NIGHT PRAYER: Saturday 8/8

Sunset... so often so beautiful
even if it cues the end of day
and ushers in the dark of night
when, sometimes, Lord,
our vision dimmed,
we fail to find your light...  .

And so we say our night prayers
as we learned when we were young:
prayers to thank you for this day,
to ask a blessing on our friends,
to beg the gracious favor
   of a safe and peaceful rest...

So, as the sun sets, Lord, and dark descends,
until the new day dawns,
be the light upon our path
and help us find our way to you...

Protect us, Lord, while we're awake,
watch over us while we sleep
that awake, we might keep watch with you
and asleep, rest in your peace...



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Pause for Prayer: SATURDAY 8/8

Sometimes, I forget, Lord...

Sometimes I forget and I worry for nothing,
   for nothing is all that worry can do...

Sometimes I forget how today's biggest fears
   are often tamed by a good night's sleep...

Sometimes I forget that I've somehow survived
   last week's unsolvable problems...

Sometimes I forget that you're always with me,
   that I'm absolutely never, ever, alone...

Sometimes I forget that working together,
   there's nothing you and I can't handle...

Sometimes I forget, Lord,
   that all shall be well, yes, all shall be well,
      that all manner of things shall be well...

Sometimes I forget, again and again,
   so please, Lord, help me remember!



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NIGHT PRAYER: Friday 8/7

Tonight's song is an instrumental piece.  I'm placing it here, ahead of the prayer, so that you might play it (once or twice or more) while you're considering tonight's prayer text.  Tonight's prayer was inspired by a conversation I had this morning about the grace of looking back to see where I've been and where God has been in my day, and in my life...

Song at the End of the Day by Secret Garden

Another day in the life of - - - me!

I believe you were with me every moment of this day, Lord:
not for a split second did you turn away from me;
never did you let me wander from your sight;
I was always in arm's reach of your outstretched hands; 
I was never alone - you were with me all day long!

And I believe you spent this day, Lord:
pointing me in the right direction, 
prodding me, nudging me and maybe once or twice 
pushing me where I needed to go
- or rescuing me when I went astray!

And all day long, Lord, you were speaking to me:
sometimes whispering in my ear;
sometimes speaking through a friend's words;
sometimes teaching me through scripture's word;
and in the quiet of my heart, where there's no need for words,
I heard your message loud and clear: you love me, Lord!

How often, today, did I walk slowly enough 
   to see you by my side?
How often did I find a quiet place and stop what I was doing
  - just to listen for your voice?
How often did I ask for your wisdom
   to advise me on choices and decisions I had to make?
How often did I speak to you
   of my joys and sorrows, my confidence and my fears,
   of my faith... my hope... my love for you and for my neighbor?

As I look back on today, Lord:
   - when and where and how 
         was I most surprised by your presence?
   - when and where and how
         did I most need you in my day?
   - when and where and how
         did I grow closer to you as this day unfolded?
   -  when and where and how
         do I need to be more attentive to your presence?
Help me remember, see and treasure, Lord,
all the ways you walked with me today
and help me see the times I was too busy,
too self-absorbed - or just too lazy -
to pay attention to your presence, 
to listen for your voice,
to call on you in prayer,
to thank you for your friendship,
your grace and your peace
and all the ways you spent this day with me...

Give me a good night's rest, Lord,
that I might wake refreshed
and just a little more attentive
to your presence in my day and in my life...

Protect me while I'm still awake, Lord,
and watch over me as I sleep
that awake, I might keep watch with you
and asleep, rest in your peace...



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Pause for Prayer: FRIDAY 8/7

A piece of good news fell into my lap
and filled my heart with sweet relief
and since all blessings flow from you
I thank you, Lord, for such a gift...

Some might call it luck or chance
but I will name it unexpected grace:
a gift to lift my spirits, Lord,
an undeserved favor from your heart...

So remind me, then, when days are gray
with fear and disappointment
of all the times when your good news
surprised my soul with joy...

Remind me how your blessings, Lord,
come every day in mercy and in grace
- and in many ways
I sometimes (even often) miss...

Open wide my soul, my eyes and ears,
to all the ways your good news falls
into my arms, my lap, my heart,
into my days, my nights and weeks...

And for those whose nights and days 
are shaded gray with disappointment,
make me a herald, Lord, of good news
flowing from your heart...


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NIGHT PRAYER: Thursday 8/6

Today, Lord, the Church remembers your Transfiguration
when, on a mountain top, you revealed your glory
and your face shone like the sun 
and your clothes became white as light...

And today, Lord, the world remembers another light,
a blinding light, searing human flesh in Hiroshima
and instantly claiming 80,000 men, women and children
and, in the aftermath, tens of thousands more
of injuries, radiation burns and sickness...

Humankind's inhumanity to humankind:
   Lord, have mercy!
   Christ, have mercy!
   Lord, have mercy!

How easily we forget your command, Lord:
Love one another as I have loved you!

How easily we excuse ourselves when we fail to love on the basis of
   race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion,
   sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, marital status,
   age, height, weight, physical or mental ability, military status...

How easily, Lord, we drop verbal and emotional bombs 
   in our neighbors' lives;
how easily we sear each other's souls with rumor, gossip and lies;
how easily we shoot down a neighbor's reputation and good name;
how easily we inflict social mortal wounds
   with our bigotry and bias, our resentment and prejudice...

How easily, Lord, we do in our families and neighborhoods,
   in the class room and work place, with our words and our deeds
what nations do on the front lines and on battle fields,
   in war rooms and command posts with strategy and arms...

How easily we forget, Lord, that indeed we are
our sister's keeper, our brother's keeper,
our neighbor's keeper - wherever our neighbor might live...

Hasten the day, Lord, when we heed your word
and love our neighbor, each and every one,
as we love ourselves and our native land...

