Do You Want Peace? Thursday, May 12 2022 

If you had the power to bring peace and justice to absolutely everywhere in the world, would you use that power? Would you at least make an attempt to promote peace?

Well, you do have such power, and it isn’t very complicated. More than 100 years ago, the Virgin Mary gave us a peace plan that she promised would work. And she provided clear instructions for us to follow.

Over the course of six months from May 13 to October 13, 1917, Mary appeared to three shepherd children, Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta in Fatima, Portugal. The plan is simple but does take some effort on our part. Basically, it is to build a relationship with Mary’s son, Jesus. If Jesus is our first thought before we act, we would be kinder, gentler, and loving. The more of us who do this, the more peaceful our world becomes.

One way in which to grow closer to Jesus is to pray the rosary daily. Throughout the rosary, we meditate on the life, works, and death of Christ. The repetition of prayers is calming, which allows us to think clearly. We end feeling more relaxed and positive.

Mary warned that if we did not strive for peace, an already greedy, angry, and selfish world would become worse. At that time, World War I was in progress. Undoubtedly, we did not heed the warning. We know that a greater war did in fact occur, and we have continued with conflicts ever since then.

At the time of the apparitions, Lucia was 10 years old, Francisco was 9, and Jacinta was 7. The Fatima children were quite young yet followed Mary’s instructions to the very best of their abilities. If they could do it, so can we.

For more information on Mary’s peace plan, see my booklet, Fatima Today, available for only 99 cents from ACTA Publications. To learn how to pray the rosary or understand it better, see my book, The Rosary Prayer by Prayer.

Mary’s Peace Plan is Today’s Peace Plan Friday, Feb 25 2022 

Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine has everyone on edge. Putin’s been taunting the country for weeks reminding the people of previous days of terror. His unpredictability and bullying make us wonder how far he will go. Could the invasion of one small country lead to an all-out world war?

We can’t turn our backs on the Ukraine, or anywhere else. From a selfish standpoint, what effects one, effects all, in one way or another. In addition, we know the Ukrainian people. In this technologically, interconnected world, we know people across the globe through online chatting, news coverage, and business dealings. We may even be neighbors, coworkers, or related to them.

The Virgin Mary says there is a way to prevent war. World peace is possible, and Mary explained how it could be achieved. She clearly spelled out a plan in 1917 in Fatima, Portugal through a series of apparitions to three young shepherd children: ten-year-old Lucia dos Santos, nine-year old Francisco Marto, and seven-year-old Jacinta Marto.

Mary’s peace plan consists of specific instructions, but overall, her point was to pray, and to pray unceasingly. In particular, she instructed to pray the rosary every day.

“The rosary is a path to peace because it promotes peace within us, and that peace reflects on everyone we encounter. The rhythmic sequence of prayers is very calming and allows us to meditate more fully on the life of Jesus. It draws us closer to Christ because it is Christ-centered. And where Christ is, there is peace.” (Excerpt from Fatima at 100. Fatima Today)

At that time, the world was at war (WWI), and Mary warned that if we didn’t change our ways, a greater war would result. We know, in fact, that a greater war (WWII) did occur resulting in the loss of more lives and destruction.

Mary’s peace plan is as important today as ever. We don’t have to sit by and watch the pain and destruction across the globe while hopelessly ringing our hands. We can take action in a real way, because prayer works.

We can pray in our own way or pick up those rosary beads. Praying the rosary only takes about 15-20 minutes. Isn’t that investment of your time worth personal and world peace?

*For more information on how to pray the rosary, read The Rosary Prayer by Prayer available from Amazon.comACTA Publications, and my website. 

We Are the Light in 2022 Wednesday, Dec 29 2021 

We glow. Yes, we are radiant. Science says that all living things, including humans, absorb, reflect, and transmit light.

Albeit, that glow is faint. We’re not going to light up a moonless night simply by walking down the street. Our radiance cannot be detected by the human eye. In fact, it’s a thousand time less intense than what we are capable of seeing. However, this doesn’t mean that our light is insignificant as this emission is similar in hertz to that of cell phone systems.

Due to chemical reactions, our bodies release energy, produce heat, and emit small numbers of photons, which are particles of light. Our body glow intensity varies throughout the day. The lowest point is thought to occur around 10 a.m. and peak around 4 p.m. The fluctuation is likely linked to our metabolic rhythm.

Most of the light emission occurs around the face because that is where we absorb the most. When we are unwell, the strength and pattern of waves alter.

Christian Scriptures say that Jesus is the light, and we may obtain light by following him. “Again, Jesus spoke to them saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light’” (John 8:12).

We follow Jesus by spreading love and being loving, because God is love. Acts of love, kindness, justice, and peace can be performed in small ways. Sharing our resources, being grateful for what we have, seeking justice and equality for everyone, treating others as we hope to be treated, checking on the lonely, mentoring co-workers, seeking to understand others with differing ideas, and offering hope to those who are struggling are some things we may do for the people we encounter each day.

