Thursday, September 21, 2017

Welcome, Autumn!

Autumn Prayers
In the Fading Summer Sun

In the fading of the summer sun,
the shortening of days, cooling breeze,
swallows' flight and moonlight rays
we see the Creator’s hand
In the browning of leaves once green,
morning mists, autumn chill,
fruit that falls frost's first kiss
we see the Creator’s hand
- Author Unknown

Autumn Prayer
O God of Creation, you have blessed us with the changing of the seasons.
As we embrace these autumn months,
May the earlier setting of the sun
Remind us to take time to rest.
May the crunch of the leaves beneath our feet
Remind us of the brevity of this earthly life.
May the steam of our breath in the cool air remind us that it is you who give us your breath of life.
May the scurrying of the squirrels and the migration of the birds
Remind us that you call us to follow your will.
We praise you for your goodness forever and ever.                                                                                                                       
 - Author Unknown


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

God of all seasons . . .


God of the seasons, there is a time for everything; there is a time for dying and a time for rising. We need courage to enter into the transformation process.

God of autumn, the trees are saying goodbye to their green, letting go of what has been. We, too, have our moments of surrender, with all their insecurity and risk. Help us to let go when we need to do so.

God of fallen leaves lying in colored patterns on the ground, our lives have their own patterns. As we see the patterns of our own growth, may we learn from them.

God of misty days and harvest moon nights, there is always the dimension of mystery and wonder in our lives. We always need to recognize your power-filled presence. May we gain strength from this.

God of harvest wagons and fields of ripened grain, many gifts of growth lie within the season of our surrender. We must wait for harvest in faith and hope. Grant us patience when we do not see the blessings.

God of geese going south for another season, your wisdom enables us to know what needs to be left behind and what needs to be carried into the future. We yearn for insight and vision.

God of flowers touched with frost and windows wearing white designs, may your love keep our hearts from growing cold in the empty seasons.

God of life, you believe in us, you enrich us, you entrust us with the freedom to choose life.  For all this, we are grateful. (From: May I Have This Dance?)

• How are you being invited to enter into transformation?
• To what are you saying “goodbye” and entering a time of surrender, insecurity, and risk?
• How are you aware of the patterns of growth that have been part of your life's journey? What have you learned from them?
• Are you aware of God’s power-filled presence in your times of walking in mystery and wonder?
• What does patience look like in your life?  Feel like? May you be blessed by its teaching.
• Have you ever had to leave something behind while at the same time move into a “holy newness” of the future? What insights and visions did you embrace?
• Ask the God of the seasons to keep your heart from growing cold in the empty seasons.
• God of life, we live, and move and have our being in you. We are grateful!

Autumnrifically happy!

Quotes of Autumn:
Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons. ~Jim Bishop
Winter is dead; spring is crazy; summer is cheerful and autumn is wise!   ~ Mehmet Murat ildan

In autumn, don't go to jewelers to see gold; go to the parks! ~ Mehmet Murat ildan
O' pumpkin pie, your time has come 'round again and I am autumnrifically happy! ~Terri Guillemets
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. ~Albert Camus
I loved autumn, the one season of the year that God seemed to have put there just for the beauty of it.  ~Lee Maynard
Autumn is the hush before winter. ~French Proverb

In Praise of Autumn . . .

In the stillness of an autumn afternoon
we sit in quiet communion. Before us,
hills and valleys yawn, spreading wide
their yellow and green, ochre and gold
harvest of hay, beans and corn.

All summer long these fields drank
daily offerings of dew and sunlight.
We listen to the hush of hills, a hawk
above us riding thermal winds,
the drying corn nearby whispering
Praise! Praise! Praise!, the grass
beneath our squeaking swing
chanting, sotto voce, Thank you, God.

Everything around us whispers shhh.
And when we do, we hear the holy
breath of God bringing forth the world.

 Poem by: Sister Irene Zimmerman, SSSF


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

"Autumn-tired" . . .

A Leaf Treader 

 "I have been treading on leaves all day until I am autumn-tired.
 God knows all the color and forms of leaves I have trodden on and mired. 

 Perhaps I have put forth too much strength and been too fierce from fear.
 I have safely trodden underfoot the leaves of another year. 

 All summer long they were overhead more lifted up than I;
 To come to their final place in earth they had to pass me by.
 All summer long I thought I heard them threatening under their breath,
 And when they came it seemed with a will to carry me with them to death. 

 They spoke to the fugitive in my heart as if it were leaves to leaf;
 They tapped at my eyelids and touched my lips with an invitation to grief. 

 But it was no reason I had to go because they had to go.
 Now up, my knee, to keep on top of another year of snow."
 -Robert Frost

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Abundance of Autumn!

O sacred season of Autumn, be my teacher, for I wish to learn the virtue of contentment.  As I gaze upon your full-colored beauty, I sense all about you an at-homeness with your amber riches.

You are the season of retirement, of full barns and harvested fields. The cycle of growth has ceased, and the busy work of giving life is now completed. I sense in you no regrets; you've lived a full life.

I live in a society that is ever-restless, always eager for more mountains to climb, seeking happiness through more and more possessions.  As a child of my culture, I am seldom truly at peace with what I have.

Teach me to take stock of what I have given and received; may I know that it’s enough, that my striving can cease in the abundance of God’s grace.

May I know the contentment that allows the totality of my energies to come to full flower. May I know that like you I am rich beyond measure.

As you, O Autumn, take pleasure in your great bounty, let me also take delight in the abundance of the simple things of life which are the true source of joy. With golden glow of peaceful contentment may I truly appreciate this autumn day.                       

(Ed Hays, Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim)

An Autumn God!

A Song of Praise to Our Autumn God 

O God of Autumn loveliness, we thank you for the many colors of our lives. We thank you for the rich hues of red, the promising hope of greens, the depth of the golds, and the well-worn browns.

We praise you for all of the life you have given us, the life we celebrate at this harvest time each year. Like the leaves of the trees, we ourselves have been blown around, toasted in the sun, and whipped by rain and storms. Yet, we stand as a testament to life well lived.

Your trees, O God, remind us of our letting go, our need to trust transformation so that new life can come. Yet, like them, we resist the tearing, wrenching, pulling, and tugging.  We cling earnestly to our color and our home!

Release us, God of the Autumn, and free us so that the wind of your Spirit can fling us to the places we most need to go.  Bury us deep in places where we will find warmth.  Help us to find ourselves grounded in You.

As we look around in this harvest time, we celebrate the bounty all around us and deep within us. May we be forever grateful for the plentitude!  May we be forever generous with all that is ours.  May we be forever willing to give of ourselves!

And as we journey towards this winter time, help us to always carry the spirit of springtime deep within us as a sign of hope!  We believe, O God of Transformation, that all of life is your belief and hope in us!  Ready our hearts, steady our hearts that we can respond fully in faith and love!
(Author Unknown)