A Spiritual Lifebuoy, a little Rosary.
Texts by Claes-Georg Hansson
It was invented by the Swedish bishop Martin Lönnebo.
The first version was given to us in 1996 and
is now widely used in Scandinavian countries.
In the bishop's own words it is meant for spiritual exercises
in "Courage in facing life, zest for life, self-control and a life close to God".
The word "Frälsarkransen" in Swedish refers to
a Lifebuoy, which is to be used when needed.
(The "Frälsar"-part of the word has also – in Swedish –
some interpretational connection to Our Lord and Saviour).
This spiritual Lifebuoy contains 18 pearls, each of which has a special meaning.
The pearls can be used either in continuous order or separately (in relation to content).
I have written a few usable thoughts and quotations
as a start for your own reflections and prayers.
You may charge the pearls with many other suitable thoughts,
which are of value to you.
You are the Triune God:
You are boundless
You're the closest
You are Light
and I am Yours
This is a pearl for meditation.
It is meant for the "in-between-moments" you need in life.
The pause is important.
Look at the sentences "God is nowhere" and "God is now here".
What is the difference?
Yes, the interval, the pause,
which changed the feeling of an absent God into the God who is present.
"For in him we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28)
This is a small pearl to remind me of our place in the creation.
We are small. We are just one part of it all.
But we are precious in the eyes of God.
He created us in his own image!
When feeling this pearl between your fingertips
you can reflect about human dignity and responsibility,
and pray for compassion and empathy.
When a child (or an adult) is baptised. Grasp this pearl and pray:
"Watch over him/her and me and keep him/her and me safe from harm!"
This is the pearl also for regenerating.
Use it in your prayers for committing yourself and your life to God.
Over and over again.
"Lord, if you want to create a new miracle,
recreate myself into a decent person!"
Sometimes we live like in a desert.
Here I face the trials of life, the fight and the everyday struggle for life.
I have to live it through. I can't avoid the desert of life.
I become aware of the temptations, my shortcomings, my doubts and fatigue.
Sometimes I hurt others. Often I fail in my good intentions. I feel dirty and full of scars.
Oh, Lord, I live as if in a desert!
I can grasp the desert pearl and pray:
Lord, cleanse me – that I will be clean!
Heal me – that I will be whole!
Draw me tight to you – that my soul will find peace!
Touch this pearl often. You need it!
It is said that "fear not", and other expressions with the same meaning,
are mentioned 365 times in the Bible.
That is one such encouragement for each day of the year!
May this thought be in your heart and in your thinking
that every day God is telling us not to fear!
Pray for lightheartedness in your life. "Don't worry – be happy!" and thankful!
This is the place were we thank God for his infinite love.
Thank him for the greatest gift of all (John 3:16)
in which he has shown us the fullness of his love.
This is also the place to give thanks to the Lord for every gift of love through others
– for everything in my life – for life itself.
"Freely you have received, freely give" (Matthew 10:8).
The love we have graciously received,
we are as Christians duty-bound to pass on to our neighbour.
”Christ has no body on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which he is to look out Christ’s compassion to the world.
Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good.
Yours are the hands with which he is to bless men now.”
(Teresa of Avila)
Pray that you will discover all the opportunities
you have to be a tool of Gods love to others.
In the secret pearls you store all your prayers and wishes
that are for nobody else to know but God.
These are your innermost dreams and hopes.
Just touch the pearls. God knows.
"Even before a word is on my tongue You,
O Lord, know it altogether" (Psalm 139:4)
Go to – and go through – the black night pearl in times of darkness in your life.
Here you can cry out: "Why?!" and say: "I don't understand!"
Similarly, Jesus went through a night pearl type experience and cried:
"My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
But God did not forsake Jesus – and he will not abandon you.
He is still there and he creates the anticipation of light.
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."
This is morning light after darkness!
Springtime after winter!
Sunshine after rain!
A new beginning in life!
This is the resurrection from the dead!
(Surrexit Christus, alleluia!)
"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord almighty,
who was, and is, and is to come."