Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Prayer of Quieting . . .

 


God, you have been with me all through the day, stay with me now.  As the shadows lengthen into darkness let the noisy world grow quiet, let its feverish concerns be stilled, its voices silenced.

In the final moments of this day remind me of what is real, true, and good. But let me not forget that you were as present in the stresses of the day just past as you are now in the silence of this night.

You have made me for day and for night, for work and for rest, for both heaven and earth. Here in this night, let me embrace and not regret the mysterious beauty of my humanity. Keep me in the embrace of your unconditional love through the night, and the day to come.

Surround us with your silence and give us the rest that only you can give     . . .  peace now and forever. 

(Adapted: My Day Is Ending, Evelyn Underhill . . . original source unknown)

 

 


Longing Prayer . . .

 


Prayer 

O God, help us to feel you;

Help us to know how precious we are to you,

that we might become at least half so precious to ourselves.

 

Move with us, according to your desire.

Ease our hearts, melt our harsh edges

so that we might sense how intimate you truly are.

Guide us, God in an ever more complete embrace of you,

that we might bear more of your endless embrace of us,

and thereby embrace ourselves.

 

Keep alive within us, O Christ, your most precious gift to us

which is our burning, longing, wordless yearning for you.

Grant to us the courage and the vulnerability and the dignity

to claim our hunger for you in every moment,

celebrating, in each instant the pain and delight of our longing.

 

Touch us beneath our will, opening us where we cannot open ourselves,

healing us where we cannot heal ourselves.

 

And, in the vibrant mystery of your Spirit within us,

accept our eternal gratitude for every act of goodness

that comes to us from another or through us for another,

for every nourishing way that souls may touch each other,

for every bit of love we share, and for the wonder,

the tender laughing touching calling beautiful wonder.

 

Gerald May

(Source Unknown)

Prayer of Trust . . .

 

 

Dear God,

Speak gently in my silence.

When the loud outer noises of my surroundings

and the loud inner noises of my fears

keep pulling me away from you,

help me to trust that you are still there

even when I am unable to hear you.

 

Give me ears to listen to your small, soft voice saying:

"Come to me, you who are overburdened,

and I will give you rest . . .

for I am gentle and humble of heart."

Let that loving voice be my guide. Amen.

 

- Henri Nouwen

(Source Unknown)

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

A Calming prayer . . .

 


A Quieting Prayer . . .

I weave a silence on my lips,
I weave a silence into my mind,
I weave a silence within my heart.

I close my ears to distractions,
I close my eyes to attentions,
I close my heart to temptations.

Calm me, O God, as you stilled the storm,
Still me, O God, keep me from harm.
Let all the tumult within me cease,
Enfold me, God, in your peace.
(Author Unknown ~ Celtic Tradition)

 

 

Hide 'n Seek . . .


 


A Prayer by St. Anselm of Canterbury

  

O my God, teach my heart where and how to seek You,
where and how to find You.
You are my God and You are my all and I have never seen You.
You have made me and remade me,
You have bestowed on me all the good things I possess,
Still I do not know You.
I have not yet done that for which I was made.
Teach me to seek You.
I cannot seek You unless You teach me
or find You unless You show Yourself to me.
Let me seek You in my desire,
let me desire You in my seeking.
Let me find You by loving You,
let me love You when I find You.

Amen


Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Mary Magdalene ~ Faith-filled Friend . . .


 
 Artist: Gheorghe Tattarescu - Image Source Wikipedia

 
(Posted by Ron Rolheiser, OMI)



I never suspected
            Resurrection
                        and to be so painful
                        to leave me weeping
With Joy
            to have met you, alive and smiling, outside an empty tomb
With Regret
            not because I’ve lost you
            but because I’ve lost you in how I had you –
                        in understandable, touchable, kissable, clingable flesh
                        not as fully Lord, but as graspably human.

I want to cling, despite your protest
            cling to your body
            cling to your, and my, clingable humanity
            cling to what we had, our past.

But I know that…if I cling
            you cannot ascend and
            I will be left clinging to your former self
            …unable to receive your present spirit.

Mary Magdalene - Blessed Turnings!

 July 22 ~ Feast of Mary Magdalene . . .




Allow me to begin with a short excerpt from a poem entitled, Turning Points.
Time
Turns
Taking us
Where we would not choose to go.
Suddenly we pass a point
We will never pass again.
Turning points interrupt us . . .


