Sunday, 29 September 2013


Today is the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel in the western Christian calendar.  
When I lived and worked in the Camphill Villages [some forty years ago] this day was especially celebrated as Rudolf Steiner [1861-1925] considered this the second most important feast after Easter.

O glorious prince Saint Michael, chief and commander of the heavenly hosts, guardian of souls, vanquisher of rebel spirits, servant in the house of the Divine King and our admirable conductor; you who shine with excellence and superhuman virtue deliver us from all evil; we turn to you with confidence as you enable us by your glorious protection to serve God more and more faithfully everyday.

Saturday, 28 September 2013


"Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God."
St.Matthew   Chap.5 : V.3.

Peace is a difficult concept and the subtleties of interpretation are broad.  I read the following in 'The Spiritual Pathway' by Raynor Johnson.
"Two artists agreed to paint a picture with the title "Peace".  One painted a secluded valley with tall sheltering hills surrounding it.  In the bottom of the valley was a clear, smooth lake; not a breath of wind stirred the surface or marred the perfect reflections of the hills, trees and sky.  The second artist painted a bird's nest securely planted in the fork of tree.  The wind was blowing wildly through the branches and the foaming waters of a stream ran below.  But the nest was a haven of peace.
The first artist may have portrayed the peace of some worlds but the second artist portrayed the kind of peace that can be expected in this world."

In the heart of the cyclone tearing the sky
And rushing the clouds and towers by,
Is a place of central calm.
So here in the rush of earthly things
There is a place where the spirit sings ---
In the hollow of God's palm.

The writer goes on to say that accepting life is an attitude of mind and heart and is a precondition for the peace of which Jesus spoke when he said ---
" Peace I leave with you.  My peace I give unto you; not as the world gives, give I unto you."

If peace is dependent on an attitude of mind and heart we have a lot of work to do and we all need to start working harder right now.  The world is in need of a heck of a change of attitude if what is happening in the world at this time is any thing to go by.
When we sing - "Let there be Peace on earth and let it begin with me."  What are we saying, what are we seeking, what are we asking for?
If we are saying that we want war and civil disorder to cease then we have a responsibility to set an example of obedience to the laws of Spirit and of man.  In other words we must be good citizens of this earth, sit lightly upon it, do not waste its resources, become good caretakers and set the right example for the generations to come.  We have possessions yet we own nothing 'for naked we came into the world and naked we leave it'.  The Spirit, the soul, can be free to soar unencumbered to return to the ocean of Spirit.
Peace, in the civil sense, begins with harmony within the family and serenity within the home.  It continues to the neighbourhood and its ripples spread to encompass the globe.  This is perhaps a simplistic view.  But we do say that a journey begins with a single step, so how much more appropriate to begin a journey of serenity with a simple step from within the home.

This then brings us to the individual; being in a chicken and egg situation, ideally the home will have set the example for the individual and the individual the example for the home.  What comes first?
To advance spiritually we must seek the peace within, that calm haven of stillness and tranquillity that allows us to listen to our God.  For what do we hear in chaos and confusion, what do we hear in a babble of voices and noise, what sense can we make when all around is non-sense?  The answer is nothing, a great big zero, zilch.  Our response can only be confused, unreasoned and chaotic.

Man is a vessel of the Spirit, he holds peace within him, however he does not let the peace flow out as the Spirit would wish.  Peace flows into man like a river, it should flow out as a waterfall; splashing, running, cascading about the world and all that man comes into contact with.  Some allow a trickle to flow from them, some a stream, some non at all.  If man could only realise that there is no limit on peace and allowed himself to be used as the means by which it can be given on earth then there would be a constant, healthy flow into the world.  "Let it begin with me."  Stop and think how you may bring peace into the world, let it flow easily and readily to those about you.  Consider the words, thoughts and actions that you give to others.  Think before you speak, or act and as time goes on it will become second nature to be a person of peace.
Let the waterfall flow from you, you shall never run dry because the Spirit will keep a steady flow into and through you as you do His work, giving peace to others.

The calm tranquillity for which e strive as individuals will be reflected in our immediate circle.  Peace will come as the circle widens, as circles touch upon circles and the ripples spread to encompass all peoples.
Truly peace begins with us, we all bear the responsibility to become the children of God.

What of the future?  Down the ages Prophets of God have foretold of an era of  'peace on earth and goodwill among men'.  Abdul-Baha, the son of the founder of the Bahai Faith, wrote about the Most Great Peace ---

" In this marvellous cycle, the earth will be transformed and humanity arrayed in tranquillity and beauty.  Disputes, quarrels and murders will be replaced by peace, truth and concord; among the nations, peoples, races and countries, love and amity will appear.  Co-operation and union will be established, and finally war will be entirely suppressed.
Universal peace will raise its tent in the centre of the earth and the Blessed Tree of Life will spread to such an extent that it will overshadow the East and the West.
Strong and weak, rich and poor, antagonistic sects and hostile nations, which are like the wolf and the lamb, the leopard and the kid, the lion and the calf, will act toward each other with the most complete love, friendship, justice and equity.  The world will be filled with science, with knowledge of the mysteries of beings and with the knowledge of God."

Let there be Peace on earth -------

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Mist Grey

I had intended to post another item from my scrapbook today but when I got up and looked out of my bedroom window all I saw was mist.  So I decided to post a few very short verses on the subject.
My diary tells me that Sunday, 22nd. was the Autumnal Equinox or in other words the beginning of Autumn - Fall to my American family- so mists are to be expected in this part of the world.
One of the great beauties of mist is the way that spiders webs are bejewelled by droplets of water, this makes them sparkle and shimmer like fantastical necklaces; flowers too are dew pearled. The downside is the constant greyness, the moisture that clings to everything and the difficulties posed to navigating paths and roads. Then the joy when the sun shines through and colour returns once more.


