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The evolution of Nelson Mandela

During my lifetime, I have dedicated myself to the
struggle of the African people. I have fought against
white domination, and I have fought against black
domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic
and free society in which all persons live together in
harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal
which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if it needs
to be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.
Nelson Mandela

Mandela died December 5 2013 at his home and was memorialized December 10, 2013 during an extraordinary gathering of tens of thousands of ordinary South Africans and world leaders in a soccer stadium in Soweto.

On the first day of three days of Mandel’s  lying in  state in Pretoria, the country’s capital city, the number of mourners overwhelmed authorities’ efforts to control the crowds. Mandela will be buried during a state funeral in the Eastern Cape village of Qunu, where he grew up.

Mandela’s birth name was Rolihlahla. In his Xhosa tribe, the name means pulling the branch of a tree or troublemaker.   Before tying the knot with Mandela on his 80th birthday, Graca Machel was married to Mozambique President Samora Machel. Her marriage to Mandela after her husband’s death means she has been the first lady of two nations.

He studied law at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and opened the nation’s first black law firm in the city in 1952. Mandela wasn’t removed from the U. S. terror watch list until 2008 — at age 89. He and other members of the African National Congress were placed on it because of their militant fight against apartheid.

He was a prominent member of the African National Congress, which originally adopted a policy of passive resistance against apartheid but later embraced violence against the military and white civilian targets.

He was imprisoned for 27 years, released in 1990 and went on to serve as South Africa’s president from 1994 to 1999.

While he was in prison, Mandela would read William Ernest Henley’s “Invictus” to fellow prisoners. The poem, about never giving up, resonated with Mandela for its lines “I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.”  (CNN)

ANDREW HARNIK Vice President Joseph R. Biden recalls warmly his meeting with Nelson Mandela in South Africa during Wednesday's national memorial service for the former South African president at the Washington National Cathedral. "So many places in the world need the spirit of Nelson Mandela," Mr. Biden said.

Vice President Joseph R. Biden recalls warmly his meeting with Nelson Mandela in South Africa during Wednesday’s national memorial service for the former South African president at the Washington National Cathedral. “So many places in the world need the spirit of Nelson Mandela.”                                                                                                           (Photo–Andrew Harnik)

Beneath the soaring stone arches of the Washington National Cathedral, Nelson Mandela was remembered as a humble leader, unbroken prisoner, a catalyst for change and global inspiration.

Hundreds of people joined foreign dignitaries, civil-rights leaders and the vice president of the United States on Wednesday to pay tribute to Mr. Mandela.

Addressing the large crowd, many of whom wore dark dresses and suits or traditional South African clothing, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. recalled his visit to South Africa as a senator. Mr. Biden told those gathered that the United States mourned with South Africa “the loss of a truly extraordinary man. The most impressive man or woman I’ve ever met in my life.”

“President Mandela taught us trust is possible, reconciliation is possible, justice is possible, change can come,” Mr. Biden said. “Thank God for Nelson Mandela, the man who did what seemed impossible — for if it can be done once, it can be done again. So many places in the world need the spirit of Nelson Mandela.”

Mr. Mandela died Dec. 5 after a long illness. He was 95. His body is lying in state for three days in Pretoria, the South African capital, before his burial Sunday in his homeland.

Beneath the soaring stone arches of the Washington National Cathedral, Nelson Mandela was remembered as a humble leader, unbroken prisoner, a catalyst for change and global inspiration.

Hundreds of people joined foreign dignitaries, civil-rights leaders and the vice president of the United States on Wednesday to pay tribute to Mr. Mandela.

Addressing the large crowd, many of whom wore dark dresses and suits or traditional South African clothing, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. recalled his visit to South Africa as a senator. Mr. Biden told those gathered that the United States mourned with South Africa “the loss of a truly extraordinary man. The most impressive man or woman I’ve ever met in my life.”

“President Mandela taught us trust is possible, reconciliation is possible, justice is possible, change can come,” Mr. Biden said. “Thank God for Nelson Mandela, the man who did what seemed impossible — for if it can be done once, it can be done again. So many places in the world need the spirit of Nelson Mandela.”

