Monday Morning Offering: 5/2

Morning Coffee by George Mendoza

Good morning, good God!

Some things in my life need changing, Lord,
and I wish these changes would happen over night
but change comes slowly -
and that's perhaps because I come slowly to change...

I offer you my need to change, Lord,
my need to be changed,
my need to be open to the changes
you would make in me
and in my life...

I offer you my need to be fine-tuned, Lord,
lest the strings of my life sound flat
or worse, sharp, in the hearts and ears
of those who hear me...

I offer you my need to be changed
from the inside out, Lord,
from the core of who I am:
for my heart to be adjusted
to loving and being loved;
for my mind to be synced
with your word and your wisdom...

I offer you my need to be stretched, Lord,
to be the person you call me to be,
to be satisfied with nothing less
than becoming the person
you created me to be...

So many things in my life need changing, Lord:
heal and mend whatever’s torn,
whatever's wounded and broken...

Open my eyes, Lord,
to see your hands at work in my life
helping me to change every day...

Open my ears to hear your voice guiding me
through the changes I need to make...

Open my mouth, Lord,
to pray, to ask for your help
with the changes I most need to make...

Open my hands
to work for the changes that will lift others up…

Open my heart, Lord,
to your Spirit shaping, shifting, molding,
changing me from within...

Open up my life, Lord,
and bring to maturity all you've planted
and everything you nurture
within me...

Change me, Lord:
empty and humble my heart
for the sake of all whose paths cross mine:
      help me serve those in need,
      cheer those who sorrow,
      comfort those who grieve,
      stand with those who are alone,
      and rejoice with those whose hearts are glad…

Accept my prayer and desire to change, Lord:
today, tonight
and through the week ahead...


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Dan Berrigan, SJ

Fr. Dan Berrigan, SJ died yesterday.

He was a priest, a prophet and a poet.

These words of his were included in the program for my first Mass
on May 20, 1973:
Sometime in your life,
hope that you might see one starved man,
the look on his face when the bread finally arrives.

Hope that you might have baked it
or bought or even kneaded it yourself.

For that look on his face,
for your meeting his eyes across a piece of bread,
you might be willing to lose a lot,
or suffer a lot,
or die a little, even.

— Daniel Berrigan

May he rest in peace...


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Homily for May 1

Image source

Homily for the Sixth Sunday of Easter
(Scriptures for today's Mass)

Audio for Homily

Whoever loves me will keep my word…
Jesus is looking for hearts that will keep his word.

Of course, he’s not the only one!
Many people give us their word to keep:
friends, spouses, colleagues...
They give us their word of friendship, their word of love,
their word of trust, their word of pledge and promise…

These are people looking for hearts
where they can speak, share and entrust their word
without fear of ridicule or rejection…
They’re looking for hearts in which their word
will be respected, reverenced and treasured…

We all seek hearts willing to receive and keep our word
because the giving and receiving of one’s word
creates bonds of friendship, love and intimacy…
And Jesus is looking for hearts
that will receive and keep his word…
Keeping someone’s word in my heart is not always easy,
certainly not something to be taken lightly.

Keeping another’s word requires:
attentiveness, care, vigilance, loyalty,
and a strength that is gentle
and a gentleness that is robust.

To keep someone’s word in my heart
is to be attuned, even to be obedient to its presence there.

To keep another’s word
is to listen and respond to it faithfully;
to be faithful to the one who gave my heart a word to keep.

When I keep a word entrusted to my heart,
there is joy for me and for the one who trusts me…
When I fail in keeping another’s word
I weaken the spirit of the sharing
and damage the bond we had created…

When you keep someone’s word in your heart
 (and certainly when you keep the Lord’s word
in your heart)
you don’t know how or when it will call on you,
what it will ask of you,  where it will lead you
or how it will change you…

Hearts that keep the word of others,
(hearts that keep the Lord’s word)
are hearts doing what hearts were made to do…
Such are the hearts we all seek
for the safekeeping of a word we want to share,
a word we hope another will keep for us…

And Jesus seeks just the same kind of hearts in each of us.
I might ask myself then, you might ask yourself:
what word of mine
have I entrusted to the heart of Jesus for safe-keeping
and what word of his heart has he asked me to  keep?

