3/7/21

Pause for Prayer: SUNDAY 3/7



Oh, God…

I confess my pride in thinking
that others are sinners
but I am not...
Lord, have mercy!

I confess my imperfections,
my faults, my failings,
my bad habits and my wrongdoing...
Lord, have mercy!

I confess to being a jerk
while driving and lots of other times, too...
Lord, have mercy!

I confess to eating too much
drinking too much,
spending too much
and wasting too much...
Lord, have mercy!

I confess to giving too little
when I have so much more than I need...
Lord, have mercy!

I confess to putting so many things in my life
ahead of you...
Lord, have mercy!

I confess to not being faithful to prayer and worship,
especially on the Lord’s Day...
Lord, have mercy!

I confess to losing my temper with children,
with adults - and with myself...
Lord, have mercy!

I confess my selfish need
to be noticed and admired...
Lord, have mercy!

I confess to being smug and self-righteous...
Lord, have mercy.

I confess to being ungracious toward others...
Lord, have mercy!

I confess to being careless
and failing to be responsible...
Lord, have mercy!

I confess not forgiving others
as I'd want to them to forgive me...
Lord, have mercy!

I confess to enjoying comfort and plenty
as if I'm entitled to them...
Lord, have mercy!

I confess to lustful glances, unclean thoughts
and impure deeds...
Lord, have mercy!

I confess to being unfaithful to promises I've made...
Lord, have mercy!

I confess the grudges and resentments
I carry against my neighbor...
Lord, have mercy!

I confess my envy and jealousy...
Lord, have mercy!

I confess to language and humor
that are rude and vulgar...
Lord, have mercy!

I confess my impatience and insensitivity...
Lord, have mercy!

I confess my dishonesty, my unfairness,
my cheating, my duplicity, my half-truths
and my failures to act justly...
Lord, have mercy!

I confess my prejudice and quick judgments...
Lord, have mercy!

I confess my insincerity and hypocrisy...
Lord, have mercy!

And I confess whatever I didn't find on this list
but I know is in my heart....
Lord, have mercy!

I confess my sins, both large and small,
for each transgresses your great love for me...
Lord, have mercy!

I confess that I'm a sinner, Lord,
in need of your mercy,
in need of the gift of your suffering
on the Cross...

I confess that with all others
I need to stand at the foot of your Cross
and let your precious Blood
cleanse me of my sins...

I confess my need for you
and my need to ask for your mercy
as this season approaches
the Week we call Holy....

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

Amen.


 

   
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3/6/21

NIGHT PRAYER: Saturday 3/6

 
Sometimes it's at night, Lord, 
   when I feel closest to you 
and sometimes it's at night 
   that I wonder if I've lost you 
     - or if you've lost sight of me... 
 
But regardless of how I feel,
   any night or day, 
you are there, Lord, you're there with me and beside me, 
   before me and behind me, within me, all around me...
 
And should I try to flee your presence, 
   there's no place I might go, Lord, 
   but that you'd be there to meet me...
 
And should I try to slip beyond your grasp,
well, with you, Lord, there's just no letting go...
 
Though I close my eyes and turn my back 
  - on every side you'd be there: 
there's no place, Lord, where I can hide  
   - your gaze would find me out...
 
Sometimes, at night, I'm close to you, 
sometimes I cannot find you
   but wherever I am tonight,
   however close or lost I feel,
remind me of your presence, Lord,
   your strong, relentless love
   pursuing, seeking, finding me 
    and never letting go...

Wherever I go, you're there, Lord:
   however fast I run away - you outpace me;
   however foolish my ways - you wisdom guides me;
   however lost I might be - you find me;
   however alone I might feel -
      you hold me in your arms, 
      carry me in your heart,
      you embrace me in your love...

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

Amen.


If You Find Me By The Ocean by Steve Warner




If you find me by the ocean, 
at the sea's farthest end,
even there, Lord, you watch over me,
even there you place your hand.

1) O Lord you search and you know me, 
my rising and my rest,
you discern my journey from afar, 
when I wander or lie down.

2) And from your Spirit, where can I go? 
Where might I flee from your face?
If I climb the heavens, you are there 
and at my final rest.

3) And if I fly on the wings of dawn,
to ocean's farthest end,
ever leading you are at my side, 
your mighty hand upon me.

4) Your hand, O Lord, created me 
within my mother's womb,
I thank you for the wonder of my life, 
your marvels of creation.






  

  
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3/5/21

Pause for Prayer: SATURDAY 5/6


    Image source


Lord,
there's not a doubt in my mind or heart
that you reach out every day
to touch my life with your healing and blessing,
you care and concern, your mercy and peace,
your strength and your love...

And there's not a doubt in my mind or heart, Lord,
that every day I fail to see, I miss so many of the ways
you reach out to me, hold and protect me,
heal me and forgive me,
strengthen, guard and guide me...
 

