Friday, December 2, 2011

methods of prayer

This was an old post from back on my healthy lifestyle blog I noticed it had quite a few hits .It really is a spiritual post on prayer so I'm going to repost it here .some of it is about relearning prayer when I joined a catholic ministry which opened up a whole world which I'd blocked off while stuck in unhealthy relationship of enabling an alcoholic .
and of course now being Catholic Heathen or Chritsopagan I embrace all my religious teachings from my rich and full life .
so below is my post on methods of prayer and why prayer is so very valuable to us .
One of the biggest gifts & lessons that I received while in formation was the return to prayer . This formation is for all people to rediscover whom we have created to be so many people are a part of it be they housewife or priest . During formation when one discovers ones plan of life the very first topic discussed is that of prayer .
Why ? Because without prayer , without that openness and communication we cannot have that transformation happen .
There are hundreds of methods of prayer
Most people are familiar with written prayer or group prayer .
However examples of prayer are dance , song , building , painting , our daily work of reading a book to children can be a form of prayer .
Prayer is that road of communication between us and Creator and all that is given .
There of course are also meditation and contemplation which are in themselves a state of being I find not so much a method because meditation & contemplation can take place in many methods of prayer .
Then of course there are the deeper states of prayer we may experience
such as purgative , illumitive and unitive etc.
For myself rediscovering my own methods of prayer was truly a big return to self ☺
We are asked to try all forms of prayer because then if we are not working well with one we may try another which may bring us closer .
I personally am a silent prayer person . I do almost all my prayer in silence , even when alone I rarely will speak out loud . When in communal prayer such as mass I struggle alot . I can barely say the Our Father or other prayers because the sounds of all the voices mix me up , it is as though I need to begin to follow each voice and it drives me crazy . Same with the public rosary I just can't do it .
However one way I do not do badly in communal prayer is when out of doors say in a park ,when mass is held in these settings , it is strange but the sound of a bird or the wind in the leaves brings me closer to what is going on during mass.
I have written before about my work with plants on a spiritual level .How I know the herb , tree, flower , root to pick before the why is given .
This is truly part of my pray life of who I am and what I do with it .
I write this for others who are perhaps lost , disconnected , perhaps who have been labeled bad , witch or pagan .Which of course you know you are not but you feel you must hide who you are because somehow being a Christina became and meant you need worship within 4 walls and purchase statues, and drive cars and walk on pavement .
No you are not bad or wrong etc.
 many saints were like me & you .
 Jesus always went into nature to be at one it was His most sacred space to be with Creator .
Many nuns, monks & priests connected through God via the moon , seasons , etc. they knew what plants to pick for what ailments and what plants began to represent certain spiritual aailments as well.
I personally believe the reason why many religious prayer at very early hrs began because of the cycle of the moon . Like me I cannot sleep during this time so I learned I am not to toss and turn I am to get up and pray ☺
One of the most beautiful times to pray the rosary is during a summer full moon ☺
If you want to learn more you can write to me , I just wanted to share some of my creations to give inspiration .
I love creating stuff, using natural items from nature , I also have trouble sitting still for to long so these methods of prayer keep me busy planning , preparing , touching , feeling , and most of all giving !
so below are some photos of items I use and creations I make during these prayerful times
I hope you enjoy .

I began making these cute little prayer bundles upon my return to the city .With having no garden ( another method of prayer ) I was extremely slothful and knew I needed something .
I made this one up for my sil on her birthday , just like prayer sticks or candles bundles can be used for private prayer or given as a gift to someone . These are to be placed on your prayer fire when the time is right ☺

I cleaned off the lovely outdoor table dh made me and set up a little outdoor work station

Summer is best season of all because you can collect items from in the garden etc. There are many books on Marian flowers , herbs etc. on what each type of tree flower represents . So if you feel called to prayer for someone or make them a gift use those ingredients which most represent what you are called to prayer for . Such as cedar for healing & protection .Spruce or balsam for healing and conversion etc. I am personally thinking to begin the plant ally study some fellow bloggers are doing . I of course have many allies but the one plant that is always with me is Lavender , always . I just learned that this plant represents Mary's flight to Egypt ! Of course it does ☺There are many herbals written by those in convents and monasteries as well from old . I've yet to get my hands on any but I've seen them in reference in all my herbal books .

I then transfer items to the mortar and pestle

This is fun too , you get to squish it all up
Keep in mind while you are doing all this much prayer is being prayed for loved ones etc.

I have on hand holy water , oil & salt
blessing , protection & purification

Then you get to mix it altogether ☺

I have used palm leaves from palm Sunday for this or like this bundle for my sil I decided to use birch bark .I set a piece of moss down on it , like a heavenly cloud so soft .

I then placed some of the herbal mixture on top the moss and then a beautiful lily in bloom to represent Our Lady .

I used some wool we got from the sheep farm

To tie it all together ☺
I also used the same herbal mixture to make her prayer candle

As many people know I also make prayer sticks , some sticks are like prayer shawls . Usually red diamond willow is the wood I prefer .  I sand them and oil them using much prayer and give as gifts . Then there are these other sticks I now make which are for the fire .

I find a stick I like for that person

For my sil I wanted to use Patchouli because it is her fav scent .

So I mixed patchouli up with some holy water , oil & salt .
Then taking a rag gently rub this all over the stick . It always brings out the beautiful red , golden and brown earthy tones in the wood.

and there You have it ! I for some reason also wanted to tie a sage bundle to her stick so I did .I'm sure it would smell wonderful when she burns it in her prayer fire ☺

I also made this beautiful prayer stick

and prayer candle
my dear friend & midwife gave me that little statue of OLMC yrs ago , it had belonged to her Grandmother , who also had been a midwife ☺ The little blue bird my ds10 gave to me back when he was 6yo .It represents the Holy Spirit to me ☺

once again using lots of fresh ingredients

This prayer was for someone who really feels unwanted and unloved so I tended to pick alot of things representing protection but mostly gentle love like baby's breath ☺a soul so in pain needs gentle touch , nothing harsh .

and then there was fire .

Yes everyone knows Rox loves her fires Lol !
I am however not the girl who plays with fire but rather the woman who tends the fire ☺

Be it day or night but truly day time is the best for me , a sunrise fire !
I love prayer by candle light

and I've special spots I love for prayer .Environment really does have an influence on our prayer life . Just look at how residential schools killed spirits & damaged souls !

I've my fav prayer books , well worn

beautiful souls helping me along the way

and never , I mean never discourage others from learning their true method of prayer .always invite them ☺

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