Prayers for and Thoughts on a Time of Change

 

 

 

Jesus, help me to understand that in every life, something good fails, something great ends, something righteous is taken unjustly away, something looms like an abandonment by God. Give me the wisdom to know that You rose from the dead as a sign to us that every one of these “little deaths” is life become new all over again. Be with me in living Your Resurrection over and over again.

 

Hospitality of the heart is what makes the world a tender and lovely place to be.  It is what makes interdependence real.  From one end of the globe to the other, we look to one another for understanding, for insight and support.

 

The spiritually mature person does not rely on God for miracles. They rely on God for strength and courage, for insight and hope, for vision and endurance. They know that God is with them; they do not believe that God is an instrument for the comfort of human beings.

 

The truth is that every one of us is born for a purpose, just as is every other single element in creation. There is within us the same kind of impulse to shine that lights up the stars themselves. We are each meant to give luminance. We are to be beacons for others whose life path is in shadow, as others have been illuminating for us during our own dark moments along the way.

But at the same time, in a galaxy with a million stars we are inclined to discount our own. “All I do is...” becomes a common excuse for denigrating the self, for claiming powerlessness, for waiting for someone else to do what must be done. The problem is, we so often fail to notice, that on those terms so much of what’s really important never gets done at all.

The unloved get little attention, the unlovable get little care, the lonely get left behind, the difficult get forgotten. And so they all stay unloved, unlovable, lonely and difficult. What’s worse is that we ourselves remain blind to the fact that we are what’s missing in a world seeking wholeness but becoming more fragmented by the day.

 

(...from Monasteries of the Heart)

 

When the forms of an old culture are dying, the new culture is created by a few people who are not afraid to be insecure.  Rudolf Bahro, author of "The Web of Hope"

 

“If you think that peace and happiness are somewhere else and you run after them, you will never arrive.”
—Thich Nhat Hanh

 

 

O God, you taught the hearts of the faithful people by sending them the light of your Holy Spirit:

To be our guide on this path-a path that is new to us and not easily traveled.

To give us the wisdom and courage we need in creating our new parish.

To comfort us and calm our fears as we grow into this new faith community.

To help us understand our part in shaping this new community.

We ask this trusting your words spoken through Jeremiah,

“I know the plans I have for you…plans for your welfare…plans to give you a future full of hope.  Amen

 

 

Grant to us, Loving God, your people of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, the vision to see that the work of our parish is your work.

Grant us the charity to live in peace and harmony with one another. Help us to worship you with deep devotion and, in your name, to serve and support each other.

Help us to see and understand your needs in one another, particularly in those who are different from us. Grant us a spirit of self-sacrifice to make possible the spreading of your word in our faith community and throughout the world.

We pray for enlightenment from the Holy Spirit to guide us in all our programs so that we may accomplish your will as we share your boundless love with all people. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

The Sanctuary

It could be said that God’s foot is so vast
That this entire earth is but a
field on God’s
toe,

And all the forests in this world
Came from the same root of just
A single hair
of God’s.

What then is not a sanctuary?
Where then can I not kneel
and pray at a shrine
made holy by God’s
presence?
—St. Catherine of Sienna

Credit: “The Sanctuary.” Love Poems from God. Ed. Daniel Ladinsky. Penguin, 2002.

 

Life is a progression.  Change is a Blessing...

Lord, help me to be graceful and accepting when the time comes to make drastic changes in my life.

 

 

Someone said:

“We’ve always done it this way.  Do not try something new.”

Someone said:

“We must have another rummage sale:  it keeps the church going!”

Someone said:

“Pick some hymns that we know!”

And someone said:

“This parish is too small, it is better to close it down.”

But I heard a different voice say:

“Loving God, how can we become living stones?”

 

Good and gracious God, we hear the voices which upset our easiness and calling us to change.  Show us the way of risk, give us life, and lead us to the joy we will find together.

 


Humility is a natural virtue. It’s one of those things that everybody has to get eventually or else die in misery. Diminishment, for instance, is one of the facts of life that breeds humility and diminishment is part of every experience. We get to practice it all our lives. Humility is the survival mechanism of life. 

– from A Monastery Almanac