3 books by Angela Ashwin from my library
Angela Ashwin teaches us how to write beautiful, evocative prayers that connect with our everyday experience. But she is also an advocate for using “borrowed words” to enrich our (prayer) lives.
I first came across Angela Ashwin through her book, A little Book of Healing Prayer: my companion during the 5 days I spent at my mother’s deathbed. How comforting to have Angela Ashwin and others lend me their words while in the “valley of the shadow of death”.
One of the prayers seemed particularly apt – my mother was ever the seemstress – and I included it on the funeral service sheet:
O living God,
draw all the fragments of my life
into the bright mosaic of your love;
weave all the tangled threads of my desires
into the tapestry you are spreading,
like a rainbow,
on the loom of the world;
and help me celebrate
the many facets
and the dazzling colours
of your peace.
written by Julie M. Hulme
from A little Book of Healing Prayer by Angela Ashwin, #64
Ministry of “borrowed words”
A few years later, while on a trip to Edinburgh, I came across The Book of a Thousand Prayers, compiled by Angela Ashwin. I immediately bought two copies, one for myself and one for a friend. Prayers from this volume regularly make it onto the blog. (Maybe you’ve noticed and been inspired to buy a copy of your own.)
Here is an excerpt from the introduction to The Book of a Thousand Prayers (p.11) that explains the value and ministry of “borrowed words”:
To close, a prayer by Angela Ashwin that works as a mini-retreat:
God of delight, Source of all joy,
thank you for making me part of the web of life,
depending on the rhythms and fruits of the earth for my existence.
Help me to be wholly present to you,
now, in this place,
where my feet are on the ground,
and where I am surrounded by creation’s gifts,
from concrete to clouds,
if I have the wit to notice them!
from The Book of a Thousand Prayers by Angela Ashwin, #210