Tag Archives: st. francis

Bless All Creatures St. Francis

St. Francis

“Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures. You called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on the land. You inspired St. Francis to call all of them his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless this pet. By the power of your love, enable it to live according to your plan. May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation. Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures! Amen.”

Today is the feast day of St. Francis, patron saint of animals and ecology, namesake of our Pope Francis. St. Francis believed that everything that the creator made was a work of art and sacred. This includes, earth, wind, fire and water. Is there any wonder that Pope Francis wrote his encyclical on the environment Laudato Si?

Today is the day to ask for blessings for all your animals and pets current and past.

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Today is the day to make a commitment, however small, to protect our environment, Creators gift of a home for us.

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Individuals must act. “An integral ecology is also made up of simple daily gestures which break with the logic of violence, exploitation and selfishness,” he writes. We should also consider taking public transit, car-pooling, planting trees, turning off the lights and recycling.

Really it will change everything.

 

Really….world peace?

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It sounds like a very bad Miss America joke. “my greatest wish is for world peace”. Why would I have said that?
My daughter writes a very interesting blog. http://martinistyle.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/making-peace/ Not one for social media or putting herself and her family out there; she was inspired at an education conference. She writes every night now. I always like to stay up and read her blog before I go to bed. It usually gives me a warm feeling. This post gave me lots to think about.

I really had to stop and think why I would have said that my greatest wish was for “world peace”. So pie in the sky. Was I just being facetious? Was I just saying anything to placate her? Did I really think that is what I was wishing for? Or did I just want peace and quiet from her constant questioning?

I have taken a few days to really ponder it. Is my wish today for world peace?

I think every parent, in their heart wants to keep their children safe. They want them to grow up without conflict in the world, without fear of war, hunger, scarcity, even death. They want more for their children than they had themselves. I wanted to save them from my suffering and fears; the death of my friend at 10. Killed along with her whole family by the hands of her father. The long-suffering of my dad who died from bleeding ulcers. Something  cured today by antibiotics. He got very sick when I was eight and died my first year of university. Right after that my niece died from pneumonia at age 13. We were only five years apart and very close. This smack down with suffering started me on my own personal journey for answers.

Not growing up with a familial spirituality I was constantly searching. Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s there were many new and emerging ideas and thoughts. At 17 I learned about transcendental mediation, Zen and Tibetan Buddhism. I was the consummate “hippie chick” Protesting the war in Vietnam was the norm, even for Canadians. World peace was a mantra. Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell were my constant companions.

Yet time passes and decisions get made. I became a wife and mother and then a single mother. Responsibility for another life was mine. Somehow the success on my child became my success. Somewhat narcissistic I would say. I didn’t want world peace, I wanted them not to have to experience suffering, dying or death. I already knew that everything was not okay. Bad things did happen to good people.

In my journey to keep them safe I encountered many wonderful mentors and teachers. My own mother and our new sisterhood as mothers, not daughter and mother was enlightening. My desire to give my children a spiritual foundation led me to St. Francis of Assisi, the Poor Clares and Father Time Elliot, OFM of Papua New Guinea and his lifelong ministry to the lepers there, to people who through their actions really did work for world peace.

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Poor-Clares
Did I keep my children safe? Did I save them from heartbreak, hard lessons learned, growing up and older, suffering? No. That’s not the way it works.

What I have learned is that I could only set them on the path. Planes disappear, wars start, friends die, life is suffering and despair but through it we can know happiness and that their pain and suffering and along with that, their happiness is the result of their own actions and not my dreams for them. Just as I used to “now I lay me, down to sleep” prayer every night as a child with a “god bless” for everyone I knew, I now pray every night, the prayer of  loving kindness. May they and all be free from suffering and the cause of suffering.

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Did I give them what they needed to wish for world peace and the ability to work for it? I can’t, nor ever could stand between them and heartache.

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They will find peace for themselves.

Remember

Tomorrow is Remembrance Day in Canada. A day we remember those who gave their life for us in conflict; respect for  those who are serving today. Canada is known as a country of peacemakers. I want to be a peacemaker. My favourite Catholic prayer is “make me an instrument of your peace” by St. Francis of Assisi
I don’t have much experience with war. I have never seen it, touched it, smelled it or heard it. It is only in my imagination, fueled by what I have read or seen in the media. I know that it is suffering.

In my grade 12 English Lit class we wrote an essay on “is war real or romantic”. It was 1971. We had the war in Vietnam Even that wasn’t real. It was romantic, at 17 you protested against a war. This war gave us a chance to flex our budding adult hood. I remember cheekily asking my mom if she thought the communists were going to swim across the ocean and kill her in her sleep.Worse yet I married a draft dodger, if only for a brief time. We had a great teacher that was way ahead of his time. He taught that the next big war would be over natural resources; fossil fuels first and then they would come for our water. My parents thought that was ridiculous. We got the lecture about how my paternal grandfather had served in WWI and my mother’s brothers in WWII. They protected us from evil. I so wish that is true.
Evil is still all around us.

Tomorrow I will remember my grandfather and all grandfathers. I will pray for gratitude and awareness of how fragile and unpredictable life is; I will cherish the wealth of my life. I will do my best to bring my attention more deeply to life around me. I will be an instrument of peace.

Bodhi
 "Some days are like this,
 you wake with an ache in your chest
 that isn't even yours.
 You know that somewhere, great rivers
       of blood are being shed.
 Somewhere mothers are weeping over
      children, bodies strewn like wildflowers.
 Somewhere, men and women, eat a bowl of pain -
 A man tells his wife that he is leaving,
 A woman wakes in an empty bed
 or puts her hand to en empty place
      where a breast was.
 Somewhere, in the screeching of brakes
      there is a shattering, of glass, of lives.
 This earth is covered in a sea of suffering.
 If for few moments we manage to forget
    do not begrudge us our wine, our prayer, our reaching out
      for a word, a touch,
           even from a stranger"

Regina Sara Ryan

Garden Ornaments

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Who needs garden ornaments when you have these?

Feast of St. Francis

Happy Feast Day of St. Francis, Patron Saint of animals. Blessings to all.

Blessed are you, Creator, maker of all living creatures. You called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on land. You inspired St. Francis to call all of them his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless our animal relations. By the power of your love, enable them to live according to you plan. May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation. Blessed are you,  Creator, in all your creatures. Mitaku Oyasin

Beginnings

It's all about the dance.

I am a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, friend and crone who has learned not to whine. I am dedicated to learning and expanding with the universe. I am a follower of St. Francis, Buddha, Gaia and native spirituality. I want to leave this part of the journey with a small environmental footprint and an ever-expanding and colourful aura. There have been many lessons along the way. I am here to learn and share. If I can be  light on the path, especially for my grandchildren I will be very happy to move on the journey.

I try every day to create beauty around me and to share the beauty I see around me. I am dedicated to encouraging gratitude and forgiveness in all things.  I dedicate this blog to my grand children especially Gigi, in hope that my life will encourage her to be all that she knows she can be.

I am an artist who needs to show the beauty of all creation through painting, music and photography.

My thoughts occur randomly and that’s how I will write.  I do know that sense will be made of them.