Like Mom said, Pray to St. Jude

“Don’t be afraid of being scared. To be afraid is a sign of common sense. Only complete idiots are not afraid of anything.” 

Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Angel’s Game

The second candle began burning out my prayers yesterday morning. I didn’t know when I bought several of these votive candles how appropriate this particular candle would be.

The numbers quoted are beginning to pick away at my anxiety.

I am afraid.

As I tried to go to sleep I heard my mom remind me to pray to St. Jude–the saint of lost causes.

So this morning I found the prayer I wrote down years ago to share with you.

Thought you might need it as much as I do.

Most holy Apostle, St. Jude Thaddeus, friend of Jesus. I place myself in your care at this difficult time. Help me know that I need not face my troubles alone. Please join me in my need, asking God to send me: consolation in my sorrow, courage in my fear, and healing the midst of my suffering. Ask our loving Lord to fix me with grace to accept whatever may lie ahead for me and my loved ones, and to strengthen my faith in God’s healing powers. Thank, St. Jude Thaddeus, for the promise of hope you hold out to all who believe and inspire me to give this gift of hope to others as it has been given to me. St. Jude, Apostle of Hope, Pray for us.

I am…

B…simply being. 

Peace be with you.

Warnings

“Fear is a part of life. It’s a warning mechanism. That’s all. It tells you when there’s danger around. Its job is to help you survive. Not cripple you into being unable to do it.” 

Jim Butcher, Dead Beat

These days our world changes by the hour.

I’m torn between limiting my exposure to world events and wanting/needing to know all the latest developments. Do I get my news first thing in the morning and dampen my entire day or do I wait until the evening and risk a restless night?

I’ve chosen the evening which means I can listen with a glass of wine.

I’m not relying on that alone, though. I’ve added a second coping mechanisim–prayer.

It’s my usual practice to fall back on my Catholic background. This experience is no exception.

I am thankful I have Pope Francis to lean on right now.

Pope Francis’ Prayer to Mary during the coronavirus pandemic 

O Mary,

you always shine on our path

as a sign of salvation and of hope.

We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,

who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain, keeping your faith firm.

You, Salvation of the Roman People,

know what we need,

and we are sure you will provide

so that, as in Cana of Galilee,

we may return to joy and to feasting

after this time of trial.

Help us, Mother of Divine Love,

to conform to the will of the Father

and to do as we are told by Jesus,

who has taken upon himself our sufferings

and carried our sorrows

to lead us, through the cross,

to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.

Under your protection, we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God. Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial, but deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

Hanging On

“Worry is most often a prideful way of thinking that you have more control over life and its circumstances than you actually do.” 

June Hunt

These past few weeks have been a roller coaster ride for all of us.

Hang on, my friends. I’m thinking we’ve entered unmapped territory.

In my sixty plus years on this planet I’ve seen Americans pull each other up and through a lot of unimaginable things. I have faith in us and believe we can do anything–especially when we add prayer.

“..when someone says “please pray for me,” they are not just saying “let’s have lunch sometime.” They are issuing an invitation into the depths of their lives and their humanity- and often with some urgency. And worry is not a substitute for prayer. Worry is a starting place, but not a staying place. Worry invites me into prayer. As a staying place, worry can be self-indulgent, paralyzing, draining, and controlling. When I take worry into prayer, it doesn’t disappear, but it becomes smaller.” 

Sybil MacBeth, Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

Thank you, Deb Henderson, for letting me use one of your wonderful pictures today. You are always so generous. I wish you and your family many blessings. 

Mom Prayers

“The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.” 

Soren Kierkegaard

In this self proclaimed year of “self,” I’ve found great comfort in prayer.

For me, the most soothing are the prayers I remember from my childhood–those prayers practiced and memorized while sitting beside my mom. Today, as I’ve done for the past sixty-something years, I began my day with the following:

Good Morning, dear Jesus, this day is for you. I ask you to bless all I think, say, and do. Amen.

Angel of God

My guardian dear

To whom God’s love

Commits me here

Ever this day

Be at my side

To light

To guard

To rule

To guide. 

