Monthly Archives: September 2014

# 65 Give Praise for Creation

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St. Francis of Assissi

Canticle of the Sun

Most high, all powerful sweet Majesty,
yours is the praise, the glory, and the honor
and every blessing.

Be praised, my Creator,
for all your creatures,
and first for brother sun,
who makes the day bright and luminous.
And he is beautiful and radiant
with great splendor,
he is the image of you, Most High.

Be praised, oh God,
for sister moon and the stars,
in the sky you have made them brilliant and
precious and beautiful.

Be praised, Great Spirit, for brother wind
and for the air both cloudy and serene
and every kind of weather,
through which you give nourishment
to your creatures.

Be praised, Divine Presence, for sister water,
who is very useful and humble
and precious and chaste.

Be praised Great Mystery, for brother fire,
through whom you illuminate the night.
And he is beautiful and joyous
and robust and strong.

Be praised for our sister, Mother Earth,
who nourishes us and watches over us
and brings forth various plants
with colored fruits and herbs.

Be praised, my Confessor,
for those who forgive through your love,
and bear sickness and tribulation;
blessed are those who endure in peace,
for they will be crowned by you, Most High.

Be praised, oh Unknowable Mystery,
for our sister, bodily death,
from whom no living thing can escape.
Blessed are those whom she finds
doing your most holy will,
for the second death cannot harm them.

Praise and bless you, Spirit of Life,
and give thanks to you and serve you
with great humility.
–St. Francis of Assisi

The above was adapted from the original to omit the references to the male term of “Lord.” The varied references also give us more names with which to speak to that force which is larger than us and beyond our understanding. Go for a walk today. Give this prayer of thanksgiving as you go.

Reference

 St. Francis of Assisi. 1182-1226.  Italian mystic, founder of the Franciscan Order

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# 64 Cultivate FriendshipS With Happy People

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Can happiness spread from person to person? Do happy people tend to associate with other happy people? This is just what psychologists found in a recent study. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, examined data on happiness and friendships to answer this question.  The data had been gathered on 4739 people from 1983 to 2003. They found that when they examined who knew whom, and who was happy, that they found clusters of happy people in these friendship networks. These clusters existed for up to three degrees of separation. In other words, happy people knew other happy people, and their friends were happy too. Also, the friends of their friends’ friends tended to be happy people as well.

They found that if your friend, who lives within a mile of you, becomes happy, you will likely become more happy as well. This is also true if your spouse or sibling who lives close by or your neighbor becomes happy. This effect did not hold for coworkers. The effect faded with time and geographical separation. The authors concluded very scientifically “People’s happiness depends on the happiness of others with whom they are connected. This provides further justification for seeing happiness, like health, as a collective phenomenon.”

* Be part of this phenomenon. Spread the wealth. Consider who your happy friends are. Contact one by phone or email. Ask how they’re doing. Tell them some good news.

* Take a look at your network of friends. You may want to have less contact with those who are chronically complaining and pessimistic.

* Consider developing a new friendship with someone you’ve met who is happy. You will not only benefit from their happiness, and you will contribute to theirs, but you access part of their network and they become a part of yours as well.

 

Fowler, J. H. & Christakis, N. A.  2008, Dec. 4.  British Medical Journal, 337: a2338

 

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