Day 3 + A Lenten Journey + 40 Days of Mercy + + +

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“Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee? Then he will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.’ And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Matthew 25: 44-46

Today is a good day to show compassion to the least of those among us.

The Spirituality of Compassion

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I was deeply awakened to the spirituality of compassion back in high school when we were required to read Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.
Up until then I pretty much believed that the Law is the Law and if broken
one should be punished. But reading the book I realized there are so many circumstances in which desperate people succumb to breaking the law. . . like Jean Valjean . . . stealing a loaf of bread for his hungry family.

And who can forget the first time they ever read the incident of the Bishop’s candlesticks? We are moved by the mercy that shines through
even this blatant crime that initiated a total transformation in Valjean.

When I am truly honest, I see that again and again I flounder and fail and fall short in so many ways. But God, in his great mercy shows compassion, kindness, steadfast love and forgiveness . . . ALWAYS!
And that is the Grace by which I live . . . and that moves me to share that compassion with others. Thanks be to God!
+ Anna Lin
For further reflection, here is a link to a commentary on this story.
(Note that it includes an audio version at the end of the post)

The Bishop with the Candlesticks

Photo on Pinterest

A Lenten Journey + 40 Days of Mercy + + +

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Dear Friends,

Tomorrow, as the season of Lent begins, I invite you to walk the path of Jesus with me + which is all love, compassion, and grace . . . .  40 Days of Mercy + + +

During Lent it is customary to give up something, as a sign of penitence.
Therefore, let us give up hatred, anger, meanness, gossip, bullying,
bitterness, arrogance and self-pity.

May we be empowered by the Spirit and filled with the Love of God
to heal ourselves and heal the world through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Lord, in your mercy, may it be so.

Anna Lin +

Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling
and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another,
forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.
Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children,
and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us,
a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 4:31-32; 5:1-2

O Great Spirit

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O Great Spirit
Whose whispers we hear in the winds,
To inhale the morning air giving life to All
We pray our simple words are heard.
Allow our footsteps to be light and full of beauty
Our eyes to see the miracle of flight.

Allow our ears to hear the songs of your winds,
Our hands open to receive all that you gift.
Allow our souls to experience the eternal love
That our heart may share it with all we meet.

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O Great Spirit
Whose whispers we hear in the winds,
Gift our spirits your strength
That we may be strong in faith.
Gift our spirits your wisdom
That we may be clear in vision.
Gift our spirits your grace
That we may be compassionate to all.

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We ask as the sun rises to cross the skies
May we experience all the joy of all your creations.
May you receive our prayers and petitions
As we offer them in humble gratitude

~ Carla Goddard

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Photos on Pinterest

Returning To Love

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For many churches in the Christian tradition, today is Ash Wednesday.
The common scripture passage is from Joel 2: 1-13 with words that say:

But now, now, says the LORD,
Come back to me with all your heart. . .
Return to the LORD, your God,
for he is all tenderness and compassion,
slow to anger, and rich in steadfast love.

We need to know this ~ not just on this one day of the year ~
but on every day ~ at every moment of our lives.
Whenever we feel separate from the Divine Source ~
it is not God who has left us ~ but we who have strayed
from our source of love and compassion.
Our God is earnestly inviting us to come back into a
full relationship in order that we might be deeply loved, cherished,
and provided for our every need.

Even as whole nations we can wander off the path of truth and life.
Let us hear the voice of gracious Love that calls to us today.
“Come back to me with all your heart, dear people.”

This is worth remembering always.

~ Anna Lin

Caring Greatly

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For unto you shall come this day
the joy of a compassionate heart
that lives in giving of oneself to care
(for least and lonely ones among us),
For those now lost in anguish and despair.

Their desperate hearts cry out to you –
to be their Christ upon the way;
Asking that you would gently bend
to share a morsel for the day.

And in this giving of your blessings
God’s abundance begins to flow ~
streaming outward ~ blessings others ~
making all the world whole.

In this moment
you shall know
the meaning of a life for good;
Give to bless another’s need
and joy returns a hundredfold.

~ Anna Lin
Photo at: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/8092474307984749/

A Child Song ~ Rising Up To Heal

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She speaks ~
the Child Song
still dwelling within the heart of me.

She cries ~
to be loved
and cared for every hour.

She longs
for the words
that will validate her being.

She waits
for each moment
to be loved.

Her past holds the memories
of suffering and pain . . .

Abuses to body and to soul.

Remembrance of times that
were difficult to bear –

as she wept inside,
in silence, and alone.

Today, I listen to her voice so tenderly,
to hear just what she has to say.

Together we shall find a way to heal ~
to bring her shadow forth into the light.

She gathers strength
to rise up
greater now ~ ~

To change into a
wiser, loving being.

Honored to serve
the greater goodness of life
that calls unto her soul to be.

This shall be so ~
this transformation
of my child ~ ~

She gratefully acknowledges
her gift;

that she who once was
wounded as a child ~

now forms the woman of compassion
that I be.

~ Anna Lin

Photo at: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/244883298462204083/
The bowl represents the Japanese art form of Wabi-sabi, that
teaches us that the healing which comes from our brokenness and
imperfections makes us stronger and more beautiful to serve
the greater good.