Living gratefully

 

There are many things to be grateful “for” but,
as I ripen with the seasons of life,
the many reasons blend into a sacred mystery.
And, most deeply,
I realize that living gratefully is its own blessing.


Quote: Michael Mahoney
Photo: Susanne Pälmer

https://gratefulness.org

Blessing the Dust

Blessing the Dust
For Ash Wednesday

All those days
you felt like dust,
like dirt,
as if all you had to do
was turn your face
toward the wind
and be scattered
to the four corners
or swept away
by the smallest breath
as insubstantial—

did you not know
what the Holy One
can do with dust?

This is the day
we freely say
we are scorched.

This is the hour
we are marked
by what has made it
through the burning.

This is the moment
we ask for the blessing
that lives within
the ancient ashes,
that makes its home
inside the soil of
this sacred earth.

So let us be marked
not for sorrow.
And let us be marked
not for shame.
Let us be marked
not for false humility
or for thinking
we are less
than we are

but for claiming
what God can do
within the dust,
within the dirt,
within the stuff
of which the world
is made
and the stars that blaze
in our bones
and the galaxies that spiral
inside the smudge
we bear.


—Jan Richardson
“Blessing the Dust” appears in Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons.

Never certain

Don’t expect faith to clear things up for you.

It is trust, not certainty

 


Quote: Flannery O’Connor, The Habit of Being

to begin with kindness…

One kind word can warm three winter months

Japanese Proverb

Kindness – it feels as if we are in short supply. Soaking in all we hear from the news it is hard to imagine that kindness could be found in any corner of this country.

—–

We have to make/tell our own stories.

I’m no psychologist, but it only makes sense to have a positive outlook on life to be observant and responsive to others in need, whether it’s a relatively minor deed or a significant commitment. So be kind to yourself so you can be kind to others.

The studies show that generosity is contagious. We are all touched when we see someone help another person. It encourages us also to do something altruistic.

That fact should energize us to be generous to others in any situation. And by others, I mean anyone, any race, nationality, or religion. After all, a founding principle of our country is that all people are created equal. Though injustices dot our history into the present, that entreaty has nevertheless stood the test of time. We, too, must make it last. We do so by being kind.

Bruce Stambaugh – Let’s Make 2019 the year of Kindness


Karl Duffy
Mindfulbalance.org