment with the world. We
sense there is something
more than meets the eye. We seek to live in a space and time that others
do not see. We feel our way
through life with wider eyes and open hearts. Then... we work to translate
to something tangible.
Thank You God...
i thank You God for most this amazing day:
for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;
and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday;
this is the birthday of life and love and wings:
and of the gay great happening illimitably earth)
should tasting, touching, hearing, seeing,
breathing any - lifted from the no
of all nothing - human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
E.E. Cummings (1894?1962) via Dottie
Live more complain less.
Through the light shinging in the trees (see collage above:
God calls to us to Himself
through the light...
inviting us into prayer...
video of Sir Nicholas Winton (who I mentioned last cycle) in 1988 unknowingly
some of the children, now adults, he rescued from the Nazi death camps.
love a verb.
Still purging... cleaning, de-cluttering... throwing away... putting away...
The house... my computer... the prayer shawl stash.
Lots of anxious energy.
I am reminded of the horse sculpture shared by a friend and the freedom
and joy it expresses.
(See collage above.)
You attract what you radiate.
focus was on our Higher nature (Spirit) and our lower nature (flesh).
Fr. Jim Dever, homily 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
pray for the faithfulness to choose courage over fear,
understanding over ignorance and
risk over inertia.
In the memory of Sister Thea and a thousand other hidden saints like her,
may the Spirit of Christ ignite
in us the courage "to live fully until we die," until that happy
day when God calls us together again
around the great welcome table.
Christopher Pramuk is an associate professor of theology at Xavier University
This essay is adapted from his book, Hope Sings, So Beautiful: Graced
Encounters Across the Color Line (Liturgical Press)
of all, let love guide your life.
Here I stand in the light of day.
Elsa, from Frozen
I am... This is Me. No longer hiding in the shadows... Standing tall.
Standing firm. Standing strong
in who I am..bearing the gift that only I can bring to this world (though
the gift may at times feel like a curse.)
found on Sunday in my trunk perfectly preserved. (see collage)
So... when I come upon animals in symbolic interpretations who have passed
on from this physical
plane, I interpret it as a sign of transition. An animal death reminds
me of a Latin phrase I hold dear:
"Omnia mutantur omni tempus" (all things are changing - a time
do I need to let go of? What do I need to embrace?
Fr. Andrew Jamieson, funeral homily
you get caught up in the craziness of life, remember who you are:
an ambassador of love in a human body.
speak the truth even if your voice shakes.
Tomorrow is too late,
yesterday is over and
NOW is exactly the right moment.
continues after death.
we die to self, all that is left is Love.
Will Not Die an Unlived Life
will not die an unlived life
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance;
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.
the glorious mess that you are.
beast things in life are free.
Parables are not meant to test human intelligence. They are a means of
grace that test our heart's
willingness to surrender to and be enveloped in the always-surprising
generosity of God. The surprising
generosity of God is exactly what the parable of the sower reveals. (Gospel
of Matthew 13:24-43,
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/072014.cfm) It doesn't matter what
kind of soil you are. God
doesn't care either. Because Godis the sower. And God doesn't stop sowing
the seeds of divine love
because the soil isn't perfect. Rather God is busy sowing indiscriminately,
irresponsibly, irrationally. This
parable is a reminder that it doesn't matter in your faith is dried up,
withered and dead. God is still
sowing love and always will. God is the relentless and lavish sower. That's
the scandal of this parable. It's
not about the quality of the dirt. It's about the quality of God, the
part of our life has been sown with the seeds of God and you know what
happens to seeds.
Given the right conditions apple seeds become apples.
Peach seeds become peaches.
God seeds become...
Fr. Andrew Jamieson, 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
than question a miracle,
why not question your skepticism.
is using your imagination to create something you don't want.
world is full of magic things
patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.
flings herself off the side of the mountain in complete trust that Kristoff
will catch her and says,
"That was like some crazy trust exercise."
Fling yourself into life! Trust the path. Trust God.
beautiful day begins with a beautiful mindset.
When you wake up, take a second to think about
what a privilege it is to simply be alive and healthy.
The moment you start acting like life is a blessing,
I assure you it will start to feel like one.
Prayers are wrote, formulaic.
Prayer is abiding in God.
Fr. Andrew (paraphrased)
three C's in life: Choice, Chance, Change.
You must make the choice
to take the chance
if you want anything in life
is not the absence of trouble
it is the presence of God.
Judith Toth Bingham
your happy on.
