1 Thessalonians 5:16 (INT)
When I clean out my closet, I fuss and complain to myself and to anyone unlucky enough to be near me- l despise sorting and packing. But once the job is finished, I have a wonderful sense of simple freedom as I deposit the clothing at our local second hand store.
I had that same sense of freedom the time I invited two of my relatives to go through my closet and pick clothes they would like to wear. Happily they did so, and I enjoyed watching them select and try on and take with them some of my favorite outfits. It was fun to share my wardrobe with women I care about- but more than that, I felt a light sense of freedom. Simplifying and having "less" can be a liberating experience.
I am discovering that a "simple abundance" of goodness is all around me, such as the beauty of nature, the devotion of friends, the gift of health and faith, the comforts of home, and the love of God. I could create long lists of blessings that lift my spirits, but it all boils down to love. I am loved and I love. God's love is always more than enough for me. That is why I am happy.
The burning flame of God's love is within us and all around us. All we have to do is look and we will find abundance- gifts and blessings -everywhere. Giving and receiving love is what living a happy life is all about, and there are as many ways of doing this as there are people in the universe. Each of us can find eternity-right here, right now- in the passionate love we share with one another. The breathtaking love of our Creator is in our midst, as close to us as our own breath or the smile of a friend. We already have everything we need to be happy.
How about you? Can you look around you today and find reasons to rejoice always? Can you look within your heart and find that Christ is within you and all around you, loving you without condition and without reservation? Count your blessings and be happy. I bet that you, like me, can find many reasons to "rejoice always."
Sit still, and become aware of your breathing. Inhale and exhale slowly and deeply. Imagine God's extravagant, boundless love permeating your entire being. As a fish is surrounded by the ocean, so you are immersed in Infinite Love. Allow any anxieties or concerns to be washed away. Open yourself to the fullness of Divine Love. Rejoice in God's love for you.
Imagine God sharing this loving message with you. Be aware of any thoughts, feelings and images that come to you in response to this loving message.
(Your name), I love you totally and completely with my passion ate, tender love. Before you were conceived in your mother's womb, I knew you and loved you. Every day of your life, I have been with you. I am present within you and all around you, loving you beyond your wildest dreams. I came that you may have abundant life. I want you to be happy.
Make this your prayer today:
Holy One , no matter what happens, I know you are with me. You have called me by name. You have promised to be with me when pain, sufferings, trials and persecutions come. Neither raging waters nor burning fires will harm me. You are my God; I am your beloved.
Prayer adapted from Isaiah 43:1-2
Imagine yourself affirming others in your prayer today. Imagine God's love for them, and look into their eyes as you say one or more of the following affirmations:
(Person's name), I appreciate your love (kindness, goodness, compassion, etc.).
(Person's name), I love you as you are.
(Person's name), you are beautiful (strong, honest, gentle, generous, wise, etc.).
(Person's name), you are a special gift in my life.
Let your prayer today be an act of liberation to simplify your life: give something away, cut down on your "to do" list, take a bubble bath, listen to inspiring music, or take a long walk. Chose some thing that you may want to make part of your daily routine, something that will lead you to a happier, more fulfilling life where you will rejoice always.
Make this your prayer today:
Loving Spirit, I rejoice in your presence always with me. Today I put on my dancing shoes. As I step into your embrace, sweep me off my feet. Lift me high into the heavens, and whirl me around the stars. Let us jump on moonbeams and leap over clouds, as we step lightly to the beat of rollicking cosmic rhythms and discover treasures that eye has not seen nor ear heard. Let us celebrate the unending joys of the beatific dance of life forever in your glorious love.
Use the following prayer, or make up one of your own, to praised
God for your many blessings:
I praise you, Holy One, for my family and friends, especially (name special people you are grateful for).
I praise you, Creator, for my favorite foods, especially (name your
favorites foods and drinks).
I praise you, Delight of my Life, for (name your favorite way of relaxing your body).
I praise you, Abundant Giver, for (name things about your physical condition).
I praise you, Passionate Joy, for (name one thing that gives you pleasure in your living quarters).
I praise you, Source of All Being, for animals, especially (name your favorite
I praise you, God, for (name your favorite interests).
I praise you, Healer of my Soul,, for your love, forgiveness and healing in my life, especially for being aware that I am loved as I am-faults, failures, physical infirmities and (name one more thing).
I praise you, Playful Craftswoman, for the gift of this wonderful world, especiallyfor beautiful flowers, tall majestic trees, bright sunshine, soft white clouds, and (name one more thing).