Prayers and Blessings From Around the World (April 2015)

Susan's Thursday morning note April 16, 2015
Prayers and Blessings From Around the World

Good morning!   Strong coffee.  Birds practicing for their choir concert still working on their harmony.  Fog.  Stillness.  My angel of dawn greeting me with a a tulip bouquet this morning as she arrives at my door.  Another gift of the chance for living this beautiful day.  I read this week a quote by one of my favorite authors for instilling a mindset for thinking of possibilities for life.  Orison Swett Marden.  I have several of his “self-help” books written in the 1800’s.  His parents both died before he was seven.  He had life bring him sadness and crisis.  Yet, as a young boy he read an author that helped shape his mind, rather than his circumstances, for approaching his life.  Below are some of his thoughts.  Thoughts to help us not continually settle, look back, see what we don’t have; but rather thoughts to focus on what life gives us if we only look.  Courage.  Goals.  Hope.  These words describe his writings.  As we see creation show her artwork outside our windows, we can choose to think on these words.  To realize the power of our thoughts as we have the choices for what we choose to have our thoughts bring in this time of year for renewal.  Our choice.  As Eleanor Roosevelt writes,  “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds events; small minds discuss people.” 

“Every man’s soul is a gallery: he can hang it with works of art, he can fresco it with faithfulness and decorate it with beauty , or he can mar the walls with half-done and botched work; he can hang it with daubs instead of beautiful pictures, he an blot and bespatter it, he can stain and spoil it.  He cannot leave the walls blank, for if he is idle they will grow dingy and grimy, moldy and forbidding; idleness with smite, corrode and blast.  Something he must do, and every touch of the brush is indelible.  He cannot change or erase it, and begin again.  Every indifferent or careless stroke will remain there forever, to reproach him for his folly.”

“The universe is one great kindergarten. Everything that exists has brought with it its own peculiar lesson. The mountain teaches stability and grandeur; the ocean immensity and change. Forests, lakes, and rivers, clouds and winds, stars and flowers, stupendous glaciers and crystal snowflakes every form of animate or inanimate existence, leaves its impress upon our soul.” 

“There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow.”

“You cannot look into a cradle and read the secret message traced by a divine hand and wrapped up in that bit of clay, and more than you can see the North Star in the magnetic needle. God has loaded the needle of that young life so it will point to the star which presides over poetry, art, law, medicine, or whatever your own pet calling is, until you have wasted years precious life, yet, when once free, the needle flies back to its own star.” 

“Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.”

“Believe with all your heart that you will do what you were made to do.” 

“Just make up your mind at the very outset that your work is going to stand for quality… that you are going to stamp a superior quality upon everything that goes out of your hands, that whatever you do shall bear the hallmark of excellence.” 

“Money, influence, and position are nothing compared with brains, principles, energy and perseverance.”

“Most of our obstacles would melt away if, instead of cowering before them, we should make up our minds to walk boldly through them.”

“When we are sure that we are on the right road there is no need to plan our journey too far ahead. No need to burden ourselves with doubts and fears as to the obstacles that may bar our progress. We cannot take more than one step at a time.”

“We cannot rise higher than our thought of ourselves.”  

“Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Weak men wait for opportunities; strong men make them.” 


“She alone is the happy woman who has learned to extract happiness, not from ideal conditions, but from the actual ones about her. The woman who has mastered the secret will not wait for ideal surroundings; she will not wait until next year, next decade, until she gets rich, until she can travel abroad … but she will make the most out of life today, where she is. Paradise is here or nowhere. You must take your joy with you or you will never find it.” 

“If you have had an unfortunate experience, forget it. If you have made a failure in speech, your song, your book, your article, if you have been placed in an embarrassing position, if you have fallen and hurt yourself by a false step, if you have been slandered and abused, do not dwell upon it. There is not a single redeeming feature in these memories, and the presence of their ghosts will rob you of many a happy hour. There is nothing in it. Drop them. Forget them. Wipe them out of your mind forever. If you have been indiscreet, imprudent, if you have been talked about, if your reputation has been injured so that you fear you can never outgrow it or redeem it, do not drag the hideous shadows, the rattling skeletons about with you, Rub them off from the shite of memory. Wipe them out. Forget them. Start with a clean slate and spend all your energies in keeping it clean for the future.” 

“Just because you are struggling on a farm or in a factory, doing something against which your whole nature rebels, because there is no one to help you support your aged parents or an invalid brother or sister, do not conclude that your vision must perish. Keep pushing on as best you can, and affirming your divine power to attain your desire. Hundreds and thousands of poor boys and girls with poorer opportunities than yours have done immortal deeds because they had faith in their ideal and in their power to attain it.” 

Like the sun, love radiates and warms into life all that it touches.” 

“Nothing is more foolish, nothing more wicked than to drag the skeletons of the past, the hideous images, the foolish deeds, the unfortunate experiences of yesterday into today’s work to mar and spoil it. There are plenty of people who have been failures up to the present moment who could do wonders in the future if they only could forget the past, if they only had the ability to cut it off, to close the door on it forever and start anew.” 

Today.  Our thoughts can now be focused on writings from someone before us who was determined to think.  To study.  To look ahead.  To realize life hurts.  To realize there is constant struggles.  To learn from someone earlier than him that he had the ability to learn and train his mind.  “Just make up your mind at the very outset that your work is going to stand for quality… that you are going to stamp a superior quality upon everything that goes out of your hands, that whatever you do shall bear the hallmark of excellence.”  Again, words that we have the choice to think about.  Words to bring us back to what matters.  To have courage.  To keep our perspective.  Thank you for letting me again enter your Thursday.  For letting me try to find words to help us all see the beauty of this life.  Tonight.  Tonight we will again have the opportunity to reflect on today.  Will we have moments worthy of inscription on our stone for our epitaph tonight?  Words to describe moments that we chose to breathe.  To stop a grain of sand mentally as it passed through our sand-timer?  The sand will never stop, but we know only can travel one grain at a time.  Can we train our minds to notice sands as they pass?  Will we touch the head of our child?  Will we look in their eyes and smile?  Will we let them see our faces without strain if they look when we don’t know they’re looking?  Will we meet the eyes of those we see?  Will we stop time for a moment and give them a gentle smile?  Today.  We know we have this moment.  This beautiful moment.  Birds are singing.  Tulips are showing their beauty.  Life.  Always continuing.  Have a beautiful end of the week.  Thank you for coming into our store for your gifts.  We’ll have the smiles, the coffee, and the books.  Maybe today you’ll find the book written by someone that thought ahead of you that will help guide and change your life.  Susan

Latin for this week:
qualis – quality
excellentia – excellent
confortare – courage
Virtus probata florescit – Manly excellence in trail flourished
Per aspera ad astra – Through difficulties to the stars