This, the answer to my plea for help
Answered in the Short Reading from Liturgy of the Hours that same day:
Be consecrated to me, because I, the Lord, am holy...
a funeral at St.John Neuman. They have a statue of their patron outside
and the statue points to
the center of the chest. My mind says, " What is the condition
of your heart?
What makes its home in our hearts?
has been very present all year. I am working at our parish festival
this week and as I drove into the
parish parking lot I was met with might be called a vision from Hitchcock's
Birds. Crows... EVERYWHERE!
Obviously I'm not getting it. Nothing like being hit over the head.
And regrettably the movement of the
car frightened them before I could get a picture...
Colors of My Life
Are bountiful and bold.
The purple glow of indigo,
The gleaming green and gold
The splendor of a sunrise
The dazzle of a flame.
The glory of a rainbow, I'd put 'em all to shame.
No quiet brown and grays,
I'll take my days instead and
Fill them till they over flow with rose and cherry red.
And should this sunlit world grow dark one day.
The colors of my life will leave a shining light to show the way.
colors of my life are softer than a breeze,
The silver gray of eiderdown,
The dapple green of trees.
The amber of a wheat field, the hazel of a seed, the crystal of a raindrop
are all I'll every need.
Your reds are much too bold, in gold I find no worth,
I'll fill my days with sage and brown the colors of the earth.
And if from by my side, my love should roam,
The colors of my life will shine a quiet light to lead him home.
From the musical Barnum, Music by Cy Coleman, Lyrics by Michael Stewart
putting the collage together I noticed that in this year of the "horse"
there are many insect pictures.
Insect animal totems all seem to point to a few key characteristics:
tenacity, patience, and detachment.
Seemingly unaware of their surroundings as they go about their business,
totem meanings herald the importance of minding our own business.
Yet, at the same time, most insects have a strong
sense of community. The trick is keeping balance, and insect
animal totems certainly do that.
Insects are progressive, and proactive - always adapting to the
environment, and never letting little
things like natural disasters get in their way of progress. When
we get discouraged, we could all learn a
thing or two from insect animal totem meanings. It's their unsinkable
nature that reminds us to keep
moving forward for progress.
The theme for this natural year is softening and my word for 2014 is Soar.
I find that prayer softens me. That connection to the Divine helps me
deal with the ups and downs in a much more loving and productive way.
It has to do with feeling "at home."
you may know I am a church musician. In the final two weeks of this cycle
there have been a great many funerals - atypical for this time of year.
I mentioned above that I have also visited by a dead bee... and a dead
dragonfly. Death is ultimate the symbol of transformation. We often hear
in death "She has gone home to God." But in truth we do not
need to leave the body to be "home." In God we have all that
we need and what is meant for us will come to us. There have been many
instances of God's timing this month that just blow my mind. I'll share
mentioned in an earlier entry that I started a prayer shawl ministry at
my church back in September. What an amazing group of women!!! We had
heard that one of the members of our community was in Hospice care. We
had given Bob a shawl many months ago and continue to lift him up in prayer.
Judy, one of our Prayer Shawl Ministers (as I refer to them) takes communion
to patients in that particular hospital on Tuesdays and said she would
take a shawl to his wife, Theresa, who was also referred to me by another
person who had seen her at mass the week before. Our parish is having
its festival this week so Judy wasn't going on Tuesday as usual. So she
decided to go after mass on Sunday. She was joined by another Prayer Shawl
Minister who wanted to go with her and off they went. As they walked into
the hospital, they ran into Carol, another Prayer Shawl Minister (who
later told me she lost her way trying to get out of the hospital. I told
her she didn't get lost, but rather she was being delayed so she could
meet up with the two.) Carol decided to join the two and up they went.
Together the three of them ministered to Theresa... praying with her,
letting her talk... vent... cry. Bob passed from this life in the early
hours of Tuesday morning.
has a plan. God is with us. God IS here. Be open to the path laid before
you -though it may scare you half to death and you know nothing about
it or feel you don't know enough. Be bold. Be courageous. With God in
the lead, it cannot fail. Live life... in all its colors... in safety,
security, at peace. Relax. Enjoy. Open your hands. Let go of the worries...
let go of what you think you need in the knowing that all that you need
will come to you in the proper time. That what is yours will come to you...
in God's time.
God we are home (with a much broader sense of family than most perhaps
have: it means we are all related... siblings... brothers and sisters.
So at the very least, let us be kind.) Wherever our spirit dwells there
is God... lavishly loving, guiding, providing. Live in joy and gratitude
with a genuine interest in others. STUN THE WORLD through His presence
in you! We are meant to be happy... to live joy-filled lives. Turn to
God... trust in God. Be victorious! Let the "God seeds" planted
in your heart take root and grow and become the Ambassador of Love in
a human body that you were sent to be.