You alone are God and we your children
brothers and sisters, one and all
and for each of us, with equal love,
your Son laid down his life 
for our failure to love one another,
for the forgiveness of our truly mortal sins...

Your peace you left us, Lord, 
help us keep the peace you gave us
and hasten the day when the peace that only you can give
is the peace of the world we all call home...

Protect us, Lord, while we're awake
and watch over us as we sleep
that awake, we might keep watch with you
and asleep, rest in your peace...


(This was an unusually heavy Night Prayer... I hope and pray
this song will bring us peace and its lyrics offer hope...) 

This Is My Song


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Pause for Prayer: THURSDAY 8/6

Image source
On August 6 the Church celebrates the Feast of the Transfiguration when Jesus hiked to the top of Mount Tabor with his friends, Peter, James and John.  On the mountain top, Jesus was transfigured before their eyes and they had a glimpse of the glory of Christ the Lord. 

We're not in Israel, Lord, 
and Mount Tabor's no where in sight
- so where might you take me today, Lord,
to give me a glimpse of your glory?

Will you walk me around my neighborhood
and let your light shine on the place where I live,
on my home, my neighbors, my town?

Will you sit with me on my porch,
on my doorstep or in my backyard,
with the glow of your grace warming my heart?

Will you find us a quiet corner
and spend some time with me there,
the light of your face chasing shadows away?

Will we go for a ride to the woods or a field,
to a Tabor nearby or the shore,
where nature's shot through with your luster?

Will I just close my eyes and open my heart
in a moment of prayer and reflection
while your radiance illumes my soul? 

We're not in Israel, Lord, 
and Mount Tabor's no where in sight
- so where might you take me today, Lord,
to give me a glimpse of your glory?



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NIGHT PRAYER: Wednesday 8/5

Sometimes, Lord, the way people talk these days,
you might think the pandemic was the only problem
troubling and messing up our lives
- but that's not the case!

All our pre-pandemic problems still weigh heavy
on our shoulders and in our hearts
- in fact, many feel even more burdened now
as the virus adds to our worries
and drains the energy we need to keep us going...

So at the end of this day, Lord, 
I'm praying for all the people who carry a backpack of burdens,
under Corona's cloud...

I'm praying for those who are sick with all manner of ailments 
and especially for the chronically or terminally ill
- and I'm praying for those who love them,
who care for them, who attend to their needs
and who feel helpless in the face of illness:
   send the anointing of your Spirit, Lord,
   to heal us in mind and body, in heart and soul...

And I'm praying for those living in troubled families,
in broken families, in families where parents or children or siblings
are estranged, lost, shunned or forgotten:
   send the power of your Spirit, Lord,
   to mend what we've broken and torn asunder,
   send your Spirit to bring unity
   where we've alienated and divided ourselves...

And I'm praying for those who are always unsure of tomorrow,
who live with anxiety and fear, who don't know which way to go,
what choice or decision to make:
   send the power of your Spirit, Lord,
   to make firm the hearts and strong the will
   of those who need to lean on you
   for help, support and comfort...

And I'm praying for the poor around the world, Lord,
those in need at home and abroad,
those at greater risk of the virus because they have so little
to protect themselves with health care 
and nourish themselves with fresh food and clean water:
   send your Spirit, Lord,
   to stir in the hearts of us who have so much more than we need
   and make us generous, very generous, in reaching out to others...

I'm praying for those who need work,
for the unemployed, the laid off, the furloughed,
for all who are struggling to make ends meet,
to pay the bills, put food on the table
and provide for those who are in their care:
   send your Spirit's gentle patience, Lord,
   to sustain and comfort those who wait for work
   - and those who are overworked and in need of rest...

I pray tonight for those who cry, Lord,
those whose souls weep in tears of prayer
   for loved ones lost,
   for family and friends in trouble,
   for hopes and dreams not met,
   for the slow passing of lonely nights and days,
   for memories of painful days
   and those of joy - but now a long time gone:
      send your Spirit, Lord, to wipe away their tears
      and fill their hearts with the healing peace and joy
      of your presence deep within...

And I'm praying for our nation, Lord,
and for any, on either side of the aisle, who might use the pandemic
for political and selfish pursuit:
   send the wisdom of your Spirit, Lord,
   to make us a people of principle, integrity and honor,
   determined to seek the truth for the benefit of all...

And, Lord, I pray at the end of this day for all those
who seek but have trouble finding you,
who believe but have difficulty in understanding you,
whose faith in you waits for affirmation,
whose hope in you is diminished by disappointment,
whose love for you aches for a sign of your love in return:
   send the life-giving breath of your spirit, Lord,
   to open our minds to your counsel,
   our hearts to your presence,
   and our souls to your merciful love,
   to the grace and the peace we long for...

At the end of this day, as we lay down our burdens, 
send us your Spirit, Lord
and protect us while we're still awake
and watch over us when we fall asleep
that awake, we might keep watch with you
and asleep, rest in your peace...


Send Us Your Spirit by Dan Schutte, sung by Chris Brunelle

Send us your spirit, O Lord.
Evening enfolds us and holds us too near.
Wake the morning light.
Make our living bright.
Shine on our darkness, O Lord

Hold us with mercy, O Lord.
Sorrow has spoken, has broken our hearts.
Clothe us in your care.
Be the life we bear. Feed us and fill us, O Lord.

Teach us your wisdom, O Lord.
Shadows have clouded, have crowded our sight.
Give us hearts that see. Set our loving free.
Hear us and help us, O Lord.

Send us good summer, O Lord.
Winters have chilled us and stilled us too long.
Give us love's own fire. Be our true desire.
Send us your spirit, O Lord.


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Recap of Sunday's mass and an invite for August 9


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