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Maker of All Things Even Healings

By | Poetry | No Comments

(a portion of Mary Oliver’s poem)

Maker of All Things,
including appetite,
including stealth,
including the fear that makes
all of us, sometime or other,
flee for the sake
of our small and precious lives,
let me abide in your shadow –
let me hold on
to the edge of your robe
as you determine
what you must let be lost
and what will be saved.

(From her Redbird collection)

Don’t Worry

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

With such rich memories of the poet Mary Oliver, who died this past week at 83, I am going to post some of her poems which have spoken to me.

Here’s one

Don’t Worry
Things take the time they take. Don’t worry.

How many roads did St. Augustine follow before he became St. Augustine?

Mary Oliver, in  Felicity

Goodbye, Mary Oliver

By | Reflections and Readings | No Comments

I lost a friend this week, a good friend, a friend I never met.

Poet Mary Oliver, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, but more important winner of many hearts, died at 83 in her Hobe Sound, Florida home.

I call her a good because from her poetry I knew her and was quite sure she knew me.
How often I have quoted these three lines from her Sometimes (in Red Bird)

Instructions for living a life:
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.

And how many mornings have one of her poems wakened me to pay attention – to nature around, to my own heart, to the Spirit of God.

When I was writing my book The Attentive Life  I would often recall that she said, “I don’t know much about prayer, but I do know how to pay attention.” And from many of her poems it was clear her prayers were attention!

I would say “Goodbye, Mary Oliver,” except I don’t think she is that far away!

Leighton

Gratitude

By | Food for thought | No Comments

This short talk on gratitude by Curtis Almquist really spoke to me … for today  day and for this year and for this time of my life.  It is really good and really worth taking the time to listen to. You will be blessed I think as I have been. It helps me to be more a  grateful person today.

Listen Here

America’s New Religion

By | Food for thought | No Comments

I highly recommend a recent piece in New York Magazine by Andrew Sullivan.

Everyone has a religion. It is, in fact, impossible not to have a religion if you are a human being. It’s in our genes and has expressed itself in every culture, in every age, including our own secularized husk of a society.

By religion, I mean something quite specific: a practice not a theory; a way of life that gives meaning, a meaning that cannot really be defended without recourse to some transcendent value, undying “Truth” or God (or gods).

A Prayer at the End and Beginning of a Year

By | Prayer | No Comments

Lord, give me I pray:

A remembering heart for the things that have happened

An attentive heart to what I have learned

A forgiving heart for what has hurt

A grateful heart for what has blessed

A brave heart for what may be required

An open heart to all that may come

A trusting heart to go forth with You

A loving heart for You and all your creation

A longing heart for the reconciliation of all things.

A willing heart to say “Yes” to what You will.

Leighton Ford

Thoughts from Wendell Berry

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An excerpt from Wendell Berry’s essay “Economy and Pleasure”

“That God created ‘all things’ [Rev. 4:11] is in itself an uncomfortable thought, for in our workaday world we can hardly avoid preferring some things above others, and this makes it hard to imagine not doing so. That God created all things for His pleasure, and that they continue to exist because they please Him is formidable doctrine indeed, as far as possible both from the anthropocentric utilitarianism that some environmentalists critics claim to find in the Bible and from the grouchy spirituality of many Christians. It would be foolish, probably, to suggest that God’s pleasure in all things can be fully understood or appreciated by mere humans. This passage suggests, however, that our truest and profoundest religious experience may be the simple, unmasking pleasure in the existence of other creatures that is possible to humans. It suggests that God’s pleasure in all things must be respected by us in our use of things, and even in our displeasure in some things. It suggests too that we have an obligation to preserve God’s pleasure in all things, and sure this means not only that we must not misuse or abuse anything, but also that there must be some things and some places that by common agreement we do not use at all, but leave wild.”