Welcome To The Religion Network!
I'm Lisa Bowman, editor of The Religion Network, a multi-faith Web site. This site provides inspirational quotes through an
exploration of a new spiritual theme every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The Religion network is offered with the
conviction that inspiration can be found in all spiritual faiths, and furthermore, that finding the commonalities
among the world's religions is more healing than pointing up their differences.
Religion as an institution is a precious gift, blessing individuals and uplifting communities. However you choose to
worship, I hope this site enhances your journey. If you'd like to know my story, click on biography.
ON TODAY'S SITE:
Native American prayers, Black Elk
It is "old school" western religion to refer to God in the masculine. This bothers some
women, I know, but it has never affected me one way or another because it seems to me
it's meant to be generic in this usage - or rather, to be all-inclusive in concept. "He" has
always just been a shorthand way of saying Father-Mother God to me.
But the Native Americans have an especially lovely way of calling the Lord by several
specifically descriptive names encompassing various attributes: Great Spirit and Great One
(neither female nor male); Father, Mother,
and my favorites - Grandfather or Grandmother.
The last two names conjure up such wise and strong images while commenting on how highly
Native American culture prizes the wisdom of age. Just layering this image of a grandparent's
ageless wisdom upon your concept of the Lord makes you yearn to sit at "His" feet begging
Him to impart the wise understanding and strength that only the All-Knowing can give.
Photo by Chuck Bowman All rights reserved
Great Spirit, whose Voice I hear in the Winds,
Hear me - for I am small and weak:
I need Your Strength and Wisdom.
I seek Strength, O Great One, not to be superior to my Brothers -
But to conquer my greatest enemy: Myself.
I seek Wisdom: the Lessons You have hidden
In every Leaf and Rock so that I may learn
And carry these messages of Life and Hope to my People.
May my hands respect the many beautiful things you have made;
May my ears be sharp - to hear Your voice.
May I always walk in Your beauty;
And let my eyes behold the red and purple Sunset
So that when Life faces with the setting Sun,
My Spirit will come to You without shame.
Native American prayer
Grandfather, Great Spirit, you have been always,
And before you nothing has been.
There is no one to pray to but you.
The star nations all over the heavens are yours,
And your are the grasses of the earth.
Grandfather, Great Spirit, fill us with the light.
Teach us to walk the soft earth as relatives to all that live.
Help us, for without you we are nothing.
Black Elk (1863-1950)
Oglala Sioux holy man
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The Last Word:
...Thus weave for us a garment of brightness,
That we may walk fittingly where birds sing,
That we may walk fittingly where grass is green,
Oh our Mother Earth, Oh our Father Sky.
Native American prayer
Totally Random Bonus Quote:
Faith is the ear of the soul.
St. Clement of Alexandria (c.150-c.215)
Early Christian theologian