Pocket Prayer for MONDAY 3/25

Gronk's retiring, Lord!

Retiring after two vertebral disc hernias,
a high ankle sprain, an inguinal hip pull,
three forearm fractures, a back vertebral fracture,
three concussions, two torn ACLs, a torn MCL,
a knee strain, a hamstring pull, a chest lung bruise,
a leg thigh bruise, three back surgeries, a bulging disc,
and tendonitis in his Achilles
- and all this "among other ailments"...

Some fans are complaining, Lord,
bemoaning his decision, 
and I have to wonder
what do they expect of one man?

Seems to me the Gronk finally came to his senses,
(after counting up his millions)
- or perhaps you touched his life, Lord,
and knocked a little self-preserving sense
into his thrice concussed brain
and his bruised and banged up body...

Well, I'm no superstar athlete
and all my bones are intact, Lord,
but I'm sure there any number of ways
you'd like to knock a little self-preserving sense
in my often foolish mind and thoughts and deeds...

So if that's how you need to touch my life today, Lord,
step right in give me a good dose of your wisdom and counsel,
along with the gifts of knowledge and understanding...

If need be, stop me in my tracks, Lord,
turn my life around
and help me leave behind
whatever breaks me down,
tears me apart or injures my integrity...

touch my life today
- however you see fit!


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Monday Morning Offering: 3/25

Coffee in the Morning by George Mendoza

Good morning, good God!

So often, Lord, I find myself filled
with a need for clarity,
for surety and solutions,
for evidence and proof,
for certainty, signs and answers...

And when I bring all this to you
I'm often disappointed and frustrated,
when my prayer meets
your quiet presence,
your inscrutable silence,
your mysterious Spirit...

So this morning, Lord,
I offer you my desire to trust...

Help me trust in your wisdom
when I'm in a fog...

Help me trust in your strength
when I am weak...

Help me see beyond my problems
when my problems are all I can see...

Help me trust that all shall be well
when everything seems impossible...

Help me trust in your fidelity
when I'm feeling lost and abandoned...

Help me trust in tomorrow
when today appears so bleak...

Help me trust in your saving word
when it comes in just a whisper...

Help me trust in the truth of your wisdom
when I'm lost in my own confusion...

Help me trust in your warmth and light
when I'm lost in the chill of darkness...

Help me trust in your love, Lord,
when I'm feeling all alone...

Help me trust in your mercy
when I fear you won't forgive me...

Help me trust in you, Lord,
when I don't even trust in myself...

Help me let go my need for
absolute clarity, 
for surety and solutions,
for evidence and proof,
for certainty, signs and answers...

Help me let go all that
and trust in you, Lord,
and in your loving care for me...

And through this Monday's ups and downs,
through this week of sorrows and joys,
open my heart to those whose paths cross mine:
help me trust in their goodness
and help them to trust in mine...

This is the prayer I offer you this morning, Lord,
and all this day and through this week...

Help me trust that you hear me:
help me trust all shall be well,
that all manner of things 
shall be well...


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(No) Homily for March 24

I had a very full weekend without any weekend help and I was feeling rather nastily under the weather. Since both my deacons were already assigned to preach I asked them each to preach twice - which was a great help - so I don't have a homily for this weekend.


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Pocket Prayer for Sunday 3/24

I don't know exactly when,
     but sometime today, Jesus,
          you'll touch my life...

So I pray when you speak to me today, Lord,
   you'll open my heart and my ears
      to the words you want me to hear...

And I pray you'll guide my steps today, Lord,
   and attune my intuition
      to the ways your Spirit leads me...

I pray for your support and help today
   to say and do what's right
      - and to accept all the strength you offer...

I pray you'll touch me today, Lord,
   in the lives of those whose paths cross mine...

I pray you'll challenge me today, Lord,
   to move beyond my worries and anxieties:
      and to help me take the steps I fear the most...

And since I know you might throw me a curve ball
   or ask me for something unexpected, Lord,
      I pray for the grace to be surprised...

And when I fail in love today, Lord, in small and larger ways:
     I pray for your mercy, Lord,
      and so I pray you'll be there to forgive me...

I know you'll be there all day long, Lord,
   that you'll never leave my side, and so I pray
     you'll help me, in return, to stay just as close to you...

I don't know exactly when,
    but sometime today
         you'll touch my life...


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Pause for Prayer: SUNDAY 3/24

I was hard pressed and falling, 
   but the LORD came to my help.
- Psalm 118 

Actually, Lord, I stumble a lot
   - and you know that!
I bend under pressure,
   I trip over my own mistakes.
and sometimes I lose my balance
   and I fall...

Still, you never fail to come to my help...

You're always there, extending your hand 
   to help me up, dust me off,
      and help me on my way...

When I'm hard pressed, Lord,
   and when I fear I'm going to fall,
remind of your help, your merciful hand
   and the hope that's mine in you...


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Pocket Prayer for SATURDAY 3/23

If you'd like one of these pocket Crosses for your own, check here.  Each day this Lent I'll offer a brief thought here (Pocket Prayers) about how Jesus might touch our lives in this holy season.  I hope this will help all of us to be more faithful on our Lenten journey to Easter.

Pocket Prayer for SATURDAY of the Second Week of Lent 

There's a Cross in my pocket, Lord:
a reminder,
a hint,
a cue,
a clue
a starter for my prayer...