Hugs and Blessings,
Leo New Moon Mandala
My Soul Doth Glory
The journal is taking a turn and moving in a different direction. New,
at the beginning of this cycle, was Lynn
Keefer's Mandala Journal on Facebook. If you enjoy the quotes and
the occasional throw back mandala, please come and "Like" the
page. If you don't want to miss anything, be sure to press "Like"
again and select "get notifications." Hope to see you there!
early in this cycle and scattered throughout was the challenge to be uniquely
ourselves - deeply passionate about something and totally devoted to it!
We were asked how the Divine would describe us in 3 words? and to get
in touch with who we truly are... deep, deep down. For some, change was
in the air as we found ourselves not as authentic as we'd hoped to be
- able to see how we were making decisions through the framework of the
ego and the need to please, the need to be who people thought we ought
to be, the need to _______ (and you can fill this one in.?)
many sightings of turtle we were invited to connect to the Eternal One...
the Ancient of Days... The Alpha and The Omega, and the way that the light
dances through the trees and spills onto the floor at this time of year
called us to connect with the Divine... called us to prayer. We were invited
to laugh, play and create like little children... to be without a care
or worry in the world. Yet, knowing that life brings it's challenges and
stormy days - I personally found the third week of this cycle to be particularly
so - we were encouraged to a different kind of faith... a "stay in
the boat kind of faith" and to know that we are never, ever alone...
that what is needed will be given... to stay the course and know that
what is ours will come to us in the proper time. It made me wonder why
it is that some people always seem to be so happy. I, myself, found a
model in Mary, the Mother of Jesus as we celebrated one of many Marian
feasts in my faith tradition during this cycle. As we sang, "My soul
doth glory in Your love, O Lord," the light bulb came on! In that
moment I came to deeply understand what had been expressed all month long:
our ability to be child like... to be carefree and not worry... to be
authentically ourselves... to know we are never alone - especially during
those long, dark, stormy days... (and for some of us: dark weeks... and
months upon months) - all this with a profound joy because we know we
are loved beyond our wildest imaginings. This LOVE fills our very being
to overflowing and we cannot help but be filled with joy.
the final days of the cycle we were called once again to connect to God,
to ourselves and to others. Some were SO filled with Divine Love that
it spilled out into the world. The "God seeds" from last cycle
had taken root and were found in full bloom: from the ice bucket challenge
for ALS... to the Silly String Pie in the Face for AT... to Bubbles Beyond
Borders which supports the dreams of women and young girls throughout
the world... to signing petitions to free those who were oppressed and
persecuted... to volunteering for a cause we deeply believed in and supported.
(Interesting to note how delightful, joyful and truly child-like many
of these events were!) We loved beyond our borders... beyond our selves...
because we knew Love, Love knew us and we reveled in it!
truth, the happier more connected and fulfilled you genuinely feel,
the more you have to give.
love that flows through us is unlimited.
Begin with Yes
you see yourself as you really are?
You are a chosen dearly loved, child of God!
Hugs and Blessings,
Virgo New Moon Mandala
One Glorious Mess
The journal is taking a turn and moving in a different direction. New,
at the beginning of last cycle, was Lynn
Keefer's Mandala Journal on Facebook. If you enjoy the quotes and
the occasional throw back mandala, please come and "Like" the
page. If you don't want to miss anything, be sure to press "Like"
again and select "get notifications." Hope to see you there!
cycle started out remarkably quiet - how Virgo! The Virgos I know are
So sweet...so quiet...truly darling people. The stillness at the beginning
of the cycle was so palpable and remained so throughout the cycle. In
the northern hemisphere, nature was beginning to take the inward turn
though many of our lives were ramping up - especially those of us with
children yet at home...back to school and new routines pushed us up against
the natural tide. Even at church many had donned their black and had put
their summer colors away before Labor Day! We were all feeling it...all
sensing it... the end of summer BEFORE "the end of summer" -
early this year. The song of bird was replaced by the hum... the love
song of cricket and cicada. In this quiet...this stillness...surrounded
and engulfed by the resounding hum-song of love... the cycle began.
