Saturday, 31 August 2013

God grant me.

I have an illustrated book-mark, purchased about eighteen months ago and pinned on the noticeboard in front of my desk, with the following text on it:-
'God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference.'
 After posting my Blog on August 24th. I received a comment, from 'grasshopper', which contained the following; I would like to share it with you :-

God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things which should be changed,
and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other,
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it.
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in life
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
                                           Reinhold Niebuhr

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Meander 2

He brings disaster upon his nation who never sows a seed, or lays a brick, or weaves a garment, but makes politics his occupation.
                                                                                               Kahlil Gibran

To be closer to God be closer to people.
                                                                            Kahlil Gibran

To change people you must love them.  Your influence reaches only as far as your love.

You never enjoy the world aright, till the sea itself floweth in your veins, till you are clothed with the heavens and crowned with the stars.
                                                                                             Thomas Traherne (1637-74)

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
                                                                                                     Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.
                                                                                                  Ursula Le Guin

God's gifts put man's best dreams to shame.
                                                                             Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-61)

May the Angel of Peace embrace your life in the realising of Peace on Earth.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Be the best of whatever you are.

We all dream of great deeds and high positions, away from the pettiness and humdrum of ordinary life.  Yet success is not occupying a lofty place or doing a conspicuous work; it is being the best that is in you. Rattling
around in too big a job is much worse than filling a small one to overflowing.  dream, aspire by all means; but do not ruin the life you must lead by dreaming pipe-dreams  of the one you would like to lead.  Make the most of what you have and are.  Perhaps your trivial, immediate task is your one sure way of proving your mettle.  Do the thing near at hand, and great things will come to your hand to be done.

If you can't be a pine on the to of the hill
Be a scrub in the valley - but be
The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
Be a bush if you can't be a tree.

If you can't be a bush be a bit of the grass,
And some highway some happier make;
If you can't be a muskie then just be a bass -
But the liveliest bass in the lake!

We can't all be captains, we've got to be crew,
There's something for all of us to here.
There's big work to do and there's lesser to do,
And the task we must do is the near.

If you can't be a highway then just be a trail,
If you can't be the sun be a star;
It isn't by size that you win or you fail -
Be the best of whatever you are!

The piece of paper, in my scrapbook, on which this is printed shows no indication of the author but through the miracle of the internet I now know that the above was written by Douglas Malloch (1877-1938), an American poet. 

[ muskie - a fairly rare North American fish of the Pike family ]

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

The First Duty.

The first and foremost duty prescribed unto men, next to the recognition of Him who is the Eternal Truth, is the duty of steadfastness in His cause.  Cleave thou unto it, and be of them whose minds are firmly fixed and grounded in God.  No act, however meritorious, did or can ever compare unto it.  It is the king of all acts, and to this thy Lord, the All-Highest, the Most Powerful, will testify.......
The virtues and attributes pertaining unto God are all evident and manifest, and have been mentioned and described in all the heavenly Books.  Among them are trustworthiness, truthfulness, purity of heart while communing with God, forbearance, resignation to whatever the Almighty hath decreed, contentment with the things His will hath provided, patience,nay, thankfulness in the midst of tribulation, and complete reliance, in all circumstances, upon Him.  These rank, according to the estimate of God, among the highest and most laudable of all acts.  All other acts are, and will ever remain, secondary and subordinate unto them......
The spirit that animateth the human heart is the knowledge of God and its truest adorning is the recognition of the truth that "He doeth whatsoever He willeth, and ordaineth that which He pleaseth."  It's raiment is the fear of God, and its perfection steadfastness in His faith.  Thus God instructeth whosoever seeketh Him,  He verily, loveth the one that turneth towards Him.  There is none othe God but Him, the Forgiving, the Most Bountiful.
All praise be to God, the Lord of all worlds.

From the writings of Baha'u'llah (1817-1892), founder of the Baha'i Faith.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

I am your friend.........

I am your friend and my love for you goes deep.  There is nothing I can give you which you have not got; but there is much, very much, that, while I cannot give it, you can take.
No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in today. Take heaven.  No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant.  Take peace.
The gloom of the world is but a shadow.  Behind it yet within our reach is joy.  There is radiance and glory in the darkness, could we but see - and to see we have only to look.  I beseech you to look.
Life is so generous a giver, but we, judging its gifts by their covering, cast them away as ugly or heavy or hard.  Remove the covering and you will find beneath it a living splendour, woven of love, by wisdom, with power.
Welcome it, grasp it and you touch the Angel's hand that brings it to you.  Everything we call a trial, a sorrow or a duty, believe me, that Angel's hand is there; the gift is there, and the wonder of an over-shadowing Presence.  Our joys too: be not content with them as joys, they too conceal conceal diviner gifts.
Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty - beneath its covering - that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven.
Courage then to claim it; that is all.  But courage you have; and the knowledge that we are pilgrims together, wending through unknown country, home.
And so, it is at this time, I greet you.  Not quite as the world sends greetings, but with profound esteem and with the prayer that for you now and forever, the day breaks, and the shadows flee away.

Letter from Father Giovanni (1435-1515) sent on Christmas Eve 1513 to Countess Allagia Aldobrancschi.
I had written this in my scrapbook, many years ago, but have only recently found out where it came from.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

I will sing unto the Lord

I will sing unto the Lord with all my soul for He is the regnant presence within me.
Within all the kingdoms of my life He reigneth and toucheth unto melody the strings of my being.

Words by Rev.John Todd Ferrier (1855-1943) Founder of the Order of the Cross in 1904.
Text illuminated by Frank Buist.
Do visit     www.orderof    for more information; I have no connection to the organisation but feel it may be of interest to fellow seekers.

