The Christ Child’s Asleep

Have a blessed Christmas –

From our family to yours…

Love in Him,

Mary & Tim

PS. Peter, in the maroon shirt, is our son…

The Christ Child’s Asleep – song by Swami Kriyananda


Remembering 9-11 with beautiful music by Enya

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I remember the shock of 9-11…
I direct a prayer ministry and about 6 AM I got a phone call (I live in California). It was from a local carpenter I know, urgently saying, “There’s some kind of F—ing war on! – a plane just crashed into the World trade Center in New York!”

You know – that language is not in my typical prayer request – but it seemed spot-on for that day. As the days wore on I was impressed that he got the gist of it right from the very first moments – right after the first plane crashed into the tower.

May all of the families who lost someone that day be comforted and blessed….

That first morning – I didn’t have the heart to tell my kids what had happened. I don’t normally listen to morning news – so I didn’t want to break our normal loving serenity. I thought, “They will know soon enough – let’s have one more normal morning.”

And on the next day, September 12, of course life was now different. We all knew… And I understood why, for the first time, that some mothers in France or Belgium or Holland feed chocolate to their children for breakfast. Life is short, life is precious – it can change in an instant. Eat your chocolate now. Celebrate life and love and family now – at the beginning of the day…

So I fed my kids some wonderful chocolate waffles for breakfast (first time ever) …There was a feeling of redeeming the sweetness of life anyway I could… to embrace them and the precious days…each day is so precious…The chocolate is only a symbol that says “Austerity has no place in my feelings for you…I celebrate you as my children and my family…”

And now – years later – I only rarely have a chocolate waffle or crepe for breakfast and I make it with cocoa powder and with mostly stevia so it isn’t really all that decadent. But it still feels like an extravagant celebration of life and love and family – with fresh strawberries on top….

I’ve “always” been on a diet as an adult – but in the three weeks or so after 9-11 – I just didn’t care one bit about those things…

PS – I saw this video and it helped me to tap into the deep feeling to pray once again for those families and souls…But – if your children are young…there is no need to bring them into this…Instead make them a lovely breakfast, and go out and celebrate the day with love and laughter. But in your own heart – give especially deep thanks to God for another beautiful day with your family.

Remembrance – “Only Time”

Prayers with kids: Gulf of Mexico

This simple but beautiful video can help you and your children send healing energy to the Gulf of Mexico:

You can learn more about teaching your children to pray by reading my chapter on “Prayer and Devotion

More Prayers for the Gulf of Mexico –

click here

Prayer-Demands for Children, by Paramhansa Yogananda

Satsang with Swamiji

We had a beautiful weekend in Los Angeles for the book launch of The New Path, By Swami Kriyananda.  Sunday morning at the Chapel is wonderfully described here by Barbara Bingham. I recommend that you check out those links for a more complete reference.

Swamiji told many stories and answered many questions. Free Videos and audio are available at this link.  I thought to highlight one special personal insight here, that may also be of help to others, also because it augments the many references I have made to the teachings of Christ on this website.

Swamiji related the story of a monk in SRF, and the turning point that moved him to dedicate his life toward seeking God alone.  This man, before becoming a monk, had been in a boating accident which had turned nearly tragic. He was about to drown, and he saw his life pass before his eyes.  In that moment, he realized that the things which he had thought were important in his life, now seemed very trivial. And some seemingly small events he now realized were very important on a soul level. As Swamiji spoke, I was struck with a very deep, prayerful concern of, “I need to know now what is very important at the moment of death! I don’t want to find out when it is too late! I don’t want to find out at my life review as my life pass before my eyes.”

I can only describe this as a deep call for reassurance, because I had read of these things in books regarding near death experiences. I already “knew” what was important…but this was a soul call for clarity. I continued to pray intensely  as Swamiji spoke…and then I felt an inner grace and strength. Clear as a bell the words came to me, in deep calmness and peace:

“…Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. The second is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”

Mark 12: 30-1

These brief yet powerful words, encapsulate everything we need to live in accordance with what is divinely important in life and in death.

Swami Kriyananda, at Forest Lawn Chapel (by B. Bingham)
Swami Kriyananda, at Forest Lawn Chapel (photo by B. Bingham)

Saintly Family of St. Therese of Lisieux

I’ve been working on a chapter called “Praying for a Spiritual Child” as a follow-up on the chapter, “When Does the Soul Enter the Body?”  (See BOOK tab, above)

I was aware that the parents of St. Therese of Lisiuex had prayed for Saintly children, and I recently found this video marking the event of their beatification as a couple on their wedding anniversary. How fitting for such a saintly couple.