At the core...the very center of the mandala is a light infused heart
surrounded by a square turned on it's point which speaks to me of a radiant
love that turns the world on its ear.
in turn is surrounded by another, larger heart... connected to three interlocking
rhombi. Three nearly always speaks to me of the Trinity...so here the
greater love of God Love...Divine Love...the kind of love that transforms
the world...that stretches the corners and creates a new world...a different
world... where the corners are not so neat and tidy and uniform... a world
that embraces the shadow... a world that allows for "different"...
odd ...other ...or better yet: ALL. Humanity...we are surely a "mixed
bag," aren't we?
two rest upon a six petaled flower...the God-seeds that were planted a
two cycles ago are now in full bloom. Their mandorla shaped petals speak
of divine gateways...of birthing the divine...bring heaven to earth...as
above, so below.
the flower is another square... which could symbolize the earth - perhaps
in its current state? Square is also grounded and grounding...very earthy
- yet another Virgo trait - they are typically so down to earth! With
the square lie two pentagons. I typically connect five to manifesting...and
here we have two...a double dose if you will...or perhaps duality - of
darkness and light? I am inclined to go with the latter. With one of the
focuses this cycle on our health and well being, I am reminded that in
Traditional Chinese Medicine there are five yang organs and 5 complimentary
yin organs...so the health and well being of the whole being...both the
darkness and the light. I was also reminded of a familiar story late in
the cycle of the two wolves/dogs, and read a great take on embracing and
"feeding" and nurturing the shadow side as well...those dark
places we all hold within: http://www.elsaelsa.com/astrology/2014/09/22/pluto-and-the-dark-dog-on-pluto-going-direct/
within are two ovals...two intersecting eggs that create a cross-like
shape - suggesting that this "new potential" does not come without
sacrifice...without suffering. The world may even balk at...may be uncomfortable
with... perhaps not like the "You" you are becoming.
lastly, the entire mandala is divided into seven sections...the number
of perfect completion. Oh what a world this would be... takes my breath
away just to ponder it.
plates were particularly vocal this cycle...and spoke volumes about taking
care of the body.
eating more healthfully, working out at the gym, taking some "me
time" or taking care of our hearts in some way ...even a reference
to scripture on the back of a carpentry van spoke about how crucial it
is to take care of the body - the vehicle of our spirit: "If anyone
destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person, for the temple of
God which you are is holy..." 1 Corinthians 3:17 (Did you catch the
name of the business? "New Creation Carpentry!" LOL ...and I
almost missed it!)
I believe that God is a god of love, my personal interpretation of this
passage: If we allow it... God will chisel away the destructive patterns
we have that harm the body so that the destructive person that we currently
are would live no more. Rather we would be transformed into the original
masterpiece that God intended us to be...filled with love, care and concern
not only for others but ourselves as well. We can do what we can do...but
real transformation comes from a source and power greater than our own.
The video link below was shared recently with the adults who attended
the Living in Faith Together or LIFT program at my parish. It is well
worth 11 minutes of your time: youtube.com/watch?v=3QCkBL2DfVg
-- and I thank Jeff and John for sharing it with us!
favorite new word introduced to me during this cycle was "perspectacles."
LOVE that word! My sister said it best when she wrote, "I'm not going
to stress out that I am behind... I have my perspectacles on and I'm doing
the best I can." She also said, "It took me fifty years to learn
that I need to put my oxygen mask on first before I assist others."
What a great image representing the need to take care of our needs...
physical, mental, emotional, spiritual... so that we have the energy and
patience to deal lovingly with the craziness that is all too often the
modern day life. Filling our tanks will also give us a reserve of love
to treat those darling people in our lives with the tenderness and compassion
they deserve. So however that is expressed for each of us...maybe it's
getting enough sleep so we feel refreshed in the morning, or 15-20 minutes
of prayer or meditation everyday - or even at moments throughout the day,
leaving the house and going for a walk...even if it's just around the
block, reading a book that uplifts and inspires us, having lunch with
a friend, attending mass more often, creative time, singing in a choir,
time away from technology, learning to delegate more, enjoying a weekend
retreat, turning over the things we can no longer carry to a Higher Power...
not always easy things, but the possibilities are endless. It is necessary
to take the time - schedule the time if need be - put our own oxygen masks
on and fill our tanks. And I'm certain everyone around us would be all
the more grateful that we did.
leads to another focal point for this cycle: Gratitude - finding and acknowledging
the positive things in our lives. I was challenged to five days of positives
for five days and inviting 5 people to do the same. What a game changer!
Talk about elevating a mindset! It occurred to me that it would be a great
spiritual practice at the end of every day to find one...two...maybe three
positive things from the day. They could be things we said or did...things
someone else did for us...time spent with people we love, or perhaps something
we observed during the day. A positive attitude/attitude of gratitude
has the power to elevate our thoughts and give us new "perspectacles."
that brings us back to the mandala: How do we change the world? Complaining
about the condition the world is in does no good...it just drags the energy
down even further into the dirt and the darkness. Rather, let us commit
to changing the world one person at a time - each of us individually addressing
our own needs or even the plank in our own eyes (Matthew 7:5)...each of
us individually committing to be the best "me" we can be so
that there is more love in the world. Each doing our part - and when we
can do no more... letting God do what only God can do - we enter openly
and willingly into the process of becoming one beautiful, original, loving
masterpiece at a time.
healthy lifestyle is not just about what you eat,
it is also what you consume emotionally, mentally and spiritually...