Mr. Mandela died Dec. 5 after a long illness. He was 95. His body is lying in state for three days in Pretoria, the South African capital, before his burial Sunday in his homeland.

The cathedral’s Bourdon Bell, which is rung during funerals, tolled several times throughout the memorial service’s opening prayers. Choirs from Maryland, California and South Africa sang hymns and songs, as people cheered and clapped to the rhythm. Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey, two-thirds of the group Peter, Paul & Mary, led a singalong of their anthem “No Easy Walk to Freedom.”

Ebrahim Rasool, ambassador of the Republic of South Africa, thanked everyone “for taking the time to honor this African son.”

“Nelson Mandela is not a flitting meteor but a fixed star,” Mr. Rasool said. “A star that guides our vision and gives us relief, directs our efforts and keeps us hopeful in confusing times.”

Mary Frances Berry, a Geraldine R. Segal professor of American social thought at the University of Pennsylvania and a civil rights advocate, said she remembered Mr. Mandela as “the imprisoned freedom fighter.”

“When he was released, he was ready,” she said. “He was still as warm and engaging as he was when he went to prison. He had become serene though, more thoughtful, strategic. He used his time, he did not let time use him.”

William Lucy, president emeritus for the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, called Mr. Mandela a comrade, who’s “struggle for fairness became the world’s struggle.”

Mr. Mandela inspired workers in South Africa, Mr. Lucy said, as well as auto workers in Detroit, miners in Appalachia and longshoremen in New York.

The National Anthem of South Africa

Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika
Maluphakanyisw’ uphondo lwayo,
Yizwa imithandazo yethu,
Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo.
Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso,
O fedise dintwa le matshwenyeho,
O se boloke, O se boloke setjhaba sa heso,
Setjhaba sa South Afrika – South Afrika.
Uit die blou van onse hemel,
Uit die diepte van ons see,
Oor ons ewige gebergtes,
Waar die kranse antwoord gee,
Sounds the call to come together,
And united we shall stand,
Let us live and strive for freedom,
In South Africa our land.

Lord, bless Africa
May her spirit rise high up
Hear thou our prayers
Lord bless us.
Lord, bless Africa
Banish wars and strife
Lord, bless our nation
Of South Africa.
Ringing out from our blue heavens
From our deep seas breaking round
Over everlasting mountains
Where the echoing crags resound,
Sounds the call to come together,
And united we shall stand,
Let us live and strive for freedom,
In South Africa our land.

[Episcopal News Service] On the day when Nelson Mandela’s body began lying in state outside South Africa’s official seat of government power, an array of dignitaries gathered in the U.S. capital to say farewell to “a man of biblical stature.”

Washington National Cathedral was the site of a somber, rousing and rollicking three-hour-ten-minute national interfaith service celebrating Mandela’s “life, legacy and values.” The service, which was live-streamed, included prayers and speakers from a number of religious experiences. The colors of South Africa and the United States were presented during the service, to the singing of each country’s national anthems.

Isaiah 58: 6–12

Is not this the fast that I choose:  to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?  Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?  Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of God shall be your rear guard.  Then you shall call, and God will answer; you shall cry, and God will say, ‘Here I am.’  If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.  And God will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.  And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.

Hebrews 11: 32–38; 12:12-13

And what more should I say?  For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection.  Others were tortured, refusing to accept release, in order to obtain a better resurrection.  Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.  They were stoned to death, they were sawn in two, they were killed by the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, persecuted, tormented— of whom the world was not worthy.  They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.

Imam Mohamed Magid, President, Islamic Society of America
Quran 41:34-36; 42:43; 3:133-134

And not alike are the good and the evil.  Repel (evil) with what is best, when lo!  He between whom and you was enmity would be as if he were a warm friend. And none are made to receive it but those who are patient, and none are made to receive it but those who have a mighty good fortune.  And if an interference of evil should cause you mischief, seek refuge in Allah; surely He is the Hearing, the Knowing.  And whoever is patient and forgiving, these most surely are actions due to courage.  And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord; and a Garden, the extensiveness of which is (as) the heavens and the earth, it is prepared for those who guard (against evil).  Those who spend (benevolently) in ease as well as in difficult times, and those who restrain (their) anger and pardon fellow humans; and Allah loves the doers of good (to others).

Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt, of Congregation B’nai Tzedek, compared Mandela’s story to that of the Old Testament Joseph, a man initially shunned who became a leader of an African nation and who later showed mercy to his captors.

Let There Be Peace             Louise Robinson and Carol Maillard

Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin
With every deed and word I speak, restore
peace again, let there be peace on earth
Let the moment be now
When every man and woman
understands their power. Let there be
peace, let there be peace, let there be
peace, let there be peace
Let there be peace on earth

And let it extend
To every border near and far
Restore peace again
Let there be peace on earth
Let this be the day
That all humanity will raise their voices to
say let there be peace, let there be peace
Let there be peace, let there be peace
Let there be peace on earth
Let it begin with me

The Rev. Allan Boesak, director of the Desmond Tutu Center at Christian Theological Seminary at Butler University, preached the sermon. Boesak worked with both Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu to eliminate apartheid and promote reconciliation. After Mandela was released he taught “the difference between determination and bitterness,” Boesak said. “He brought healing to our souls,” he said, repeatedly warning that the struggle for equality, justice, peace and reconciliation is not over. “There is so much left for us to do,” he said, calling on those present to vow to continue the work and bringing the congregation to applause.

In a closing prayer Diocese of Washington Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde asked God to “let a portion of his mantle rest upon all of us, upon all people,” adding that “we pray and pledge to be worthy of it.”

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said Mandela lived in the manner described by Rabia of Basra, an 8th century Sufi mystic, who wrote “Ironic, but one of the most intimate acts of our body is death, so beautiful appeared my death – knowing who then I would kiss, I died a thousand times before I died. ‘Die before you die,’ said the Prophet Muhammad. Have wings that feared ever touched the Sun? I was born when all I once feared – I could love.”

“It turns to us to walk from here,” Jefferts Schori said, echoing the prayer that she said Mandela used to pray, “Go in peace, be peace, make peace.”  (ENS)

His Day is Done                                                   Dr. Maya Angelou

His day is done.
Is done.
The news came on the wings of a wind, reluctant to carry its burden.
Nelson Mandela’s day is done.
The news, expected and still unwelcome, reached us in the United States, and
suddenly our world became somber.
Our skies were leadened.
His day is done.

We see you, South African people standing speechless at the slamming of that
final door through which no traveler returns.
Our spirits reach out to you Bantu, Zulu, Xhosa, Boer.
We think of you and your son of Africa, your father, your one more wonder of the
world.
We send our souls to you as you reflect upon your David armed with a mere stone,
facing down the mighty Goliath.
Your man of strength, Gideon, emerging triumphant.
Although born into the brutal embrace of Apartheid, scarred by the savage
atmosphere of racism, unjustly imprisoned in the bloody maws of South African
dungeons.

Would the man survive? Could the man survive?
His answer strengthened men and women around the world.

In the Alamo, in San Antonio, Texas, on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, in
Chicago’s Loop, in New Orleans Mardi Gras, in New York City’s Times Square, we
watched as the hope of Africa sprang through the prison’s doors.

His stupendous heart intact, his gargantuan will hale and hearty.
He had not been crippled by brutes, nor was his passion for the rights of human
beings diminished by twenty-seven years of imprisonment.
Even here in America, we felt the cool, refreshing breeze of freedom.

When Nelson Mandela took the seat of Presidency in his country where formerly
he was not even allowed to vote we were enlarged by tears of pride, as we saw
Nelson Mandela’s former prison guards invited, courteously, by him to watch from
the front rows his inauguration.

We saw him accept the world’s award in Norway with the grace and gratitude of
the Solon in Ancient Roman Courts, and the confidence of African Chiefs from
ancient royal stools.

No sun outlasts its sunset, but it will rise again and bring the dawn.

Yes, Mandela’s day is done, yet we, his inheritors, will open the gates wider for
reconciliation, and we will respond generously to the cries of Blacks and Whites,
Asians, Hispanics, the poor who live piteously on the floor of our planet.

