Gratitude as Lenten Practice
I find that the practice of Gratitude helps me to be more fully present, and much more appreciative of all of the abundance in my life. I’ve recently learned that gratitude is associated with high levels of vitality, optimism and life satisfaction. Gratitude increases physical and mental well being, which in turn increases energy levels.
Here’s a quick and easy gratitude practice: Think of the letters www and ask What Went Well? Challenge yourself to do it daily and increase your list of things that are going well – for example, start by thinking of 3 things and writing them down in your journal. Increase your numbers each day so that you’re soon reflecting on over a dozen things that are going well in your life and in the world.
~ From Beth Blissman, for Loretto at the UN (2018 Daily Lenten Reflections from the Loretto Community’s Mission Activities Team)
The Spiritual Work of Gratitude
(Henri J. Nouwen)
To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives—the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections—that requires hard spiritual work. Still, we are only truly grateful people when we can say thank you to all that has brought us to the present moment. As long as we keep dividing our lives between events and people we would like to remember and those we would rather forget, we cannot claim the fullness of our beings as a gift of God to be grateful for.
Let’s not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now and trust that we will soon see in it the guiding hand of a loving God.
Teach Me to Listen
Teach me to listen, O God,
to those nearest me, my family, my friends, my co-workers.
Help me to be aware that no matter what words I hear,
the message is, “Accept the person I am. Listen to me.”
Teach me to listen, my caring God,
to those far from me –
the whisper of the hopeless,
the plea of the forgotten,
the cry of the anguished.
Teach me to listen, O God my Mother, to myself.
Help me to be less afraid to trust the voice inside –
in the deepest part of me.
Teach me to listen, Holy Spirit,
for your voice –
in busyness and in boredom,
in certainty and doubt,
in noise and in silence.
Teach me, Lord, to listen.
~~Leo Veltri, SJ
Celebrate Lent and Easter this season with unique gifts from Creator Mundi. Wouldn’t you like to invite more of this season into your reflections and festivities this year? Encourage faith, hope, and love. These Easter gifts and keepsakes are of heirloom quality and are sure to please children and adults alike.
The Time Of The Year To Focus Our Faith
For those of us who observe the 40-day Lenten season, Ash Wednesday to Maundy Thursday call us to introspection and engagement. True, we strive to let go of particular things or habits during this time by fasting as Jesus did.
We let go, however, with the expectation of gaining something more significant. Lent can ignite in us a desire to journey outward into the service of others. It can also serve to ground us in gratitude as we contemplate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Christian Gifts For Lenten Time
Commemorate a spiritual pilgrimage. Surround loved ones with uplifting images of service. Provide a compelling focal point for meditation. Challenge and encourage the people you care about to remember that peace and personal growth may be only a prayer away with our Christian gifts for Lent.
- Go Deep – Bronze Spiral Plaque
- Scallop Shell Pilgrimage Pendant
- Labyrinth Pocket Prayer
- Paschal Lamb Pendant
- Life Of Christ Bronze Wall Cross
- Last Supper Bronze Wall Cross
- Washing The Feet Statuette
- First Sorrowful Mystery Plaque
A Catholic Easter Basket
Make your Easter celebration just as meaningful and memorable. Replace plastic grass and disposable trinkets with something special, lasting, and personal. Our curated selection of beautiful pendants, figurines, and spiritual wall art are just as rewarding to give as they are to receive for Easter.
- Angel Of Blessing Bronze Figurine
- First Glorious Mystery Plaque
- New Dawn Wall Cross
- Risen Christ Two-Tone Bronze Cross
- Wood Cross Necklace Pendant
- Light Pink Rosary For Children
- The Original Mindfulness Prayer Cube
- Resurrection Icon – Call About Special Order
Don’t Miss This Chance To Give The Best
Whether you are shopping for a sweet granddaughter or a class full of Sunday school children, you want to make a lasting impression. At Creator Mundi, we have skillfully crafted gifts for Lent and religious Easter gifts for everyone on your list. Stop by our Denver area gallery, or shop online at your convenience today.
I want to see you.
Know your voice.
Recognize you when you
first come ’round the corner.
Sense your scent when I come
into a room you’ve just left.
Know the lift of your heel,
the glide of your foot.
Become familiar with the way
you purse your lips
then let them part,
just the slightest bit,
when I lean in to your space
and kiss you.
