7/26/16

Priest killed while celebrating Mass

Abbé Jacques Hamel

A priest is sometimes called an alter Christus (another Christ)
who acts in persona Christi (in the person of Christ).

When celebrating the Eucharist a priest offers, sacramentally,
the sacrifice Jesus offered, once, and for all, on the altar of the Cross: his Body and Blood.

An 85 year old priest in St.-Étienne-du-Rouvray, a town in Normandy,
was killed this morning while celebrating Mass.

Abbé Jacques Hamel was slain while celebrating the sacrifice of Jesus
who was slain for us...

Please pray for Abbé Jacques, for the four who were injured at the same time and for the men who killed and harmed this small congregation at prayer on a Monday morning in Normandy...


 

     
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7/25/16

Pause for Prayer: TUESDAY 7/26

Image source

Like Butter

The morning sun light
floods my porch,
warms my legs
and loosens up my limbs...

Your golden mercy softens me
like butter meant for baking:
a recipe to make of me
much more than I have been...

As butter into batter,
fold me deep
in your embrace...

In the heat of summer sun,
melt and fold me in your arms,
sweet Jesus man!

Amen.

(These hot summer days call for sharing this post again!)




   
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Pause for Prayer: TUESDAY 7/26

Image source

Like Butter

The morning sun light
floods my porch,
warms my legs
and loosens up my limbs...

Your golden mercy softens me
like butter meant for baking:
a recipe to make of me
much more than I have been...

As butter into batter,
fold me deep
in your embrace...

In the heat of summer sun,
melt and fold me in your arms,
sweet Jesus man!





   
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7/24/16

Monday Morning Offering: July 25

Coffee in the Morning by G. Mendoza

Good morning, good God!

O Lord - the last few weeks have been filled with
good days and hard days,
ups and downs,
disappointments and hopes fulfilled,
surprises (good and bad),
some loneliness and a reunion with a good friend,
consolation and confrontation,
good news and not-so-good news,
hot, humid days and cool evenings,
and, most of all,
an abiding sense of your presence
in my heart and by my side...

Since these last few weeks haven't been unusual,
I suspect that much of the same is ahead for me
and so I offer you my heart this morning,
wanting to be open and accepting
of all to come my way in the days that lie ahead...

I offer you my thanks for the good days
(may there be many!)
and my need for your help on the hard days
(may they be few!)...

I offer you my praise for the times
when my spirits are in flight
and pray you'll lift me up
when my spirits start to sink...

I offer you a prayer for strength
for times when disappointment clouds my soul
and another prayer of thanks
each time my hopes and dreams come true...

I know I'll need your consolation now and then
(or even every day!)
and I pray you'll give me grace
when I'm confronted and confused...

Good news and bad news?
I know that some of both
will make the headlines of my life:
thank you for the good news
and lead me through the bad...

It's summer, Lord, so I offer you these hazy days,
humidity and all, and pray for gentle breezes
to cool me at day's end..

Most of all, Lord, I thank you for your presence
above, behind, before me...

I thank you for your grace
and all the ways you get me through...

I thank you for your walking
close by me, at my side...

I offer you my heart this morning,
wanting to be open and accepting
of all to come my way
in the days that lie ahead...

I offer you my praise for all the ways
you are my rock, my refuge,
my joy and my delight,
whatever comes my way
in these middle summer days...

Amen.






   
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Homily for July 24

Image source

Homily for the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
(Scriptures for today's Mass)

Audio for homily
 

-->
Just a few moments ago we sang,
“Lord, on the day when I called for help, you answered me…”
So, have you ever prayed for something
and got just what you asked for?
Have you ever prayed for something
and didn’t get what you asked for?
Or have you ever prayed for one thing
and got something else
that you didn’t want at all?
As Abraham did, have you ever bargained with God in prayer,
hoping to talk the Lord into doing what you want?

Abraham’s story is much more about persistent familiarity with God
than it is about getting what you want.
Jesus counsels the same in the gospel today,
inviting us to trust God just as we might trust a best friend
and to trust that God, a good parent,
will never give his children anything bad or harmful
and will always give us the power of his Spirit
to help us through whatever hard times we face.

But as true as the word of Jesus is, I know the pain
(my own and others’)
the pain of praying persistently for something
and not having my prayer answered as I had hoped,
as I had prayed, it might be.

Especially when times are tough
and we’re praying for something that is good and even selfless,
it’s hard to understand why our all-powerful God seems passive,
not intervening as we’re pleading that he will.
Like you, I have no inside info on the mind of God,
on how and why God chooses to respond to our prayer as he does.
But there is something to be said about how we pray.

