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HEAVENWINDOW
PRAYERS FOR CONTEMPLATION

PART ONE
 

The Carmina Gadelica, the Ortha nan Gaidheal, gives the Rune before Prayer, as it were, a prayer before prayer:
 

In the eye of the Father who created me,
In the eye of the Son who purchased me,
In the eye of the Spirit who cleansed me,
In friendship and affection.
Through Thine own Anointed One, O God,
Bestow upon us fullness in our need,
Love towards God,
The affection of God,
The smile of God,
The wisdom of God.
The grace of God,
The fear of God,
And the will of God
To do on the world of the Three,
As angels and saints
Do in heaven;
Each shade and light,
Each day and night,
Each time in kindness,
Give Thou us Thy Spirit.

 

 
 
 

Nell'occhio del Padre chi mi ha creato,
Nell'occhio del Figlio chi mi ha comprato,
Nell'occhio dello Spirito chi mi ha pulito,
  Nell'amicizia e nell'amore.
Tramite il tuo proprio Cristo, O Dio,
Effondi su noi la pienezza nel nostro bisogno,
  Amore per Dio
  L'amicizia di Dio
  Il sorriso di Dio,
  La sapienza di Dio
  La grazia di Dio,
  Il timore di Dio
  E la volontà di Dio
Per fare nel mondo della Trinità
Come gli angeli e i santi
Fanno nei cieli;
  Ogni ombra e luce,
  Ogni giorno e notte
  Ogni tempo in tenerezza
Da a noi il tuo Spirito.

 

Recall that at the enclosure of anchoresses and anchoresses the Lorica was said, the binding prayer of St Patrick's Breastplate, Christ prayed to envelope one, to be within one.

The Scots artist John Duncan painted this of Saint Bride or Brigid, now in Edinburgh's National Gallery:


 

For further Celtic 'binding' prayers see the Carmina Gadelica website:

Carmina Gadelica, Celtic Prayers in Gaelic and English

Sussex font with Celtic/Scandinavian interlace, design also found on medieval Swedish baptismal fonts, used for embroidery on a chasuble.
 
Listen to Malcolm Guite, 'Prayer' http://www.ampublishing.org/flanagan/riprap-guite-prayer-clip.mp3

{The following prayers may be printed out, minus their initial capitals, an ornamental capital pasted on them, and next, photocopied onto sheets of thicker paper and illuminated, best done in reds and blues, the medieval colours, which came from Aaron's High Priestly robes, and then cut on a paper cutter, for use as bookmarks for prayer books and other books. Could someone send St Teresa's 'Book Mark Prayer'? [Stop Press: I've received it from Liz West in Australia!] And any other short prayer that is particularly compelling. Who knows, someone finding one in a book might by its means find God.

Illustrating these prayers, too, are sculptures from a Cantoria by Luca della Robbia illustrating the words of Psalm 150, once in Florence's Duomo, now in a cold museum. These images are made from photographs bought in Florence over a hundred years ago by my Mother Foundress, Agnes Mason , of the Community of the Holy Family. If you have a colour printer these would make excellent Christmas cards. Augustine said 'Who sings, prays twice'. The Church's Hours of Prayer, the Offices, are based on the Psalms, sung once by David as a shepherd boy, sung again by Jesus, when a child, and again when a man, sung by ourselves, always. In prayer, a great sense of joy and of peace comes to one. And the joy is that of being a child again, playing at God's feet, in praise, and so entering the Kingdom of Heaven.

LAVD ATE EVM IN CIMBALIS BENE SONANTIBUS

'LAVDATE D OMINUM IN SAN CTIS EIVS; LAVD ATE EVM IN F IRMAMENTO VIRTVTIS EI VS; LAVDATE EVM SECVND VM MVLTITVDINEM MAGNITVDINIS EI VS

LAVDATE EVM IN SONO TVBAE; LAUDATE EVM IN PSALTERIO ET CVTHARA: LAVDATE EVM IN TIMPANO

ET CHORO; L AVDATE EVM IN CORDIS ET ORGANO; L AVDATE EVM IN CIMBALIS BENE SONANTIBUS: LAVDATE EVM IN CIMBALIS IUBILANTIONIS; O MN IS SPIRITVS LAVDET D OMI NVM'.