He has offered us understanding.
We will not withhold forgiveness even from those who do not ask.

Nelson Mandela’s day is done, we confess it in tearful voices, yet we lift our own to
say thank you.

Thank you our Gideon, thank you our David, our great courageous man.
We will not forget you, we will not dishonor you, we will remember and be glad
that you lived among us, that you taught us, and that you loved us all.

http://www.nationalcathedral.org/exec/cathedral/mediaPlayer2013?MediaID=MED-6FKLQ-440018&EventID=CAL-6FD7T-UD001E

POPE

What Pope Francis has said gives life and love in a time of great urgency

1. “In ideologies there is not Jesus: in his tenderness, his love, his meekness. And ideologies are rigid, always. Of every sign: rigid. And when a Christian becomes a disciple of the ideology, he has lost the faith: he is no longer a disciple of Jesus, he is a disciple of this attitude of thought… For this reason Jesus said to them: ‘You have taken away the key of knowledge.’ The knowledge of Jesus is transformed into an ideological and also moralistic knowledge, because these close the door with many requirements. The faith becomes ideology and ideology frightens, ideology chases away the people, distances, distances the people and distances of the Church of the people. But it is a serious illness, this of ideological Christians. It is an illness, but it is not new, eh?”
~Pope Francis, taking aim at ideologically obsessed Christians, October 2013

2. “We don’t want this globalised economic system which does us so much harm. Men and women have to be at the centre (of an economic system) as God wants, not money… The world has become an idolator of this god called money… To defend this economic culture, a throwaway culture has been installed. We throw away grandparents, and we throw away young people. We have to say no to his throwaway culture. We want a just system that helps everyone.”
~Pope Francis, criticizing “savage capitalism,” September 2013

3. “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods … It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time. The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently.”
~Pope Francis, criticizing obsessed focus on abortion, same-sex marriage, and contraception, September 2013

4. “We have become used to the suffering of others. Has any one of us wept for these persons who were on the boat? For the young mothers carrying their babies? For these men who were looking for a means of supporting their families? We are a society which has forgotten how to weep, how to experience compassion… the church is with you in the search for a more dignified life for you and your families.”
~Pope Francis, taking up the plight of immigrants and the poor, July 2013

5. “A way has to be found to enable everyone to benefit from the fruits of the earth, and not simply to close the gap between the affluent and those who must be satisfied with the crumbs falling from the table, but above all to satisfy the demands of justice, fairness and respect for every human being.”
~Pope Francis, calling for social justice, Address to the Food and Agricultural Organization, June 2013

6. “The popes have spoken of human ecology, closely linked to environmental ecology. We are living in a time of crisis: we see this in the environment, but above all we see this in mankind … Man is not in charge today, money is in charge, money rules. God our Father did not give the task of caring for the earth to money, but to us, to men and women: we have this task! Instead, men and women are sacrificed to the idols of profit and consumption: it is the ‘culture of waste.’”
~Pope Francis, standing up for the poor and the environment, June 2013

7. “We human beings are not only the beneficiaries but also the stewards of other creatures. Thanks to our bodies, God has joined us so closely to the world around us that we can feel the desertification of the soil almost as a physical ailment, and the extinction of a species as a painful disfigurement. Let us not leave in our wake a swatch of destruction and death which will affect our own lives and those of future generations.”
~Pope Francis, calling for protecting the environment, Evangelii Gaudium, November 2013

8. “As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems. I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor! It is vital that government leaders and financial leaders take heed and broaden their horizons, working to ensure that all citizens have dignified work, education and healthcare.”
~Pope Francis, blasting “unfettered capitalism,” November 2013

9. “Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting. To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase; and in the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us.”
~Pope Francis, attacking trickle-down economics, Evangelii Gaudium, November 2013

10. “While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation. Consequently, they reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control. A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules. Debt and the accumulation of interest also make it difficult for countries to realize the potential of their own economies and keep citizens from enjoying their real purchasing power. To all this we can add widespread corruption and self-serving tax evasion, which have taken on worldwide dimensions. The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits. In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule.”
~Pope Francis, attacking tax evasion by the wealthy, raw capitalism, and the interests of the rich over the environment, Evangelii Gaudium, November 2013