As I read about them, I was struck by the similarities of their marriage, to the parents of Paramhansa Yogananda, in that both couples lived on a higher plane. I’ll write more later, but I wanted to share these two little videos:

Parents of St. Therese of Lisieux

Pilgrimage to birthplace and home of St Therese (With one of her poems set to music)

Prayer-Demands for Children by Yogananda

from Whispers From Eternity

·        Thou art Love because my Mother loves me

Dear God, I know that Thou art Love, because my mother and my father love me; Thou art my eternal Father and Mother. My friends love me with Thy love, in their hearts. Thou art my best of all friends. Thou art my Teacher through all that happens to me in life. Because Thou lovest me, teach me to love Thee.

·        By loving all my Friends may I find Thy love

Mother Divine, make me love equally every friend in my life. By loving them may I find Thy love in all hearts, everywhere. Teach me to return even greater love to those who love me, and to pray also, and even especially, for those who do not love me. I will secretly enjoy loving them, for they, too ‘though they know it not!’ are my brothers and sisters in God.

·        Teach me to give Smiles to all

Father Divine, teach me to smile freely always. Teach me not to laugh at anyone, but to laugh kindly with them. Teach me never to hurt anyone, even with a false smile. Bless me with the grace to make others happy, just as I wish to be happy myself.

  • Come to me as Peace in sleep, and as Joy when I am awake

Dear Heavenly Father, when I’m asleep, come to me as peace. When I’m awake, come to me as joy. When I give kindness to others, come to me as love. When I run, run with high energy through my legs. When I think, send understanding through my thoughts. When I use will power, send your will power through me. Teach me to think, play, behave, and use my will rightly, for Thou art always by me. I love to be guided by Thee, for Thou, more even than my parents, dost always wish the best for me.

·        Thou art so plainly Present everywhere; I bow to Thee

When I dance happily, dear Heavenly Father, I dance with Thee. Wherever I look, I see Thee peeping out at me from just behind everything. I see Thee every day, painting the sky with bright colors. I watch Thee clothing the bare ground with green grass. I see Thee shining in the sunshine. Oh, I see Thee so plainly present everywhere! I bow to Thee!

·        My parents and friends Love me, dear Father, because Thou Lovest me

My parents love me, dear Heavenly Father, because of Thy love for me. My friends love me because Thou dost love me, through them. I love my home, my neighborhood, and my country because Thy love is everywhere. I bow to Thee in my heart.

·        Thou art the Cause of everything: I bow to Thee

Dear Heavenly Father, the moonlight reminds me that all darkness passes. The sun reminds me that my mind, too, should be bathed in light. The seasons change because that is how I can have food to eat. The seasons change, also, to teach me to adjust to all life’s changes. Thou art behind everything, teaching deep secrets for living a better life. Always I bow to Thee.

·        I bow to Thee in the sunshine, breeze, dawn, and hearts of Loving Friends

Dear Heavenly Father, when I slake my thirst with cool water, it is Thy nourishment which refreshes me. When I wash myself, I make myself clean for Thee, even as Thou dost want my heart’s feelings always to be pure. When I feel the sunshine on my face and skin, I feel Thy love in that warm touch. I bow to Thee in the sunshine, in the breezes, in the dawn, the noon, the evening light. And I bow to Thee in the forms of all those who love me.

·        Teach me to find Happiness in the Joy of others

O Mother Divine, teach me to love others, and to serve them in Thy name. Teach me to be true to my word, even as I want others to be true to theirs. Teach me to love others, even as I want them to love me. Teach me, O Dearest Heavenly Mother, to make others happy, and to make them smile. Teach me to find my happiness in the happiness of all.

·        Teach me to feel Thee as Silence when I close my eyes

Father, teach me not only to listen, but to understand what I hear. Help me to practice, myself, anything good that I learn. Teach me to look for Thy hidden hand working in all Nature. Teach me to feel Thy silence when I close my eyes. Oh, I bow to Thee! Aum! Amen!

Note to the parents:

One or more of these prayer demands for children can be read each night at prayer time before bed. Your child can either repeat the prayer, or simply listen as you read one. Often a child is happy to listen peacefully while the parent reads. That is perfectly fine, and over time, these divine concepts will be part of the child’s mental/emotional and spiritual framework.

To learn more, you can read the chapter on “Prayers and Devotion” in my book,  Finding God…in the Heart of Your Family. (see BOOK tab)

Note for a beautiful, printable version, with photos, please click below

“Prayer Demands for Children


Mary Kretzmann