Often times the words of wisdom that I share have come from many places in time along my path. These few that I share today have come to me in more recent times. They have nurtured me on my spiritual path.
“I turn to God not so much for forgiveness but for the power to accept humbly the reality about my imperfect self. I turn to Him for the grace to give myself the forgiveness which He gives freely.” from Happy Catholic
“Clear boundaries are important on the spiritual path because they tell you exactly where your responsibility begins and where it ends.”
“Be patient with everyone, but above all with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them – every day begin the task anew.” St. Francis de Sales
“Moments of grace are transient – will we meet this moment and be ready to serve.” and “We are being called into the holiness of wholeness.”
J. Phillip Newall
“Be one to know God. The extent to which I am divided from you, I am divided from God.” Meister Eckhart
“May you always be overwhelmed by the grace of God rather than by the cares of life.” Anonymous
“I speak to you continually. My nature is to communicate, though not always in words. I fling glorious sunsets across the sky, day after day. I speak in the faces and voices of loved ones. I caress you with a gentle breeze that refreshes and delight you. I speak softly in the depths of your spirit, where I have taken up residence.” from “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young
“God comes to you disguised as your life.” from Center for Action and Contemplation
“We are not simply made by God, we are made of God – as is everything.” Julian of Norwich
“Once you find the light, no matter how insignificant it seems, your life will never be the same again.
A light-bearer never questions the light s/he carries. And so s/he can offer it to others patiently and without fear.”
I love finding these words and phrases that resonate so deeply within me, and I love being able to share them out with you. Blessings!!
Many years ago, during a period that I was living in England, I attended a very special retreat at Aylesford Priory which is located in the heart of Kent. The Priory is an ancient religious house belonging to the Order of Carmelites and dates back to the 13th century. The setting there was extremely peaceful and welcoming and I returned several times to attend other retreats.
The reason that the particular retreat I mentioned above was so special was because I received an incredible gift, the first of many messages that God has given me through others. One of the participants on the retreat was a woman who suffered some physical disabilities. She was confined to a wheelchair and had a companion who helped her with everything.
On the second day of the retreat our group had broken up into small groups for discussion. I do not remember the specific topic that we were discussing but I do remember that I struggled badly with the word “faith”. I was, of course, trying to be very “intellectual” in my participation – probably trying to impress someone as I did frequently in those days. And because I was not being “real” I was totally missing the point.
In my egotistical attempt to appear sophisticated and clever I became very frustrated and irritated. I remember making a comment along the lines of, “so what the heck is this “faith” thing anyway; I’m not a theologian. How am I supposed to understand the notion of faith?”
At that moment the woman in the wheelchair (I regret I do not remember her name), leaned across the table, took my hands in hers and spoke very quietly and gently. I will remember her words for ever, and for ever I will be indebted to her. She said, “Margo, use the word trust.” I sat there, unable to say a word, and my heart filled up and my eyes filled up and my soul filled up.
She continued to explain that she implicitly trusted her companion to take the best care of her physically and in the same manner she implicitly trusted God to take care of her spiritually. I was very humbled and I think that was the moment that I experienced my first real feelings of gratitude. Today the whole of my belief in God rests in trust and this trust in Him has grown over the years as I see all that He has done for me, a wretched imperfect human being.
God continues to send me messages, sometimes through others, sometimes through readings or events that take place in my life. The most recent message is an old and beloved one. It comes from the gospel of Matthew, 11:28.
"Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying
heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
This was the featured scripture verse in one of my meditation books on 27th July. It appeared again in another meditation book on 29th July. And one more time Max Lucado offered it to me in “Grace For The Moment” on 30th July. When He wants to get my attention I usually hear it three times in quick succession. So I am hearing that I need to rest more in the quiet of God. I need to quit struggling and let God do it for me. I need to stop trying to fix situations and people outside of myself. There’s already one Savior and it’s not me!!
Over time I have been asked to write prayers for different occasions. I would like to share three prayers with you today. The first is an “Artist’s Prayer”. At the time of writing I was following the book the Artist’s Way written by Julia Cameron.
This is quite an amazing book which sets out a twelve week course. The sub-title of the book is A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. I have actually been through this book twice: the first time alone, the second time (about three years later) with a group of four other women. I grew immensely both times around.
At the end of each chapter there are a series of “tasks” to be completed before the next week. The following prayer was one of those tasks.
Heavenly Father, Artist Supreme,
You are the Divine Creator of this awesome universe. I humbly, yet courageously, ask You to allow me to be a co-creator with You.
I open my heart, my soul, my mind, and my body so that Your creative energy may flow through my being, that I may experience Your divine talent. Bless the products of my hands, my eyes, and my mind and let them reflect some measure of your majestic beauty.
Allow me to find and work with others who also seek Your divine guidance, Your artist’s touch, as they work to produce their own creations. Let me grow in light and love as I allow Your divine energy to flow through me.
Amen. ( May 1999)
In March of 2005 I organized a Women’s Day event in my home. March 8th is International Day of the Woman and while I lived in Italy I held about three of these events. They were always very well received, so once I had established a grand circle of women friends in Florida I decided to go ahead and plan one here. There were about thirty women present and this was the opening prayer that I wrote.
ABBA, help me to be humble enough and wise enough to recognize that all people do not call You by the same name, nor do they reach You by the same path.
You are known as God, Allah, Great White Spirit, Kali, Jesus, Grandfather Sky, Buddha, Jehovah, Messiah, LAKSHMI, Shivha, Holy Spirit, Ganisha, Grandmother Earth, Kwan Yin, just to mention a few of Your names.
Today we embrace You in the way best known to each of us personally. We ask that You be present here and bless us with Your love, Your light, Your energy, Your peace, Your joy, and Your grace.
We ask for Your guidance and Your wisdom that You may help us to reach our full potential as women so that we may accomplish our mission on this earth to the very best of our ability.
We ask this in Your name and for Your honor and glory.
Amen. (March 2005)
The last prayer that I would like to share with you is one that I wrote for an evening of fellowship with the women of CRHP (Christ Renews His Parish) at my church.
Abba, Father, we yearn to grow abundantly in Your grace, just like the carefully tended vine that produces a bountiful harvest. We ask that You prune us when it is necessary, helping us to be rid of negative attitudes and defects of character. Nourish us with Your care, Your compassion, and Your love. Pour the refreshing waters of the Holy Spirit upon us, that we may grow more and more each day in Your likeness and then minister to others as Your disciples.
These things we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen. (September 2006)
I love using the creative word to honor the God of my understanding. I also enjoy being as inclusive as possible when I am working with a wider group of people than just my church group. Prayer is a perfect way to honor God, to give Him praise, to thank Him, and to get closer to Him. And we are all capable of creating spontaneous prayers, words that come straight from the heart to our Creator.