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Spiritual Guidance
A Treasury of Inspired & Inspiring Words
Part 3 / Long Inspiring Texts

Part 1
Scripture Texts
Part 2
Short Inspiring Texts
Part 3
Long Inspiring Texts
Part 4
Inspiring Lists
Part 5
A Litany for the Dead
Part 6
Thought of the Week

Click on section of alphabet, first words or line —

Click on first words or line, alphabetical —

Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient
Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers
Let nothing disturb you
Let the rain come and wash away
Look to this day, for it is life
Lord Jesus Christ, I am assailed by a spell of loneliness
Lord Jesus Christ, take all my freedom,
Lord Jesus, who are the fullness of time
Lord, Heavenly Father, we thank you
Lord, make me an instrument
Lord, we are your people, the sheep of Your flock
Lord, You know what is best; let this be done
Loving God and Father, in the light of so much suffering
Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer
May almighty God support us
May God bless and keep you
May I become at all times, both now
May the road rise up to meet you
May we discover through pain and torment
May you always have an angel by your side
My life is my prayer. As I live, so I am.

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O Christ Jesus, when all is darkness
O Great Creator, we are gathered together in your name
O Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds
O Lord my God, teach my heart this day where
O Lord our God, under the shadow
O Lord, I’ve struggled in my body
Once upon a time there was a wise man
One furnace melts all hearts – love
One night a man had a dream
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate
Peace be with those who have left us
Risen Lord, pattern of our life for ever
Seek to make your life long
Sometimes my cross is hard to bear
Such a loss! Such a keen and tearing pain!
The cross of Christ reaches from Earth
The one certain thing we can say about an individual:
There is no way round grief, only a way through
Time is…too Slow for those who Wait
To be glad of life, because it give you the change
To forgive is not to forget
To live content with small means
Tucked away in our subconscious
Walk with awareness, walk with love
We are loved by an unending love
We beg the all-merciful Father through thee
We give up what we want to give up
When we share laughter, there's twice the fun
Without the Holy Spirit, God is far away
You call me in the morning
You who have just left us

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Without the Holy Spirit, God is far away and Christ stays in the past, the Gospel is a dead letter, the church is simply an organization authority a matter of domination, mission a matter of propaganda, the liturgy no more than an evocation, Christian living a slave morality.
In the Holy Spirit, the cosmos is resurrected and groans with the birth-pangs of the kingdom, the risen Christ is there, the Gospel is the power of life, the church shows forth life of the Trinity, authority is a liberating service, mission is a Pentecost, the liturgy is both memorial and anticipation, human action is deified.
— Metropolitan Ignatios of Latakia

To be glad of life, because it give you the change to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars; to be satisfied with your possessions, but not contented with yourself until you have made the best of them, to despise nothing in the world except falsehood and meanness, and to fear nothing except cowardice; to be governed by your admirations rather than your disgusts; to covet nothing that is your neighbor's except his kindness of heart and gentleness of manners; to think seldom of your enemies, often of your friends, and every day of Christ; and to spend as much time as you can, with body and with spirit, in God's out-of-doors — these are little guideposts on the footpath to peace.
— Henry Van Dyke

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To forgive is not to forget.
To forgive is really to remember
That nobody is perfect
That each of us stumbles
When we want so much to stay upright
That each of us says things
We wish we had never said
That we can all forget that love
Is more important than being right.
To forgive is really to remember
That we are so much more
Than our mistakes
That we are often more kind and caring
That accepting another's flaws
Can help us accept our own.
To forgive is to remember
That the odds are pretty good that
We might soon need to be forgiven ourselves.
That life sometimes gives us more
Than we can handle gracefully.
To forgive is to remember
That we have room in our hearts to
Begin again
And again,
And again.
And again.
— Unknown

Let the rain come and wash away the ancient grudges,
the bitter hatreds held and nurtured over generations.
Let the rain wash away the memory of the hurt, the neglect.
Then let the sun come out and fill the sky with rainbows.
Let the warmth of the sun heal us wherever we are broken.
Let it burn away the fog so that we can see each other clearly.
So that we can see beyond labels, beyond accents, gender or skin color.
Let the warmth and brightness of the sun melt our selfishness.
So that we can share the joys and feel the sorrows of our neighbors.
Let the earth, nourished by rain, bring forth flowers to surround us with beauty.
And let the mountains teach our hearts to reach upward to heaven. Amen.
A Prayer For The World by Rabbi Harold S. Kushner

