“Come, Spirit, Comforter and Consoler.
Heal the wounded. Soothe the anxious.
Be consolation for all who grieve and ache.”
—Joyce Rupp, “May I Have This Dance?”
Some friends came over tonight to sing/chant.
One of the first chants we did was something I heard at the Mercy Center in Burlingame, California:
“O Word of God, come into this space.
O Word of God, come send us your grace.
Open our minds, show us your truth.
Transform our lives anew.”
May all who are suffering be comforted.
May all be healed.
May all be happy and at peace.
I have found that surrounding myself by supportive people can give me much strength when I am feeling weak. The collective group energy can be very palpable. When I don’t have enough concentration, sitting with a community can be very beneficial. When I don’t have any devotion, attending a devotional gathering can open my heart. There is a catching influence.
“Who shall set a limit to the influence of a human being? ”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Many years ago, when we first found out my husband was diagnosed with cancer, I was suffering from much worry and anxiety while sitting in his doctor’s office. Suddenly, I felt a deep peace descend upon me, calming my anxiety, enabling me to breathe. I took a look at my watch. Later, I found out a friend was saying some prayers for us the same moments I felt the peace in the doctor’s office. Proof to me, the palpable power of prayer, that peace beyond understanding… If we are enjoying peace, happiness, we can offer the fruits of our prayers to others. If someone is having difficulty breathing, we can think of them as we breathe peacefully. As we are all linked, this will help on some level.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”—Philippians 4:7
“Life is filled with suffering, but it is also filled with many wonders, like the blue sky, the sunshine, the eyes of a baby. To suffer is not enough. We must also be in touch with the wonders of life. They are within us and all around us, everywhere, any time. If we are not happy, if we are not peaceful, we cannot share peace and happiness with others, even those we love, those who live under the same roof. If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile and blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace. Do we need to make a special effort to enjoy the beauty of the blue sky? Do we have to practice to be able to enjoy it? No, we just enjoy it. Each second, each minute of our lives can be like this. Wherever we are, any time, we have the capacity to enjoy the sunshine, the presence of each other, even the sensation of breathing . . . I would like to offer one short poem you can recite from time to time, while breathing and smiling.
Breathing in, I calm my body.
Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment
I know this is a wonderful moment.”
—Thich Nhat Hanh, “Being Peace”
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”—1 Peter 5:7
“When you go on a trip, you carry your bags to the station; once on the train, you set them down and relax. If you have faith in the Supreme, place all your baggage at God’s feet and let God take care of it.”—Amma, “Messages from Amma in the Language of the Heart” edited by Janine Canan
“Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,
what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.
In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.
And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.”
–Rainer Maria Rilke, “Sonnets to Orpheus”
The Indwelling One is our prosperity. We can water the seeds of peace in ourselves and others so it may prosper and flourish.
“O people of the Light, awaken to the knowledge that lives within you! Do you know your destiny- to be a light unto the worlds, a bearer of peace and harmony?”—Psalm 107
We are made, the scriptures of all religions assure us, in the image of God. Nothing can change our original goodness. Whatever mistakes we have made in the past, whatever problems we may have in the present, in every one of us the uncreated spark in the soul remains untouched, ever pure, ever perfect. Even if we try with all our might to douse or hide it, it is always ready to set our personality ablaze with light.”—Eknath Easwaran, p. 260, “Words to Live By”, Nilgiri Press