10/5/22

NIGHT PRAYER: Wednesday 10/5


Tonight's prayer begins with brief autumn litany,
followed by a question, a place to begin your own prayer
as you listen to a beautiful guitar solo: Autumn Hymn...
 
Autumn...
    summer fades,
    seasons turn,
    colors change,
    leaves fall, 
    harvest yields,
    sun hides,
    air chills,
    shadows lengthen,
    God whispers,
    I pray...

What is God whispering to you this fall?

Autumn Hymn by Dong Hwan Noh

 

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

  

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10/4/22

Pause for Prayer: WEDNESDAY 10/5


 

  

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NIGHT PRAYER: Tuesday 10/4


Beginning at sundown today (and ending at sundown tomorrow) our Jewish neighbors and friends will celebrate Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.  Today's NIGHT PRAYER comes in three parts:
    1) Rabbi Alvin Fine's reflection, inspired by Kol Nidre,  
        the opening service of Yom Kippur          
    2) A prayer of repentance by my friend, Alden Solovy.
    3) Max Bruch's beautiful instrumental interpretation (cell0) 
            of the Kol Nidre chant, performed by Zuill Bailey

Life Is A Journey
Birth is a beginning
And death a destination.
And life is a journey:
From childhood to maturity
And youth to age;
From innocence to awareness
And ignorance to knowing;
From foolishness to discretion
And then, perhaps, to wisdom;
From weakness to strength
Or strength to weakness –
And, often, back again;
From health to sickness
And back, we pray, to health again;
From offense to forgiveness,
From loneliness to love,
From joy to gratitude,
From pain to compassion,
And grief to understanding –
From fear to faith;
From defeat to defeat to defeat –
Until, looking backward or ahead,
We see that victory lies
Not at some high place along the way,
But in having made the journey, stage by stage,
A sacred pilgrimage.
Birth is a beginning
And death a destination.
And life is a journey,
A sacred pilgrimage –
To life everlasting.
 
-Rabbi Alvin Fine in Gates of Repentance
 
Repentance Inside
This I confess to myself: 
I have taken my transgressions with me,
Carrying them year-by-year into my hours and days,
My lapses of conscience
And indiscretion with words,
My petty judgments
And my vanity,
Clinging to grief and fear, anger and shame,
Clinging to excuses and to old habits.
I’ve felt the light of heaven,
Signs and wonders in my own life,
And still will not surrender to holiness and light.

God of redemption,
With Your loving and guiding hand
Repentance in prayer is easy.
Repentance inside,
Leaving my faults and offenses behind,
Is a struggle.
In Your wisdom You have given me this choice:
To live today as I lived yesterday,
Or to set my life free to love You,
To love Your people,
And to love myself.

God of Forgiveness,
Help me to leave my transgressions behind,
To hear Your voice,
To accept Your guidance,
And to see the miracles in each new day.

Blessed are You,
God of Justice and Mercy,
You set Your people on the road to t’shuva.*

- Alden Solovy:  www.tobendlight.com

* returning to God

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

Amen.

  

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Pause for Prayer: TUESDAY 10/4

    Saint Francis by Daniel Bonnell
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Today is the feast of Saint Francis and this morning's Pause for Prayer is a gloss on a prayer attributed to him.  Daniel Bonnell's art (used with permission) gives us Francis with a dove of peace and a visual quote from Francis' Canticle of the Sun praising Brother Sun and Sister Moon.
 
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace...

Where there is hatred, let me sow love...
When politics tempt me to demonize the other side,
when my envy delights in workplace intrigue,
when my thoughts walk the edge of anger's path,

when I'm tempted to validate a violent solution,
when I think I'm excused from the golden rule:
    teach me to sow love, Lord,

    and to love as you've loved me...

Where there is injury, pardon...
When my words cut sharp as a knife,
when my idle gossip tears others apart,
when my careless deeds wound deeply,

when I plan and scheme to diminish a colleague:
    teach me to pardon and heal, Lord,
    as you've healed and pardoned me...