St Birgitta's Prayer

{My Lord Jesus Christ, hear my prayer, even though it may be that I have by my deeds done nothing to deserve it, yet do it because you are true God and worthy. Make my heart burning with the fire of your love, so that everything that is in it which is against you becomes like ashes in the blowing wind.


Godfriends' Prayer

{Jesus said to the Scribe: 'Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind and with all your strength. And you shall love your neighbour as yourself'. Mark 12.29-31, repeating Deuteronomy 6.4 telling us to bind on the name of God, to hallow the name of God, and by its means ourselves and each other.


Thomas Merton

{And God was a child curled up who slept in her and her veins were flooded with His wisdom which is night, which is starlight, which is silence. And her whole being was embraced in Him whom she embraced and they became tremendous silence.

Given to us at Christmas by Jeannine Collier and Rosalie Reigle of Dorothy Day's Mustard Seed.

Dio era un bambino che dormiva dentro di Lei, e le vene di Lei erano ricolme della sua Sapienza che é notte, che é la luce delle stelle, che é silenzio. E tutta l'essenza di Lei era racchiusa in un abbraccio in Lui che Lei abbracciava e Loro divennero un universo di silenzio.


Jean Vannier

{My heart opens up to your touch
I hear your call to death, Jesus,
faint
whispering in peace
offering my flesh in sacrifice
waiting
waiting tenderly for my hour
knowing that I am hidden
in the hand
in the heart
in the womb
of your father,
I await in silence
the wedding.

Il mio cuore si apre al tuo tocco
Odo la tua chiamata alla morte, Gesù,
esangue mormorando in pace
offrendo la mia carne in sacrificio
aspettando
aspettando la mia ora con tenerezza
sapendo che sono nascosto
nella mano
nel cuore
nel grembo
del tuo Padre
attendo in silenzio
le nozze.

Given us by Father Matthew Naumes.


Julian of Norwich

{All shall be well. And all shall be well. And all manner of thing shall be well.

Tutto'andrà bene.


{Nor should we forget the story amongst the Desert Fathers where one asked another, 'Father, how should I pray? How shall I know I have prayed well?' And the old hermit answered him saying, 'When you can do this'. And he raised his hands in prayer and the young man saw flames from his fingers reaching up into the heavens.

Non dimentichiamo la leggenda fra i Padri del Deserto quando uno di loro ha domandato ad un altro, 'Padre, come devo pregare? Come so quando ho pregato bene?' E il vecchio eremita risponde a lui dicendo, 'Quando tu potrai fare questo'. Ed egli alzò le braccia in preghiera e il giovane vide fiamme che dalle sue dita raggiungevano i cieli.



Twelfth-century Nikolaos Mesarites describes the Pantocrator in the Apostles' Church, Constantinople:

{This dome shows in pictured form the God-Man Christ, leaning and gazing out as though from the rim of heaven . . . like an earnest and vehement lover . . . His look is gentle and wholly mild, turning neither to the left nor the right, but wholly directed all at once and at the same time toward each individually. Such are those eyes to those who have a clean understanding; to those, however, who are condemned by their own judgement they are scornful and hostile and boding of ill; the face is wrathful, terrifying, stern and filled with hardness, for the face of the Lord is of this fashion for evildoers.
 

Trans. Annamarie Wehl Carr, in A Byzantine Masterpiece Recovered, the Thirteenth-Century Murals of Lysi, Cyprus (Austin: University Press, 1991), pp. 65-66. William Blake in his engravings to Job does the same, having Job and God in each other's image, at first, in an image of bitter anger, then of loving compassion.