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May almighty God support us all the day long,
till the shadows lengthen and evening comes,
and the busy world is hushed and
the fever of life is over and our work is done.
Then, in His mercy, may He grant us
a safe lodging, a holy rest and peace at the last.
— John Henry Newman

The one certain thing we can say about an individual human life is that it will eventually end. Death is certain, and the only thing we have control over is the manner of our lives while we are here. Never hesitate to tell someone you admire them. Never restrain your impulse to express your love. Be unstinting in your devotion to those around you. Where you can help, do so, especially when it hurts. Where you can bring knowledge and reason and light, do not withhold your effort. Where there is sadness, bring joy. Where there is hurt, bring healing. Where there is despair, bring hope. Never rest, never tire, never fail to struggle for the betterment of all. Then, when your time comes, you can say, "My life made a difference."
Make A Difference by Unknown

Risen Lord, pattern of our life for ever: Lord, have mercy.
Promise and image of what we shall be: Lord, have mercy.
Son of God who came to destroy sin and death. Lord, have mercy.
Word of God who delivered us from the fear of death. Lord, have mercy.
Crucified Lord, forsaken in death, raised in glory. Lord, have mercy.
Lord, Jesus, gentle Shepherd who brings rest to our souls. Lord, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, you bless those who mourn and are in pain. Lord, have mercy.
— Order of Christian Funerals, No. 78

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We are loved by an unending love.
We are embraced by arms that find us even when we are hidden from ourselves.
We are touched by fingers that soothe us even when we are too proud for soothing.
We are counseled by voices that guide us even when we are too embittered to hear.
We are loved by an unending love.
We are supported by hands that uplift us even in the midst of a fall.
We are urged on by eyes that meet us even when we are too weak for meeting.
We are loved by an unending love.
Embraced, touched, soothed, and counseled…
ours are the arms, the fingers, the voices;
ours are the hands, the eyes, the smiles.
We are loved by an unending love.
— Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro

May I become at all times, both now and forever —
A protector for those without protection,
A guide for those who have lost their way,
A ship for those with oceans to cross,
A bridge for those with rivers to span,
A sanctuary for those in danger,
A lamp for those without light,
A place of refuge for those who lack shelter,
and a servant to all in need.
— Buddhist Peace 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 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 is in giving that we receive,
it is in forgiving that we are forgiven,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
— Francis of Assisi

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Lord Jesus Christ, take all my freedom, my memory, my understanding, and my will. All that I have and cherish you have given me. I surrender it all to be guided by your will. Your grace and your love and wealth are enough for me. Give me these, Lord Jesus, and I ask for nothing more. Amen.
— Ignatius of Loyola

Peace be with those who have left us and have gone to God.
May they be at peace.
May they be with God.
May they be with the living God.
May they be with the immortal God.
May they be in God's hands.
May they sleep in peace.
May they live in peace.
May they be where the name of God is great.
May they be with the living God now and on the day of judgment.
May they live with God.
May they live in eternal light.
May they live in the peace of the Lord.
May they live forever in peace.
With God in peace.
— Prayer of Commendation from Order of Funerals, 1969

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be — brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so small that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in us, it's in everyone. As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
— Marianne Williamson

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May God bless and keep you always,
May your wishes all come true,
May you always do for others
And let others do for you.
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous,
May you grow up to be true,
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you.
May you always be courageous,
Stand upright and be strong,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.
May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.
—Forever Young by Bob Dylan

You who have just left us, may the Lord bless you.
May the fullness of His love welcome you.
May the Lord continue in you His works of tenderness.
May the new life that is beginning for you open out into a great blossoming.
May the glory of God satisfy you.
May the great encounter never cease to fulfill you.
May the new heavens and the new earth be for you an unimaginable revelation.
May those invited to the Lord’s Banquet Feast in his presence.
May the Resurrection of Jesus be accomplished in you.
May the Promise of God be realized in you: God has promised us happiness forever.
— I Wish You The Best