One word he asks all of us to keep, is love,
a word calling us to put him and others and their needs
ahead of ourselves and our own needs.

The word Jesus asks us to keep in our hearts
is as demanding as it is precious, as stern as it is gentle,
and often it’s as hard to keep as it is a joy to hold.

And those who keep Jesus’ word
are assured their hearts will become a home,
a dwelling place of God’s presence.
And where God is present, in that place there is peace.

Peace he leaves with us, his peace he gives to us...
the peace he gives to those who keep his word.

And the peace he promises is not the world’s peace.
His peace is not simply the absence of conflict,
rather, his peace is the fullness of his presence:
a presence of trust, strength, vision and hope so great
that no conflict or fear can overwhelm it.

His peace dwells in the hearts of those
who hear and keep his word…

Is this not the kind of peace we all long for
in the conflicts, troubles, problems and worries
that burden and crowd our hearts?

If we would find and have and keep such peace
then we need to keep the word of Jesus
and he will make his home in our hearts
to be our peace when our hearts are troubled or afraid.

If we keep the Lord’s word,
the Lord’s word will keep us…

In our prayer today
he has spoken and invited us to keep his word.
In the sacrament of this table he will come to dwell in us
when we receive his presence and peace
in his body and blood in the Eucharist.

May we keep the word we hear.
may that word find a dwelling place in our hearts.
and may that same word bring us his peace…

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Pause for Prayer: May 1

Joseph the carpenter in The Nativity Story
St. Joseph is the patron saint of all workers... 

Do you know someone who needs a job?  someone who's overworked?  We pray for them today...  Think of those workers around the world who are underpaid and abused. We pray for them today...  Think of all those whose work benefits you and your comfort, safety and liberty.  We pray for them today...  Think of those who have no job. We pray for them today...  Think of those who work several jobs to support those who depend on them.  We pray for them today...  Think of the work you do: we pray for you today...

Spending some time with these images of St. Joseph the Worker.     Following the images you'll find today's prayer, a Litany of St. Joseph.

St. Joseph the Worker by John Collier

St Joseph the Worker by John Collier

St. Joseph the Worker by Michael O'Brien

From the Litany of St. Joseph

Lord, have mercy
Christ, have mercy
Lord, have mercy

God our Father in Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

Good St. Joseph
     Pray for us
Husband of the blessed Virgin Mary
Foster father of our Lord Jesus Christ
Protector of the Mother of God
Faithful Spouse
Example to parents
Pattern of patience
Lover of poverty
Comfort of the troubled
Protector of the Church
Good worker
Good and gentle man
Man of justice
Teacher of virtue
Model of kindness
Loving father

For all fathers
     St. Joseph, pray for them
For all families
For all who are afraid
For all who need work
For all who are overworked
For all tempted to despair
For all tempted by evil
For refugees and orphans
For those condemned to die
For those who are terminally ill
For those at the hour of their death
For those who wait for death
For the old and the alone
For all who work for justice
For all who work for life

Let us pray:

Almighty God, in Your infinite wisdom and love,
You chose Joseph to be the husband of Mary,
the mother of your Son.
As we enjoy his protection on earth,
may we have the help of his prayers in heaven.
We ask you this through Christ our Lord.

Pause for Prayer: SATURDAY 4/30

Image source

I met with, bumped into and crossed paths
with many people yesterday:
different kinds of encounters
with different kinds of folks...

And even during the parts of the day
when I was all alone
I crossed paths with others
in my mind and in my heart...

And each one I met,
each one I bumped into,
each one whose path crossed mine
was you, Lord...

You met with me, you bumped into me,
your path crossed mine
in the lives of everyone I saw
and everyone I thought of yesterday...