11. “The Church acknowledges the indispensable contribution which women make to society through the sensitivity, intuition and other distinctive skill sets which they, more than men, tend to possess. I think, for example, of the special concern which women show to others, which finds a particular, even if not exclusive, expression in motherhood. I readily acknowledge that many women share pastoral responsibilities with priests, helping to guide people, families and groups and offering new contributions to theological reflection. But we need to create still broader opportunities for a more incisive female presence in the Church. Because the feminine genius is needed in all expressions in the life of society, the presence of women must also be guaranteed in the workplace and in the various other settings where important decisions are made, both in the Church and in social structures. Demands that the legitimate rights of women be respected, based on the firm conviction that men and women are equal in dignity, present the Church with profound and challenging questions which cannot be lightly evaded.”
~Pope Francis, speaking on women’s rights and women’s role in the workplace, Evangelii Gaudium, November 2013

12. “We Christians should embrace with affection and respect Muslim immigrants to our countries in the same way that we hope and ask to be received and respected in countries of Islamic tradition. I ask and I humbly entreat those countries to grant Christians freedom to worship and to practice their faith, in light of the freedom which followers of Islam enjoy in Western countries! Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism, our respect for true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalisations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.”
~Pope Francis, telling Christians to stop hating Muslims, Evangelii Gaudium, November 2013

13. “The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!”.. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”
~Pope Francis, reaching out to atheists, May 2013

14. “… We have done little to adequately accompany women in very difficult situations, where abortion appears as a quick solution to their profound anguish, especially when the life developing within them is the result of rape or a situation of extreme poverty. Who can remain unmoved before such painful situations?”
~Pope Francis, calling for having sympathy and compassion for women who choose abortion because of extreme poverty and rape, Evangelii Gaudium, November 2013

15. “When we talk about the environment, about creation, my thoughts turn to the first pages of the Bible, the Book of Genesis, which states that God placed man and woman on earth to cultivate and care for it. And the question comes to my mind: What does cultivating and caring for the earth mean? Are we truly cultivating and caring for creation? Or are we exploiting and neglecting it?”
~Pope Francis, advocating for taking care of the environment, June 2013

16. “Fighting poverty, both material and spiritual, building peace and constructing bridges: these, as it were, are the reference points for a journey that I want to invite each of the countries here represented to take up. But it is a difficult journey, if we do not learn to grow in love for this world of ours. Here too, it helps me to think of the name of Francis, who teaches us profound respect for the whole of creation and the protection of our environment, which all too often, instead of using for the good, we exploit greedily, to one another’s detriment.”
~Pope Francis, on poverty and the environment, Address, March 2013

17. “A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being. In life, God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, starting from their situation. It is necessary to accompany them with mercy. When that happens, the Holy Spirit inspires the priest to say the right thing.”
~Pope Francis, saying we should love people even if they are gay,

18. “This is happening today. If investments in banks fall, it is a tragedy and people say ‘what are we going to do?’ but if people die of hunger, have nothing to eat or suffer from poor health, that’s nothing. This is our crisis today. A Church that is poor and for the poor has to fight this mentality.”
~Pope Francis, condemning hunger, inaccessible health care, and poverty,

19. “The times talk to us of so much poverty in the world and this is a scandal. Poverty in the world is a scandal. In a world where there is so much wealth, so many resources to feed everyone, it is unfathomable that there are so many hungry children, that there are so many children without an education, so many poor persons. Poverty today is a cry.”
~Pope Francis, decrying poverty and hunger at a time of great world wealth during a meeting with students of Jesuit Schools, June 2013

20. “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him? The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this very well. It says they should not be marginalized because of this (orientation) but that they must be integrated into society. The problem is not having this orientation. We must be brothers.”
~Pope Francis, putting the brakes on hating gay people, July 2013

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Joan of Arc

I know this now. Every man gives his life for what he believes. Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing yet they give their lives to that little or nothing. One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. And then it is gone. But to sacrifice what you are and live without belief, that's more terrible than dying.--

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Beannacht

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

John O'Donohue, Echoes of Memory