I want to know the joy
of how you whisper
If love is the soul of Christian existence, it must be at the heart of every other Christian virtue. Thus, for example, justice without love is legalism; faith without love is ideology; hope without love is self-centeredness; forgiveness without love is self-abasement; fortitude without love is recklessness; generosity without love is extravagance; care without love is mere duty; fidelity without love is servitude. Every virtue is an expression of love. No virtue is really a virtue unless it is permeated, or informed, by love.
~~Richard Rohr, OFM
Good Samaritan Contemporary Icon (framed reverse oil painting on glass)
Each of us spins repeatedly from blindness to radiance,
from dividedness to wholeness,
and it is our impulse to stay in touch with all that is alive
that keeps us from staying lost.
It is the impulse to be intimate.
To live with things
and not in front of them,
to no longer watch,
but to realize that we are part of everything we see –
this is the love
that keeps moving us back into wholeness
when we are divided.
To love by admitting our connection to everything
is how we stay well.
Allowing the current of another’s inwardness
to connect with our own
is the beginning of both
intimacy and enlightenment.
~~Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening (adapted excerpts)
- Close your eyes and be still until you sense the presence of the things about you.
- Breathe softly and feel the current of their silence.
- Breathe evenly and open your heart to all that you sense.
With All My Love Figurine
by MARY OLIVER (1935-2019)
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
This Valentine’s Day, we invite you to celebrate with home decor and gifts that symbolize a love that endures from Creator Mundi. Our carefully curated and handcrafted selection of religious and spiritual plaques, pendants, figurines, and other artisanal pieces are unique expressions of care and compassion. They will stand out and be treasured long after the boxes of chocolate have been eaten, the bouquets have faded, and brightly colored stuffed creatures have long been forgotten.
Beauty That Lifts A Yearning Heart
There is no gift like the one that’s given at just the right time. When selecting from among our heartfelt symbols of love this Valentine’s Day, you can’t help but brighten a face or bring a smile. Choose from meaningful pewter hearts, gentle angels, colorful crosses, or an elegant rose. We have so many options to choose from. Each with as special a message to give as the recipient you intend them for.
- Pewter Heart Pocket Pieces
- Love Is Patient, Love Is Kind Plaque
- With All My Love Figurine
- Speak Love Angel
- Forever Rose Statue
- Wings Of Love
- Pewter Pocket Heart Collection Bag
- Sterling Silver Heart Necklace
- Sacré Coeur de Jesus Pendant
- Sacré Coeur, Sacred Heart Cross Pendant
- Heart To Heart Angel Statuette
- Cross Of Love Pendant
- Special & Custom Orders – Call To Learn More
Art To Express The Endurance Of Your Commitment
Our relationships with one another change as the years pass. As we become more our authentic selves and spend quality time with one another, our bonds deepen. Elegant pieces like our Love Is Patient, Love Is Kind Plaque, Wings of Love Statue, and Forever Rose Statue all express this commitment to caring, kindness, and loving patience with one another. They would make perfect Valentine’s gifts for a beloved who is hard to shop for, but dear to your heart.
Valentine’s Gifts That Say I Love You
From the children you raise or teach to good friends or sweethearts, sometimes it’s hard to find ways to express just how much you care. Our religious Valentine’s Day gifts are perfect for reminding the people you love that they are never alone. Our Cross of Love Pendant, Sacré Coeur Sacred Heart Cross Pendant, Pewter Pocket Heart Collection Bag, and Speak Love Angel Statue can all be worn, carried close by or displayed prominently to remind recipients that your love for them lasts long after February 14th.
Share God’s Love This Valentine’s Day
Stop by our Denver area location or browse online and contact us with your special Valentines Day order. At Creator Mundi, we look forward to making your celebration of love a truly exceptional one with symbols of love that really make an impression this Valentines Day. If you are interested in customizing a piece or learning more about our special orders, call us today.
Let’s act on what he says! Martin Luther King’s words …
Love [people] even in [their] sin,
for that is the semblance of Divine Love
and is the highest love on earth.
Love all God’s creation,
the whole and every grain of sand in it.
Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light.
Love the animals, love the plants, love everything.
If you love everything,
you will perceive the divine mystery in things.
Once you have perceived it,
you will begin to comprehend it better every day.