Mist descending, rooftop hiding,
Leaves moistening, colours blending,
Mist grey.

Twisting and writhing, sinuous striving,
Crack creeping, door ducking,
Mist grey.

Cloak enveloping, thief concealing,
River blending, eye blinding,
Mist grey.  

Saturday, 21 September 2013

International Day of Peace

My calendar informs me that today is the International Day of Peace; to mark the occasion I have decided to take four items from my scrapbook on the subject of peace.


Peace is not the product of terror or fear,
Peace is not the silence of cemeteries,
Peace is not the silent result of violent repression.
Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution of all to the good of all.
Peace is dynamism.
Peace is generosity.
It is right, it is duty.
                                          Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador (1917-80)

I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with for-thought of grief.
I come into the presence of still waters and I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light.

The Peace of Wild Things (1968-extract) - Wendell Berry - American Poet and Novelist


Deep Peace of the Running Wave to you
Deep Peace of the Flowing Air to you
Deep Peace of the Quiet Earth to you
Deep Peace of the Shining Stars to you
Deep Peace of the Angels of Peace to you.
                                                                        Based on a Celtic Benediction


Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me,
Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be.
With God as our Father, brothers all are we,
Let me walk with my brother in perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me, let this be the moment now,
With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow,
To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally,
Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.

                       This was sung at the end of every service at a Church in Durham


Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Take Time

Take time to think - thoughts are the source of power,
Take time to play - play is the secret of perpetual youth,
Take time to read - reading is the fountain of wisdom,
Take time to pray - prayer can be a rock of strength in times of trouble.

Take time to love - loving is what makes life worth living,
Take time to be friendly - friendships give life a delicious flavour,
Take time to laugh - laughter is the music of the soul,
Take time to give - any day of the year is too short for selfishness.

Take time to do your work well - pride in your work nourishes the spirit,
Take time to show appreciation - thanks are the icing on the cake of life.


Our lives are measured by the deeds we do,
the thoughts we think, the objects we pursue.


Saturday, 14 September 2013

Holy Cross Day

Today is the Festival of the Holy Cross, or Holy Cross day in the Christian Calendar.

For me the Celtic Cross is not a symbol of execution but a symbol of humankind standing with arms outstretched, surrounded by Divine Light, ready to receive all of creation in Peace and Love. The outstretched arms are, in their turn, radiating out to creation Healing for body, mind and spirit reflecting the Light of the Divine.

Take time to send out your prayers,this day, for all creation; please also ask for Peace in this world of ours.


Friday, 13 September 2013

Retire into thyself.

Men seek out retreats for themselves, cottages in the country, lonely sea shores and mountains.  Thou too art disposed to hanker greatly after such things: and yet all this is the very commonest stupidity; for it is in thy power whenever thou wilt, to retire into thyself; and nowhere is there any place whereto a man may retire quieter and more free from politics than his own soul.

Marcus Aurelius - Roman Emperor and Stoic Philosopher (AD 121 - 180)


Send down O God, O Gentle, O Compassionate, into my heart faith and tranquillity and stillness, that I may be of those whose 'hearts are stilled by the mention of God'.

Muslim Devotions


Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Words of Black Elk

Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world.  And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being.  And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the centre grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father.
And I saw that it was holy.

Tree of Life, painting by Margaret M. Brownlow

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Remembering Romero

"Let my blood be a seed of freedom and the sign that hope will soon be a reality."

"All pomp, all triumphs, all selfish capitalism, all false successes of life will pass with the world's form.
 All of that passes away.
 What does not pass away is love.
 When one has turned money, property, work in one's calling into service of others, then the joy of sharing  and the feeling that all are one's family does not pass away.
 In the evening of life you will be judged on love."

                                                                                         Archbishop Oscar Romero.

On the 24th.March 1980 Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador was assassinated
 as he celebrated Mass.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Source of All Being

In the beginning was chaos, and all that is existed in a formless void - the breath of Spirit enclosed and moulded the chaos gently into order.  In all the vastness of time and space all that is became beautiful, controlled, wondrous and as then unknown to other conscious mind.  The life in the breath of Spirit formed the planets and the stars, ordered their courses and encouraged the ocean of life to consciousness.
All creatures and plants were formed and dwelt in love and peace together; supporting each other and acknowledging the Source of All Being.  Over many ages humankind evolved and was, like the creatures and plants, granted consciousness and was touched by the Source of All Being with the Light of Spirit.
From life comes life and each soul was endowed with the essence of Spirit - to grow and nurture.  The trinity of mind, body and spirit was given freely with freewill - and so history began.
Spirit speaks in stillness to all who will listen and over time many have listened, out of this some have sought power over others - the message distorted, misused and abused.  To each generation the message of Spirit is renewed to we who are of Spirit.  For all humankind is touched by the Source of All Being and is endowed with the essential Spirit within and we are charged with this spark of the Eternal to nurture and teach it, to grow in spiritual statue.  As we are all one, being humankind, it does not matter where we live on Earth; we do not own the Earth but are charged with its guardianship.
We are also charged with the care, love and support of each other, to assist each drop of Spirit to merge with the ocean of Spirit.  No matter how long or short the span of human life the life of Spirit is Eternal, so as each drop returns to the ocean it is renewed to reinvigorate another human soul.
The ocean of life ebbs and flows in the eternal ocean of Spirit and all are of Spirit.


                                                       Eternal Flame drawing by R.E.B