So, I hope I greeted you warmly, Lord,
I hope I treated you kindly,
I hope I spoke to you in a friendly way,
I hope I listened to what you had to say,
I hope I dealt with you fairly,
I hope I gave you all the time you wanted,
I hope I helped you in any way I could,
I hope I gave of myself to you
generously, gently and graciously...

And if in any way I failed to greet you
as warmly and honestly as l might have
then I hope to do better today
when I meet you and bump into you,
when my path crosses yours



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Pause for Prayer: FRIDAY 4/29

When my road is rocky, Lord,
   clear me a path to walk in safety...

When it's stormy all around me,
   find me safe space to wait it out...

When it's dark and I can't see,
   then take my hand and be my guide...

When my seas are high and heavy,
   sail me home to your safe harbor...

When I'm chased by fear and doubt
   build me a stronghold of your grace...

When I'm plagued by trials and troubles,
  find me a place to sort them out...

When I've not much hope to spare,
   build me a shelter made of trust...

When I don't know where to turn
   send me a sign which I can read...

When I'm lost and all alone,
   open your arms to hold me close...



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Pause for Prayer: THURSDAY 4/28

This is a repost from a year ago
but this week I've become aware
of how much beauty passes me by...
Take a few minutes with this time-lapse video...  

El Cielo de Canarias / Canary sky - Tenerife from Daniel López on Vimeo.

Then pause for prayer and ask...

What simple beauty sweeps slowly through my life, unnoticed?

What missed magnificence surrounds me?

What gossamer waves do I mistake for clouds?

What light hallows and haloes the shadows I fear?

What heavens crown my every night with jewels?

Open my eyes, O Lord, lest I miss even a glimpse
of how you are revealed wherever I am,
wherever I go...


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Pause for Prayer: TUESDAY 5/26

Concord Center: Photo by CP

The trees are budding
with hope and promise
of leafy beauty soon to come and stay
until November's chill strips bare again
their shades of summer green...

And I wonder:
what's budding in me, Lord?
What promise and hope will you, this spring,
draw forth and bring to life?
What growth have you in mind for me?
What change is budding in my soul,
in my thoughts and words and deeds?

What's yet unknown to even me,
budding now from deep within,
calling me to something new:
   to be more than I've ever been,
   to do more than I've ever done,
   to grow in ways I've not yet dreamed?

Coax, cajole, compel what's budding
in my heart and mind and soul...

Open up to thrive, this spring,
what hope and promise you desire
to bring alive in me...



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Monday Morning Offering: 4/25

Image: George Mendoza

Good morning, good God!

I’m feeling harried and distracted:
So much happening on all sides
and inside, too…

I need help figuring things out:
what’s important and what’s not;
what’s a priority and what can wait;
the difference between what I need to do
and what I’d rather do…

So I offer you this morning, Lord,
the mixed up jumble
of my completed and my unfinished tasks,
my lists of things to do that don’t get done,
my false starts and unmet goals…

I offer you all the things I put off until tomorrow
and then put off again for the next day...
and the next…

I offer you my unkept promises,
my promises to slow down, be still,
to pray,
to seek your wisdom,
to ask for your help…

Lord, stop me in my tracks today:
put the breaks on, take me aside
and sit me down 'til I take a deep breath
- or two or three…

Let me breathe in your presence,
let me lean on you
and rest by your side…

Refresh and restore me with your Spirit:
grant me serenity
and the peace that only you can give…

Help me discern what’s most deserving
of my time, my interest, my attention -
and what's not...

Help me see with your eyes
what I most need to see…

Help me know by your light
what you ask of me…

Help me do with my hands
what first needs doing…

And as I plan and schedule my week -
keep me open to how you’ll surprise me
along the way,
every day...

Help me do what you ask of me:
what will best serve you
and all whose paths cross mine…

Be patient with me, Lord:
be with me,
by my side,

Receive my morning offering, Lord,
and with your Spirit’s truth and wisdom
bless this day and night
and bless the week ahead...



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