Amen.

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

 

 

Promises

“I feel keeping a promise to yourself is a direct reflection of the love you have for yourself. I used to make promises to myself and find them easy to break. Today, I love myself enough to not only make a promise to myself, but I love myself enough to keep that promise” 

Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

My word for 2020 is “self.”

I am not comfortable with that word choice. It has a selfish ring to it–which is exactly why I need to keep it and focus on mySELF this year.

I promised myself I would restart my morning pages, write daily gratitudes, and read for at least an hour every morning. I began my morning ritual on the New Year’s Day. I am proud to say I have not missed a morning.

As my mornings evolved I realized how many times I’d broken promises to myself. Whenever something came up my time was the first thing I pushed aside or cancelled.

If I treated a friend like I treated myself I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have a friend any longer. This was a very big realization It was a very big aha moment for me.

Each morning as the sun rises in my little world, I am grateful for the gift of this special time reserved for me. It is a joy making it a reality.

“As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it “MATURITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.

As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.

As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know “THAT IS LIFE”!” 

Charlie Chaplin

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

Learning About Prayer

“Lord, make me a blessing to someone today.” 

Jan Karon, At Home in Mitford

A big part of my morning reading includes prayers and affirmations–some traditional and some less formal and more modern. Regardless of the format, I was beginning to understand there are many different ways to pray.

I’m not sure why I thought a prayer had to be this long, formal written collection of words. I think it’s a hold over from those prayers my sisters and I had to memorize when we were growing up Catholic.

As usual, I’ve made the simple very complicated.

Today when I pray my prayers are more like having a conversation with an old friend–a friend who knows all about me and loves me anyway.

One of my favorite prayer suggestions comes from Sarah Ban Breathnach’s, Simple Abundance, the reading dated January 24:

“Bless a thing and it will bless you. Curse it and it will curse you…If you bless a situation, it has no power to hurt you, and even if it is troubles for a time, it will gradually fade out, if you sincerely bless it. ~Emmet Fox

A powerful set of blessings that I learned from the teachings of Stella Terrill Mann, a Unity minister who wrote during the 1940s, encourages us to greet the morning with the affirmation ‘Blessed be the morn for me and mine.’ At noon declare, ‘Blessed be the day for me and mine,’ and in the evening, invoke this prayer: ‘Blessed be the night for me and mine.’ As you about your work at home or int eh office, affirm, ‘My work is a prayer for good for me and mine.’ These affirmations of good will bring many blessings into your daily life, as they have in mine.

Then start to count your blessings.”

I don’t think God cares about formality, word choice, or the length of our prayers. Like anyone who loves us, He is pleased we’ve taken the time to reach out and talk with Him.

“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.” 

Meister Eckhart

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

Thanks, Sue and Al Rogers, for letting me use your picture as part of my story today. I love you.

Happy Valentine’s Day 2020

He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect for more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.” 

Bob Marley

Oh, the places we’ve gone, the people we’ve met, and the life we’ve shared.

I cannot imagine my life without you.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Michael, I love you.

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” 

Lao Tzu

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

IMG_1987

Creative Reading

“There is creative reading as well as creative writing.” 

Ralph Waldo Emerson

My morning reading ritual is evolving very well and becoming a vital part of my day.

Exposing myself to several different authors at one setting seems to help me stay focused and adds another level of appreciation for the ideas presented by each writer.  Sometimes what I read seemed to be on the page especially for me.

Here are two examples:

From Suzanne Giesemann’s book, In The Silence:

“A strong prayer issued on one’s behalf remains in effect, for you have set it in motion. It gathers energy when joined by the prayers of others. You may add fuel to this creation as you wish, but there is no need to do so constantly. We say again, once created, so it is.”

From Deng Ming-Dao’s, 365 Tao Daily Meditations

“Worry is an addiction

That interferes with compassion

Worry is a problem that seems to be rampant. Perhaps it is due to the nature of our overly advanced civilization; perhaps it is a measure of our own spiritual degeneracy. Whatever the source, it is clear that worry is not useful. It is a cancer of the emotions–concern gone compulsive. It eats away at body and mind.