One writer has described prayer in this way:
            Prayer is the place where we sort out our desires
            and where we ourselves are sorted out
            by the desires we choose to follow.
            Prayer enlarges our desire
            until it receives God’s desire for us.

            In prayer, we grow big enough
            to house God’s desire within us…*

Our wants, our needs, our desires are many - and we pray for them.
Some of what we want and pray for is very good - some, not so good.
Some needs are selfless - and some are selfish.
Some desires shape our lives for the better and others - not so much.

In so many ways our lives are shaped by what we desire,
what we long for,
what we believe we need and just can’t do without.
And these all need to be sorted out in prayer.

It’s certainly good and commendable to pray for particular needs,
and for the needs of particular persons.
But what of our prayer outside out times of need?

- Do we sit down with the Lord, regularly,
and pray that he help us sort out
our wants, needs,  and desires?

- Do we ask the Lord, regularly, to help us see - and critique -
how our desires and choices are shaping us and our happiness?

- Suppose that in my prayer, instead of asking God for this or for that,
suppose I were to ask him,
 “Lord what do you ask of me?  What do you want from me?”

- Suppose I were to pray,
 “Lord, give me only whatever I need
to become the person you made me to be.”

- Suppose that in my prayer, I would regularly ask
for the wisdom to know which doors to knock on,
the wisdom to knock only those doors that will open
to what’s truly good for me and truly good for others?
If we were to pray in these ways,
imagine how differently we might hear Jesus’ words when he says:
 “Everyone who asks, receives, and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

What are do we ask for?
What do we seek?
Upon which doors are we knocking?
            Prayer is the place where we sort out our desires
            and where we ourselves are sorted out
            by the desires we choose to follow.
            Prayer enlarges our desire
            until it receives God’s desire for us.

            In prayer, we grow big enough
            to house God’s desire in us…
God’s desire in us is his Spirit
the very Spirit he promises to those who pray, who seek, who knock.

And this place where we’ve gathered is a place for “sorting things out.”

- Once a week we set aside our own needs and wants to come here,
to gather with our brothers and sisters in prayer.

- We began by praying for God’s mercy and forgiveness
for the times we chose to seek and ask for the wrong things,
for the times we knocked on the wrong doors.

We listen to God’s Word, hoping that the Lord’s wisdom
might help us sort out our own lives and the choices we make
that shape our lives and our happiness.
And we to go to the Lord’s Table,
praying that our hearts have grown large enough
to house God’s desire dwelling within us
in the Body and Blood of Jesus in the Eucharist.

So, let us pray…
that the Lord will help us sort out our own desires
and allow ourselves to be sorted out by his grace;
that the Lord open us and help us receive what we truly need;
that he help us seek what we truly need to find;
that he will open for us those doors
that lead all of us deeper into his heart.

*Ann and Barry Ulanov in: Primary Speech: a Psychology of Prayer
                                   




 

     
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Homily for July 24

Image source

Homily for the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
(Scriptures for today's Mass)

Audio for homily
 

-->
Just a few moments ago we sang,
“Lord, on the day when I called for help, you answered me…”
So, have you ever prayed for something
and got just what you asked for?
Have you ever prayed for something
and didn’t get what you asked for?
Or have you ever prayed for one thing
and got something else
that you didn’t want at all?
As Abraham did, have you ever bargained with God in prayer,
hoping to talk the Lord into doing what you want?

Abraham’s story is much more about persistent familiarity with God
than it is about getting what you want.
Jesus counsels the same in the gospel today,
inviting us to trust God just as we might trust a best friend
and to trust that God, a good parent,
will never give his children anything bad or harmful
and will always give us the power of his Spirit
to help us through whatever hard times we face.

But as true as the word of Jesus is, I know the pain
(my own and others’)
the pain of praying persistently for something
and not having my prayer answered as I had hoped,
as I had prayed, it might be.

Especially when times are tough
and we’re praying for something that is good and even selfless,
it’s hard to understand why our all-powerful God seems passive,
not intervening as we’re pleading that he will.
Like you, I have no inside info on the mind of God,
on how and why God chooses to respond to our prayer as he does.
But there is something to be said about how we pray.

One writer has described prayer in this way:
            Prayer is the place where we sort out our desires
            and where we ourselves are sorted out
            by the desires we choose to follow.
            Prayer enlarges our desire
            until it receives God’s desire for us.

            In prayer, we grow big enough
            to house God’s desire within us…*

Our wants, our needs, our desires are many - and we pray for them.
Some of what we want and pray for is very good - some, not so good.
Some needs are selfless - and some are selfish.
Some desires shape our lives for the better and others - not so much.

In so many ways our lives are shaped by what we desire,
what we long for,
what we believe we need and just can’t do without.
And these all need to be sorted out in prayer.