And you will come at last to love the whole world
with an all-embracing love.
—Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
The Heart Space
Love lives and thrives in the heart space. It has kept me from wanting to hurt people who have hurt me. It keeps me every day from obsessive, repetitive, or compulsive head games. It can make the difference between being happy and being miserable and negative. Could this be what we are really doing when we say we are praying for someone? Yes, we are holding them in our heart space. Do this in an almost physical sense, and you will see how calmly and quickly it works.
Next time a resentment, negativity, or irritation comes into your mind, and you want to play it out or attach to it, move that thought or person literally into your heart space. Dualistic commentaries are lodged in your head; but in your heart, you can surround this negative thought with silence. There it is surrounded with blood, which will often feel warm like coals. In this place, it is almost impossible to comment, judge, create story lines, or remain antagonistic. You are in a place that does not create or feed on contraries but is the natural organ of life, embodiment, and love. Now the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart have been transferred to you. They are pointing for you to join them there. The “sacred heart” is then your heart too.
Richard Rohr, OFM, Daily Meditations, September 8, 2018
Each Day …
[… of this new year]
At the beginning of each day,
after we open our eyes
to receive the light
of that day,
As we listen to the voices
that surround us,
We must resolve to treat each hour
as the rarest of gifts,
and be grateful
for the consciousness
that allows us to experience it,
recalling in thanks
that our awareness is a present
from we know not where,
or how, or why.
When we rise from sleep let us rise for the joy
of the true Work that we will be about
and considerately cheer one another on.
Life will always provide matters for concern.
Yet each day brings with it reasons for
Each day carries the potential
to bring the experience of heaven:
have the courage to expect good from it.
Be gentle with this life,
and use the light of life
to live fully in your time.
Always We Begin Again, The Rule of Saint Benedict,
A Contemporary Interpretation, John McQuiston II.
Benedict of Nursia wrote The Rule in the sixth century.
I hope for you in this new year …
That the single, most significant dimension of life is your relationship with the Source of Goodness who never ceases to sing love songs to your soul
That you find meaning, purpose, and vitality in what you do daily
That you treasure your loved ones and let them know how dear they are to you
That you make choices and decisions that reflect your truest self
That you look in the mirror at least once a day and smile in happy amazement
That you remember relationships are what count above all else – more than work or money, or all the material things we spend so much time tending
That you live in an uncluttered manner, enjoying the freedom to be content
That you keep your sense of humor when things don’t go the way you want
That you find adventure in each new day and marvel at the wonders of creation
which constantly present themselves to you
That you never give up on yourself when others turn away or do not understand
That you are attentive to the health of your body, mind and spirit
That you take risks and accept the growth-full challenges that come to you
That you draw on your inner strength and resiliency when you are in need
That you carry peace within yourself, allowing it to slip into the hearts of others
so our planet becomes a place where violence, division, and war are no more
As our year comes to an end, we return this time of our life to God.
It is filled with our own diaries, thoughts, questions, successes and failures.
We are grateful for God’s providence, blessings and comfort.
With open hands, we stand to receive a New Year.
Let us ask God: “Bless us, oh Lord, and all Your gifts that we are about to receive.”
May Joy and Hope sustain you in your miracle of Christmas all the days of your life!
Hildegard Letbetter and the Creator Mundi Team
Guardian of the seasons,
keeper of every time,
tune us so to your rhythms
that we may know
the occasion for stillness
and the moment for action.
May we be so prepared
in our waiting
that when you prompt us
our hands may be your hands
and our purposes
~~ Jan Richardson,
Walking the Way of Hope, A Retreat for Women’s Christmas
…A woman on a bus, passing a church displaying a nativity set outside, exclaiming: “Oh Lord, they bring religion into everything. Look, they are dragging it even into Christmas now.” ~~ CS Lewis
What else regarding Christmas have we forgotten, dismissed, overlooked, discounted, disregarded…perhaps never been taught…?
Do we have the courage to choose CHRISTMAS Gifts?
At Christmas – more than at any other time during the year – the human heart longs for images that draw us near to the mystery of our life, of having been invited and chosen to participate in the journey to the celestial miracles.
May his spiritual legacy continue to inspire us and challenge us to climb The Seven Storey Mountain!
Let’s remember him with his famous prayer:
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.