Where there is despair, hope...
Teach me, Lord,
to hope when I'm unsure of so many things,
to trust when I want so much to give up,
to believe when I'm confused and lost in doubt:
    teach me to share your truth and my hope
    with those who seem to have neither...


Where there is darkness, light...
Teach me, Lord, to trust in your light when all is dark,
to walk by your light when the shadows beckon,
to stand firm in your light when darkness threatens
and to share the warmth of your light
with any and all who seek it...


Where there is sadness, joy...
Lighten my heart with the gifts of your Spirit,

draw me out from childish self-pity,
touch my heart's ache with the peace of your presence,
lift my heart's burdens and free me to share
the gift of your joy, the joy of your grace...


O Divine Master...
Teach me find my peace 

    in reconciling with others;
help me console my neighbor
    even when deep in my own pain;
help me come to know your love 

    by learning to love those I know;
and in serving others' needs
    help me learn what I need most...

Teach me to give from my heart 

    as your heart gives to me;
teach me to pardon my neighbor

    as you pardon me;
and deepen my faith
    that in dying to self
    I rise to new life,
    life forever

    with you...

Amen.
 
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Prayer of St Francis by Allen Pote 


 

And if you're pining for the more familiar version, here it is!


 

  

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10/3/22

NIGHT PRAYER: Monday 10/3



There's no getting around it, Lord:
    I'm at the point in my life when,
    more and more frequently,
    when I pray for those who have died,
    I'm praying for my friends and peers...

This reality is sobering
and these losses take their toll  
as my heart looks back to memories
    of good times, sweet and simple;
    of hard times, shared in friendship,
    of growing old together
        through our laughter, love and tears...

I'm saddened by the loss of friends
and yet my faith grows stronger 
through my hope, my trust, my certainty
that death is part of life, Lord:
    integral and natural,
    the only door through which to pass
    from here to life with you
    where I'll be one, once more, forever,
    with those who've gone before me...

Your word is clear, you tell the truth:
in death our life is changed, not ended
when we pass beyond these finite days
    to life that has no end, 
    to light no darkness ever shades,
    to joy that's everlasting
    to peace that never fades
    to the company of all of those
    with whom we shared 
        our lives, our hearts, our love...

Tonight I grieve the passing of a friend, Lord,
thanking you for all the love we shared
and grateful for hope that fills my heart:
    that one day we shall meet again
    when your mercy sweeps us up
    and brings us home to you
    and your everlasting peace...
   
Protect me, Lord, while I'm awake
and watch over me while I sleep
that awake, I might keep watch with you
and asleep rest in your peace...

Amen.

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 Psalm 23 by The Stellar Singers


The Lord is my Shepherd, I have all I need,
He makes me lie down in green meadows,
Beside the still waters he will lead.

He restores my soul, he rights my wrongs,
He leads me in a path of good things,
And fills my heart with song.

Even though I walk through a dark and dreary land,
There is nothing that can shake me,
He has said he won't forsake me,
I'm in his hand.

He sets a table before me in the presence of my foe,
He anoints my head with oil,
And my cup overflows.

Surely, surely goodness and kindness will follow me,
All the days of my life,
And I will live in his house,
Forever, forever and ever.

Glory be to our Father, and Brother,
And to the Holy of Holies,
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be,
Life, without end.  Amen.

  

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10/2/22

Monday Morning Offering: 10/3

Image: George Mendoza
 
I have a dogmatic certainty: God is in every person’s life. 
Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, 
even if it is destroyed by vices, drugs or anything else
—God is in this person’s life. 
You can, you must try to seek God in every human life. 
Though the life of a person is a land full of thorns and weeds, 
there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. 
You have to trust God.” 
- Pope Francis

The pope's words lead me to this offering, Lord,
    an offering of prayer, a plea
to help me find you
    in every person's life...

Help me find you, Lord,
   in the person who really annoys me...

Help me find you
   in the person who always disagrees with me...

Help me find you
   in the person who judges me...

Help me find you
   in the person who has betrayed me...

Help me find you
   in the person who makes my life difficult...