It’s certainly good and commendable to pray for particular needs,
and for the needs of particular persons.
But what of our prayer outside out times of need?

- Do we sit down with the Lord, regularly,
and pray that he help us sort out
our wants, needs,  and desires?

- Do we ask the Lord, regularly, to help us see - and critique -
how our desires and choices are shaping us and our happiness?

- Suppose that in my prayer, instead of asking God for this or for that,
suppose I were to ask him,
 “Lord what do you ask of me?  What do you want from me?”

- Suppose I were to pray,
 “Lord, give me only whatever I need
to become the person you made me to be.”

- Suppose that in my prayer, I would regularly ask
for the wisdom to know which doors to knock on,
the wisdom to knock only those doors that will open
to what’s truly good for me and truly good for others?
If we were to pray in these ways,
imagine how differently we might hear Jesus’ words when he says:
 “Everyone who asks, receives, and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

What are do we ask for?
What do we seek?
Upon which doors are we knocking?
            Prayer is the place where we sort out our desires
            and where we ourselves are sorted out
            by the desires we choose to follow.
            Prayer enlarges our desire
            until it receives God’s desire for us.

            In prayer, we grow big enough
            to house God’s desire in us…
God’s desire in us is his Spirit
the very Spirit he promises to those who pray, who seek, who knock.

And this place where we’ve gathered is a place for “sorting things out.”

- Once a week we set aside our own needs and wants to come here,
to gather with our brothers and sisters in prayer.

- We began by praying for God’s mercy and forgiveness
for the times we chose to seek and ask for the wrong things,
for the times we knocked on the wrong doors.

We listen to God’s Word, hoping that the Lord’s wisdom
might help us sort out our own lives and the choices we make
that shape our lives and our happiness.
And we to go to the Lord’s Table,
praying that our hearts have grown large enough
to house God’s desire dwelling within us
in the Body and Blood of Jesus in the Eucharist.

So, let us pray…
that the Lord will help us sort out our own desires
and allow ourselves to be sorted out by his grace;
that the Lord open us and help us receive what we truly need;
that he help us seek what we truly need to find;
that he will open for us those doors
that lead all of us deeper into his heart.

*Ann and Barry Ulanov in: Primary Speech: a Psychology of Prayer
                                   




 

     
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7/23/16

Pause for Prayer: SUNDAY 7/24


You read my mind and heart...

You know me, Lord, better than anyone else
   and you know me far better than I know myself...

From before all time you knew me:
   you knew who my parents would be,
   you knew the day of my birth,
   you knew my blood type and the color of my eyes,
      the shape of my head, my ears and my nose 
         and the look of my face...
From before all time you knew me, Lord
   and you loved me even then...

And you love me now...

You know every thought I'll have before I have it.
You know where my mind will go before I begin to think.
You know which of my thoughts I don't want you to know
   and the thoughts I try to keep from myself.
You know my best thoughts and my worst thoughts,
  my pipe dreams and my serious plans...
Even while I'm sleeping you know my mind:   
   you know my dreams - and you understand them!
And you know my nightmares, Lord,
   and the fears I carry from sleep to the light of day...

You know my schemes and designs, 
  and the thoughts I'm embarrassed to acknowledge before you.
You know my loves and you know my lust,
   my generosity and my greed;
you know my selfish and my selfless sides...

You know my strengths and my weaknesses,
   my good deeds and my sins,
      my true resolve and my half-baked promises...

You know the truth of who I am, Lord,
   and you know the lies I tell others,
      the lies I tell myself
         and the lies I try to tell you...

You know every broken piece of my life
   and how much I need your mending hand,
      your healing help...

You know where I've been, Lord,
   and how I've followed and failed in walking your path.
You know where I belong, you know where I am,
   you know what I'm doing here, 
      for weal or for woe.
And you know where I'm going,
   though that's something of a mystery yet to me...

You know that I love you, Lord,
   and you know when and how and why 
      I love you less than I ought.
Yet you love me, Lord, and never fail
   to call my heart to greater, deeper love of you,
      of my neighbor and of myself...

You know me inside-out and try as I might,
   there's no hiding from your watchful eye, 
      no running from your arms' reach.
There's no escaping your strong arm's embrace
   no matter how I struggle, thinking like a fool,
      I might do better on my own...

You know and call the stars by name, Lord,
   but there's so much more to know of us, your own,
      and so much more to love in every heart you've made...

In the quiet of my prayer, Lord, call me by name:
   let my heart hear your voice 
      and let me know your love...

Teach me, Lord, to love as I am loved
   and to find my joy in you 
      who know me oh-so-well 
         - and yet, you love me still... 

Amen.
            

 
 
   
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