Modern Russian Icon, St John's Cathedral, Pskov, Russia



 

Anima Christi

{Soul of Christ, sanctify me
Body of Christ, save me
Blood of Christ, inebriate me
Water from the side of Christ, wash me
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
O good Jesu, hear me
Within thy wounds, hide me
Suffer me not to be separated from thee
From the malignant enemy defend me
In the hour of my death call me
And bid me come to thee
That with thy saints I may praise thee
For ever and ever.

Amen

A medieval prayer, with echoes of Julian's Showing, that later became associated with St Ignatius Loyola and the Jesuits.


Reflections of Julian of Norwich

Sweet Love of Chirst
Drawing me close to His heart
Spread open,
Full and deep
Where little children
Run for safety
Jesus keep me
While I sleep
" Gentle Jesus meek and mild
 Look upon a little child
 See me in simplicity
 Help a child to live like Thee'

My Mothers Prayer
Whispered on bedside knee
Jesus keep me near to Thee

How deeply the seeds are planted
When in life we cry His name
Jesus Keep Me near to Thee
Lord have Mercy
Christ have Mercy

Across the Ages we call His Name
In dark, in Light
In need of Grace
Broken, tempted, Lost
We seek His face

Christ have Mercy
Lord have Mercy
More then Mercy comes
Lifts us In His Healing Touch
Infinity held in Creator hands
Nurses us to Life
With His
Held in His Arms
Rocks us to sleep
While He looks on
Precious child of the Father
Held forever in His Love
Nestled in eternity
Christ our Mother

Lorna T's website is at: http://www.freewebs.com/pilgrimhaven/


The Runes of the 'Dream of the Rood' on the Ruthwell Cross

{Then the young warrior, God almighty,
mounted the cross in sight of
many men
I held the king,
heaven's lord, I dared not bow.
They mocked us together. I was
wet with blood .
Christ was on the Cross.
Then came many quickly from afar
to the prince. I beheld it all.
I was sorely smitten with sorrow,
wounded with spears.
Limb-weary, they laid him down.
They stood at his head.
They looked on him there.


LAVD ATE EVM IN CORDIS ET ORGANO


St. Francis' Blessing Written for Brother Leo,
 

{The Lord bless thee and keep thee,
May he show thee his face and be merciful to thee;
May he turn his face to thee and give thee peace,
The Lord bless thee, Brother Leo.

A tau cross emerging from a skull is drawn through the midst of the blessing, echoing Calvary upon Golgotha.


St. Andrew's Prayer to the Cross

{Hail, O Cross that has been sanctified by the body of Christ, and adorned with his limbs as with precious stones! Before the Lord was nailed to you, you inspired fear on earth, but now you inspire heavenly love, and are desired as a blessing. Thus I come to you assured and joyfilled, so that you may graciously receive me, the disciple of Him who hung upon you; for I have always loved you, and yearned for your embrace. O good Cross, ennobled and beautified by the limbs of the Lord, long desired, constantly loved, ceaselessly sought, take me away from men, and return me to my Teacher, in order that He, having redeemed me through you, may receive me from you.


St Birgitta, Revelationes

{God is like a great master who owns a vineyard and keeps wine for sale. First he gives this wine to his friends and kinsfolk to taste. Next, when he wants to sell the wine, he sends his servants out into the street to cry, 'We have tasted the wine and it is good, come and drink, everyone who cares!' But the wine is that sweetness which is above every sweetness, and I have given it to my friends, to them who will hear the words I have to say.


Donatello's Cantoria, also in the Museum of the Opera del Duomo, Florence



St. Birgitta's Prayer

{Lord, show me the way
And make me willing to walk therein.



Walter Hilton, Pilgrim's Prayer

Used by Augustine Baker, O.S.B. in Holy Wisdom

{I am nought,
I have nought,
I seek nought
but sweet Jesus in Jerusalem.



{When I pray for ought, my prayer counts for nought;
when I pray for nought, I pray as I ought.