O Lord, I've struggled in my body and in my soul: a struggle between fighting the sickness or giving up; a struggle between questioning you or surrendering to your will. As I have experienced the exhaustion and fatigue of my own body, I felt the need to strengthen and refresh my soul. It's not that I am giving up hope; rather, I am feeling free to let go of my worries and I find myself praying, remembering, resting peacefully and accepting every day. I am thankful for all times when I have no pain; for those who take the time to sit in silence by my side; for all the days I've lived in your creation. I've now learned the meaning of the old saying that even the darkest night is followed by the light of a new day; even the coldest winter is followed by the warmth of another summer. Thank you for your peace, O Lord. Amen.
— Prayer for Acceptance

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The cross of Christ reaches from Earth to Heaven, a link between our suffering and God's love. We make crosses for each other. Our people die and suffer, in famine, loneliness and neglect, because we fail to see, hear and feel their needs. There is the cry of the poor and of the child, the confusion of the old and lonely, the hope and wish to see a smile on the face of the world. The cross is a cry of triumph and of God's presence, a challenge to believe that nothing of evil will last, but that courage and friendship can spread justice and peace. Can we be the link between human suffering and God's love?
— The Cross of Christ

Time is…
too slow for those who wait,
too swift for those who fear,
too long for those who grieve,
too short for those who rejoice,
but for those who love, time is not.
— Henry Van Dyke

One furnace melts all hearts — love;
One balm soothes all pain — patience;
One medicine cures all ills — time;
One light illuminates all darkness — hope.
— Ivan Panin

To live content with small means;
to seek elegance rather than luxury,
and refinement rather than fashion;
to be worthy, not respectable,
and wealthy, not rich;
to study hard, think quietly,
talk gently, act frankly;
to listen to stars and birds,
to babes and sages,
with open heart;
to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely,
await occasions, hurry never.
In a word, to let the spiritual,
unbidden and unconscious,
grow up through the common.
This is to be my symphony.
— William Ellery Channing

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Lord Jesus Christ, I am assailed by a spell of loneliness. It is as if I am totally alone, without anyone in the world. It is a terrifying feeling, Lord; help me to overcome it. Let me realize that I am never really alone if I am united with You — for You are always with me.
At the same time, remind me that I also have need of others, for I am a social being. And there are many people who You have brought into my life to help me on my way to eternity. Teach me to see that we need one another if we are to make a go of our lives and complete the tasks You have given us. You live and reign forever and ever. Amen.
— Prayer In Time of Loneliness

Lord, we are your people, the sheep of Your flock.
Heal the sheep who are wounded,
Touch the sheep who are in pain,
Clean the sheep who are soiled,
Warm the lambs who are cold.
Help us to know the Father's love
through Jesus the Shepherd and through the Spirit.
Help us to lift up that love, and show it all over this land.
Help us to build love on justice and justice on love.
Help us to believe courageously, hope joyfully, love divinely.
Lord, send forth Your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.
— RENEW Prayer

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Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Love your life, beautify all things in your life. Show respect to all people and grovel to none. When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies within yourself.
— Tecumseh

Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at Stanford Hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liza who was suffering from a disease and needed a blood transfusion from her five-year-old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness.
The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes, I'll do it if it will save Liza." As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks.
Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away?"
The young boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give her all his blood.
— Unknown

May you always have an angel by your side
Watching out for you in all the things you do
Reminding you to keep believing in brighter days
Finding ways for your wishes and dreams
to take you to beautiful places
Giving you hope that is as certain as the sun
Giving you the strength of serenity as your guide
May you always have love and comfort and courage
And may you always have an angel by your side

May you always have an angel by your side
Someone there to catch you if you fall
Encouraging your dreams
Inspiring your happiness
Holding your hand and helping you through it all