Today, then, Lord,
let nothing keep me 
   from knowing your touch, Lord,
let nothing numb me
   to your touch upon my heart,
let nothing come between you and me
    and your healing touch upon my soul...

Jesus,
touch my life today
and let me find and recognize
your fingerprints,
warm upon my life...

Amen.



 

   
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Something sweet during Lent!

 
  
Join us in prayer on Sunday morning!
(This link will live around 9:45 a.m.)

  

  
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NIGHT PRAYER: Friday 3/5


 REMINDER: Friday is a traditional day to meditate on the suffering and death of Jesus and the Fridays of Lent have a particular claim on our hearts in this regard.  In Lent, then, Friday's Night Prayer will bring us to the Cross of him who laid down his life that we might have life and have it to the full...  Last week we reflected on Jesus carrying his Cross, this week on Jesus falling under the weight of his Cross...


I'm not surprised you fell, Lord...
 
You'd been abused, beaten, crowned with thorns
- and then made to shoulder your Cross....

I'm sure the beams were heavy, Lord,
and made heavier by the burden of our sins,
the sins of all humankind:
those who came before you,
those who were all around you
and those who were yet to come into the world...

So, the Cross you carried, Lord,
was weighted by my transgressions
you fell under the burden of my sins:
    my lazy failures to do the right thing,
    my petty grudges and resentments,
    my narrow bias and prejudice,
    my taking for granted
        those who love me the most,
    my stubborn refusal to forgive others,
    my waste of my time, treasure and talent,
    my self-serving lies and cheating,
    my lustful thoughts and deeds,
    my careless disregard for life
        in all its shapes and forms,
    my idle, destructive gossip,
    my cowardly silences,
    my hoarding, my greed, my selfish envy,
    my finding time for everything 
        except for prayer and worship,
    my isolating self-pity,
    my taking, using, keeping what's not mine,
    my infidelities, large and small 
        in commitments and relationships, 
    my unfair, unjust practices
    my failure to be generous to those in need...
 
On your Cross, Lord, 
you carried, you took away the sins of the world
and so you carried the weight of my sins
and your took away the sins of my soul... 

Lord Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner...
Christ Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner...
Lord Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner...
 
Lord Jesus, by your Cross and Resurrection
you have set me free,
you are my Savior and the Savior of the world...
 
Protect me as I stand at the foot of your Cross, Lord
and watch over me when I fall asleep in its shadow 
that awake, I might keep watch with you
and asleep, rest in your saving peace...

Amen.
 
(Jesus carried our sins not in judgment, but out of love.
He carried the Cross so that he might carry us home
to his Father and to the place prepared for us in heaven.
Our music tonight is a song of merciful compassion...)

Carry Me Home by Rick Modlin
 
 
End of day softly falling into night.
O Jesus, carry me home. 
Now the work of the present day is done.
O Jesus, carry me home.  
 
Carry me home, carry me home.
O Jesus, carry me home. 
Carry me home, carry me home.
O Jesus, carry me home. 
 
Joyful song, joyful laughter silent fall.
O Jesus, carry me home. 
Pure and bright shall the mem'ry linger on.
O Jesus, carry me home. 
 
In God's hands to forever safely rest.
O Jesus, carry me home. 
Now fulfilled in creation's wondrous plan.
O Jesus, carry me home. 
 
As my last prayer ascends,
'round me family and friends.
Carry me home, carry me home.
O Jesus, carry me home. 
  

 

  

  
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March 5 is a FRIDAY in LENT


 

Richard Herrick wrote in the 17 century, in 17th century English -
but I don't think you'll have a hard time understanding his message.

To Keep A True Lent
Is this a fast, to keep
The larder leane?
And cleane
From fat of veales and sheep?

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

Is it to faste an houre,
Or ragg'd to go,
Or show
A downcast look, and sowre?

No: 'tis a fast, to dole
Thy sheaf of wheat
And meat
Unto the hungry soule.

It is to fast from strife,
From old debate,
And hate;
To circumcise thy life.

To shew a heart grief-rent;
To starve thy sin,
Not bin;
And that's to keep thy Lent.

March 5 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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3/4/21

Pause for Prayer: FRIDAY 4/5

 
I'm your work in progress, O God,
as much today as when I was a toddler,
a teen, a middle-ager - or older...

I'm your work in progress:
incomplete, unfinished,
still growing, taking shape, maturing
- all with the help of your grace…

I'm your work in progress, O God,
and you never cease
to nudge me, nurture me,
mold and form me more and more
to become the person 
you created me to be…

I'm your work in progress
even when I resist, deny or try to frustrate
your constant effort to soften my ragged edges
and sharpen what’s grown dull in my spirit…

I am your work in progress, O God,
and by now I’m version # I-don’t-know
although I’m confident and sure
you’re still working on the original,
on the heart-of-who-I am:
that unique individual you've loved by name
since before all time began…

Give me patience, O God,
with the pace at which you work
to help me grow
and bring me to full stature…
 
And be patient with me
when I resist your Spirit,
leading, guiding me to be
whom you call me to be...

