“…And Though the Body Sleeps, the Heart Will Never Rest.”

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The Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom

As an artist and someone who seeks to embrace a monastic way of life, I am very excited about this a new book, which has yet to be released by Christine Valters Paintner.

The Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom
is now available for pre-order from Amazon at 47% off the cover price.

“Summarized in the phrase ‘pray and work,’ The Rule of St. Benedict provides the inspiration for Christine Valters Paintner’s newest exploration of the mutually nourishing relationship between contemplative practices and creative expression. Artists of all stripes and stations in life–poets or painters, potters or photographers–will discover how traditions of Benedictine, Celtic, and desert spirituality can offer new sources of inspiration for their work.

Through this twelve-week course, themes like ‘Sacred Tools and Sacred Space,’ ‘Creative Solitude and Community,’ and ‘Nature as a Source of Revelation and Inspiration’ are enriched by Paintner’s perceptive discussion and enhanced by insightful quotations from well-known artists and writers. Each week offers suggestions for grounding both the creative and the spiritual life through three basic practices: walking, lectio divina, and journaling. In sync with Paintner’s vibrant Internet presence, The Artist’s Rule is supplemented with online resources, including guided meditation podcasts, video lessons, and discussions.”

You will most certainly be hearing about my own reflections as I embark on the journey through this book.  Stay tuned!


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The Peace Prayer of St. Francis Rosary

Franciscan Crown Rosary

The Prayer of Saint Francis  has been running through my mind lately.  In light of the shootings in Tucson, I have been reflecting on what it means to act with peace, and my mind keeps returning to this prayer.

Lord make me an instrument of your peace
• Where there is hatred, Let me sow love;
• Where there is injury, pardon;
• Where there is error, truth;
• Where there is doubt, faith;
• Where there is despair, hope;
• Where there is darkness, light;
• And where there is sadness, Joy.

• O Divine Master grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled
• As to console;
• To be understood, as to understand;
• To be loved, as to love.
• For it in giving that we receive,
• It is in pardoning that we are pardoned
• And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

It also occurred to me that the 7 decade configuration of beads in the Franciscan Crown Rosary could easily be adapted for the Peace Prayer of St. Francis.  Each decade could be used as a meditation for each of the lines I have designated above.  The beads would need to be repeated twice, or even three times if you wish to repeat the first verse.

Instead of praying the Hail Mary on each of the decade beads (Ave Beads), one could pray “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.”

On the beads closest to the cross, the same prayers as used in the Franciscan Crown Rosary could be used to complete the Peace Prayer rosary.

As you begin on the medal, the beads closest to the cross are not used until the end of the traditional prayers for the Franciscan Crown Rosary.  Those prayers are as follows:

• After the last decade, pray one Hail Mary each on the fourth and third beads from the Cross to complete 72 years of Mary’s Joy.
• Pray the Our Father (Lord’s Prayer) and the Glory to the Father (Gloria Patri) for the intention of the Holy Father on the 2nd bead from the Cross.
• Pray a Hail Mary on the single bead closest to the Cross.

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The Word I Will Carry with Me in 2011 – “Breathe”

Abbey of the Arts is one of my favorite blogs.  In a recent post, the author–Christine Valters Paintner–offered an invitation to her readers to choose a word that they would carry with them through the coming year.  I chose “Breathe.”

Already I am finding that one small word can shed new light on situations. Whether it is simply taking a breath before I speak or thanking God for the gift of life, I can see that it will be a needed reminder for me.

This rosary is one I created today with that word in mind.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/65215691/handmade-anglican-rosary-ecumenical

Here is a link to Christine Valters Paintner’s post titled Give Me a Word as well:

http://abbeyofthearts.com/blog/2010/12/17/give-me-a-word-and-second-annual-abbey-new-year-giveaway/

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A Prayer for the New Year

Take me into a new year, Gracious God.  Help me to continue looking for meaning, seeking peace, praying for light, dancing for joy, working for justice, and singing your praise.  I go into the new year filled with expectations, a touch of worry, and a bundle of hope.  I do not journey into the new year alone but with you as my guide, with a commitment to my disciplines, with a community of family, friends, and faith.  Take me into the new year, Creator of beauty and wonder.  Bless me with the companionship of Jesus, and gift me with the guidance and power of the Spirit.  Amen.

~ Larry James Peacock
Openings: A Daybook of Saints, Psalms, and Prayer

From page 398 of Openings: A Daybook of Saints, Psalms, and Prayer by Larry James Peacock. Copyright © 2003 by Larry James Peacock. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://www.upperroom.org/bookstore/. Learn more about or purchase this book.

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Wishing you all a very Blessed Christmas!

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New Anglican Ecumenical Rosary with Leaf Accent Beads

I used Czech glass leaf beads to accent the Cruciform beads for this rosary.  For me, it is very symbolic of the great paradox of our faith.  It is in dying that we are born to life.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/63610362

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Hanukiah Prayer Bead Reflections

Last night I wrote a bit about Chanukah and the miracle of the menorah lamps in the Temple.

Tonight, the third night of Chanukah, I am reflecting on the prayer I published in the last post.  This is the prayer I am referring to:

Blessed are You
our God, Creator of time and space,
who performed miracles for our ancestors,
in the days long ago, And at this time.

My thoughts lead me to the last two lines of this beautiful prayer and the idea of miracles.  I know I witness miracles every day, but I often do not take time to notice.

At this busy time of year, we are so often distracted by all of the preparations and gatherings.  It is wonderful to decorate, bake, and attend all the wonderful opportunities for Christmas celebration.  But, it makes me wonder what we miss.

Miracles do happen “at this time” not just in biblical times.  Lord, help me to notice.

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A Christian Chanukah – Rededicating Our Lives to Christ

Tonight is the second night of Chanukah.  In the Jewish tradition, it is a time to remember the miracle of the oil lamps on the menorah of the Temple, which burned for 8 nights with not even enough oil to last one night.  The purpose for burning the lamps was to rededicate the Temple in Jerusalem after a revolt that brought it’s rule back to the Jewish people.

The tradition of Chanukah and the lighting of the “menorah” has always fascinated me.  Though, as a Christian, it is also one that I knew little about.

One thing I learned today is that many (including myself) incorrectly refer to the candelabrum used for the candles during the celebration as a menorah, when it is actually called a Hanukiah.  Menorah’s are only found in Temples and have 7 candles, whereas the Hanukiah has nine.

The two Hanukiah pictured above are from two artists I found on Etsy. (See links at the bottom of this post.) They were also my inspiration for a new chaplet I created today consisting of 8 small beads and one larger bead.

As I thought about the Christian tradition of Advent and the Jewish tradition of Chanukah, I saw how Advent is a time of rededication for Christians as well.

Advent is a time of preparation for the coming of Christ into our lives.  What better way to prepare for Christ’s coming than to rededicate our lives to Christ.  (As Paul says in 1 Cor. 3:16, we are God’s temple and God’s spirit dwells in us.)

In lieu of making this post any longer, I am going to continue it tomorrow. Until then, I leave you with one of the Jewish prayers said on this blessed night.

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/holiday7.html

• Painted Metal Lazer Cut Menorah Pomegranate Tree by Emanuel Judica

Indigo Multi-colored Hanukkah Menorah by millecolori

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Black Friday through Cyber Monday Promotion

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