Lest my pocket Cross
hide in dark folds,
remind me at least once,
to take the Cross out of my pocket,
to hold it with love
and to pray:
touch my life


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Pause for Prayer: SATURDAY 3/23

Way too often, Lord, 
I'm so busy and distracted 
or stuck in my past 
or worried about tomorrow
that I miss 
how you're moving in my life today,
I miss what you're doing in my life today,
I miss how you're acting in my life 
and I miss all the new ways  
you're caring for me 
and calling me 
to deeper trust in you...

Your love springs forth
but I don't see it, 
I don't recognize it
I don't perceive it: 
I miss it...

So, slow me down, Lord,
and get my attention:
rescue me from the past 
and from my worry and fear of tomorrow: 
open my eyes and my heart 
to what you're doing in my life,
here and now 
- today...

This is the day you've made, Lord,
this is the day I have, 
the day I live,
the only day at hand:
in this day let me rejoice, Lord,
on this day let me at peace,
on this day help me
to see, to recognize, to perceive
and to accept
all the ways you're moving 
in my life...



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Pocket Prayer for FRIDAY 3/22

If you'd like one of these pocket Crosses for your own, check here.  Each day this Lent I'll offer a brief thought here (Pocket Prayers) about how Jesus might touch our lives in this holy season.  I hope this will help all of us to be more faithful on our Lenten journey to Easter.

Pocket Prayer for FRIDAY of the Second Week of Lent 

Today's Pause for Prayer, Lord,
is about fasting and sacrifice
and what difference they're making in my life
this Lent...

So, in these forty days, Lord,
teach me, show me - just give me a hint
of how you might touch my life
through my fasting from ________________,
in my giving up ________________,
in my sacrifice of ________________,
and in my outreach to those in need...

And if I've yet to discern,
yet to determine and decide
about how to fast and what to give up,
then touch my life,
touch my thoughts and my prayer today, Lord...

And if I've made those decisions
- but haven't followed through -
then touch my life today
with renewed strength, determination
and the desire to please you
in all I do...


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Pause for Prayer: FRIDAY 3/22

Image: MonterreyGourmet
 To Keep A True Lent

To help us with our Lenten fasting and sacrifice,
let's consider these words of 17th century poet, Robert Herrick:

Is this a fast, 
to keep the larder lean
and clean from fat of veal and sheep?

Is it to quit the dish of flesh, 
yet still to fill 
the platter high with fish?

Is it to fast an hour, or ragged to go,
or show a downcast look
and sour?

No: 'tis a fast
to dole thy sheaf of wheat and meat
unto the hungry soul.

It is to fast from strife, 
from old debate and hate;
to circumcise thy life.

To show a heart grief-rent; 
to starve thy sin, not bin;
and that's to keep thy Lent.

For these 40 days, Lord,
I'm abstaining from meat on Fridays
and I'm giving up ___________

Whatever food or drink, whatever pleasure or activity
   I've given up, I want to do that for good reason, good cause...

Through my giving up something that has its grasp on me,
   I want to be freer to be held by your word...

May my fasting unsettle my comfort, contentment,
   my unobserved self-serving habits...

Through my going without, I want to grow closer to you
   and to those around me, especially those in need...

May my fasting not feed my pride
   but rather make me more humble
      before you and my neighbor...

Let me not make a scene of what I'm doing:
   as much as possible let my sacrifice be quiet,
       between you and me, not something for others to see...

In the void my fasting creates, keep me from looking for,
    keep me from finding other creature comforts
      to fill the emptiness...

May my "fasting from" give me "freedom for"
   praying, sharing, helping, reaching out, discerning,
      refocusing, repenting and reconciling...

Let my fasting heighten my senses 
   and make me more aware of what’s going on around me...

Let my fasting sharpen my awareness
    that I might see temptation for what it is
and learn to recognize it when it comes,
   in any shape and form...

And if my fasting saves me money,
   open my heart to those in need
to share with them the fruits of my fast:
   let my hunger and thirst and emptiness
      fill them with good food and drink
         and shelter them from the cold and snow...

Help me bring my fast to prayer, Lord,
   that you fill the empty place within me
      with the bounty of your presence and peace...

In the stillness of my prayer, Lord,
   help me ponder the emptiness fasting brings
      and open my mind, my heart and my soul
         to all you offer to fill me with your love... 


To ponder and pray over...
What's my Lenten fast? my Lenten sacrifice?  
Do I still need to decide? (It's not too late!)
Why do I give something up?  
What do I hope for in fasting and sacrifice?
Do I fast or give something up until I feel, until I know,
   the emptiness it can bring?   
How can my fasting, my giving up, help those in need?

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TOMORROW (March 22) is a FRIDAY in LENT

Tomorrow (March 22) is a FRIDAY in LENT:
   a day to abstain from eating meat.

What does that mean?  
Catholics over 14 years of age 
are expected to abstain from eating meat 
on the Fridays of Lent.

For more on this topic, check out this earlier post...

Note: Individual, personal health concerns and "doctor's orders" always take precedence over regulations for fast and abstinence!

Fast and Abstinence In Lent

All Christians are called to special prayer, fasting and caring for the poor in the season of Lent.

Each person determines how he or she will personally live out these ancient Lenten exercises. 

In addition to personal Lenten practices, Catholics are also called to a communal practice of self-denial by abstaining from meat on Ash Wednesday, the Fridays of Lent and on Good Friday.

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