1338. The joyful heart sees and reads the world with a sense of freedom and graciousness. John O’Donohue

Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.

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As the wind loves to call things to dance,
May your gravity by lightened by grace.

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Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth,
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect.

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As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.

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As silence smiles on the other side of what’s said,
May your sense of irony bring perspective.

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As time remains free of all that it frames,
May your mind stay clear of all it names.

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May your prayer of listening deepen enough
to hear in the depths the laughter of god. ~John O’Donohue

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Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. ~Psalm 100:2  ✝

**All photos found on Pinterest;
special effects on the last two were done by me on iPiccy

1308. So she poured out the liquid music of her voice to quench the thirst of her spirit. ~Edited quote by Nathaniel Hawthorne

God respects me when I work;
but God loves me when I sing.
~Rabindranath Tagore

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Anything worth thinking about
is worth singing about.

Which is why we have songs of
praise, songs of love, songs of sorrow.

Songs the shepherds sing, on the lonely mountains,
while the sheep are honoring the grass, by eating it.

The dance-songs of the bees, to tell where the flowers,
suddenly, in the morning light, have opened.

A chorus of many, shouting to
heaven, or at it, or pleading.

Or that greatest of love affairs,
a violin and a human body.

And a composer,
maybe hundreds of years dead.

I think of Schubert, scribbling on
a café napkin. Thank you, thank you.

~Excerpted verses from a poem
by Mary Oliver

I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise You(God). ~Psalm 63:5 ✝

**Image via the Internet; special effects  done by me on iPiccy

867. The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts. ~Marcus Aurelius

Come out here where the roses have opened.
Let soul and world meet.
~Rumi

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May you recognize in your life the presence, power, and light of your soul.
May you realize that you are never alone, that your soul
in its brightness and belonging
connects you intimately with the rhythm of the universe.
May you have respect for you own individuality and difference.
May you realize that the shape of your soul is unique,
that you have a special destiny here, that behind the façade of your life
there is something beautiful, good, and eternal happening.
May you learn to see yourself with the same delight,
pride, and expectation with which God sees you in every moment.
~John O’Donohue

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. ~Psalm 62:5 ✝

686. Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. ~Marcel Proust

We only part to meet again.
Change, as ye list, ye winds;
my heart shall be the faithful compass
that still points to thee.
~John Gay

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Once one steps into cyberspace via the internet, he/she opens the door to being able to speak to “strangers” all over the world. And even if there is no photo attached to their blog post, over time a recognizable “identity” develops from the kinds of things posted, be they words or simply images of some sort. Then as time passes and interactions continue with these “strangers,” one is not only able to learn more and more about who he or she is but also more about himself/herself from ongoing conversations or the sharing of images. Another fascinating aspect about this process is that through nothing more than this kind of “distant” and “blind” communication, lasting relationships develop, genuine fondnesses grow, and abiding love and respect occur. For, distance, it seems, never separates the hearts of those who come to care for one another and shared experiences as well as the building of memories make it possible for love to span miles and miles of vast distances.  This is not surprising since It is from and in God’s love which knows no boundaries that we are made and sustained, and it’s in the redeeming love of Jesus that we find salvation.

Once the realization is accepted that
even between the closest of human beings
infinite distances continue,
a wonderful living side by side can grow,
if they succeed in loving the distance between them
which makes it possible for each to see
the other whole against the sky.
~Rainer Maria Rilke

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. ~1 John 4:11   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

658. God loves each of us as if there were only one of us. ~St. Augustine

What you are is God’s gift to you,
what you become is your gift to God.
~Hans Urs von Balthasar

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O Lord, whose voice I hear in the winds and my heart,
and whose breath gives life to all the world,
I come before You, one of Your many children, to ask that
You 
let me walk in beauty and help me make my eyes
ever ready to behold all the wonders of Creation.
Teach my hands to respect all the things You have made,
and help my ears be sharp to hear Your voice.
Help me also to be wise, so that I may know the things You
have hidden in every flower, leaf, and rock.
Teach me to rely on Your strength, not to fee; superior to others,
but to be able to fight against anything that displeases You.
Help me to be ever ready to come to You with clean hands,
a contrite heart, and straight eyes so when life fades
like a fading sunset my soul can come to You without shame.
~Edited and adapted Native American Prayer

The Lord is good to all; and His tender mercies are over all His works. ~Psalm 145:9    ✝

Thank you, Jesus, for Your tender mercies; thank You that my surgery went well; and thank you that You walked with me every step of the way.  I come before You now to praise Your holy name and ask You to bless all those who have been praying for me.

**Image via Pinterest

533. Laughter is God’s blessing. ~Joseph Prince

Laughter is the brush
that sweeps away
the cobwebs of the heart.
~Mort Walker

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Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.

As the wind loves to call things to dance,
May your gravity by lightened by grace.

Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth,
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect.

As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.

As silence smiles on the other side of what’s said,
May your sense of irony bring perspective.

As time remains free of all that it frames,
May your mind stay clear of all it names.

May your prayer of listening deepen enough
to hear in the depths the laughter of God.
~John O’Donohue

Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. ~Psalm 126:2a   ✝

452. She told me about rolling hills covered with cornfields and treeless miles of land without water. ~A. LaFaye

I have no hostility to nature,
but a child’s love to it.
I expand and live in
the warm day like corn and melons.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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August is upon us now with its usual dry nastiness and so the “parcels of corn” have indeed become “brown and sere.” Though their yield was harvested some time ago and the plants left to die under the blistering summer sun, I think their golden-brown, curled flag-leaves create a kind of unique beauty. And now that the farmers have begun the process of removing the dry, dead remains, even the barren, stub-filled fields have an intriguing eye-appeal. Although both my parents were raised on farms in farming communities, I had my very first experience with growing a crop like corn a few summers ago when our daughter and her husband decided to sow some corn in their inner city garden. Once the seedlings got going, it seemed like almost every day for a while that the stalks grew taller and taller. Then as the tassels appeared, the stalks began to buzz with the constant hum of more honey bees than I’ve ever seen in a suburban garden. Later on when the pale yellow silks started emerging, our excitement heightened again as the bees buzzed on harvesting the huge amounts of yellowish pollen falling from the floppy tassels. At that point I became so fascinated by the goings on that I went to the internet and was truly dumfounded to read that each piece of pollen that lands on a silk produces only one of the two to four hundred kernels that typically appear on a single ear of corn. How amazing is that! When it was all said and done, not only was their small crop of corn the tastiest any of us had ever eaten, but it also aroused in us and our offspring a sense of respect for the generations of farmers within our family lineage as well as for the ancient civilizations whose cultures had had a marked and ongoing influence on the global landscape. But more than anything, we marveled, as we always do, at the wonders of Creation and its Maker.

May the people praise you, O God; may all the people praise you. Then the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God will bless us. ~Psalm 67:5-7   ✝

Thank you, Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.