We were pleased to hear last week from several people that the refection ‘Hope is a Decision’ gave them a lot to think about & that they were challenged in a very positive way. This week we are sending you a couple of encouraging pieces. Those of you who enjoy your gardens will be noticing them coming to life again – what has been going on in the darkness of the soil is now pushing its way through giving us signs of Spring. You may enjoy ‘God of gardens and goodness and grace’. It is also challenging.
The other reading is a reflection on joy – something we all need, & which, as the vaccination programme gathers pace, we may be beginning to experience again.
Our blessing this week is a celtic one from Margaret Rizza’s Light in our Darkness. May you & all those you are concerned about at the moment experience being blessed.
Have a good week ahead.
God of gardens and goodness and grace,
till the soil of our hearts.
Make it ready to receive all that you wish to plant in us.
Root out rocks of prejudice and pettiness and pride.
Prune away every thorny branch and bramble,
every briar of selfishness, greed, and indifference,
that threatens to choke out your new growth.
Steer us away from well-worn paths,
away from old grudges, tired traditions,
and rootbound systems of oppression,
toward habitats of healing, landscapes of liberation.
Scatter among us seeds of solidarity and song.
Ground us in gratitude and gladness.
Cultivate in us courage and compassion.
Nourish in us every seedling of repentance and reconciliation.
And produce within us your good harvest,
abundant and flourishing,
your labour of love in us, ever yielding more fruit,
a bumper crop of justice and joy,
which we pledge to share
in the name of Jesus, tender of gardens.
Within Our Reach: Joy
by Fra Giovanni Giocondo
I salute you. I am your friend, and my love for you goes deep. There is nothing I can give you which you which have not, 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 the present instant! Take peace!
The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within reach, is joy. There is a 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 judge 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 and power.
Welcome it, grasp it and you touch the angel’s hand that brings it to you. Everything we call a trial or a sorrow or a duty, believe me, that angel’s hand is there; the gift is there and the words of an overshadowing presence.
Our joys, too; be not content with them as joys.
They too conceal divine 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, 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.