Help me find you
   in the person who just doesn't like me...
          Help me find you
              in the person who hates me...
Help me find you 
   in the person who won't leave me alone...
Help me find you
   in the person who won't draw near...

Help me find you
   in the person whose ways aren't mine...
          Help me find you 
             in the person I just don't understand...

          Help me find you
             in the person who lies to me...

          Help me find you
             in the person who lies about me... 

Help me find you 
   in the person who hurts my friend...

          Help me find you 
             in the person who resents me...

Help me find you
   in the person who cheats me...

Help me find you
   in the person who refuses to help me...

Help me find you
   in the person who won't forgive me...

Help me find you
   in the person whose prejudice offends me...

Help me find you
   in the person who angers me...

Help me find you
   in the person who turns me off...

Help me find you
   in the person who ignores me...

Help me find you
   in the person who disdains me...

Help me find you
   in the person who tears things down...

Help me find you
   in the person who doesn't play fair...

Help me find you
   in the person who has a grudge against me...
Help me find you
    in the person who's a mystery to me...

Help me find you in all of these, Lord:
   help me sort through any thorns and weeds
   to find what's good, to reverence
       your hidden presence...

And, Lord, when I annoy others,
when I'm disagreeable or judgmental,
when I betray or make trouble for others,
when I hurt or cheat or offend others,
when I don't tell the truth,
when I tear down what others have built,
when I don't play fair,
when I'm unforgiving or carry a grudge,
when I'm a big mystery to those around me,
then, Lord:
    plant the seeds of your grace
    among my own thorns and weeds
    and bring to growth within me
    a harvest of presence...

Amen.

 

  

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Homily for October 2




 Here's a link to my homily for Sunday, October 2,
    preached on Saturday 10/1. 



  

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NIGHT PRAYER: Sunday 10/2

On Sundays, Night Prayer will focus on an element from the day's celebration of Mass. Tonight our prayer begins with some verses from today's first reading, from the Book of Habakkuk:   
                    Write down the vision clearly
                        so that one can read it readily.  
                    For the vision still has its time, 
                        presses on to fulfillment, 
                            and will not disappoint; 
                    if it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, 
                        it will not be late.
 
These are words I need to read, Lord,
    words I need to hear,
    words I need to remember,
    words I need to treasure,
    words I ask you to write down,
        to inscribe on my heart...
 
I need these words, Lord,
    when my faith wavers, my hope fades
and I fear the time has passed
    for you to do what you have promised:
        to rescue me and give me peace...

I live by the clock, Lord,
I watch as minutes turn to hours
    and hours turn to days and months
while you, with patience, 
    measure time and progress
        in drops of love
in the never-ending vigil
    of your healing, peaceful presence...
 
I want answers now, Lord, and relief
    - an end to my heart's throbbing ache -
while you stand gently by,
    attending to my every fear,
reaching out to share and bear
   what weighs upon my soul...
 
In your good time, Lord,
    not before and never late,
in your good time the vision presses on
    and will not disappoint...
 
So I shall wait with hope renewed
    for what will surely come
and treasure every drop of love
    that falls upon my heart...
 
These are words I need to read,
    to hold, to keep and treasure
lest I forget your promise, Lord,
    to lead and bring me to your peace...
  
Protect me, Lord, while I'm awake,
watch over me while I sleep
that awake, I might keep watch with you
and asleep, rest in your peace...

Amen. 
 
A hymn for those who wait 
    for the vision's time to come...
 
A Time Will Come for Singing by Dan Schutte

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A time will come for singing
When all your tears are shed
When sorrows chains are broken
And broken hearts will mend
The deaf will hear your singing
When silent tongues are freed
The lame will join your dancing
When blind eyes learn to see

A time will come for singing
When trees will raise their boughs
When men lay down their armor
And hammer their swords into plows
When beggars live as princes
And orphans find their homes
When prison cells are emptied
And hatred has grown old

A time will come for singing
A hymn by hearts foretold
That kings have sought for ages
And treasured more than gold
Its lyrics turn to silver
When sung in harmony
The Lord of Love
Will teach us to sing its melody

  

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