Saturday, 10 August 2013


Dalescape - Oil painting on canvas by Margaret M Brownlow

You ask me, my brother, when will man reach perfection.  Hear my answer:

Man approaches perfection when he feels that he is an infinite space and a sea without a shore,
An everlasting fire, an unquenchable light,
A calm wind or a raging tempest, a thundering sky or a rainy heaven.
A singing brook or a wailing rivulet, a tree abloom in Spring, or a naked sapling in Autumn,
A rising mountain or a descending valley
A fertile plain or a desert.

When man feels all these, he has already reached halfway to perfection.
To attain his goal he must then perceive that he is a child dependent on his mother,
A father responsible for his family,
A youth lost in love,
An ancient wrestling his past,
A worshipper in his temple, a criminal in his prison,
A scholar amidst his parchments,
An ignorant soul stumbling between the darkness of his night and the obscurity of his day,
A nun suffering between the flowers of her faith and the thistles of her loneliness,
A prostitute caught between the fangs of her weakness and the claws of her needs,
A poor man trapped between his bitterness and his submission,
A rich man between his greed and his conscience,
A poet between the mist of his twilight and the rays of his dawn.

Who can experience, see and understand these things can reach perfection and become a shadow of
God's Shadow.

                                                                                     by  Kahlil Gibran. 

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

The Suicide in Heaven

Harry Edwards asks:  Is he damned whom circumstance has driven to end his own life?

I have been asked on several occasions to give my views on the question of what happens to suicides after they pass over.  I am moved to do this now because a reader has written to me to say that his vicar told him that his relative who took his own life will " dwell in hell for ever and never reach heaven".

Moreover, there is a view that is commonly held that a suicide is a wanderer in spirit life, and is condemned to a long period of penance.

These ideas are archaic and out of touch with all enlightened views of what is reasonable to expect in the greater life.  Our ideas of evil and sin change with spiritual progress.  At one time it was considered a Christian right to own and beat slaves, and to send little children into the mines to warp their bodies at the loom.

At one time the idea of heaven was to enter by the pearly gates, and spend eternity reclining on couches, eating and drinking from golden plates and goblets while listening to harp-playing, singing, angels.

So it is, that the idea that a suicide is forever damned is likewise out of date.  We all cling tenaciously to life; therefore when one deliberately ends his or her earthly existence, it is because one is grievously ill.

Often the illness takes the form of mental stress and fear, it may be the seeking of release from the pain that is greater than the afflicted one can bear, or it may be through the loss of reasoning power.  One thing is certain in almost every case, the suicide is extremely ill, and this for no conscious fault of his own.

Sin is surely only a sin where there is a conscious, evil motive, and it would be hard to find a case where this applies to a suicide.  On the contrary, a sinner is usually a selfish person and the last thing he would do is give up his life.

So we view the suicide as a very sick person, possibly far more sick than those who enter the spirit life from other disease.  Therefore, there is all the more reason to believe that they are received into the arms of loving kindness to nurse them out of their fears and stresses, to help them to realize the infinite possibilities of spiritual progression and happiness.

It is the natural thing in earth life to help anyone who is in trouble and in sickness.  This is the inherent divinity within us.  If we know of one who is desperately ill either of the body or the mind, do we turn vindictive thoughts towards them?   Of course not, we do all in our power to soothe and ease the distress.

Are we therefore, to assume that those who have passed into the new life, and who have acquired greater wisdom and compassion, are less human than we?  If love is the mainspring of spiritual progression, as we believe it is, how can we reconcile this with the contention that when a tortured mind arrives in spirit it will be subjected to persecution and be outlawed?

I believe that a person considered to be a pillar of the church and yet who in normal  life is mean spirited, and who will take advantage of another, whose life-motive is the worship of self, of power and adulation, is far more likely to undergo a period of tribulation than an unfortunate woman who is driven to take her life through great grief.

 I wonder what will be the comparison between an archbishop or bishop who is so imbued with his self-importance, that it is beneath his dignity to go into a poor home to seek divine healing for a sick one (and who ever heard of one of these present day dignitaries doing this?) and a man who cannot face a blank future who knows that he cannot provide food for his family - and out of love for them takes them with him into death.  I suggest it may well be the ecclesiastic who will be found "wanting".

So, whenever we hear of an unfortunate who has through force of circumstance been driven to the extreme of ending his earthly life, let us think of him with love and compassion, and pray that he will soon be nursed through his stress into the happiness of free and spiritual progression.

And let us also consider how far it has been human responsibility in failing to help him in his time of need.

No one condones the act of suicide; we certainly do not, but let us consider it in its right perspective, and shun the idea that a suicide is eternally damned.

Harry Edwards (1893-1976)
Spiritual Healer - Teacher - Author

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Simple Faith

You can commune more freely with God when you are free from earth-clamour.  There are greater achievements born out of the unseen and unknown than were ever born of the visible and much applauded activities of man.
Rest, sleep, the peace of spiritual tranquillity, were ever more prodigious with growth, with achievement, than the restlessness of man's waking hours.  Visions and dreaming are held to scorn by modern man; and sleep is but an inconvenient intrusion upon busy life which he cannot avoid.  But I tell you that pure dreams are the life of the Spirit when the Soul relaxes its autocracy of Mind and man consorts in the spiritual, the plane of true being.  There is no meaningless incident in the life of man in his waking hours; neither in his sleeping hours when his will is temporarily suspended from conflict with  the spiritual truth.
Man must learn to become more still within himself and so become aware of the realities of life; a preparation for the life to come.  'Sleep awhile and dream', God gives all rest.  And death is but a little sleep and a glad awakening.

Another snippet from my scrapbook with no indication of author or source.