It does no good to say, ‘Don’t think about it.’ You’ll only worry more. It is far better to keep waling your path, changing what you can. The rest must be dissolved in compassions. In this world of infants with immune deficiencies, racial injustice, economic imbalance, personal violence, and international conflict, it is impossible to address everyone’s concerns. Taking care of yourself and doing something good for those whom you meet is enough. That is compassion, and we must exercise it even int he face of the overwhelming odds.

Whenever you meet a problem, help if it is in your power to do so. After you have acted, withdraw and be unconcerned about it. Walk on without ever mentioning it to anybody. Then there is no worry, because there has been action.”

“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”

Albert Einstein

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

 

Thank you, Kimberlee Salimeno. Once again you’ve allowed me to use your beautiful photo for my story. I love you. 

Refueling

“Close friends are truly life’s treasures. Sometimes they know us better than we know ourselves. With gentle honesty, they are there to guide and support us, to share our laughter and our tears. Their presence reminds us that we are never really alone.” 

Vincent van Gogh

Yesterday, I had a long conversation with one of my dearest friends.

Even though we’re a thousand miles apart, we talked just like we did when we lived across the street from each other. Our conversation took off like we’d just talked yesterday.

Our shared stories skipped back and forth between decades without the need for details. We’d seen each other through some of the highest and lowest parts of our personal and professional lives. We didn’t always agree with each other. This was a huge lesson for me because I wasn’t used to having someone disagree with me. I learned even though we did  not agree, we’re both good people and good friends.

That’s just one of the many lessons she taught me. I cannot imagine my life without her.

Thanks, MB, for spending happy hour–actually hours–with me. You refreshed my soul.

I love you.

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.” 

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson in His Journals

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

Thanks, Deb Henderson, for letting me use your picture for today’s story. God bless you and your beautiful family. 

My 60 Minutes

“Prioritise self-care and incorporate a MINIMUM of 60 minutes ‘ME TIME’ into your daily routine. 

YES THERE ARE enough hours in the day. 

NO EXCUSES.” 

Miya Yamanouchi

I’m beginning to understand the value of making time for myself.

Since the beginning of this year I’ve been up early enough to have at least an hour to myself.

Today I started doing my morning pages. For whatever reason I thought I didn’t need to do them anymore.

I was wrong.

Initially I struggled finding something to say. I finally stopped trying so hard and began to write whatever came to my mind. It didn’t matter if it made a lot of sense or not. With each line the words came easier. I remembered how important these pages were to me and saw myself sitting at my desk in the wee hours of the morning, writing to bolster my courage to face hard days at work. As I remembered those days I realized I’d missed this type of writing. I felt as though I was sitting down with a friend I hadn’t seen in a very long time.

My morning ritual feels in order. My morning pages are back where they belong, I have my gratitude journal, and my stack of daily reading. Each element has found its own space and place.

Some of my hardcopy books have special bookmarks. My favorite is a card with butterflies covered with glitter–the perfect reminder of the person who sent me that note. She is such a positive light force in my life. Each time I move the card to a new page I see little pieces of glitter left behind–mirroring the impact Mary Lou has had on my life. Thank you, Mary.

A calendar of 2020 marks the pages of another book. Each day I read I mark off the date. I initially did this as a way of validating my commitment. What I hadn’t anticipated was the impact that little swiped line had on me. With one little swish I could see how quickly the days are flying.

“No one’s approval is enough to make up for a lack of self-love, which is really a lack of self-awareness.

When we feel a desire to be loved, it isn’t other people’s love we need. It’s our own relationship with love that we’re longing for, our own awareness of being interconnected with others, our own sense of the magic of our own interwoven existence. 

To seek the fulfillment of this desire in others’ approval is a losing battle. It will never be enough. No one can compliment you enough to supplement for the acceptance that you need from your own self, in each moment. Acceptance for your struggles and your talents. Acceptance for your humanity. Celebration of that humanity.

Love is an inside job.” 

Vironika Tugaleva

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~