No one can deny that we need peace, justice, and love in our world, which all are intertwined. Striving toward that goal is key to a happier, more peaceful 2022.

*Photo: Maui, 2005

You can see my website here.

Recipe for Inner Peace Tuesday, Jan 12 2021 

Yoga, meditation, and lots of prayer. These are a few of the ingredients in my personal recipe for inner peace. When I’m stressed, hurt, disappointed, or frustrated, I center myself. Still and quiet, peace comes to me.

Historically, humanity doesn’t remain peaceful for long. Eruptions arise within our inner circle and the world at large more often than not. Between COVID, political unrest, and domestic terrorism, this certainly is one of the more intense periods of disruption we’ve seen in the U.S. for some time.

How can we remain calm and peaceful with so much going on? I believe we can outweigh the negative with positivity and goodness. The more peaceful we are within ourselves, the more we extend that tranquility far out beyond us.

Here are a few suggestions for promoting personal peace. Focus on one or mix them up for a relaxing cocktail. I’d love to hear what you can add to this list.

  • Begin the day with a positive thought.
  • Practice daily relaxation in a quiet setting.
  • Meditate.
  • Pray. Pray. Pray.
  • Accept what can’t be changed.
  • Turn off the electronics.
  • Exercise.
  • Breathe consciously.
  • Forgive and ask to be forgiven.
  • Let go of petty disputes and disappointments.
  • Volunteer at a homeless shelter or food pantry.
  • Avoid books, movies, and online activities that include violence, inequality, cruelty, or profanity.
  • Surround yourself with gentle, loving people.
  • Attend in-person or virtual church services
  • Avoid gossip and unsubstantiated posts.
  • Give thanks for your many blessings.
  • Smile at strangers.
  • Treat others respectfully.
  • Check on elderly neighbors.
  • Read inspirational books and other writings.
  • Pray for peace.

***

If I say I will pray for you, I really will. See my latest post, “Praying for Those on Your List,” on my other blog, Mary K Doyle Books.

Have you checked out my latest book, Inspired Caregiving?

Peace in 2015 Sunday, Dec 28 2014 

DSCN0916As 2014 fades away, we look to the new year with optimism and anticipation. Whatever was good about the past, we hope it continues. Whatever was difficult, we pray is left behind.

Some of this is in our control, which is why we make New Year’s resolutions. The custom of assessing our financial, emotional, and physical health at the onset of a new year, and making plans to improve them, is our opportunity to begin anew. Some say there is no reason to make promises that will not be kept. But however long we follow our resolutions, at least we turn things around for a few months. We lose a few of our holiday pounds on our new diet, get a little stronger with an exercise program, and spend a little less money, slightly easing the credit card gift charges we made over the holidays.

In addition to the typical resolutions, perhaps in 2015 we might consider ones that promote a kinder, more peaceful world. We don’t have to do much to make a difference. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Volunteer at a homeless shelter or food kitchen
  • Donate gently or never used items
  • Avoid all books, movies, and online activities that include violence, cruelty, or profanity
  • Visit museums
  • Attend cultural events
  • Surround ourselves with gentle, loving people
  • Attend church services
  • Don’t participate in gossip in the workplace
  • Give thanks daily for what we do have
  • Clean the clutter out of our home
  • Smile at strangers
  • Think positively
  • Treat others respectfully
  • Check on elderly neighbors
  • Read inspirational books
  • Pray for peace
  • Try to be more patient
  • Avoid worrying about things that are not in our control

©2014 Mary K. Doyle

Peace on Earth Goodwill Toward All Sunday, Dec 23 2012 

DSCN9879

Christmas is a joyous season for Christians. We believe in the incredible miracle of God incarnated in the human form of Jesus. And with the presence of Christ, the Anointed One, comes a promise of hope, peace, and light.

The Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi gives us an outline how this gift of peace may be maintained. It is a selfless list of actions that places the other’s needs before our own. We ask the Lord to make us an instrument of peace, which means that we are accepting the work and responsibility involved.

Peace in our hearts, homes, families, work, and the world at large can only occur if we all do our part to promote it. Whatever your beliefs, I ask my Lord and Savior for your peace as well as my own.

Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love.

Where there is injury, pardon.

Where there is doubt, faith.

Where there is despair, hope.

Where there is darkness, light.

Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,

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.

Amen.

©Mary K. Doyle

It’s a Stretch Thursday, Nov 8 2012 

What did the Buddhist say to the hot dog vender?

Make me one with everything.

I love that joke! I heard it from my yoga teacher, Al Oschner.

Yoga comes from a Sanskrit word meaning to join, unite, or attach. It is a relatively safe, non-aerobic form of exercise that’s been practiced for more than 5,000 years.  Nearly 11 million Americans currently practice yoga. Most Westernized classes focus on physical poses, breathing techniques, and meditation. Some also include a spiritual aspect, but this is seen more often in private yoga centers than public gyms and health clubs.

There are several styles of yoga with varying degrees of intensity. I attend a class at the health club that is quite gentle. Al reminds us that if a pose hurts, we shouldn’t do it. We are to modify as needed for a comfortable stretch. One thing I know for sure is that I always feel better afterwards.