Shamala Tan @Modern Medicine Woman.com
it doesn't nourish us...we don't have to eat it.
From my dear friend, Jean Pollock
the glorious mess that you are.
Love, Hugs and Blessings,
Libra New Moon Mandala
The journal is taking a turn and moving in a different direction. Lynn
Keefer's Mandala Journal is now on Facebook. If you enjoy the quotes
and the occasional throw back mandala, please come and "Like"
the page. If you don't want to miss anything, be sure to press "Like"
again and select "get notifications." Hope to see you there!
is the necessary transition between summer's fruitfulness and spring's
No new growth will come unless autumn agrees to let go of what has been.
The same is true of our lives.
S. Joyce Rupp
strange that the nature of life is change,
yet the nature of human beings it to resist change.
And how ironic that the difficult times we fear might ruin us
are the very ones that can break us open
and help us blossom into who we were meant to be.
you've been following The Journal on Facebook, you know that the themes
for the month have been kindness, relationships and courage. For me there
has been a continued, underlying them of the need for self care.
Prominent numbers in this mandala are seven (perfect completion) and five
(5 circles: manifestation - bringing the divine to earth) and three (Trinity)
with one eight (perfection/Christ consciousness.) So from the center:
center flower has seven petals, with an eight center (7+1) and represents
the Christ within. Attached to this flower are eight waxing crescent moons
or balsamic moons...a designation for the end of a cycle as we have entered
the "end of days" - seven of them together reiterate this idea
of completion. The harvest is in and it is time to take stock of what
we have harvested, what has been - and release what no longer serves us...which
in turn will enrich the soil... by turning under and composting what remains
to feed the new growth of next spring.
center flower with moons are held within what I see as three hearts joined...the
Trinity of Love joined in the shape of an inverted triangle. While this
symbol is the precursor to the symbol of for the heart, this image is
very womb-like for me - safe, secure, nourishing, warm, relaxed - and
is the center of creativity.
of this womb, are seven flowers. I've been noticing some new growth this
fall particularly in the winter plants like pine, holly, and some newly
sprouted weeds...so late in the season for there to be new growth...but
the color of their flowers is white. With Christ at the center of our
creativity, our "doing", our co-creation, this seven - this
completion - represents the beauty of our good deeds. It is actually a
seven (petal) plus seven (center) or 14 = 1+4=5 - so the many and varied
ways we have brought Christ to the world.
next seven represents how we choose to bring Christ to the world and is
perhaps the focus for this month for me. If we start at 1:00 and go around
the wheel, there is a progression of growth and decay.... of growing brighter
and of dying. As I begin the journey of entering the "crone years,"
(read into that wise, calm, dignified, strong, witty, charming, delightful,
comfortable in her own skin - I always think of Grandmother Willow from
Disney's Pocahontas when I think "crone.") Anyway, as I was
saying, as I enter these years, I recall a tree I had once seen that made
such an impression on me. Its overly stretched branches ached to reach
the heavens and its leaves were ablaze with glorious color! As I enter
these wisdom years, I pray that I do so, not by lying down and playing
dead before my time, but that I go out in a blaze of glory - arms aching
to reach heaven, yet rooted to earth and ablaze with loving kindness.
how do relationships fit into this? My mind says this mandala should be
brighter! Lighter! And yet my spirit says, "Nope. I can't see it
in any other color. It is exactly as it should be." Last cycle we
talked about taking care of ourselves and this was a warning for me. I
was becoming over taxed...over stretched and was in close range of burning
out. Recognizing that We cannot give what we do not have, I decided to
do a seven day Ayurvedic detox.... I pulled back, did less (I actually
said "no" to a few things), got to bed earlier, ate simply,
removed sugar, caffeine, and processed foods from my diet. I started doing
yoga again, and restorative yoga in the afternoons (I found this to be
most especially enriching!) and a Centering Prayer practice twice daily.
I was in essence letting go of some things to give myself the time to
quiet, recharge, filling the well...the tank. The darkness of this mandala
speaks to the need for quiet, the need to be connected to the indwelling
Spirit - the need to pull back, recharge, refill, to go within. Because
of this practice, I am feeling oh so much better! Because I am more myself,
I can give more of myself to the people in my life. In effect, because
I am grounded, calm, more patient and am able to be more loving and kind.
in words creates confidence.
