2/5/23

Monday Morning Offering: 2/6


      Image: George Mendoza

Good morning, good God!

I'm wondering, Lord,
"What will I offer today
for my Monday morning prayer...

Shall I offer you my heart
with all its ragged imperfections
and pray you do some healing
of its rough and tumble edges?

Shall I offer you my mind
and its idle, wasteful musings
and pray your light and wisdom   
will illumine all my thoughts?

Shall I offer you my dreams
and all my fantasies and schemes,
and pray you bring sharp focus
to my vision and my plans?

Shall I offer you my grudges,
my resentments and my anger
and pray you mend and heal
the hurt and pain to which I cling?

Shall I offer you my envy,
my jealousy of others,
and pray you show me clearly
all the gifts I truly have?

Shall I offer you my lust
and my cravings and my greed
and pray you cleanse and purify
my longings and desires?

Shall I offer you my apathy,
my lethargy and dullness
and pray your Spirit's fire
burn anew deep in my soul?

Shall I offer you my joy,
my sweet contentment, all my peace
and pray I come to understand:
- without you I have none...

Shall I offer you my faith
and my uncertainty and doubt
and pray for greater, deeper trust
in all that I believe?

Shall I offer you my hope 
although I haven't much to spare
and pray you give me confidence
in all you've pledged and promised?
 
Shall I offer you my lethargy,
my daily news fatigue?
And ask you for some wisdom,
some sanity and healing?
 
Shall I offer you this prayer then
as another week begins  
and ask that in my stumbling words
you hear what my heart speaks?

Yes, I'll offer you this litany, Lord,
my Monday morning prayer,
and trust you'll walk right by my side
this day, this night, this week...

Amen.

 

  

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NIGHT PRAYER: Sunday 2/5



On Sundays, Night Prayer will focus on an element from the day's celebration of Mass. Tonight we'll begin with Jesus' calling us in today's gospel to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.

Turns out there's about 10 ounces of salt
in the average adult human body:
    but I'll bet you're asking for something more, Lord,
    asking for something else...
 
And I've learned that the human body
does indeed emit light!
But a light so weak the human eye can't see it
- and again, Lord, I'm sure your looking
for something more, something else...
 
You're looking for me 
    to season the world with truth and joy,
    to preserve what's good and whole and pure,
    to melt what's frigid, frozen and cold,
    to catalyze the fire and flame of your love...

And you're calling me 
    to light the way for those who are lost,     
    to shine as one who's been healed by your grace,
    to share the light of your wisdom and and word,
    to reveal, not hide, the fire my faith kindles...

In too many ways, Lord,
    my salt has lost its freshness
    and my light has dimmed and faded
so season me with grace
    and enlighten me with faith and hope
to let the world around me see
    your love's alive and flourishing
        in my mind and heart and soul...
  
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. 
 
Salt and Light by Jami Smith

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You make me want to be like You
Your holiness I will pursue
I want the heart of Jesus

Show me the meaning of Your grace
I want to give the world a taste
Of the love of Jesus

Make me salt
Make me light
Let Your holy fire ignite
Reveal Your glory in my life

I am not ashamed
To lift up Your holy name
Make me salt
Make me light
 
You make me want to be like You
Your holiness I will pursue
I want the heart of Jesus

Show me the meaning of Your grace
I want to give the world a taste
Of the love of Jesus

As a city on a hill
As a lamp upon a stand
Mold me in Your image
The work of Your hand
 
Make me salt
Make me light
Let Your holy fire ignite
Reveal Your glory in my life

I am not ashamed
To lift up Your holy name
Make me salt
Make me light

 

Homily for Sunday, February 5


Here's a link to my homily for this weekend.

 

 

  

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Pause for Prayer: SUNDAY 2/5

    Our Lady of Lourdes Church - Georgetown, Co

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Late yesterday afternoon, I celebrated mass
in a small church with a small group of people,
some of whom were regulars 
and some of whom were visitors
enjoying the mountains' downward slopes
and the beauty of your creation all around, Lord...