In all of our days, our lives are always changing
Tears come along as well as smiles
Along the roads you travel, may the miles
be a thousand times more lovely than lonely
May they give you the kind of gifts that never, ever end:
someone wonderful to love and a dear friend in whom you can confide
May you have rainbows after every storm
May you have hopes to keep you warm
And may you always have an angel by your side.
— Unknown

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Sometimes my cross is hard to bear
for there is darkness everywhere,
And troubles pile around my door
like autumn leaves forever more.
The morning light seems far away
like I am stuck in yesterday.
My heart is beating like a drum,
I try to pray but words won't come.
But then the sun begins to rise
and hope is born within my eyes.
A rainbow forms among my tears,
for faith is stronger than my fears!!
— Unknown

O Great Creator,
We are gathered together in your name
That we may be of greater service to you and to our fellows.
We offer ourselves to you as instruments.
We open ourselves to your creativity in our lives.
We surrender to you our old ideas.
We welcome your new and more expansive ideas.
We trust that you will lead us.
We trust that it is safe to follow you.
We know that you created us and that creativity
Is your nature and our own.
We ask that you unfold our lives
According to your plan, not our low self-worth.
Help us to believe that it is not too late
And that we are not too small or too flawed
To be healed —
By you and through each other — and made whole.
Help us to love one another,
To nurture each other's unfolding,
To encourage each other's growth
And understand each other's fears.
Help us to know that we are not alone,
That we are loved and lovable.
Help us to create as an act of worship to you.
— The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron

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You call me in the morning, your voice makes my heart smile
We've laughed and talked and gotten to know each other
Near, and across the miles;
I've run to your side when you've been in pain
You've carried my soul through the hard rain
There are no words to express how I feel;
You've helped me grow; you've helped me heal
Disagreements are expected — we've had a few,
But God gave us principles to get us through
The love, the bond, the fellowship — without it, I'd be dead
I only thought I had all that when I was out feeding my head...
You've been my mentor and spiritual guide, so real and so true,
I don't know how else to say it, but with three words: I LOVE YOU!!!!
— The Connection

Once upon a time there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to write. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began. One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day. So he began to walk faster to catch up.

He saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn't dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean. As he got closer he called out, "Good morning! What are you doing?" The young man paused, looked up and replied, "Throwing starfish in the ocean." "I guess I should have asked, why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?" "The sun is up and the tide is going out. And if I don't throw them in they'll die." "But, young man, don't you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it. You can't possibly make a difference!" The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves and said, "It made a difference for that one."

There is something very special in each and every one of us. We have all been gifted with the ability to make a difference. And if we can become aware of that gift, we gain through the strength of our visions the power to shape the future. We must each find our starfish. And if we throw our stars wisely and well, the world will be blessed.
— The Starfish by Unknown

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When we share laughter,
There's twice the fun;
When we share success,
We've surpassed what we've done.

When we share problems,
There's half the pain;
When we share tears,
A rainbow follows rain.

When we share dreams,
They become more real;
When we share secrets,
It's our hearts we reveal.

If we share a smile,
That's when our love shows;
If we share a hug,
That's when our love grows.

If we share with someone
On whom we depend,
That person is always
Family or friend.

And what draws us closer
And makes us all care,
Is not what we have,
But the things that we share.
— What We Share by Jill Wolf

O Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds, and whose breath gives life to all the world, hear me! I am small and weak. I need you strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset. Make my hands respect the things you have made and my ears sharp to hear your voice. Make me wise so that I may understand the things you taught my people. Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock.
I seek strength, not to be better than another, but to fight with my greatest enemy — myself.
Make me always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes so that when life fades as the fading sunset, my spirit may come to you without shame.
— Native American prayer

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My life is my prayer. As I live, so I am.
I am the creator of my own health and reality.
The more I love and bless myself and all of Creation
The more my Self and the Creator loves and blesses me.
All my thoughts, words and deeds bring forth all the good in life.
I live, love, enjoy and appreciate the gift of my life and all of life.

I love and bless myself and all creation daily.
I am filled with love, life and light.

I practice this way of being,
I achieve this way of being, and
I maintain this way of being through living it,
All day, every day.

