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Beauty Around Us

 

“Beauty is the promise of happiness.”   — Stendhal

Often, we are too busy or self-absorbed to notice what is beautiful in people and in the world around us.  We hurry along, focused on ourselves, inattentive to what really makes life worth living.

The world is filled with beauty – winter twilight over the desert, a child’s laughter, a scene in a movie, the sun on the red stone walls of Sedona, a weeping willow, a lively song, our beloveds face.  If we are attentive and learn to slow down, we will see all around us signs of beauty that speak directly to us.

We don’t have to go to exotic places to find beauty.  It is here, in our lives, all around us.  Finding it, we carry it with us, and our lives are enriched.  The language of beauty is the language of joy.


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A Simple Prayer ~ The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love.

Where there is injury, let me sow pardon.

Where there is doubt, let me sow faith.

Where there is despair, let me sow hope.

Where there is sadness, let me sow 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.

It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

— St. Francis of Assisi

It is such a simple prayer, but sometimes the most simple goes unnoticed. Diluted by time and recitations made by rote. I reconnected with this prayer on a trip to Sedona, Arizona in 1995 and since then, this prayer has become a staple in my life. It is without a doubt my favorite prayer.

In 1995, my partner at the time and I decided during a vacation in Sedona that we would try one of the Spiritual Jeep Tours advertised as “led by a Spiritual Guide”. We were both bringing more spirituality back into our lives and thought this sounded like a good experience.

The jeep tour was in fact led by one of the most spirit filled individuals I have ever had the opportunity to meet. The pace was not hurried at all. Our small group visited all of the sites in Sedona with high vortex energy and was introduced that day to many Native American forms of spirituality, meditation, The Runes, Tarot, I-Ch’ing and much more. It is nearly impossible to convey to the reader how much each of gained during that 3 ½ hours with our spirit guide.

During our introduction to the reading of the ancient Viking Runes, was when our guide first had us meditate on this simple prayer. I had recited this prayer so many times during my childhood in both the Lutheran and Catholic churches, but as a Unitarian Universalist, had drifted away from the prayer. Our guide suggested reading the prayer each time before we were to do a Rune reading for ourselves or anyone else. That time spent in prayer focuses the mind on the course of right action, which is only one use for the Runes; to determine one’s course of right action for the day, or in a time of great strife or urgency.

The Runes have for me become a very significant guide when making decisions. The Runes don’t spell out a definitive “yes” or “no”, but the text for each Rune leads to greater thought and clarity of mind. Never have I been disappointed in the advice from the Runes. I believe that I will have to blog sometime soon about the Runes. I’ve shared in a previous blog one reading I did for myself on one particular day, but I have considerable knowledge of the Runes, as well as experience with Rune readings that some of you may find interesting. In the meantime, try reconnecting with this beautiful, yet simple prayer – The Prayer of St. Francis Assisi – and I just thought of another blog I would enjoy sharing and many readers may find interesting – on the vortex energy found in abundance in Sedona.

My Creative Outlet: Digital Photography III

May Peace Be Found

Rejoice