Kindness in thinking creates profoundness
Kindness in giving creates love.
addition to the detox mentioned above, I attended a Ministry day at my
parish and was inspired by Kristin Costanza from Church of the Nativity
in Maryland who spoke about "Overflow" - love, Love, LOVE that
term. Again we cannot give what we do not have. I was inspired to participate
in 21 days of Kindness...small acts that change the world. License plates
said [-Bye] and [Tos-Toss] and encouraged us to let go. When contemplating
how it is that we are hidden in Christ my answer was confirmed with [Yah
Baby] - (I laughed out loud!) and another license plate encouraged us
to find "Z Love" complete with Pepe lePew and the object of
his affection. Too adorable! Blue Jay made his presence known - a harbinger
of communication - a reminder to keep my communication calm, kind and
loving. Interesting early in the cycle, he was very vocal. Late in the
cycle I was feeling very grounded, calm and centered, he showed up again
with a beautiful silent swoop and up into a tree. Message received. Courage
is often needed when we need to speak our truth - especially when telling
people how they are to treat us and what we need. There is always risk
in these conversations...what will they think? How will they respond?
What do I really mean to them? I actually said "no" to a few
things to give myself some space and encouraged others with calm loving
communication to step up so I could do less. There were also little reminders
to carefully choose our thoughts like we choose our clothing and the art
of listening was mentioned as well. Knowing my need for structure, at
the end of the cycle, I began an online class called The Herbal Hours
with Tonja Reichly at Moondance Botanicles. The ancient prayer of the
Catholic Church mixed with mandalas, herbs and essential oils. It's like
the class was designed for me!
the radiance of your heart flow out to all beings.
Janet Stone, Vinyasa Flow Yoga Instructor
the question is: How radiant is your heart? We are no good to anyone when
we're tired and tapped. I know for myself I can be short, snippy, impatient,
cantankerous, crabby, and brutally sarcastic when I am stretched too thin.
In a word: ugly - and no fun to be around. We owe it to ourselves, our
families and the world to take good care...to let go of what is not necessary,
no longer needed or not even ours to begin with... to make time to fill
the well - spiritually, physically and emotionally - and to be deeply
rooted in love. Then, and only then, can we fully and gently respond to
the needs of others. Then and only then can our hearts overflow.
the end, only three things matter:
how much you loved,
how gently you lived, and
how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.
Soul nourished in the silence,
divine energies joined.
Now I journey outward to serve.
May I practice
patience over irritability,
compassion over judgment,
openness over stubbornness,
courage over complacency,
may I know the wildly unimaginable love the Divine has for me
and reflect this love in my work, my service and my action.
Hugs and Blessings,
Scorpio New Moon Mandala
The Call to Love
The journal is taking a turn and moving in a different direction. Lynn
Keefer's Mandala Journal is now on Facebook. If you enjoy the quotes
and the occasional throw back mandala, please come and "Like"
the page. If you don't want to miss anything, be sure to press "Like"
again and select "get notifications." Hope to see you there!
What do you hear?
Daily Sacred Act from MoonDance Botanicals
a tiny spark of God's love already burns within you,
do not expose it to the wind for it may get blown out.
But rather, stay quiet with God.
St. Charles Borromeo
Every cycle has its own character. Typically, a lot of information comes
in early, beginning in the balsamic moon phase of the previous cycle,
and as we get closer to the full moon, the funnel slows down allowing
space to be with what has been presented. If information is coming at
me right after the full moon it's usually to clarify or make a turn in
a new direction because I've not understood what's been presented. This
cycle started utterly silent. The quiet and stillness I had been feeling
for some time was intensified perhaps because the mandala, itself, said
My first impression of this mandala was, "Twinkle, twinkle little
star..." (I even received a Macy's ad a few days later saying "Twinkle,
twinkle you gorgeous little star! For real!) but then almost immediately
my mind went to Disneys "When You wish upon a star..." And then
came Daniel 12:3 shortly thereafter -
those with insight shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament,
and those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever."
There are 11 concentric circles - 11, the number of wisdom - and in the
shape of circles feels more like ancient wisdom... so, eternal wisdom...
holy wisdom... God wisdom.
Stars can symbolize light/wisdom/truth - and then there are two of them,
one within the other...so this sense of bringing out what is within or
perhaps nurturing something within...the idea of or the beginnings of
something - a way of being perhaps?
