Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

 

Butterfly Prayer
Susan Heffron Hajec

In a star-filled Virgin Island sky
Souljourner’s voice
sends out a Divine Spark
of love and gentleness
across the calm blue-green waters.

A living prayer of protection
and passion transforms
the holy monk’s confined walls
to golden vibrations
of worldwide peace.

They seek
the cry of the wolf
and sooth the ancestor’s
pleas of long ago.

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Butterfly Prayer
Susan Heffron Hajec

In a star-filled Jamaican sky
Souljourner’s voice
sends out a Divine Spark
of love and gentleness
across the calm waters.

A living prayer of protection
and passion transforms
the holy monk’s confined walls
to golden vibrations
of worldwide peace.

They seek
the cry of the wolf
and soothe the ancestor’s
pleas of long ago.

 

 

SoulCollage(R) by Susan Heffron Hajec

No automatic alt text available.
Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor
Image may contain: 1 person, text

Read Full Post »

IMG_7849

The world breaks
broken places
shattered mirrors
to reflect what is neglected
in dark corners.

My efforts are needed
i will turn to meet my destiny
reflected in shattered mirrors.

Unmolded clay
in my hand
nourishes new life.

The world breaks
I am a humble artist
molding my earthly clod.

Prayerful hands

i will trust to love.

Several years ago, I was grateful for the opportunity to return to a weekend workshop at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY and be with my artist sisters of WWAM  (Women Writers and Artists Matrix). A loving, powerful, far-seeing community of good living and loving in the world.

In one of the workshops, we played with broken pieces of glass added to a collage we made on a trypearche.  Color, fabric shapes and designs and paint went on the surface.

Then we added the lines of a poem, selected from many she handed out. We cut these lines and added them to our art form in any order we were inspired to. I only wish I had added the name of the author of the original poem to the back.  Yet, the beauty of it is that I “create” a new poem by reading the lines in different order any time I want.

Last, we we glued pieces of glass to our piece and shiny gem shapes and buttons.

I have kept my art piece in my sight. It has luminous energy about it. It speaks daily truth of the state of the world and the challenge before all of us, in any way in which I choose to read the lines.

Try it yourself. Take my poem I wrote today and write your own, choosing to start with “I will trust to love”.   See what happens.

I am trusting us to begin and continue the work and loving and listening to be done.

Read Full Post »

Grandma Heffron apron and rosary

I have posted this blog before on grandma Heffron’s rosary, but since I have been writing about aprons and rosaries, I thought I would repost this and show you one more way my grandma  Heffron’s  apron served her — as the holder of her blue crystal rosary, now in my daughter Laura’s safekeeping as her adult Confirmation gift from me.

My Grandmother’s Rosary

Sue’s Mother’s Day Tribute

“Excuse me,” the gentleman said as he got my attention. “I’m sure you did not mean to sell this.” In his hand, he was holding my grandmother’s crystal blue rosary, with a dull and tarnished silver cross with her name, Katherine Heffron, engraved on the back of it. My heart leapt in my chest. I was so grateful for his kindness in assuming that this prayer tool had much more than a monetary value attached to it. He returned it to me and I keep it on my home prayer table now, connecting me in faith to my elderly grandmother who passed many years ago.

We were in moving mode once again, leaving our country home for a condominium a little closer to Tom’s work. We were getting the final items arranged for the sale, sipping our wake-up coffee to warm us on the brisk Michigan  spring morning when this early-bird garage shopper arrived. He didn’t spend much time and quickly shopped the entire space, snatching up goods that were on his “hunt list”. Somehow, my grandmother’s rosary with her name inscribed on the crucifix, got into his catch. By returning it to me in the pre-sale hour, he saved it from the later rush traffic of the day and confusion which allowed me to keep this rosary in my family heritage.

The rosary belonged to my Irish grandmother who prayed her beads faithfully each day. Most of my memories of this grandma stem from her visits to us in the 1950s in our home in Sycamore, Illinois when I was in grade school. Grandma lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She lived with her daughter’s family, my father’s only sister and I never knew my grandfather. He lived and died working the hard life of a lumberjack, cutting and hauling wood out of the northern Wisconsin and Minnesota forest lands.

My own father, at a young age, took over the provision role for his mother and sister. Early photos I have seen of those times in the late 1920s and early 1930s looked tough and gritty. I do not know the specifics, but I came to understand that my dad sacrificed in many personal ways to ensure that his mother and sister had their needs met. Most of that information came from my mother. I don’t remember dad talking about it very much.

