One thing that never stops, whether I am in a writing hiatus or not, is the continuous collection of words of wisdom spoken and written by others. I seem to have a mountain of them on my desk or collected in my computer. I have noticed that there is one modern day spiritual writer who seems to speak much to my heart. His name is Paul Ferrini and he has been involved in spiritual work for more than 35 years. He is a prolific writer with many books to his name and one day I hope to attend one of his retreats. You can learn more about Paul at his web site www.paulferrini.com. In the meantime here are just a few of his spiritual insights.
“When you don’t want to do something, say "no" clearly.
A simple "no" said clearly from the heart can prevent the drama of self-abuse.
When we no longer betray ourselves by saying "yes" when we want to say "no", we will no longer attract people into our life who will disrespect our boundaries.”
“Some people complain about the boat.
Others try to escape it. Neither choice is helpful.
Until you accept the boat for what it is, it cannot take you to the other side.”
“You are the judge and the savior
No one else can condemn you for your mistake or release you from your guilt.
You must come to terms with what you have done.
You must acknowledge your error and atone for it.
The forgiveness of others is nice to have, but it means nothing if you cannot forgive yourself.”
Your compassion arises
when your ability to love
no longer depends
on how others treat you.”
God doesn’t ask you to pretend to be someone or something you are not.
God wants you to be who you are with all your contradictions and dichotomies.
If you have to deny any aspect of who you are to be spiritual, then you are creating an inauthentic spirituality.
True spirituality should be an instrument of revelation, not a tool for denial.”
I hope I have peaked your interest enough that you will go running to Paul’s website. I find him to be a magnetic yet gentle spirit even before I have met him in person. Blessings on your journey.
It seems as though Spirit is nudging me along this prayer path. I think I pray quite a lot. However, in preparation for this upcoming “instructional weekend” in the Audire program that I am participating in, I was asked to prepare a “prayer history”. One of the questions that we were offered to use for reflective journaling on this activity asked, “How do you pray now? When? Where? What posture? Why?”
As I gave some serious thought to this, I came to the conclusion that maybe I didn’t pray as much as I thought. Initially I said I prayed on and off all day, that I hold a running conversation with God as I go about my daily business –which I do. However, what I really do is invite God along in my day and then I give Him a running commentary on things as they unfold. (As if He didn’t know already!!)
Sometimes, if I am dealing with some difficult stuff, I lay it all out before Him and then ask for support, comfort, courage, or maybe a solution. Other times I may have enjoyed a couple of hours with some girlfriends, and so I thank Him for the gift of friends and for the enjoyable time spent with them. Part of my volunteer work is to help in the Ministry of Consolation at my church,so frequently I am interceding on behalf of the family which is dealing with grief. And I realize that all of this is prayer of a sort, but it’s kind of “muddied up” in the middle of all my daily busyness.
I do carve out about an hour and a half in the morning when I get up and this I spend in quiet time with my Creator. On the odd occasion that I choose to rush into my day without spending time with God first, my day usually spirals downward until I slow down and catch up with Him. Then there are those times when I bring myself to a screeching halt in a mad chaotic day and I find somewhere quiet and private (sometimes that’s the bathroom!), and I say a formal prayer like the Our Father or the Serenity Prayer or the Prayer of St. Francis. Just focusing on the old familiar words, rather like a ritual, slows me down and helps me feel closer to my God and, consequently, calmer.
So here I am preparing for this weekend, the theme for which is Pray Always, Pray All Ways, and I find myself thinking deeply about how I pray, which is good because sometimes we have to shake things up a little, change things, or else it all becomes too routine. So here I share with you a prayer that we were asked to write. It is a berakah, which comes from the Judaic tradition. It means a “blessing prayer” and is based on this format: Who (are you praying to); Do (what has He done for you); You (what do you need from Him right now); Through (Jesus Christ).
Abba, Creator and Spirit of Love, who gave me the greatest gift of Your Son, Jesus, I am full of gratitude for all the blessings You have given me. You saved me from self destruction and led me back to You, filling my life with joy. Please continue to bless, protect, and grow me and lead me on the path You wish me to tread. I ask the same for my family, especially Melissa. All this I dare to ask through Your love, that is Jesus Christ. Amen!
As we are coming up to Thanksgiving, I would also like to offer you this beautiful prayer that I came across the other day.
Oh God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work, help me
to remember the jobless;
When I have a warm home,
help me to remember the homeless;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer;
And remembering, help me
to destroy my complacency
and bestir my compassion.
Make me concerned enough
to help, by word and deed,
those who cry out
for what we take for granted.
Samuel F. Pugh
Blessings to you all.
I have focused on prayer in several of my postings: Prayer- A Tool Of Spirituality; Spirituality & Shared Wisdom- Tough Times And Prayer; Sacred Riding- My Harley Prayer Time; Spiritual Growth- Personal Prayers. I have also mentioned prayer many times in other postings which relate to different subject matter. This is probably because prayer is such an important part of my spiritual life.
When I think about it, prayer makes up the greater part of my day. Now don’t start thinking I’m some pious freak who spends all day in church. Not so. But prayer has become an integral part of everything that I do throughout my days. You see prayer for me does not have to be always in a formal “religious” or church setting.
As I go about my daily activities I have a conscious contact with my Creator, whether I am making beds, doing the laundry, or cooking the next meal. I will either be thanking Him for blessings received (or those yet to come), or praising Him for the glory of his creation, or making intercessions on behalf of people who have asked for prayers.
Sometimes I will be letting Him know about a resentment I may be struggling with, and at other times I let Him know how angry or upset I am about a particular situation. And then again, I may be telling Him that I am tired and wished I had a wife to make the beds, to do the laundry, and to cook those meals!!!
I try to remember every day to invite God into my day with me. When I get into the car I pat the passenger seat and ask him to ride along with me. I usually tell him what I think about some of the other drivers on the road and ask Him to keep me safe! Wherever I go, whatever I may be doing, I have my conversation with God. I totally trust that He is there 24/7 for me.
The other day during a purge of some old files, I came across this exquisite prayer that I would like to share with you.
How wondrous are Your ways, God. How wondrous are Your ways. It is you I see in the beauty of the trees and the loveliness of the flowers. It is You I feel in the stillness of the mountains and the grandeur of the seas. When I gaze into the eyes of those around me, You are there. When I look into a mirror, it is You I am looking at – and You I am looking with!
In my times of highest joy and most contentment, there You are. In my times of lowest despair and disappointment, I find You still. Thank You, God, for Your faithfulness even when I was not aware.
Your love expressing through me is as gentle as the baby lamb – unafraid, tender, pure. It reaches out to bless the lives of those in my world.
Your power and strength expressing through me are as mighty and unyielding as the crashing waves and giant redwoods. They give me courage to do what I must do and to help those I must help.
Your peace expressing through me is as deep and comforting as a thousand lullabies. It soothes my pains and brings me the peace that allows me to bring serenity to others in my life. Thank You, God for creating me and using me to express more of Yourself in all ways.
May my mouth ever utter only kind words. May my eyes ever see only beauty. May my ears ever hear only the sweet sounds of life. May my heart ever harbour only compassion and love, for these are Your ways. Thank You for my growing awareness of You – for the knowing deep within my soul that You are all.
How wondrous are Your ways, God, how wondrous are Your ways.
I have no idea where this prayer came from. It is typed on a single sheet of paper with no reference to author or date. It must be from a British source because of the spelling of the word “harbour” in the last paragraph. I guess it really doesn’t matter where it originated from. What matters is the content which I find to be utterly beautiful.