Give thanks, be humble
and remember, Life begets Life.
— The Road Map

Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless in facing them.
Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it.
Let me not look for allies in life's battlefield but to my own strength.
Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved but hope for the patience to win my freedom.
Grant me that I may not be a coward, feeling your mercy in my success alone;
But let me find the grasp of your hand in my failure.
— Rabindranath Tagore

Loving God and Father, in the light of so much suffering, we come before you as your hurting people in need of healing.

Knowing we are a Church of saints and sinners, we acknowledge our own sinfulness and ask forgiveness for the times we have injured or neglected others. Knowing we are called to holiness,
we trust you to lead us on our journey to be a renewed Church, for with you all things are possible.

Christ Jesus, walk among us. Embrace us with your healing. Grace us to seek reconciliation. Empower us to love as you love, because healing, reconciliation and love are beyond our human capacity alone.

Spirit of God, seize our hearts. Awaken us to gratitude and newness of Life. Amen
— Unknown

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Lord Jesus, who are the fullness of time and the Lord of history, may every year be a year of grace and mercy. Give us a pure and simple heart, that we may contemplate with ever renewed wonder the mystery of the Incarnation when you, the Son of God, in the womb of the Virgin, sanctuary of the Spirit, became our brother.
Praise and glory to you, O Christ, today and for ever.

Jesus, the beginning and fulfillment of the new man, convert our hearts so that, abandoning the ways of error, we may walk in your footsteps on the path which leads to life. Make us live our faith steadfastly, fulfilling our baptismal promises, testifying with conviction to your word, that the life-giving light of the Gospel may shine in our families and in society.
Praise and glory to you, O Christ, today and for ever.

Jesus, power and wisdom of God, inspire in us a love for Sacred Scripture in which is heard the voice of the Father which enlightens, inflames, nourishes and consoles. Word of the living God, renew missionary zeal in the Church, that all peoples may come to know you, true Son of God and true son of man, the one mediator between man and God.
Praise and glory to you, O Christ, today and for ever.

Jesus, fount of unity and peace, strengthen communion in your Church. Give fresh impulse to the ecumenical movement, that all your disciples may become one by the power of the Holy Spirit. You who gave us as the rule of life the new commandment of love, make us builders of a world that is united, in which war is conquered by peace and the culture of death by a zeal for life.
Praise and glory to you, O Christ, today and for ever.

Jesus, only-begotten Son of the Father, full of grace and truth, the light which illumines every person, give the abundance of your life to all who seek you with a sincere heart. To you, man's Redeemer, the beginning and the end of time and of the universe, to the Father, unending source of all good, and to the Holy Spirit, seal of infinite love, be all honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
— The 1st Prayer of Preparation for the Great Jubilee of 2000
by Pope John Paul II

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O Christ Jesus, when all is darkness
and we feel our weakness and helplessness,
give us the sense of Your presence,
Your love, and Your strength.
Help us to have perfect trust
in Your protecting love and strengthening power,
so that nothing may frighten or worry us,
for, living close to You, we shall see Your hand,
Your purpose, Your will through all things.
— Prayer for Trust in Jesus by Ignatius of Loyola

O Lord my God,
Teach my heart this day where and how to see you,
Where and how to find you.
You have made me and remade me,
And you have bestowed on me
All the good things I possess,
And still I do not know you.
I have not yet done that
For which I was made.
Teach me to seek you,
For I cannot seek you
Unless you teach me,
Or find you
Unless you show yourself to me.
Let me seek you in my desire,
Let me desire you in my seeking.
Let me find you by loving you,
Let me love you when I find you.
— Anselm

O Lord our God, under the shadow of Thy wings let us hope. Thou wilt support us, both when little and even to gray hairs. When our strength is of Thee, it is strength; but, when our own, it is feebleness. We return unto Thee, O Lord, that from their weariness our soul may rise towards Thee, leaning on the thing which Thou has created, and passing on to Thyself, who hast wonderfully made them; for with Thee is refreshment and true strength. Amen.
— Augustine of Hippo