Yoga improves flexibility, range of motion, and posture. It also decreases stress, reduces joint pain, lowers inflammation, and promotes relaxation and better sleep. Nearly all poses build core strength and deep abdominal muscles. Al says that one series of exercises that we practice is even believed to reduce the aging process.

Some caution should be taken with all forms of exercise. Consult your physician before practicing yoga if you have severe osteoporosis, high or low blood pressure, ear or spine problems, or are pregnant. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the most common yoga injuries involve over-stretching and strain from repetition to the neck, shoulders, spine, legs, and knees.

If a style of yoga or particular instructor is too intense for you, check out other classes. I tried a few different ones before settling on Al’s.

Namaste.

©2012, Mary K. Doyle

A Still, Quiet Moment Monday, Jul 23 2012 

The oppressive heat and recent massacre in Colorado leaves many of us anxious, agitated, and fearful. With one hateful swoop, 12 people were killed and 58 injured. Had James Holmes’ weapon not jammed, dozens more lives could have been lost. And the media reminds us of this continuously.

There’s a saying that it takes one hundred acts of love to counter one hurtful word, look, or action. After such a horrific act of violence, that means we all need to make a conscious effort to think and act lovingly all day, every day.

I find I require quiet time each day to maintain a cool and happy temperament. I do this by beginning my day in prayer. And if I feel stressed later in the day, I steal another moment in a quiet place to breathe slowly and deeply.

No matter how much you think you must do, if you are not healthy mentally and physically you can accomplish little. We can’t be in the midst of activity and noise every waking hour and not feel stressed. A still, silent moment every day is good medicine for the body, mind, and spirit.

Find a peaceful spot in your home, garden, a park, library, or church. Concentrate on your breathing, taking slow, deep breaths. Talk to God, think of someone or something that makes you happy, or repeat a mantra. Or clear your mind of everything.

You will find that meditating like this will leave you refreshed, much like a mini nap. You will feel calmer and happier, and that nature will ripple across those around you.

Namaste.

©Mary K. Doyle

Japanese Gardens Monday, Jul 9 2012 

Japanese garden

haven for serenity

and contemplation

 

Looking for a quiet corner in our noisy world? Japanese gardens are designed to promote peace and offer an environment conducive to meditation.

Like life, gardens may appear simple but rich in beauty and experience. They are miniature replicas of larger landscapes. Sand, water, bridges, and particular plants are carefully placed. Every item is significant and maintained according to tradition.

Japanese gardens were constructed for the pleasure of emperors from as early as 500 and 600 A.D. They originated on the island of Honshu, Japan in connection with the Shinto religion.  Chinese Daoism and Amida Buddhism also influenced early gardens.

Seek public gardens in your area for opportunities to relax and enjoy quiet moments of thought and prayer. A simple online search will point you in the right direction. The Midwest has many from which to choose.

From 1910 to 1939 George and Nelle Fabyan designed and constructed the Fabyan Japanese Garden in Geneva, Illinois seen in these photos. The garden has undergone two extensive renovations since their passing. Now owned by the Forest Preserve District of Kane County, it is operated by the Preservation Partners of Fox Valley. The garden is open from May 1 through October 15th. For hours and directions, see http://www.ppfv.org/fabyan.htm or call 630-377-6424.

©Mary K. Doyle

Speak Up for Justice Saturday, May 12 2012 

In a global society of more than seven billion people you may think that your voice is insignificant. Not so says, Mikhail Gorbachev, former president of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991. Mr. Gorbachev spoke to an audience of about 600 students, alum, faculty, and supporters at Judson University in Elgin, Illinois on April 21, 2012. In his presentation he said that we all are capable of making positive changes in the world. In fact, he says, we all must speak up and take action on behalf of world peace and justice.

Gorbachev comes from a modest farming background and yet is credited with instigating political and economic reform in his country through perestroika (government restructuring) and glasnost (political openness). His leadership contributed to the end of the Cold War and he received the Nobel Peace prize in 1990.

Gorbachev urged the audience to value and respect freedom and human dignity above all else. He sees consumerism and the limitation of natural resources, especially the short supply of quality drinking water and proper sanitation for millions of people across the globe, as points of contention with the potential of serious repercussions. He also said the elimination of all arms for all nations is imperative and the only means to world peace.

Thousands of people are following Gorbachev’s urge to speak up and take action this week in conjunction with the NATO summit. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, better known as NATO, brings heads of states together in the name of global stability. More than 50 world leaders and their defense and foreign ministers, along with their top advisers,thousands of journalists, and several thousand protesters are gathering in the city of Chicago for the NATO summit on May 20-21, 2012. Summit topics include the unrest in the Middle East. Focus is on Afghanistan in regards to military support as well as ensuring the Alliance’s capabilities to defend its population and strengthening NATO’s partnership.

You can stay informed by following coverage from credible news sources. You also might pray for world peace like your life depends upon it.

©Mary K. Doyle

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