It is the season of Advent, a time of soul preparation. The term Advent is derived from the Latin word adventus, which means "coming." At Christmas we celebrate the coming of a new life who brought a higher vibration of Light and Love into the world. The world was changed forever, but that was just the beginning. The baby whose birth we honor at Christmas grew up to proclaim for us: “You are the Light of the world.” And he went on to tell us not to put our light under a basket, but like a city on a hill, we are to shine our light brightly so that others may see the Good that we do.
Each year at this time, Christian faiths light candles representing Hope, Peace, Love and Joy. But they are just flickering candles if we are not doing anything to bring Hope, Peace, Love and Joy to the world.
As we look at the current state of our world – particularly as we bear witness to the egregious suffering inflicted upon our animal brothers and sisters by our human brothers and sisters - we know that there is still so much darkness desperately seeking Light. It seems almost hopeless until we remember that we are that Light. When we demonstrate Kindness and Respect toward ALL beings, choosing Compassion over killing, our Light shines brightly, high on a hilltop.
A new world and a new awareness is coming. We are creating it by our vision and compassionate action. We are creating it through our purposeful commitment to awaken the world to a more loving way of being that includes everyone. We are creating it by being an example of non-violent living in the world. Our numbers are growing. Our message is growing. Consciousness is shifting. The slumbering giant of normalized animal exploitation is beginning to wake up.
Together we are actively bringing Hope, Peace, Love and Joy not just to humans, and not just to animals. But to ALL beings.
As we walk mindfully this holiday season, I offer this Advent prayer to lift up our vision for a new, kinder world:
HOPE: Our Hope is for ALL of humanity to awaken to the Truth of their Spirit, which is authentic Kindness and Compassion, and see each other and animals as sentient individuals deserving of moral consideration. Our Hope is for ALL beings to be free; free from harm; free from oppression, experimentation, exploitation, mutilation and all other forms of violence; free to move and express themselves naturally and authentically; free to live full lives.
We know that Spirit is active and alive now, awakening Hope for a new world within all beings.
Hope by Iskander 1989
PEACE: We pray that ALL humans find inner Peace, and make peaceful, non-violent choices, aligned with the Truth of their Spirit, and in Divine partnership with all Creation. We hold the intention for ALL humans to experience healing through forgiveness of self and others, so that they may fully know the blessings of Peace and create a peaceful world that cares for ALL.
We know that the Peace of Spirit is active and alive within us now. May ALL beings be free from harm and truly have Peace.
LOVE: We pray that ALL humans awaken to the power of Love within them, that they learn to love themselves fully, and generously extend that Love to ALL beings. We hold the intention for ALL humans to awaken and dissolve the veil of separation, so that they may fully know the bliss of Universal Love and Oneness.
We know that the Love of Spirit is active and alive within us now. May all beings know the warm Presence of Divine Love within, and feel Kindness, Compassion, Respect and Devotion from others.
JOY: We pray that ALL humans be activated by inner Joy and moved to live in delight, deep cheerfulness and gladness of heart, so that they are free of self-restriction, withholding and domination of others. We hold the intention that our animal brothers and sisters teach humanity the art of contentment and play, which they so naturally exude when free.
We know that the Joy of Spirit is active and alive within us now. May all beings know the Divine wellspring that dwells within, and be free to express themselves fully as Joy.
Joined together, we are the Light, co-creating by our thoughts, words and actions, a world of Hope, Peace, Love and Joy for ALL beings. We are grateful in advance for its manifestation.
Have Faith! A new Light has come into the world. A new world is coming!
We are making it so.
His Peaceable Kingdom by Nancy Conent
“Those of us who have the light should display the light and offer it so that the world will not sink into total darkness.” Thich Nhat Hanh
© carol saunders 2017
Mother-Father of Creation
I am filled with gratefulness
As I awaken to the wonder of all that is
Animated into being by your breath
Sustained by your will
Nurtured by your heart
The glory and majesty
Of all that I see before me
The vibration of Life is in everything
The tree and its leaves
Every blade of grass
Every ant and caterpillar
In the song of the birds
And the silence of dusk
The living world breaks into a chorus!
I feel blessed to be in its midst
And intricately connected
To all that is
Life's vibration beats in me too
Animated into being by Divine breath
Sustained by Divine will
Nurtured by Divine heart
But a hidden pain
Lies in the shadows
Wanting to be seen
I pause…and hear
Beneath the vibrant sounds of life
The tormented cries of those
We mistakenly believe to be ours
The water born
The winged ones
My heart breaks
Each is breathed into being by the One
As are we
They are one with the One
As are we
And we are one with them
Human friends, I implore you!
Peer deeply into the eyes of these
Sisters and brothers of ours
Dare to feel the desires of their hearts
Listen and you will hear
Their yearning to be free
Free to move and turn about at will
Free of mutilation
And the smell of death
Free of prodding, genetic manipulation
Free from cages, pens
And crowded transport trucks
Free to play in the mud
Breathe fresh air
Feel wind on their faces
And the heat of the sun
Free to be with chosen companions
And live a long life
Are they not like us?
As we come to the table tonight
Let us remember the hearts
Of our animal friends
When we choose what we shall
Eat and drink
And wear on our bodies
And let us remember
That they were created for Creation Itself
Not for us
The Life force dwells within all beings
The sound of freedom rings
Kindness and Compassion urges us
To live as One
And so it is
In the throes of my work to bring Wolf and the Lamb alive, this prayer came to me as a gift from Spirit. It encapsulates the joys and challenges of this work and is a wonderful way to start each day.
I make myself an instrument of Peace.
Where there is hatred, I sow love;
Wherever there is injury, I refrain from injuring;
Where there is doubt, l have faith in my own convictions and ability to move mountains;
Where there is despair, l give hope;
Where there is ignorance, I bring illumination;
Where there is darkness, I bear light;
Where there is entrenchment, I inspire with a new vision;
Where there is sadness, I allow myself to feel from the depth of my soul and stay focused on what is good and right and possible in the world.
Knowing the Divine Truth that we are all One,
I bless ALL of Life – all living beings,
Not just those I consider to be like me.
I commit myself to living as Loving-Kindness and Compassion.
No beings tremble before me,
For I AM Love, Peace and Freedom.
And so it is.
© carol saunders 2016
Rev. Carol Saunders
I am an ordained minister, speaker, writer and lover of all life. In 2010 I founded a spiritual community in Deerfield, IL, a suburb of Chicago, and have recently transitioned it to a weekly interactive gathering and podcast called The Spiritual Forum. Being a voice for the animals and a light for the spiritually-inclined who are willing to seriously examine the self and begin to awaken, are what Spirit has called me to be. I am here to support anyone who wants to move toward living in closer alignment with their deeply held spiritual values. Our world needs more Love, Peace and Kindness. We can make that happen. But we won't be able to until we transform some of the violent and unkind ways of living we inherited from our culture. Be Love. Be Peace. Be Kind. Today.