Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Favorites: Christian Things I Love

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If you follow me online, most notably on Pinterest, you probably see a healthy dose of religious snark. I believe all of the cranky posts object to judgment of others; I try to refrain from disrespect for faiths themselves or people of faith. Most of my religious angst posts are aimed at the words of fundamentalist Christians for the simple reason that I don't hear any vocal Jews or Buddhists evangelizing about blocking or stripping women's and gay's rights. These non-Christian bigots may exist, but they aren't in my face all over the media.

If you really pay attention, you may notice a contradiction in that I identify alternately as Wiccan and atheist. Weeellll... I'm a complicated woman.

That's a separate post. However, a bumper sticker spurred this quickie list post, after I was musing about things I love that are Christian in nature.

5 Christian Things I Love

  1. Rosary beads. I love beads as prayer tools. I love the shape of the rosary, and the gorgeous look of the piece. I've never prayed a rosary, but have been fascinated with them since high school. I have a small collection.
  2. Bumper stickers that read "God Bless Everyone NO EXCEPTIONS."
  3. Quotation of scripture from memory. Just impressive, poetic, and lovely.
  4. The Prayer of St. Francis and of St. Teresa of Avila. Moving and eloquent, these speak to me deeply.
  5. Cathedrals. Amazing architectural art, shapes designed to invoke awe (and deliver), stained glass, gothic details... pure beauty. 
The Prayer of Saint Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

And because it is so very gorgeous, in French, the language of the earliest known copies:

Seigneur, faites de moi un instrument de votre paix.
Là où il y a de la haine, que je mette l'amour.
Là où il y a l'offense, que je mette le pardon.
Là où il y a la discorde, que je mette l'union.
Là où il y a l'erreur, que je mette la vérité.
Là où il y a le doute, que je mette la foi.
Là où il y a le désespoir, que je mette l'espérance.
Là où il y a les ténèbres, que je mette votre lumière.
Là où il y a la tristesse, que je mette la joie.
Ô Maître, que je ne cherche pas tant à être consolé qu'à consoler,
à être compris qu'à comprendre,
à être aimé qu'à aimer,
car c'est en donnant qu'on reçoit,
c'est en s'oubliant qu'on trouve, c'est en pardonnant qu'on est pardonné,
c'est en mourant qu'on ressuscite à l'éternelle vie.

The Prayer of Saint Theresa

May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and everyone of us.


  1. I went to a contemporary church service for the first time ever Sunday. It really rubbed my the wrong way, as someone who grew up in a much more traditional Presby setting. The sermon about how ~confused~ other religions are, how Obama being president is a huge worry, the use of powetpoint... Made me miss ALL OF THESE THINGS! Especially hymns and organs and choirs :) So merci beaucoup for reminding me of the poetry in Christianity!

    I've never read the poem for my namesake, it is beautiful and needed, thank you for sharing!

    1. Maybe you'd like a Unitarian Universalist service better? Or just groove in the woods:)

      My friend remarked that all my favorites are Catholic. I do really have a fascination with the objects and rituals, but Louisiana Voodoo has all the goodies plus SPELLS! :D