Last Sunday we shared a beautiful day celebrating and giving thanks for the life of Ginger Grove, a beloved member of this faith community.
This time of year with the shortening hours of day light, the anticipated stress of the holidays, and remembering those we love who have died can be a time of sadness.
May our sadness awaken with us an ever deepening appreciation for the present moment, and an increased urgency to share our love with one another… with those we love and with those we have yet to love.
Here is a poem from the beloved philosopher, theologian, priest, and writer John O’Donohue, entitled “Celebrating and Sending Love”, from his book on Celtic wisdom, “Anam Cara“, in the chapter entitled “Wounded Love” .
A person should always offer a prayer of graciousness for the love that has awakened in them. When you feel love for your beloved and his or her love for you, now and again you should offer the warmth of your love as a blessing for those who are damaged and unloved. Send that love out into the world to people who are desperate; to those who are starving; to those who are trapped in prison; in hospitals and all the brutal terrains of bleak and tormented lives. When you send that love out from the bountifulness of your own love, it reaches other people. This love is the deepest power of prayer.
As the day light grows shorter and the air grows chillier, we become more aware of the changing seasons of our lives. May we also remember, with gratitude, our connection with this precious planet, and with one another.
I’d like to share with you, two blessings from the beautiful writings of John O’Donohue.
Blessings to you in this season of giving Thanks!
Posted on November 21, 2012
Grace Before Meals
As we begin this meal with grace,
Let us become aware of the memory
Carried inside the food before us:
The quiver of the seed
Awakening in the earth,
Unfolding in a trust of roots
And slender stems of growth,
On its voyage toward harvest,
The kiss of rain and surge of sun;
The innocence of animal soul
That never spoke a word,
Nourished by the earth
To become today our food;
The work of all the strangers
Whose hands prepared it,
The privilege of wealth and health
That enables us to feast and celebrate.
Grace After Meals
We end this meal with grace
For the joy and nourishment of food,
The slowed time away from the world
To come into presence with each other
And sense the subtle lives behind our faces,
The different colors of our voices,
The edges of hungers we keep private,
The circle of love that unites us.
We pray the wise spirit who keeps us
To change the structures that make others hunger
And that after such grace we might now go forth
And impart dignity wherever we partake.
— John O’Donohue from To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings
As the day light grows shorter and the air grows chillier, we become more aware of the changing seasons of our lives.
Undeniably it seems that autumn has finally arrived to the Bay Area.
Being originally from New England, I well remember the dramatic changes as the crimson leaves drop down to the earth, and nature begins it’s inward journey through the winter.
I’d love to share with you, a “Song for Autumn” from one of my favorite poets, Mary Oliver
Song for Autumn
In the deep fall
don’t you imagine the leaves think how
comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
nothingness of air and the endless
freshets of wind? And don’t you think
the trees themselves, especially those with mossy,
warm caves, begin to think
of the birds that will come — six, a dozen — to sleep
inside their bodies? And don’t you hear
the goldenrod whispering goodbye,
the everlasting being crowned with the first
tuffets of snow? The pondvanishes, and the white field over which
the fox runs so quickly brings out
its blue shadows. And the wind pumps its
bellows. And at evening especially,
the piled firewood shifts a little,
longing to be on its way.
— Mary Oliver from New and Selected Poems, Vol. 2
Blessings and Peace,