Archive for category: The Season of Hope

Thanksgiving address

24 Nov
November 24, 2015

For this week in our month of gratitude, I thought I would share with you the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address. For the complete prayer as well as a history of the prayer see:

This beautiful prayer of the Iroquois Confederacy or Six Nations tribes, gives thanks for all of creation. It begins with:

The People

Today we have gathered and we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty and responsibility to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now, we bring our minds together as one as we give our greetings and our thanks to one another as people.

Now our minds are one

May this month of gratitude be only a drop in the well of our gratitude practices throughout the year. Blessings to all and appreciation of all – Kathleen

Buddhist Mindfulness – Loving Kindness

16 Nov
November 16, 2015

In the wake of the horrific events that unfolded November 13th in Paris, it is challenging to focus on a prayer of gratitude. Why? Because there are so many other prayers that need to be said for and about these tragic events. Yet as  I sat in my Centering Prayer practice, the Buddhist lovingkindness meditation returned over and over. It is absolutely needed during this time.

Simply put, the lovingkindness meditation nurtures loving feelings for self and family (which might be easier to start with) in order to grow and extend that feeling of lovingkindness towards others, especially one’s enemies.

In order to conquer hate and violence, we need to grow and nurture our love. When put to the test, hopefully we can extend our love, rather than our anger and outrage.

Since I have read Jack Kornfield for years, I am providing his example of the lovingkindness meditation. The following is taken directly from

Peace – Kathleen


Begin with yourself. Breathe gently, and recite inwardly the following traditional phrases directed toward our own well-being. You being with yourself because without loving yourself it is almost impossible to love others.

May I be filled with lovingkindness.

May I be safe from inner and outer dangers.

May I be well in body and mind.

May I be at ease and happy.

After focusing on yourself for five or ten minutes, choose a benefactor, someone in your life who has loved and truly cared for you. Picture this person and carefully recite the same phrases:

May you be filled with lovingkindness.

May you be safe from inner and outer dangers.

May you be well in body and mind.

May you be at ease and happy.

Continue to expand this meditation outwards from yourself (or those whom it is easy for you to feel love) to your neighbors, your community and so on and so on…all the way to Paris and beyond.

“You will be great and you will be full.”

09 Nov
November 9, 2015

If we follow the trail of gratitude, we find there are countless people and events that allowed us the one thing, person or creation for which we are grateful for right now in this moment. And then… there is the Source of All that Is that made it possible in the first place.

This week, I am focusing on this trail of gratitude in my own life. For example,  I am grateful for my dog who looks out at me with loving bright beautiful eyes. My dog is with me because of the  veterinarians and vet technicians over the past fifteen years who have provided care to him. There is the money that I earned because of the people who employed me allowing me to give him the care I did. This is only the beginning of a reflection on the expansive forest of people to whom I owe and give my gratitude for the love I enjoy today with my four-legged. The trail, I know, leads me back to the One who is Creator of all.

This week I share with you a prayer of gratitude from the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy scripture:

“Dear God, please enlighten me to sing your praise throughout the morning, noon and night. O greatest giver of all, we are very grateful to enjoy the food you provide. Bless us to get rid of our vices by gathering with your disciples. O Nanak, my heart is full of eternal gratitude for the company of enlightened beings.”

If you do not already follow the trail of gratitude, I invite you to begin exploring the path to your forest in regard to only one gift/ blessing that you are most thankful for in this moment – your child, your spouse, your parent, your education, etc. Who fills your forest?


Reflecting on Gratitude….

01 Nov
November 1, 2015

This time of year invites many to turn inward, to reflect on all that they are grateful for in their lives. This self-examination hopefully moves us towards action. For once we see what we already have, we understand we have plenty to give and offer the world. For others the movement towards action occurs first. The willingness to give of time or resources stimulates the awareness of plenty in their own lives. This is the flow of gratitude. Gratitude is never for ourselves alone. It is what can and does unite us with all  Creation if we allow ourselves to accept that there is this flow.

There are many ways to reflect on gratitude, appreciation, giving thanks, and grace. There are countless skillful writers who already offer there approach to the meaning, practice and art of gratitude. I am grateful there are so many people to turn to with their ideas and insights.

My offering throughout the month of November are prayers / intentions that may reflect the wellspring of gratitude as expressed in different religious or spiritual traditions.

Within the Celtic spiritual tradition all life is gift. One blesses God and neighbor for what has been freely given. Blessings become expressions of heartfelt appreciation and thankfulness for what already is.  The following prayer comes from The Celtic Way of Prayer: The Recovery of the Religions Imagination by Esther de Waal.

Bless to me, O God,
The earth beneath my foot,

Bless to me, O God,
  The path whereon I go;
Bless to me, O God,
the thing of my desire;
Thou Evermore of evermore,
Bless Thou to me my rest.

Bless to me the thing
  Whereon is set my mind,
Bless to me the thing
  Whereon is set my love;
Bless to me the thing
  Whereon is set my hope;
    O Thou King of kings
Bless Thou to me mine eye!

What is the ‘thing’ in your life that inspires your hopes, your dreams? From where did it come? When did you first notice it?


Blessings for the Holy Season

13 Dec
December 13, 2008

Link List

Seasons Greetings
We evoke our God’s mercy and blessings on all the peoples of earth. And in this holy season, we petition our Creator to empower us with wisdom so that in this approaching New Year, our gifts will give birth to new ways to create prosperity, to preserve the peace and to provide paths of justice to be enjoyed by all.

We pray for the poor, for the lonely, for the sick, for the alienated and for the end of suffering.
May the hope of this holy season provide healing, give opportunities for joy, richly nourish us all with love, fill us with happiness and provide a time of restful play that will ignite our energies for the work ahead.

With hearts filled with gratitude for blessings received, we give thanks for the privileged gift of education and pray for joy to cover our interfaith community of students, staff, administrators and faculty. And pray blessing on our friends, families, benefactors and all the people of God.

In this sacred time, we bind our prayers to all the followers of Jesus who honor the holy season of Mother Mary’s maternity, who mark the time of sacred waiting in these last days of Advent and celebrate the festival of Christ’s birth at Christmas.

With the native peoples, we honor this time of holy darkness, give praise for the gifts of creation, and wait in sacred anticipation for the first light as winter embraces the earth. We join our Jewish brothers and sisters who honor Hanukkah, the Festival of Light and Hope, pray for peace for Israel and petition God for shalom for all.

We pray with the Parses who in this season mark Zarathosht Diso in honor of the passing into eternal life of the holy Zarustra /Zoroaster, the great saint of Peria. We pray for peace and blessing with our Islamic brothers and sisters as they enter the holy watch of Hijra – Muharram to welcome the New Year.

And with all people, we give thanks for the year that has past and place our hope and faith in 2009.

We pray in gratitude for the 25 years our Archbishop John G. Vlazny has served as bishop and join with our archdioces to honor him on December 14th.

And we give thanks for the speedy recovery of our own University Minister Sister Cecilia Ranger.

Happy Holidays to all.