Sussex font with Celtic/Scandinavian interlace, design also found on medieval Swedish baptismal fonts, used for embroidery on a chasuble.


ST PATRICK'S BREASTPLATE

{Christ be with me,
Christ within me.
Christ behind me,
Christ before me,
Christ beside me.
Christ to win me.
Christ to comfort
and restore me.

Christ beneath me,
Christ above me.
Christ in quiet,
Christ in danger.
Christ in hearts of
all that love me.
Christ in mouth of
friend and stranger.

For further Celtic 'binding' prayers see the Carmina Gadelica website:

Carmina Gadelica, Celtic Prayers in Gaelic and English


{Christ to God: Not my will be done, but yours.
{Virgin to Angel: Be it done unto me according to your will.

Andrea Della Robbia , Christ in Prayer at Gethsameni, Santa Croce Sacristy, Florence


The Prayer said in Florence at the end of the Mass for the Poor of the Republic of San Procolo, written by Giorgio La Pira, rewritten by Fioretta Mazzei:

{My Lord Jesus Christ, who died on the cross, You have given life to the world, free me, through this Your sacred Body and Blood, from all my sins and from all evil. Make me be always true to Your commandments, and do not allow me to draw away from You.

O good Jesus, I commend to you, all those who weep and suffer, and all those who make them weep and suffer. I commend to you the abandoned children, youths in scandal and peril, the old in need, all those who suffer in poverty.

I commend to You those weeping the death of their beloved, those who seek work and do not find it, who suffer in loneliness. The ill, the handicapped, the victims of drugs and alcohol, the prisoners, the exiles, the immigrants, the oppressed, those in war, the refugees. Comfort them, O Lord, help them, bless them. I commend to You our earth. I commend to You the Pope, the Bishops, the priests, the sisters, the missionaries, the families. I commend to You those who do not yet know You and all those who are far from the Church. Shape, O Lord, but one sheepfold, under one shepherd only.

Following this prayer blessed loaves of bread and money are given to each one present.

Pietro Parigi's drawings of the Mass for the Poor, the Badia, Florence

La Preghiera della Messa di San Procolo a Firenze scritta da Giorgio La Pira e da alcuni fratelli a lui vicini.

{Signor mio Gesu` Cristo, che morendo in croce, hai dato la vita al mondo, liberami, per questo sacrosancto Corpo e Sangue Tuo, da tutte le mie colpe e da tutti i mali. Fa' che io sia sempre fedele ai tuoi comandamenti, e non permettere che io mi allontani da Te.

O buon Gesu`, io Ti raccomando, tutti coloro che piangono e soffrono, a tutti quelli che fanno piangere e soffrire. Ti raccomando i fanciulli abbandonati, la gioventu` nello scandalo e nel pericolo, la vecchiaia nel bisogno, tutti coloro che soffrono nella poverta`.

Ti raccomando chi piange la morte dei suoi cari, chi cerca lavoro e non lo trova, che soffre nella solitudine. Gli ammalati, gli handicappati, le vittime della droga e dell'alcool, i carcerati, i deportati, gli immigrati, gli oppressi, coloro che sono in guerra, i profughi. Confortali, O Signore, aiutali, benedicili. Ti raccomando la nostra terra. Ti raccomando il Papa, i Vescovi, i sacerdoti, le suore, i missionari, le famiglie. Ti raccomando quelli che ancora non ti conoscono e tutti coloro che sono lontani dalla Chiesa. Forma, O Signore, un solo ovile, sotto un solo pastore.


Community of the Holy Family , Prayer before Teaching

{Hear us, O Lord, we beseech Thee, from heaven Thy dwelling place and as Thou didst give a wise and understanding heart to Thy servant David, so vouchsafe to us Thy handmaidens the perpetual presence of Thy Blessed Spirit in our hearts and minds; that both by our life and communications the children whom Thou hast committed unto us may be truly taught and instructed, and, beholding the wondrous things of Thy Law, may show forth Thy glory. O Lord our God, through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, One God, world without end. Amen.

