Passover reminds us that there are still miracles



God does still perform miracles. No matter what name you call God/Goddess, miracles happen often. We need to remember to look for them. Even little miracles are just that, miracles.

Whenever humans, Jewish or otherwise are faced with problems that appear insurmountable, we can remember the stories from history. The Jews being held as slaves in Egypt is a very important memory for all Jews. The slaves could not overcome the entire Egyptian country. They were not even able to visualize the concept of possible freedom. They were stuck between the Egyptians and the Red Sea. God had other plans.

God brought plagues and eventually death to the Pharoah and in the end, they had their freedom. All of this  happened a long time ago, but there are still miracles each day. The same God who brought freedom and a covenant with the Jews, continues to bring little miracles into our lives every day. Here, in 2013 we can still see miracles.  Pre-mature babies survive and thrive into adulthood.  Abused children grow into productive, loving adults.  Victims of stroke and heart attacks recover and live normal lives.  Flowers bloom.  Birds sing.  And life is a grand adventure we all get to experience.

” There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” —Albert Einstein

” No man can share in the Torah of Moses unless he believes that all our affairs and events, concerning the masses or the individual, are miracles.” —Nachmanides

“The true miracle is not walking on water or walking in air, but simply walking on this earth.” —Thich Nhat Hanh

” All change is a miracle to contemplate; but is is a miracle which is taking place every second.” —Henry David Thoreau


Photo copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2013


Photo copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2013

Pampering Yourself

“Self-nurture is not about being selfish. It is about self-care.”
—-Alice D. Domar PHD

Yes, I am advocating self-pampering. For men or women, small steps of pampering yourself may feel wrong or frivolous. In 2012, we run from one task to another. We race through the day giving everything little pieces of ourselves. We spend most of our lives burnt out and empty. This is not the way The One wants us to experience this life. We are drowning in deadlines, insomnia, bills, politics, stress eating and kids breaking curfew. We almost need to be long distance sprinters.

Athletes have something we do not have. They have trainers and sports medicine and adoring fans. They lack our total exhaustion, feeling unappreciated, unsatisfied with life in general. This is a sure way to lose touch with ourselves, some people don’t even know who they are. They are fractured and left with nothing to give because they have nothing left inside. Society encourages and rewards us when we ignore the signs and symptoms that we need nurturing too. Pushing through, giving it all to your team or manager ends up making us sick. Being sick just pushes the circle around again.

Pampering is recuperative. It feeds the soul. It encourages the pleasant, happy, interesting and caring person inside to come out again. Being on vacation is good because you begin to get your balance back. You regain your spontaneity and flexibility. If it is raining, you read a book. If you are tired, you take a nap. You grin more often and choose to walk instead of taking the stairs or elevator. The strident, pushy, irritable you has gone and you actually like who you are. Pampering in this spirit is essential for human beings to maintain their joy and bliss. Sometimes, you just need to turn away from the needs of the world until you have regained your balance. You are now promoting your own physical and emotional health.


I like to rub my temples with an essential oil, and to keep a fragrant sachet under my pillow at night. I also use a sound machine when I can’t turn off my mind and sleep much deeper and awake refreshed. So remember self-pampering is medicinal and necessary for the well-being of our lives.

Sculpture garden, Windsor, Ontario Photo by Barbara Mattio

An Attitude of Peace

There are people from every religion who believe in peace. There are prayers that are part of every culture, every religion that are lifted up for the cause of peace.

Zorastrrian prayer for peace:
“We pray to God to eradicate all the misery in the world; that understanding triumph over ignorance, that generosity triumph over indifference, that trust triumph over contempt and that truth triumph over falsehood.”

A Jewish prayer for peace
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, that we may walk the paths of the Most High, and we shall beat our swords into ploughshares, and our spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall we learn war anymore. And none shall be afraid, for the mouth of the Lord of Hosts has spoken.”

A Baha’l Prayer for Peace
“Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. Be a lamp unto those who walk in darkness and a home for a stranger. Be eyes unto the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be a breath of life to the body of humankind, a dew to the soil of the human heart, and a fruit upon the tree of humility.”

A Sikh Prayer for Peace
“God adjudges us according to our deeds, not the coat that we wear; that Truth is above everything, but higher still is truthful living. Know that we attain God when we love and only that victory endures in consequence of which no one is defeated.”

A Hindu Prayer for Peace

O God, lead us from the unreal into the real.

O God, lead us from darkness into light.

O God, lead us from death to immorality.

Peace, peace, peace unto all.”

A Buddhist Prayer for Peace
” May all being everywhere plagued with sufferings of body and mind quickly be freed from their illnesses. May those frightened cease to be afraid. and may those bound be free. May the powerless find power, and may people find themselves in trackless, fearful wilderness- the children, the aged, the unprotected, be guarded by beneficent celestials. And may they swiftly attain Buddhahood..

A Sufi Prayer For Peace

“Send Thy peace, O Lord, which is perfect and everlasting, that our souls may radiate peace.
Send Thy peace, O Lord, that we may think, act, and speak harmoniously.
Send They peace, O Lord, that we may be contented and thankful for They bountiful gifts.
Send Thy peace, O Lord, that amidst our worldly strife we may enjoy Thy bliss.
Send Thy peace, O Lord, that we may endure all, tolerate all in the thought of Thy grace and mercy.
Send Thy peace, O Lord,that our lives may become a divine vision, and in Thy light all darkness may vanish.
Send Thy peace, O Lord, Our Father and Mother; that we Thy children on earth may all unite in our personhood.”

Each spiritual path leads us to the Divinity. A different facet of Divinity. Does it have to look like the people around us, is Divinity energy, is it all-powerful, does it love us and want to experience life through us? Wherever in this great big world we live in, let us understand that there is One World, One Life and One Love. Let us each do all we can to remember this each day; that we all want the same peaceful world. And may that peace come to all countries and religions and races. May we learn to love the way we are loved by Divinity. May we not see anything besides Divinity within each other and may we build a peaceful world where love is all.

Photo by Barbara Mattio

My View of Divinity

Our Hearts Should Do This More

I sit the the streets with the homeless

My clothes stained with the wine
From the vineyards the saints tend.

Light has painted all acts
The same color

So I sit around and laugh all day
With my friends.

At night if I feel a divine loneliness
I tear the doors off Love’s mansion

And wrestle God onto the floor.

He becomes so please with Hafiz
And says,

Our hearts should do this more”.

Hafiz (c, 1317-1389) is widely recognized as the preeminent master of the Persian ghazal form. He writes in the tradition of Rumi, one of the great Sufi poets.

Hafiz is one of the eastern poets who wrote ecstatic poetry. His poetry includes concepts such as loving God so much you become drunk on the experience of the Divine love. I think this is the God I have experienced in my life. This God can not be confined in buildings, experiences life through us, does not only love one type of people. This God has no gender and is bigger than the Universe. This experience we call God is everywhere and is not capable of hate. It is within every sentient being on this planet and even within it. Which is why we are remiss in our ravaging of our planet and we will be the beings which pay the highest price.

I am a spiritual person and have studied the major religions of the world. I have no feelings of “I am right and if you believe differently, you are wrong”. I do know that experiencing the love of God is the best high in the world and it is the best aspect of my humanity. I suggest that you sit down and close your eyes and think only about loving the Divinity in the world. I can say that it is a life-changing experience.