What I do remember is that my father and his mother had a loving but very testy relationship. Volatile and explosive would be more accurate. Grandma was a pretty cryptic personality when she wasn’t influenced by a little whiskey swig, which she was known to steal on the fly on occasion.

She had her long, white-grey hair usually pulled back in a bun at the neck and she wore soft nylon or cotton shirt waist dresses with a belt around her full torso. She always seemed immaculately clean to me and smelled of soft, fragrant body powders and cream. My mother bathed and medicated her legs faithfully after which they were bandaged with elastic wrappings and stockings. Grandma always wore what I called “Eleanor Roosevelt” shoes, the same black heeled lace up oxfords the Sisters of Mercy wore at school.

My dad and his mother may have agreed on their religion but in almost any other discussion topic, they were starkly at odds – each with a stubborn Irishness that would  not let disagreement of opinion rest. So many of their discussions turned into broiler heated arguments, my dad’s voice raised to thunder level with my grandmother, shaking her head, making clucking sounds with her false teeth, and walking off in disgust and amazement at what she deemed as her son’s lack of healthy respect for her.

Needless to say, this was very disturbing to my brothers and me who could not admonish their father and who hated to see their grandmother upset. The fall-out continued later, too, as the pattern was that grandma would then be gruff or mean to my mother, who through no fault of her own, took the heat that was meant for grandma’s son.

My suspicion is that the place where grandma settled all this was with her beads. She would sit in her rocking chair, sometimes completing her own debating points in the absence of her son to no one in particular in the room. Then, within a short period of time, a soft quietness descended upon her and she would reach into her dress or apron pocket and draw out her beads. I often watched her and was grateful for the calm settling over her and the house as she sat alone and began her prayers.

I would sit in the room near her, perhaps reading a book or completing some homework. I could see and feel the tension and the upset in her give way, for this short period of time, to be replaced by the rhythm of the beads slipping through her fingers and the repetitive words of the prayers coming quietly from her lips.

Grandma shared my bedroom with me when she came for visits. One of my favorite times with grandma was when we were alone in my bedroom at night, just before  going to sleep. I would ask her about times when she was a girl like me and she talked softly and sweetly to me as she shared things I cannot remember today. It was a twilight time together for us and I got to know a grandma different from my daytime grandma that I loved and cared about deeply. We even laughed together. I think she liked that. My father might come to the door and warn us, “You two, go to sleep”.

We would quiet down, and maybe whisper one more secret between us before turning over and settling into our twin bed covers and pillows. Then, before drifting off to sleep, I would once again hear the slipping of the beads and her whispering lips praying her nighttime rosary. Mary, Mother of God, called upon once again for all of our sakes.

Read Full Post »

IMG_5398SoulCollage® by Susan Heffron Hajec

Angel of God, my Guardian dear
To whom God’s love
commits me here.
Ever this day, be at my side
To light, to guard
To rule and guide. Amen

I say this prayer each morning for Tom and myself, our children and grandchildren and place trust in the scripture that says, “For I have sent an angel to watch over you and guide you in your ways”  and I expand this prayer to include all those who have asked for prayer or are presently facing challenges of any kind in their life.

Today, Napkinwriter copies a reading from an essay posted in the October 2014 Magnificat for Thursday, October 2, the Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels. It is the same day that Catholic Charities Caring Network celebrated twenty-five years of work dedicated to the unborn babies, mothers and ongoing family needs in the Kalamazoo area.

And it is the day that the newly formed Prayer Place was dedicated and blessed by the bishop and begins its prayer ministry for all who need guidance and support in their lives and responsibilities toward the young life that has been placed in their care.

Prayer Place Image

I believe the light of the angels shone upon us that day, for when I took the photo of the blessing, it was a dark and dreary day, just holding off the rain. Yet the light shone brightly upon Fran Denny, the founding director of Catholic Charities and Julia and William VanDomelen, who created the VanDomelen Center to house the charitable works and services that help so many.

The Bishop's Blessing

The writer of the following essay is Jennifer Hubbard. She resides in Newtown, CT. The younger of her two children, Catherine Violet, was a victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, on December 14, 2012.  The news was just breaking on television while Tom and I were having his birthday luncheon celebration.