The flower has movement and seems to unfold and bloom, revealing what
is within and is built on these numbers:
8 - perfection/Christ consciousness
5 - manifesting
The outer ring is comprised of 5 sets of 3 - a pattern of 2+1 ...perhaps
unifying or yolk-ing the duality (matter and spirit).
early questions posed by this mandala seemed to me to be:
What dream/desire/wisdom is making its presence known? to be nurtured
In what way are you being asked to be a light in the world?
What wisdom-gift or truth are you here to share?
In what way are you intended to bring all that is good, kind and loving
into the world?
It was, indeed, a very quiet month. With the information funnel going
quiet outside of myself I was naturally turning inward...so it has been
a very introspective cycle as well. A key word that came to me early in
the cycle was "simple" or "simplicity." My daughter's
sporting event had concluded for the season so there was more time...
I was less busy... We were "back to normal" which is busy enough.
That certainly simplified my life somewhat, but that kind of "simple"
didn't seem to satisfy...it wasn't the kind of "simple" I was
quite often look to nature for inspiration and in this cycle had been
once again pondering the trees... so easy to do in the fall! I love trees.
They have so much to "say!" The leaves had nearly all fallen
and were on the ground as of this writing. And yet, I could see the trees
were also preparing for spring. The tulip tree outside my door, pictured
above, is donning tiny buds that will eventually bloom into beautiful
flowers. Other trees are similarly sprouting buds...preparing the greenery
of their new spring coats. But before these tender buds are allowed to
unfurl, they must endure the long, cold, dark winter which is early upon
us this year.
the trees appear to die and then bud in preparation, I, too, look to spring
and ask myself, "What new or different way of being would I like
to see blooming in myself come spring?" As I was working on the mandala
I had thought to choose brighter, light-hearted colors for the outer ring...like
blue, orange, pink, yellow - something fun and whimsical. I was perhaps
already feeling the cold of winter and dreaming of brighter and warmer
days. And yet, when I came to the outer ring, my heart did not want to
go there. The mandala held more of feeling of "as within, so without"
- of bringing out what was already present within. And then back to the
trees... it occurred to me that they prepare for spring already knowing
what they are. Tulip and other flowering trees prepare blossom buds. Other
trees prepare buds that will become tender leaves. I had to ask: As we
look ahead to spring, do we truly know what we are?
One day she realized that she was not born to hide away but to SHINE brightly!
So she decided to stop listening to her fears and finally focus on what
made her feel truly ALIVE!
to compassion-eyes this planet. For real.
Not simply to talk about all-oneness, but to bring it into everyday life.
To walk past a homeless person and to really be with them.
To hear a friend's story of suffering and to be fully present with it.
To bring those into our heart who need refuge.
To inconvenience our lives in an effort to help up someone in need.
matter what you are.
What matters is what you do."
Character Sam Winchester, Supernatural
many and varied ways, the answer to the questions of this cycle has been
really simple - not easy...but simple. The response to every question
has been to choose Love. In all our relationships, in each encounter we
have...to ask: "What does Love look like? How does Love express itself
in this moment?" As my friend Jeff Siedlecki recently said, "What
will we do with our next and most precious breath?" Will we bring
love or ruin? Will we build up or tear down? Will we run ahead and stand
alone or will we bring others along with us? The choice is ours.
we complete the shedding of what needs to go in our own lives this fall,
and as we prepare for and look to the spring, let our hearts be open...
let us listen... dream... wonder... ponder... desire to know how Love
is preparing to be made known in and through each of us. And in those
moments when we feel resistance to what is being presented, let us pray
for the grace to answer the call - the call to love...no matter how terrifying
it might be...no matter how inadequate we may feel... no matter what others
might think... no matter our own plans - to perhaps delay or put aside
our own plans in favor of the plan God secretly whispers in our hearts.
May each of us in our own unique way, with the talents we have been given...
fulfill our deepest desire and answer the call to love.
Hugs and Blessings,
Sagittarius New Moon Mandala
Witness to the Light
The journal is taking a turn and moving in a different direction. Lynn
Keefer's Mandala Journal is now on Facebook. If you enjoy the quotes
and the occasional throw back mandala, please come and "Like"
the page. If you don't want to miss anything, be sure to press "Like"
again and select "get notifications." Hope to see you there!
light will come Jerusalem.
The Lord will dawn on you in radiant beauty.
~The Liturgy of the Hours - Advent, Morning Prayer
much as the last cycle asked, "What are you?" this cycle seemed
to ask "Who Are You?" We can look to our ancestry and heritage
- the people that have come before us. Certainly they impact who we are.