May we discover through pain and torment,
the strength to live with grace and humor.
May we discover through doubt and anguish,
the strength to live with dignity and holiness.
May we discover through suffering and fear,
the strength to move toward healing.
May it come to pass that we be restored to health and to vigor.
May Life grant us wellness of body, spirit, and mind.
And if this cannot be so, may we find in this transformation and passage moments of meaning, opportunities for love
and the deep and gracious calm that comes
when we allow ourselves to move on.
— A Prayer to Live With Grace by Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro

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May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
— Traditional Gaelic Blessing

Tucked away in our subconscious is an idyllic vision. We are traveling by train — out the windows, we drink in the passing scenes of children waving at a crossing, cattle grazing on a distant hillside, row upon row of corn and wheat, flatlands and valleys, mountains and rolling hillsides and city skylines. But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day, we will pull into the station.
Bands will be playing and flags waving. Once we get there, our dreams will come true and the pieces of our lives will fit together like a completed jigsaw puzzle. Restlessly we pace the aisles, damning the minutes — waiting, waiting, waiting for the station. "When we reach the station, that will be it!" we cry. "When I'm 18." "When I buy a new 450sl Mercedes Benz!" "When I put the last kid through college!" "When I have paid off the mortgage!" " When I get a promotion!" "When I reach retirement, I shall live happily ever after!"
Sooner or later, we realize there is no station, no one place to arrive. The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us. "Relish the moment" is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24: "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."
It isn't the burdens of today that drive men mad. It is the regrets over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who rob us of today. So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more, cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough.
— The Station by Robert J. Hastings

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One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; one belonging to him, and the other to the Lord. When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of life, there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life. This really bothered him, and he questioned the Lord about it. “Lord, You said that once I decided to follow You, You'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed You most You would leave me.
The Lord replied, "My beloved one, my precious child. I love you, and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”
— Footprints by Unknown

Lord, Heavenly Father, we thank you that you have made the human family in your own image — the most beautiful and exalted creation in all the visible universe.
Even while we offer thanks, we cannot help but notice that our lives are nevertheless broken at times, and somehow incomplete.
Continue to move us to seek wholeness and health.
Allow us to see in our disabilities that all of us as brothers and sisters can become willing instruments of one another's healing.
As we extend healing to one another, we ask that you remove from our hearts all bitterness about our limitations and all traces of self-sufficiency; remove from us our tendencies toward smugness and omnipotence.
Remind us, Lord, of who we are and what we can be, so that we will be able to avoid the small comfort of self-pity or the deep pit of despair.
Remind us also of who we are not, so we can be delivered from the delusion of self-worship.
Most of all we ask from you the possibility of joy amid pain, hope amid suffering, and happiness amid our hardships and our human handicaps. Amen.
— Prayer for Healing and Health by Edward F. Beutner

Walk with awareness, Walk with love,
Walk with awareness, Guided from above —
Every step a prayer, Every step in peace...
Every step in balance, Every step with ease...
Walk gentle and tender, With all of you surrender...
Walk in your power, Softly as a flower —
Walk with the angels, Walk in the light...
Walk with the angels, Fearless through the night...
Every step... Walk gentle...
Give and receive the blessing...
I breathe in what you breathe out...
Remember, Love is connecting us all.
— Unknown

Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.
— Augustine of Hippo

We beg the all-merciful Father through thee, his only-begotten Son made man for our sake, crucified and glorified for us, to send upon us from his treasure-house the Spirit of sevenfold grace, who rested upon thee in all his fullness:
the spirit of wisdom, enabling us to relish the fruit of the tree of life, which is indeed thyself;
the gift of understanding: to enlighten our perceptions;
the gift of prudence, enabling us to follow in thy footsteps;
the gift of strength: to withstand our adversary's onslaught;
the gift of knowledge: to distinguish good from evil by the light of thy holy teaching;
the gift of piety: to clothe ourselves with charity and mercy;
the gift of fear: to withdraw from all ill-doing and live quietly in awe of thy eternal majesty.
These are the things for which petition. Grant them for the honor of thy holy name, to which, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, be all honor and glory, thanksgiving, renown, and lordship for ever and ever. Amen.
— Unknown