Jennifer writes:

” ‘Angel of God, my guardian dear…’ I watch as his eyes light up for what feels like the first time in a very long time. He interupts her, saying, “That’s what my Pop said when he tucked us in.”

Instantly, I am taken back to the summer when they all shared the same bedroom. As he finishes the prayer, it’s their voices I hear alongside his. ‘…to whom God’s love commits me here. Ever this day, be at my side, to light to guard, to rule and guide.’

It was the prayer my father taught us as children and now he was teaching my children. It is one of the simple prayers planted deep into the crevices of my soul.

Now, my brave little one says it to remember that he is not alone. I say it with him, and realize these are the words I have been searching for but couldn’t seem to find. The prayer we recite together is the divine insight for which I have been pleading. It is only then I realize the reason we are given this promise as children. It is the heart of a child that is willing to accept unconditionally. A child — truly opens to receive — to believe — to feel, deep within her heart, the truth.

This is the promise that grows in my soul, even when the days seem dark and my body is weary. It is the everlasting reminder. I am his child.  He will guide and protect me. He is my Father and my Shepherd. He will light my path and bring me home to the little voice I long to hear.”

– End of Jennifer’s Essay –

Clients at Caring Network are filling out prayer requests in the lobby and putting them in the Prayer Place Mail Box.  During our Monday and Wednesday noon hour small group prayer where “two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them”,  we pick up these intention slips and pray for each request.

If they are signed, they are returned to the requester through their social service worker with notes on them that they have been prayed for. We trust God, in the midst, will bestow his blessing to make all things work onto good. We place our faith in the promise that to ask, believing we have received, will bring about goodness in what are often scary and threatening situations.

Above all, we know that faith, as tiny as a mustard seed, can bring about a full, joyful harvest. For all these things, we pray.

And during my Wednesday time tomorrow, I will add a prayer intention slip for Jennifer Hubbard, her husband and child, that God, in his infinite mercy, will bless them mightily through their lives and bring them to once again complete union with Catherine Violet, at the end of their days on earth.

IMG_5403Praying in color.

Read Full Post »

Clear Day See Forever

“On a clear day, you can see forever…..”  That little ditty has been singing its tune to me all day.

We are having a sparkly, clear October autumn day here in southwest Michigan. Can a clear atmosphere in front of your nose sparkle? It seems like it is doing that today, as the fall colors arrive on the trees.

From the outset this morning on the drive up Riverview to St. Ambrose, it seemed like the clear blue atmosphere was dipping down and trying to reach right through the front windshield to touch us.

And it stayed that way, as I returned from a visit to St. Mary parish to spread the good news about the newly formed Prayer Place at Catholic Charities Caring Network and invited pray-ers to come down and join us throughout the week.

Adding to the twenty five years of corporal works of mercy, help, understanding and companionship to young teen mothers and their babies, comes this “space” where prayer is invited to pour over the people and the situations that can “find a way” through Christ who is the Way.

IMG_5402

For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.  Matt: 18:20.  The invitation is open to drop in during agency hours Monday through Friday and have an individual prayer time. Then from noon – 1 PM on Monday and Wednesday, we will assure “two or three” together in this prayer space.  Prayer intentions come to us, filled out by the clients and staff and put in the prayer “mail-box” in the lobby — there you go,  Off to God!

So this afternoon, returning from this information mission, the clear, bright atmosphere danced once again right in front of me…so crystal clear….so NOW!  It was like it was saying to me, be where you are…..RIGHT NOW, there is no place better.

The past couple of weeks I have not been in that space. I’ve been in a thought and emotion fog, and one that certainly distorted my vision.  It was more like the first photo I just took to explain the brightness of the day.  The camera lens, unbeknown to me, was turned on an “eclipsed” symbol and it turned out like this:

Clear Day eclipsed

That’s what my thinking, doubts and fears have done to my vision in the last few days. But St Paul’s message to the Philippians today set the lens of my thought to the correct setting.

Brothers and sisters, I know how to live in humble circumstances; I know how to live with abundance. In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret….of living in abundance and of being in need. I can do all things in him who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:12-14

Ok! So the grocery budget’s been tight lately.  But there is a banquet of life set before us of which I can partake when I can see clearly the Giver of all gifts.

I can see clearly now, the rain has gone. I can see (most) obstacles in my way.