That’s who I am, O God:
   I'm your work in progress,
   I'm still your work in progress, 
   I'll always be your work in progress!
And I know you love me, always, 
every step along the way,
because you know me so well
and take me as I am
and you know so very well:
   complex, incomplete,
   rough around the edges,
   still growing up, still maturing
   with the help of your grace
   because I'm still
      your work in progress...
 
And I trust, O God,
that you who began this good work in me
will be faithful to your task
and bring me to fulfillment
on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ…

Amen.


 

     
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NIGHT PRAYER: Thursday 4/4


I'm living in a cancel culture, Lord,
   and one thing I'm grateful for is this:
      I know you'll never cancel me!
 
    Image source

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Whatever my history, whatever my sins,
   regardless of all my faults and offenses,
      however deep my guilt and my shame -
         you will not cancel me, Lord...
 
Do my transgressions have consequences,
  repercussions and ramifications?
Of course they do!
And sometimes the impact of my sin
   severs relationships and limits my freedom
but even then, Lord, even then,
   you never cancel me...
 
Nothing I do or fail to do 
   can narrow or limit your love for me...

No matter how far from your love I stray
   your heart holds my place until I return...
 
My past indiscretions, misjudgments and folly
   are never so grave that I'm crossed off your list...
 
You know my history by chapter and verse
   but your mercy redeems my old tale of woe...

Your kindness erases sin from my soul
   but never expunges my heart from yours...
 
You hold no grudge, you cherish no resentment,
    you don't count my sins against me 
for in your kindness, you know, O Lord:
   in my heart I want to do your will...

You restore and reorder my ways and my life,
   never rescinding your promise of grace...

In spite of my past and what I deserve,
   instead of rejection and cancellation
you offer me, always, a new beginning,
   a chance to start over, to change my ways...
 
And for all of this you ask of me only
   a repentant heart, a contrite spirit,
a desire to walk with you by my side
   making peace with my neighbor, day by day...
 
I trust you'll never cancel me, Lord:
   you've inscribed your name on my heart
and you've written my name on yours
   in mercy, for always and for ever...

I live in a cancel culture, Lord,
   and one thing I'm grateful for is this:
      I know you'll never cancel me!

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

Amen.

 



  

  
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3/3/21

Pause for Prayer: THURSDAY 3/4


    Image source




 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mend my heart where it's broken, Lord,
   especially where the pain runs deep... 
 
Strengthen my heart as I face my problems,
   especially the ones I cling to...

Embolden my heart to speak the truth
   especially when I'm tempted not to...

Forgive my heart of its sins and failures,
   especially those I'm slow to admit...

Teach my heart your wisdom, Lord,
   especially when I'm careless and foolish...

Enlarge my heart to welcome others,
   especially those who irk and annoy me...
 
Give me a heart to share with others,
    a heart that's open to others' love...
 
Be always at home in my heart, Lord,
   come dwell there in peace
      and gently lead my heart to yours...   
 
Amen.




   
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NIGHT PRAYER: Wednesday 3/3

 

Some things I need to remember tonight...

Just to sit in your presence,
   in silence, Lord:
      this is a prayer...
 
To sit in the dark
   and ask, "Where are you?"
      - this is a prayer...

To rest in the quiet
   and remember you're near:
      this is a prayer...

To sit in the stillness,
   and ponder your mystery:
      this is a prayer...

To take a deep breath
   and inhale your peace:
      this is a prayer...

To hear in my heartbeat,
   the pulse of your presence:
      this is a prayer...

To close my eyes to the world around
   and open my heart to you within:
      this is a prayer...

To gaze on your Cross
   and see your love:
      this is a prayer...

To open my heart
   just to empty it out:
      this is a prayer...

To open my hands
   and wait to be filled:
      this is a prayer... 

To humbly mumble
   what my soul longs to say:
      this is a prayer...

To struggle to find
   even one word to say:
      this is a prayer...

To speak not a word
   and hear only the silence:
      this is a prayer...
 
To trust that my silence
   is a language you know:
      this is a prayer...

To hear in the quiet
  the whisper of grace:
      this is a prayer...

To open my heart, Lord,
   to speak but your name...
      this is a prayer...

Be there for me, Lord, when I come to pray
   and answer my prayer with peaceful dreams
that awake, I might keep watch with you
   and asleep, rest in your peace...

Amen. 

(Tonight's song is a simple, repeating prayer 
and runs for more than seven minutes... 
listen as long as your prayer invites...)


O, Lord Hear My Prayer by Taize


 
Oh, Lord hear my prayer,
Oh Lord, hear my prayer
When I call answer me.

Oh Lord, hear my prayer,
Oh Lord, hear my prayer,
Come and listen to me.



 

     
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