We can also look to the many relationships and associations of which we
are a member... religious affiliations, social groups, clubs and our belief
systems. Our own life history has in impact on who we are... our choices
and way of being are reflected in our thoughts, words and actions.
I shared on the Journal's Facebook page, much of who I am is rooted in
my faith tradition, my belief in Jesus as The Christ and my relationship
to Him. During this cycle we celebrated the season of Advent which often
times is lost or non-existent in a culture which seems to be all about
Christmas. In my home we count the days through Advent calendars, lighting
candles in an Advent wreath or in my case on my mantle. I found that we
spend more time in the living room and so moved the wreath to that area
of the home. A few years ago I made Jesse Tree Ornaments, which symbolically
tell of Jesus' family and heritage. I chose to display them on the wreath
this year and use various Willow Tree statues aside the four candles to
help represent the four Sundays of Advent.
word Advent comes from the Latin advenio, "to come to," and
refers to the coming of Christ, the Light of the World. This refers, first
of all, to our celebration of Christ's birth at Christmas; but second,
to the coming of Christ in our lives through grace and through the Sacrament
of Holy Communion; and finally, to His second Coming at the end of time.
We hear about Mary, Joseph and many other people during Advent. This year
I was most struck by the character of John the Baptist the namesake of
my childhood parish. The voice of the one crying in the dessert has certainly
flavored who I am and my way of being in the world.
first glance this mandala reminded me of a package with ribbons everywhere
-- so a gift. Then I began to analyze it and found that it is, indeed,
first set of 30 is found in the outer ring of the mandala and reminds
me of a diamond -- which without light is nothing special. But when clean
and in the presence of light, sparkles and shines and is truly beautiful
to behold. It is considered to be one of the most precious of gems. Not
seen here... this 30 has some glitter on. :)
second set of 30 is found in the crescent moons (9+9+12)... and are found
here in various sizes. Looking to this time of year they symbolize waning
moons... shorter days... the longest of nights -- the darkest days of
the year if you will. Interesting thing, the moon, like a diamond has
no light of its own, but also has the ability to reflect light.
an aside, the energy of this cycle once again felt quite intense -- reminiscent
of the creation of a diamond -- tremendous pressure creates this beauty.
The current purifying energy seems to be hitting another high point...
perhaps climaxing? And even the strong are having difficult days... some
to a devastating degree. So let us be particularly mindful, kind and attentive
to one another.
the center we have an 8 and a 4. The eight reminds me of a flower. I had
thought of using red it is the color of the Cosmic Christ (8). But if
I'm answering the question "Who are you?" there can only be
one color -- maybe two... so I went with a blue-hued purple... the color
of Advent and answer to the question.
four hearts dancing in the center help us prepare... Hope... Love... Joy
(the 3rd Sunday of Advent is Gaudette or Joyful Sunday) and Peace. Grey
for service and servant (the other possible color)... and pink - the color
of unconditional love also associated with Gaudette or Joyful Sunday.
On them I wrote the words associated with this season: Hope, Love, Joy
then, this gift... the gift represented by this mandala is the gift of
self-giving, of knowing who you are, of assembling together with others
to witness to and reflect the Light Who is, Who was, and Who is to come.
I mentioned, the stories of John the Baptist really caught my attention
this cycle. On the 3rd Sunday of Advent, we heard a group of people ask
John, "Who are you?" (Jn 1:6-8; 19-28 http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/121414.cfm)
His answer? "I am not the light." John knows who he is and who
he is not. Then he quotes Isaiah, "I am the voice of one crying in
the desert, make straight the way of the Lord."
Sunday before we heard the reading he referenced from Isaiah 40... "Comfort,
give comfort to my people.... A voice cries out: In the desert, prepare
the way of the Lord. Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our
John witnesses to the Light... and in doing so tells us that the way to
prepare for Christ... is to go to the desert... the dry places... the
wastelands... the place where nothing is growing... the places in need
hope, love, joy and peace and get to work... witness to and bring the
these days of growing darkness and festivity we tend to light more candles.
My favorite contemplation for the month actually came from a match. "Don't
be the candle" it said, "for like John, you are not the light.
Rather, be the match which gives its life wholly and entirely to usher
in the Light. Be a vessel that brings the light to those in darkness."
am I? To answer the 8 from the mandala colored in the blue-hued purple:
I am a Child of God, daughter of the Most High, heir to the kingdom who
endeavors by the grace of God to be a gift to the world in thought, word
and deed -- a Witness to the Light.
wish you every grace and blessing in these holy days! However you chose
to celebrate the coming of the light, may you celebrate them well... with
great joy and festivity!
you in the new year!
Hugs and Blessings,
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