And clearly right in front of me now is a roast chicken to take from the oven, which will provide many meals worth of good eating and a home made pot of chicken noodle soup.

IMG_5403

Spirit Lead Me

 

Read Full Post »

March 25

We experienced a long, cold, difficult for many type of winter this year. Spring was a long time in coming, as it snowed late into the early spring months. Now that is past and we are enjoying the greening of the landscape, the blossoming colorful spray of flowers popping up everywhere, letting us know that whether nurturing or painful, these things, too, shall pass.  Always.

There are seasons of the heart and soul too and somehow within the past few weeks the season within me turned to rage….pure rage. In my prayer time, Jesus overturning tables in the Temple comes to mind. Something in me is overturned and needs righting. I am making mistakes in thinking, feeling and actions and for this I must make amends.

It is rare for rage to seek me out, but when it does, I feel frozen, not fire. It takes me awhile to deal with it and seek answers and guidance back to healthy spiritual and emotional being.

This is one of those time. Today I let the labyrinth teach me. As I awoke for quiet meditation (slinking guiltily to my prayer chair), I began to be taught as I made my first cup of coffee.

The crow was my teacher. A very large crow was walking the labyrinth brick on the bricks near the center. It stayed walking the circular path until it got to the center, hopped into the center, then walked diagonally across the labyrinth to the outermost circuit.

I looked up some things about the crow in Ted Steven’s Animal Speak and prayer time and reflection began.

IMG_4284

Mea Culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Through my thoughts, words and deeds, I have caused harm to myself and others.

I am sorry.
Please forgive me.
I love you.
Thank you.

The snow began to melt. I had not felt forgiveness before now. It began to seep in.

Willingness

In metaphysics, there is a lot of magic involved in the symbol of the crow. Alchemy is the exact word. I recalled hearing and seeing the crow present in so many “cartoon” and fairy tale story. Usually, for me, it signified being dangerous in the witch’s concoctions and intentions.

But alchemy is exactly what I needed to become willing to release this rage and feel more compassionate toward myself and others. “Became willing to make amends…” says one of the steps in AA.

After breakfast, I walked the labyrinth.  Stevens says in his text, “Working with the crow can help you to see how the winds are going to blow into your life and how to adjust your own life flights.”  I need that help.

Road is Long

The road is long….in forgiveness and life….with “many a winding turn.”

I’d lost the magic and the cawing of a crow “should remind us that magic and creation are cawing out to us everyday”.  I read this and further…”that creation and magic are alive within our world everyday and available to us”. The labyrinth would be a good place to look for this and be open to it.

Confusion clouds but path remains

Confusion clouds but the path always remains.

Decision - the path or self-centered veer off

The fork in the road branch reminds me there is always the temptation to run off and hide from myself and others OR to stay on the path forging forward.

I need grace here to choose the path.

Choices Hindsight

Looking back, hindsight for choices made in the past is not a grace and is never helpful.

Focus on what's in front of you

Focus on what’s in front of you. “Lord, I need your loving grace to travel on this hard road that leads to the death of my old self to a new life in and for you. I believe that this is the road to freedom, dispel my mistrust and help me become a trusting friend.”

Cosmic Connection vibrations

I feel cosmic support in the symmetry of the brick pattern, which always soothes me. Centered in the Center

Centered in the Center. In my reading of the crow, I come across these words. “The crow is a symbol that represents medieval alchemy,  ‘nigredo’ — The initial state of substance unformed but full of potential.” (italics mine)  Ah, therein lies the problem for me. I feel the sorrow of substance unformed yet  coupled with the knowledge that I am filled with potential.

Trust and Move along

I am told to TRUST and move along.

IMG_4718

The labyrinth is Tom’s and my work in progress. It is only an infant completing its first year. But it can speak and had a request of me. It asked for chimes to be put atop the arch. I share this with Tom and it had spoken to him as well. He has decided to make the walking path made of soft, bent grass (the kind golf greens are made from). We have changed our minds from pebbles to leveling the brick to the ground ( a lot of work for next year) and now the completion of that seems to be the soft grass.  I love this and feel it is right for our labyrinth.

Way in is Way out

I have completed my walk and I know this is a message for me.  The Way IN is the Way OUT. The Way Out is the Way In.

“The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image.” Thomas Merton.

I will pray and live my life with a new awareness of the crow and the power of both prayer and a walk on the labyrinth.

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »