Monday Morning Prayer: 3/21

Image: George Mendoza

Good morning, good God! 

And so it has begun, Lord:
the Week we call Holy...

I've read how theologians debate 
whether time itself, or any unit of time, 
can actually be or become holy -
but I'll leave that to the scholars, Lord,
and simply wonder about my being holy,
my growing in holiness
in the week ahead... 

(Why am I afraid of the word - holy?
Why am I put off by it?
Why am I so easily convinced
that holiness is for others but not for me?
I want to be strong, healthy, wise, just,
honest, fair, loving, prayerful, faithful,
kind, forgiving and compassionate - 
why do I shy away from wanting to be holy?
Could it be I just don't understand
what it means to be holy?
Help me understand that, Lord,

especially this week,
and help me want to be holy...)

One thing I know for certain, Lord:
I could be a whole lot holier 
than I am right now… 

But just how holy do I want to be?

I want to be holy enough
to stand before you
without shame or embarrassment…

I want to be holy enough
to know that I've helped the poor
- and generously so…

I want to be holy enough
to know that my intentions and desires,
my dreams and schemes,
are just, pure and honest...

I want to be holy enough
to love you with a good heart,
cleansed of selfishness and pride…

I want to be holy enough
to recognize my lack of holiness
and to ask the help of your grace
whenever and wherever I need it...

Just four days left* in Lent, Lord: 
four more chances to be holy 
in this season of praying, fasting
and serving the needs of others...

I have four days to be more faithful to prayer,
morning or night
or whenever you and I can sit down 
and just have a chat, one-on-one, 
just the two of us, Lord... 

I have four days to deny myself 
some taste or sip, some pleasure or toy 
and to discover the hunger self-denial provides me,
that empty space in which to wonder 
how I might better feed and fill the void... 

I have four days to care for the poor, 
to give to the poor, to be with the poor, 
to work for the poor,
to discover how rich I am and learn to share
with those whose needs are so much greater
than my own...

Four days left in Lent, Lord, 
and then three days of prayer so holy 
they are but one-day-in-three: the Triduum:
Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter 

Three days inviting me
to enter into the holiest of all mysteries, 
the mystery of Jesus... 

Three days to remember with the whole Church 
how Jesus suffered, died, was buried and rose 
that we might have life and have it to the full... 

Three days that will not come 'round again 
until a year from now, 
three days that promise
more than I could ever hope to promise in return... 

So, I ask you this week, Lord,
to make me at least a little more holy
than I have been...

I offer you the week ahead
and ask you to come to me in prayer:
to fill my loneliness with your presence, 
to draw me out of my self-contentment,
and to lead me to serve the needs of any
who wait for my help... 

I offer you this holy week 
and pray you keep me faithful to all it offers: 
the promise of a life, a depth, a gift of peace 
greater than all my hurts and fears... 

I offer you this week, Lord:
make me holy, day by day...

And open my heart to all 
whose paths cross mine in these holy days: 
together, help us come into your presence 
and be made one in your peace...


*Lent ends at sundown on Thursday of Holy Week. With the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper, the Triduum begins. The Triduum ends with Evening Prayer on Easter Sunday night.

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