Today’s post is a joy filled post of celebration and gratitude. It is a Prayer of Gratitude.
Gratitude for life, for my wife and children, for love.
This isn’t about a specific spiritual practice but a way of being. A way of being present to the gifts you are given day by day.
I’ve come out a period of illness, nothing serious, but enough to maybe shock me into remembering that my health should never be taken for granted. My children haven’t been feeling well either.
To focus on caring for them and seeing them get better is all I can ever ask for.
The Autumn season tends to put me in a state of overwhelming gratitude. I was born in November and some say the month you are born tends to predispose you to enjoy the weather of that season.
Walking in the woods and near the creek that runs through the woods today was a day of delight.
I breathed in every moment with my family and the few moments I had in solitude.
The crisp, cool air was heavenly as the wind picked up near the flowing water. Birds scattered as my son and I ran down a side path with crunching leaves underfoot.
My daughter asked me to hold her new Panda stuffed bear that she found while my wife was on a bargain hunt for fabric at Goodwill. I was reminded of the significance of that request.
How many more time will my five year old daughter ask to hold her stuffed animal?
Yes, breathe this moment in.
Thank God for this moment but also enjoy it in every sinew of my being.
I’ve been reading Anam Cara by John O’Donohue and have been soaking up the poetic writing of the late, philosopher priest.
This book is very meaningful to me.
It isn’t a quick read as I tend to drink slowly from the beautiful short sections contained within each longer chapter. It is a work of art that contains much wisdom.
I will share a passage from Anam Cara, that touched my soul on this day of overwhelming gratitude as I watched my children run in delight through the green fields near the waters edge.
“A person should always offer a prayer of graciousness for the love that has awakened in them. When you feel love for your beloved and the beloved’s love for you, now and again you should offer the warmth of your love as a blessing for those who are damaged and unloved. Send that love out into the world to people who are desperate, to those who are starving, to those who are trapped in prison, in hospitals, and into all the brutal terrains of bleak and tormented lives. When you send that love our from the bountifulness of your own love, it reached other people. This love is the deepest power of prayer. “
And here he gives a beautiful definition of prayer.
“Prayer is the act and presence of sending this light from the bountifulness of your love to other people to heal, free, and bless them. When there is love in your life, you should share it spiritually with those who are pushed to the very edge of life. “
I feel like I prayed today and was given an incredible gift of beauty and love.
A beautiful day in God’s creation with people I love.
My heart is overflowing with love and I had to capture this in writing, like a fleeting dream.
I will leave you with a small blessing from Anam Cara.
“May you be blessed with good friends.
May you learn to be a good friend to yourself.
May you be able to journey to that place in your soul where there is greatlove, warmth, feeling, and forgiveness.
May this change you.
May it transfigure that which is negative, distant, or cold in you.
May you be brought in to the real passion, kinship, and affinity of belonging.”