I pray this prayer daily, retroactively , seeking to unravel harm done. It used to read 'to Solomon, the son of Thy servant David'. I prefer to return to the shepherd simplicity of the father, rather than emulate the Temple-building son.


Agnes More , The Building of Divine Love

{For God is a greater pardoner than we are, or can be, sinners.


AA's Serenity Prayer

{God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

For Alcoholics Anonymous see Aleph/Alpha and Godfriends' Traditions


LAVDATE EVM IN SONO TVBAE


Richard Rolle, Gastly Gladness

{Gastly gladnes in Jhesu, and joy in hert, with swetnes in sawle of the savor of heven in hope, es helth intil hele; and my lyfe lendes in luf, and lyghtsumnes unlappes my thoght. I drede noght, that me may wyrk wa, sa mykel I wate of wele. It war na wonder if dede war dere, that I myght se hym that I seke. Bot now it es lenthed fra me, and me behoves lyf here, til he wil me lese. Lyst and lere of this lare, and the sal noght myslike. Lufe makres me to melle, and joy gars me jangell. Loke thow lede thi lyf in lyghtsumnes; and hevynes, helde it away. Sarynes, lat it noght syt with the; bot in gladnes of God evermare make thow thi gle. Amen. Expliciunt cantica divini amoris secundum Ricardum Hampole.

{Spiritual joy in Jesus and gladness in heart, with sweetness in soul of the taste of heaven in hope, is health for healing; and my life tends to love, and lightness undoes my thought. I fear nought, that may annoy me, so much I know of wholeness. It would be no wonder if deeds were dear, if I might see him whom I seek. But now that is far from me, and I must live here, until he will release me. Listen and learn from this teaching, and you shall not be displeased. Love makes me melt, and joy makes me sing. Live your life lightly, and heaviness, hold it at great length. Let not sorrow sit with you, but in the joy of God evermore make your joy be also. Amen. Here ends the Song of Divine Love according to Richard Hampole. Julian's Yorkshire contemporary.


Collect for Julian of Norwich, May 13

{Most Holy Lord, the ground of our beseeching, who through your servant Julian revealed the wonder of your love, grant that as we are created in your nature and restored by your grace our will may be so made one with yours that we may come to see you face to face and gaze on you for ever.


King George VI's Christmas Broadcast, 1939

{I said to the Man who stood at the gate of the year, 'Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown'. And he replied, 'Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way!' So I went forth and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.


Shaker Covenant 1795
 

We believe we were debtors to God in
relation to Each other, and all men, to improve
our time and Talents in this Life, in that
manner in which we might be most useful.


St John of the Cross , Maxims 1.14

{This is how we can recognise the person who truly loves God; if he or she is content with nothing less than God. Satisfaction of heart is not found in the possession of things, but in being stripped of them all and in poverty of spirit .


St. Francis' Prayer

{Lord, make me an
instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred
let me sow love;
Where there is injury
let me sow pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
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.

Signore, fa di me uno strumento della Tua Pace:
Dove è odio, fa ch'io porti l'Amore,
Dove è offesa, ch'io porti il Perdono,
Dove è discordia, ch'io porti l'Unione,
Dove è dubbio, ch'io porti la Fede,
Dove è errore, ch'io porti la Verità,
Dove è disperazione, ch'io porti la Speranza,
Dove è tristezza, ch'io porti la Gioia,
Dove sono le tenebre, ch'io porti la Luce.
Maestro, fa che io non cerchi tanto
        Ad esser consolato, quanto a consolare;
        Ad essere compreso, quanto a comprendere;
        Ad essere amato, quanto ad amare.
        Poiché, così è:
        Dando, che si riceve;
        Perdonando, che si è perdonati;
        Morendo, che si risuscita a Vita Eterna.



