Candles of gratitude
Silent prayers, signs of hope, symbols of warmth and literal enlightenment — candles are such versatile and eloquent emblems of spirituality. And the Gratefulness Site has an electronic version.
The site takes you step by step, asking you to quiet your thoughts, then compose a reason for lighting a candle. Perhaps a request for a healing, or a memory of a loved one. You can then write it in a space provided, and finish — click — by lighting a virtual candle.
It’ll stay lighted for 48 hours, and take its place in a gallery of others. Interestingly, they shorten as time passes, just like real candles burning down.
The site is clearly meant to span the globe, with versions from Chichewa to Magyar to Zulu. As I wrote this, people from 119 countries had lighted 13,087 candles.
Don’t leave without clicking the link to the Gratefulness homepage. Created by Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk from Austria, Gratefulness is dedicated to “celebrating the very gift of life itself” — with essays, haiku, pictures drawn by children, meditations on angels, even a virtual labyrinth.
The page of free e-cards is worth a bookmark. The cards have dozens of beautiful scenes, children, paintings and other motifs. And they let you add your own messages.