On this feast of St. Mary Magdalene, this Gospel is a turning point in the post Resurrection stories of Jesus.  As a result of this moment of Mystery, the disciples will no longer hide in upper rooms, for one day soon their NEW WAY will change the course of  history  –  life will be turned upside down and inside out – all because Mary Magdalene has seen the Lord . . . and proclaims to all, Jesus is alive!

In this version of an “empty tomb” story that under girds Christian belief in the Resurrection of Jesus, it is difficult to miss the special importance John assigns to Mary Magdalene.  Only John reports that Mary Magdalene came alone, unaccompanied by other women.  From a cultural perspective, this is very unusual behavior, for in the culture of Jesus, a woman alone outdoors in an anomaly.  Theologians believe that this is John’s way of highlighting Mary’s special importance. 
 
Mary came to the tomb in great distress.  The huge stone had been moved away and the tomb itself is empty.  This caused Mary to think that Jesus’ body had been stolen.
 In her great love for Jesus, she lingered outside the tomb.  However, our Gospel continues to tell us that Mary looks in the tomb a second time and is greeted by two angels.  She seems to not notice the angels speaking to her for she is totally absorbed in one thing, and that was missing.


Now another turning point occurs. 
After her interchange with the angels, Mary turns and encounters the Risen Jesus, but she does not “know” him.   She mistakes him for the gardener, and asks him where he has placed Jesus’ body so that she can take it away.  The scene and interchange at this point are full of irony.  Here she is, “care-fronted” by Jesus, the focus of her longing, but she does not recognize him, precisely because she is looking for the corpse of the Jesus whom she knew.  Such is the paradox of longing; while it fuels our searching and focuses our attention, it also can limit what we see and so we can miss what we long for most deeply.


Then Jesus simply calls her name, “Mary!”  Jesus spoke her name. Only he could say her name in that way.  Now she turns again and instantly, with the whole of her being, she recognized him and in that moment knew that he had risen from the dead.

This second turning is the fulcrum of this Gospel story.  For in turning and recognizing Jesus when he calls her by name, Mary also turns or comes to herself.   In the instant of call and response Mary’s longing is transformed and fulfilled and she and her world are irrevocably changed.  In this poignant moment, Mary feels at once fully known and fully loved.  She also is fully seen and she knows that the eyes that see her are the eyes of forgiveness, mercy, love, and unconditional acceptance.

In the Scriptures, to be called by name has a special significance.  To call someone or something by name is to identify who or what it is.   Adam, in the garden, named each beast and flower according to its essence. God often changed the names of prophets to fit their roles.  By calling her by name, Jesus manifests his knowledge of everything in her life and his total acceptance of all that she is.  This is the moment in which Mary realizes Jesus loved her with unconditional love. 

When Mary listens to the voice of the risen Jesus, her perspective on the events in the garden changes.  She no longer understands the empty tomb as a manifestation of death, but a testimony to the power and possibilities of life. 

Mary may have attempted to embrace Jesus after she recognized him – (like any of us would do after having lost a dear friend to death) – But Jesus says to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not ascended to the Father.”  When he speaks these words, he teaches Mary that he cannot be controlled or held captive to preconceived standards and expectations of who he should be – The teaching he speaks to Mary is one that says – “Do not hold on to me, but let me be free so that I can give you the fullness of what I have to offer.”

And then a final turning point is presented in the Scripture.  Jesus instructs her to turn once again and he commissions her to go to the disciples, still hidden in fear, and to let them know that he is alive - he is risen from the dead.

This encounter with Jesus is made real for us, too.  We experience turning points of faith as we are called into the transformative process of discipleship. 
We sometimes fail to recognize the gentle hand of God in our unfolding story of walking in faith.  God often calls us by name in the depths of our sacred selves – where we are truly known in our essence and loved in our brokenness. 
God gazes upon us eternally with unconditional love – here, like Mary, we are fully seen, fully known, fully accepted, and fully loved.


Turning points interrupt us . . .
 Looking back we see them for what they are:
 Bittersweet raw reality
 Breakthrough to beatitude
 Bedrock that gives us courage
 to give ourselves away.
For the less we struggle with turning points
The greater the strength
To return
And turn again.

(Author Unknown)

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/072221.cfm