 

Francis Nuttall, The Prayer of the Chalice

{Father, to you I raise my whole being
- a vessel emptied of self. Accept, O Lord,
this my emptiness, and so fill me with
yourself, your light, your love, your
life - that these your precious gifts
may radiate through me and over-
flow the chalice of my heart into
the hearts of all with whom I
come in contact this day
revealing unto them
the beauty of
your joy
and
wholeness
and the
serenity
of your peace
which nothing can destroy.





The Prayer of the Paten
 

wheat
and grapes
bread and wine,
flesh and blood,
death and
life


LAUDATE EVM IN PSALTERIO ET CVTHARA


John Woolman, Quaker Peace Testimony

May we
look upon
our treasures,
the furniture
of our houses
and our
garments, and
try whether
the seeds of
war have
nourishment
in these
our
possessions.


Richard Rolle
 

{Now can you see that whosoever would love wisely should love lasting things lastingly and passing things passingly, so that his heart be settled and fastened on nothing but God.


Julian of Norwich

and in this he shewed me a lytil/ thyng the quantite of a hasyl/ nott. lyeng in the pawme of/ my hand as it had semed. and it was as rownde as eny ball. Westminster Cathedral Manuscript, Julian of Norwich, Showing of Love

{And so in this sight I saw that he is all that is good as to my understanding. And in this he showed me a little thing the size of a hazel nut lying in the palm of my hand it seemed. And it was round as any ball. I looked on it with my understanding and I thought what may this be. And it was answered generally thus, 'It is all that is made.'



Julian of Norwich

{I marveled how it might last, for I thought it might suddenly have fallen to nought for littleness . And I was answered in my understanding, 'It lasts and ever shall. For God loves it, and so has everything its beginning by the love of God.'



Sequentia
 
A Meditation on Vows
 
No mere feckless follower am I.
The path is blazed, the sequence clear.
 
A whole-burnt offering
Of fragrant sweetness is the pure heart.
 
It beats in the gold brazier of the divine One,
A crimson ember of love.
 
 
Brother Raymond Joseph, O.de M.
September 6th 2007




Franz Kafka

{Leopards break into the temple and drink the
sacrifical chalices dry; this occurs repeatedly,
again and again: finally it can be reckoned upon
beforehand and becomes a part of the ceremony.


This from the blog 'Hear our Silence' giving the Prior of Carthusian Parkminster's account of prayer:

Asking people to pray is like telling the wind to blow, the ear to listen, the eye to see. We cannot not pray, anymore than not be, once given the gift of existence.

We can only shut it out or deny it.

Prayer is simply the conscious dimension of being when it opens out to receive all that it is: gift, marvellously, gratuitously there; word of communion with all things, who hears their silence of wonder, adoration before Him who is the source and end of all.

Prayer is also the birthing of the person, the creative revelation each is called to become, the etching of a mysterious face reflected by the Mystery we contemplate, the knowing of God as we come to know ourselves, Spirit breathed by the Thou who calls and loves.

Silence then is the plenitude of the Word.

Prayer ultimately is Love.


ARUBOTH HASHAMAIM
WINDOWS OF HEAVEN

Catharina's Boat House Mass


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HEAVENWINDOW, PART II
 

JULIAN OF NORWICH, HER SHOWING OF LOVE AND ITS CONTEXTS ©1997-2017 JULIA BOLTON HOLLOWAY  || JULIAN OF NORWICH  || SHOWING OF LOVE || HER TEXTS || HER SELF || ABOUT HER TEXTS || BEFORE JULIAN || HER CONTEMPORARIES || AFTER JULIAN || JULIAN IN OUR TIME ||  ST BIRGITTA OF SWEDEN  ||  BIBLE AND WOMEN || EQUALLY IN GOD'S IMAGE  || MIRROR OF SAINTS || BENEDICTINISM || THE CLOISTER  || ITS SCRIPTORIUM  ||AMHERST MANUSCRIPT || PRAYER|| CATALOGUE AND PORTFOLIO (HANDCRAFTS, BOOKS ) || BOOK REVIEWS || BIBLIOGRAPHY ||