Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday Morning Offering - 158


Image: George Mendoza

NOTE: Last week I forgot to post my MMO.  Last night, Irene stole my power and only now, at the excellent Michael's Bakery in Hyannis, am I able to post today's prayer.   These words may seem somewhat premature --Labor Day is not the end of warm days nor the real beginning of fall.  Still, in American culture and in the clime of the northern hemisphere, so many things begin to change with the first Monday in September.


Good morning, good God!

As the sun sets a little sooner every evening,
Labor Day's horizon eclipsing these august days,
I'm wondering, Lord:
why must good times come to an end?
The good times can seem to come so seldom -
and then, they’re gone...

And as wonderful as memories are,
they are, well, memories...

Why, Lord, must the good days come to an end?
Why are memories not enough?
Why is the fall-filtered beauty of light and leaves
not enough today
to help me let go summer’s warmth
and pace and peace?

Of seasons there are four, they say,
but yet a hundred seasons more
just in my one life alone, Lord:
seasons of presence, seasons of pain;
seasons of sadness, seasons of gain;
seasons of sunlight, seasons of rain;
seasons of comfort, seasons of strain;
seasons of planting, seasons of grain;
seasons of waiting and waiting for seasons
to break the seasons’ chain…

So many seasons, Lord…

And letting go of summer is not easy…

I should be grateful for autumn:
your gentle preparation
of everyone and everything
for the dying winter will surely bring…

Still, letting go of summer is not easy...

You know the seasons better than I, Lord,
and no season changes
'round me or in me
but that you first know
how those changes
will change me...

Be with me, Lord,
in all the seasons of my life
and be with me in between the seasons,
when moving from one to the next
is itself a season to bear…

Help me let go of what is slipping away...
Take my offered heart
and open me to what is new and changing
in the weeks and months ahead…

Make me gentle with how the seasons change
in the hearts of those around me,
in those whose paths cross mine today...

I offer you my seasoned heart, Lord:
you are the source of all the strength I need
to live this day and every day this week
edging towards Labor Day
and a season's new beginning...
Be my guide and walk with me, Lord,
through this summer-fall season’s change…

Amen.



Every Season by Nicole Nordeman Every evening sky, an invitation To trace the patterned stars And early in July, a celebration For freedom that is ours And I notice You In children’s games In those who watch them from the shade Every drop of sun is full of fun and wonder You are summer... And even when the trees have just surrendered To the harvest time Forfeiting their leaves in late September And sending us inside Still I notice You when change begins And I am braced for colder winds I will offer thanks for what has been and was to come You are autumn... And everything in time and under heaven Finally falls asleep Wrapped in blankets white, all creation Shivers underneath And still I notice you When branches crack And in my breath on frosted glass Even now in death, You open doors for life to enter You are winter... And everything that’s new has bravely surfaced Teaching us to breathe What was frozen through is newly purposed Turning all things green So it is with You And how You make me new With every season’s change And so it will be As You are re-creating me Summer, autumn, winter, spring...   Subscribe to A Concord Pastor Comments 

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Were you able to take photos of Irene? Am glad you are safe. Did your power come back? Am sure that lots of people have been praying for you.

Rosemary

Austin Fleming said...

All's well, thank you.

Unknown said...

Hi Fr. Austin, my name is Fr Joe Tabigue. I came across your beautiful poem for this first Monday in September. I feel the urge to share this beautiful poem to my parishioners as well. Can I ask your permission to use this poem for my parish summer newsletter? I would greatly appreciate your affirmative response. May the Lord bless you and your ministry reaching out to the world-web community. Happy Labor Day....

Austin Fleming said...

Joe, I'd be very happy for you to publish this prayer in your parish summer newsletter! Please credit the text:
Fr. Austin Fleming (ConcordPastor.blogspot.com)

Out of curiosity, may I ask where your parish is located?