Lord, You know what is best; let this be done or that be done as You please. Give what You will, as much as You will, when You will. Do with me as You know best, as will most please You, and will be for Your greater honor. Place me where You will and deal with me freely in all things. I am in Your hand; turn me about whichever way You will. Behold, I am Your servant, ready to obey in all things. Not for myself do I desire to live, but for You — would that I could do this worthily and perfectly!
— Prayer of Surrender to God by Thomas a Kempis

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There is no way round grief, only a way through. Grief cannot be hurried. You need time to mourn and accept tragedy. Grief and bereavement come to us all. You will find it impossible to accept. You cannot believe it has happened to you. You yearn for them. Grief is the price of love and being loved. And you must grieve - you need to release your feelings. It is natural to cry and sob. As natural as smiling an laughing. Do not deny or hide your grief — accept it. It is a healing process, a way of coming to terms with loss. Let your tears and feelings come. Do not bottle them up. Crying is not self pity — it is a necessity — so cry when you need to. Eventually you will come through that long, dark tunnel.

Clouds fill the sky,
Your life darkens and the world disappears,
Everything becomes totally meaningless.
But, as with time, the clouds will pass and reveal the sun which was there all the time.
As you look into the sunlight, your face
shines again whilst your shadow appears behind you.
The future beckons as you hold out a nervous and shaking hand.
One step at a time. One day at a time.
Slowly but surely your strength will grow and slowly but surely life will grow.

There was a time when every day seemed like yesterday
But there will come a time when today greets tomorrow,
When your mirror becomes a window,
It is then that you will see your future
and not reflect on the past.

Have Faith, have Courage and have Hope for you will survive.
— Unknown

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We give up what we want to give up and keep what in some small way we want to keep. There are payoffs for holding on to small, weak patterns. We have an excuse not to shine. We don't have to take responsibility for the world when we're spending all our time in emotional pain. We're too busy. The truth that sets us free is an embrace of the divine within us.
— Marrianne Williamson

Let nothing disturb you;
Let nothing dismay you.
All things pass;
God never changes.
Patience attains
all it strives for.
The one who has God finds that nothing is lacking.
God alone suffices.
— Teresa of Avila

Look to this day,
for it is life,
the very life of life.
In its brief course lie all
the realities and verities of existence,
the bliss of growth,
the splendor of action,
the glory of power.
For yesterday
is but a dream,
and tomorrow
is only a vision,
But today, well lived,
makes every yesterday
a dream of happiness
and every tomorrow
a vision of hope.
— Sanskrit Proverb

Such a loss! Such a keen and tearing pain! Even when I am in a crowded room, there is a loneliness I never knew existed. Comforting God, I have turned to you so many times for solace, and I come again. While the world is bright and sparkling, my heart feels leaden and has an emptiness that cannot be filled.

Lord, how can I enter into this season of joy? In my head I celebrate your birth into this world, but in my everyday life, I am filled with a grief that runs so very deep. You blessed me with a loving relationship and now it is gone from my life. How can I be faithful to that love and the memory of that love and my sorrow in this season of "Rejoice!"??

Tears are so close to the surface all the time and helpful friends who want to "keep me busy" don't seem to really understand that I need to embrace my grief. I am afraid of letting go of the sadness and losing the deep love connection I had. Instead of entering into the rejoice of Christmas, I long for the sorrow of Lent. I beg you, Lord, show me how the two are connected. I ponder the name "Emmanuel" and know that it means "God with us." With us. With me in this world, in this sorrow. If I look beyond my pain, I know that you, too, suffered so much in this world. I never understood so clearly before that Emmanuel is what your nativity is really about. You are in my world, in my pain.

Thank you, Lord, for the loved one you blessed my life with. Grant me now in my grief, a peace. Give me a comfort that might not make the tears go away, but that lets me feel your presence as you take up a place deep in my heart, with me.

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In This Area —
Spiritual Guidance Overview Why A Funeral?
Introduction to Spiritual Treasury Order of Christian Funerals Overview
Guidance for the Un-Churched Order of Christian Funerals I
A Journey of Prayer Order of Christian Funerals II
Committal Service Assistance Order of Christian Funerals III
About Fr. Marvin I. Lazarski Thought of the Week

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