Saturday, December 8, 2012

Norman's A Best Friend

Norman Vincent Peale's Thought Conditioners

A handwritten Bible on display in Malmesbury Abbey in Wiltshire England.
The Bible was written in Belgium in 1407 AD for reading aloud in a monastery.
The photograph was taken by Adrian Pingstone in 2005. 

Years ago a kind and wise woman saw I was struggling. We worked together. Betty had a real job and mine was on the lowest rung. Betty slipped a diminutive booklet under my elbow. It was Norman Vincent Peale's Thought Conditioners, 40 Biblical phrases to lift and inspire. 

In my years in a Catholic school we didn't quite do the Bible study the way many in the Protestant faiths do. Part of me feels the Church didn't want us "to trouble our minds," when they could think for us. Those were the days one heard "Holy Mother Church," often. Of course, such a title made one want to genuflect. There was a lot of kneeling in those days.

Yet when my co-worker gave me the small booklet, I didn't know what to make of it. But I started carrying the booklet around; I started relying on the words when I needed comfort. Certain phrases lifted me like "You are the refreshing," Peale's 37th scriptural verse. Peace assured.

This morning all the quotes seem to take me to a deeper level. Life is such a mystery; you never know when you'll feel a preverbial poke in your ribs or the Buddhist's shout, the Buddhist slap: Wake up! Wake up your life! 

I've started to see quotes on Facebook for those who are going through hard times during the holidays. The phrase I read repeatedly, "for those who are hurting." I feel many are more than hurting. 

Family health news keeps no calendar. Stunning news comes any time, wreath or no. I just embraced someone I've come to love in my condo building. She is bereft with grief. No one has just died but unless mircles ride my rosary, in a few months, her brother in-law will. 

"Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Who doesn't labor and seek rest? This is Peale's Thought Condition 4.

It's a different view where I live now verses my home just behind me and over a hill. More shiny walkers over here, cranberry, shiny royal blue, ones to carry parcels or the driver herself. You ought to see how deft women are wielding these carts around! 

Someone needs these verses. Someone needs the little booklet. Maybe it's you, maybe it's me.

As I hugged my neighbor I said something which startled a revered member of Clouds in Water Zen Center, my words: Sometimes I truly wish we could get out of here alive! 

A little humor, the sun is shining. And I just bought 5 lbs of seeded grapes. I bow to your  innate goodness; never worry, if I know you, then you're on my beads--. I have a tendency to scoop people up in prayer. How else should we live?

Speak the language of Compassion; everyone understands.

Link to Thought Conditioners:

1 comment:

  1. Love it Connie - so timely and you couldn't express things better. What would I do without you in my life?