Posts Tagged ‘serenity’


Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

I’ve written quite a bit before in various published columns in the print media about the ‘gratitude attitude’. Thankfulness is an attitude, an awareness, a way of looking at things. When we lose sight of the gratitude attitude, we tend to have lost our balance. This minute, right now, you and I have so very many things to be thankful for that, were we to enumerate even a tiny fraction of them, we would be here forever. People spend their lives wishing they could see yet not once today before now did I pause to be thankful for my eyesight. I myself spent many years longing for a home of  my own yet, before this second, not once today did I pause to consider how lucky I am to now live in a home that I love. For years of my life I longed to find a life partner, someone I loved and who loved me yet how easy it is for me to take my wonderful wife for granted. And then there’s breath  and a beating heart, the wonder of life, a wondrous thing and my one and only life, a heart beating that one day will stop, lungs that will cease to inhale and exhale, my life spent, yet not once before now did I, this day, become aware of, let alone thankful for, the transient gift of my life.

Let’s pause to be grateful for all that we have and all that we are. For those we love and who love us. For this moment. For literacy. For sight and light. For the Internet. Electricity. Our senses of hearing and touch, for taste, for the sense of smell. For colour, mobility, intelligence, consciousness. For sex and relationships, for our bodies. For music and books and art. For sport and passion and love. For time and healing. For serenity. For growth. For now. For all we are, all we have been and all we may yet be. For hope. For humanity. And again, for love.

Peace at the last

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

‘May He support us all the day long, till the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in His mercy may He give us a safe lodging, and a holy rest and peace at the last.’

– John Henry Cardinal Newman 

Even to unbelievers, this prayer, or poem if you prefer, has a mollifying beat and effect. We aren’t alone. Support is at hand. For believers, from God. For unbelievers, from other people, one’s inner resources, the bounty of the universe. We’ve work to do. Lots of it. But an end will come and our work will be done, and the busy world, at least for us, will be hushed, the ‘fever of life’ over. May we tread this day confident of a safe lodging, rest, serenity and peace in our hearts this day.


Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Every so often work demands can converge, ushering in a period of toil. That’s OK, so long as it is not for an extended period. Think of the prime ministers of Ireland and Britain working through two successive nights trying to prevent the collapse of the Northern Ireland Executive in the last few days. Think of certain times of the year or month when one’s work demands converge making sleep and eating seem like a luxury. Work is good. Toil isn’t necessarily bad so long as it isn’t constant. Make sure to balance periods of too much work with times for relaxation, serenity, relationships, physical exercise and time out just for you. Decide, in the middle of toil, when you will do these healthy things. Use them as a reward to look forward to after any toil. And if you’re tempted to ignore such balanced activities, necessary for the body, mind and psyche, consider all the dead in a cemetery near you; all those who felt they were an essential cog in the machine!