“Living God, I pray for your love in my life. I pray for your joy in my heart. I pray for your peace in my soul. I pray for your patience in my words. I pray for your kindness in my actions. I pray for your goodness in my sharing. I pray for your faithfulness in my relationships. I pray for your gentleness in my spirit. I pray for your self control in my choices. May this fruit blossom in and through me. Forgive me when I fail, and restore my strength to create a clean spirit in and through You.”
The Mt Emily Recreation Area above La Grande and the the Grande Ronde Valley in Union County Oregon calls recreationists anytime of year–hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing in the winter, and mountain biking, riding dirt bikes, hiking the rest of the year. We are so blessed and fortunate to have such a great place to enjoy so near to us.
“All the flowers God has made are beautiful. The rose in its glory and the lily in its whiteness do not rob the tiny violet of its sweet smell, or the daisy of its charming simplicity.” Thérèse of Lisieux
“The heart of prayer is to recognize the presence and action of God and to consent to it. We do not have to go anywhere; God is already with us…Faith tells us that we already have God—the divine indwelling. The most intimate relationship with God is to be completely present to God, whatever we may be doing.” Fr Thomas Keating
“Every time there is significant growth in our spiritual development, all relationships change—to God, to ourselves, to other people, and to all creation. We become a new person…. God’s Spirit lives and works within us. It is God in us serving God in other people.” Fr Thomas Keating
“How can we forgive those who do not want to be forgiven? Our deepest desire is that the forgiveness we offer will be received. This mutuality between giving and receiving is what creates peace and harmony. But if our condition for giving forgiveness is that it will be received, we seldom will forgive! Forgiving the other is first and foremost an inner movement. It is an act that removes anger, bitterness, and the desire for revenge from our hearts and helps us to reclaim our human dignity. We cannot force those we want to forgive into accepting our forgiveness. They might not be able or willing do so. They may not even know or feel that they have wounded us.
“The only people we can really change are ourselves. Forgiving others is first and foremost healing our own hearts.” Henri Nouwen
We all talk about unconditional love, but I find it hard to really do, despite how close I am to people. Yet these two delightful dogs accept me unconditionally. All they ask for is my love and attention. If only I could give and receive the same intensity of love to and from God and others.
I am challenged by this verse from the Spanish hymn, Lord, You have come to the Lakeshore: “You need the caring of my hands. Through my tiredness may others find resting. You need a love that just goes on loving.”
“The human heart yearns for love: love without conditions, limitations, or restrictions. ..We must start by realizing that our restless hearts, yearning for perfect love, can only find that love through communion with the One who created them.” Henri Nouwen
Morgan Lake sits above La Grande, in Union County OR. Although the road up there is steep, it is only a fifteen minute drive to reach it. Few people visit it in the winter, so the tranquility is always refreshing. Late afternoon light and sunsets are exquisite.
As I watch a sunrise or sunset develop, I am awed by the spectrum of color that is displayed. The light and color move gradually and spectacularly, cleansing my mind and soul, reminding that my circumstance are minute compared the eternal moving, transforming Light.
“God’s hand reaches back to the past, settling all the claims against our conscience….Let us go out with the patient power of knowing the God of Israel will go before us. Our yesterdays hold broken and irreversible things for us. It is true that we have lost opportunities that will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past rest, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of Christ.
Leave the broken, irreversible past in His hands, and step into the invincible future with Him.” Oswald Chambers