Monday, April 4, 2011

Week Seventeen ~Love for Japan~

I have learned a lesson.

Taking time to care for myself is hard.

Life was difficult this past week, and my time here suffered. So today before I offer a new idea for retreat, let me share my painting with you. It actually inspired this week's intention.

When I started painting, I just did what came to me. I didn't think about it. I was busy with the squishy feel of the paint, and the buckling wetness of the paper. As this picture evolved, I "saw" what it was trying to tell me.

It's a heart kiss for Japan.

I don't need to remind all of you of the horrors the Japanese people have recently suffered, or the continuing agony the ones who survived the earthquake and tsunami are facing. It's unspeakable, and when I see images from their country I freeze up with sadness. How can I, or anyone, help them?

So for this week's retreat, I encourage you to find quiet time each day to pray for the people of Japan. Find moments to sit quietly in meditation. Hold their nation in your heart, and send them your loving kindness.

To start things off, consider this:

Prayer for Japan

By passionistcharism
Merciful God, you never depart from us even in the worst of times; be with us in both our joy and in our sadness. Grant your aid and encouragement to those who suffer in the face of this great calamity. We, too, continue to offer you our prayers and sacrifices for their sake. Bring us with all possible haste to the day when all can live in safety. May all those who have lost their lives in the devastation find peaceful repose in your presence. Mother Mary, pray for us. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.  [Composed by the Japanese Bishops Conference]
[Father Paul Matsumoto, C.P., Vice Provincial Superior of the Passionists in Japan]

May we all keep Japan and her people close to our hearts. Sending blessings every day.

Gratefully offered,

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