How awesome that such a group of people
should gather at an appointed time, 
in a particular place,
to pray:
    to call to mind their sins and seek your mercy,
    to listen for your wisdom in the scriptures,
    to hear a preacher break the Word as bread,
        hoping they might hear the word they need,
    to gather at a table 
        with bread and wine, with thanks and praise,
    to remember what you did, Lord,
        in an upper room, two thousand years ago:
    to break the bread and bless the cup again,
        remembering what you promised,
    that you'd be with us, always,
        in good times and in bad,
        in our joy and in our sorrow
    in a little small town church,
        nestled in the Rockies
    where once again you joined us
        to speak to us and teach us,
        to feed us and to heal us
            with the mystery of your love...
 
Please, Lord, help me savor that moment,
    its memory and your promise,
and never doubt you're faithful
    to your word and to your people...
 
Amen.


  

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2/4/23

NIGHT PRAYER: Saturday 2/4



 
Lord,
we pray to you as if we're old friends
(and, indeed, we are!)
and yet, so much of who you are
and how you move
and what you do
- is mystery to us...
 
We do not know just how or when
    your healing hand will touch us,
    your Spirit's grace will calm us,
    your peace will fill and free us...

Still, we trust you're always by our side,
that you hear our every prayer,
that you know and bear in your own heart
each ache and hurt that heavy weighs on ours...

We cannot know just when you'll move
or how you'll answer prayer
so until then, be with us, Lord,
and keep us in your love...

Protect us, Lord, while we're awake
and guard us while we sleep
that awake, we might keep watch for you
and asleep, rest in your peace...

Amen.

We Cannot Measure How You Heal by John Bell
 
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We cannot measure how you heal
or answer every sufferer’s prayer,
yet we believe your grace responds
where faith and doubt unite to care.
Your hands, though bloodied on the cross
survive to hold and heal and warn,
to carry all through death to life
and cradle children yet unborn.

The pain that will not go away,
the guilt that clings from things long past,
the fear of what the future holds
are present as if meant to last.
But present too is love which tends
the hurt we never hoped to find,
the private agonies inside
the memories that haunt the mind.

So some have come who need your help,
and some have come to make amends,
as hands which shaped and saved the world
are present in the touch of friends.
Lord, let your Spirit meet us here
to mend the body, mind and soul,
to disentangle peace from pain
and make your broken people whole.

 

  

  
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2/3/23

Pause for Prayer: SATURDAY 2/4

Image source


Lord,
it's so cold in so many places
- and I mean really cold!

I pray for the homeless, Lord,
and for those who shelter them in winter - and all year 'round...

I pray, too, for hearts chilled by loneliness:
wrap and warm them, Lord, in comforters of love...

I pray for those who've lost electricity and heat
and for those working 'round the clock to restore service...

I pray for souls frozen by bitterness and anger:
in your mercy and forgiveness, Lord, defrost them...

I pray for the safety and health of first responders
and all who work outdoors in the cold...

I pray for hearts iced by hurt and disappointment:
Lord, thaw them with consoling hope...

I pray, too, for us who are safe and warm:
Lord, move our hearts to offer clothing and shelter,
    fuel assistance, companionship and food,
        to those left in the cold...

And I pray for my own heart, for times
when I fail to warm to you and my neighbor:
    burn within me, Lord, 
    'til my heart melts in yours...

Amen.

  

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NIGHT PRAYER: Friday 2/3


Today, February 3 (or this coming Sunday), many Catholics will have their throats blessed because this is the Feast of Saint Blaise whose intercession is invoked for ailments of the throat. (Check here for more information on Saint Blaise.)

Reflecting on this, I wondered, "Might we not consider Blaise the patron saint of all throats, not just sore and sick throats?"  Our throats are passageways for breathing, for eating and drinking, for speech and song, for spoken prayer.  And then, there are these beautiful words from Robert Frost:  
A poem…begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness. It is a reaching-out toward expression; an effort to find fulfillment. A complete poem is one where an emotion finds the thought and the thought finds the words.
 I think it would not be drawing too long a bow to paraphrase Frost and say:
A prayer begins as a lump in the throat: a need, a sorrow, a plea, an ache, a joy.  It is a reaching out toward God; an effort to find communion.  A prayer is where the heart finds a thought and the thought finds the words.

Let's pray...

Bless my throat, Lord,
the passageway you crafted:
    to breathe your life within me,
    to nourish and sustain me
    to slake my thirst for life...

Bless my throat, Lord,
the path between my heart and lips
    from where comes forth my every word,
    my whispers, shouts and cries,
    and especially - my prayer...

Bless my throat, Lord, and open my mouth
    to sing a hymn of praise and thanks
    to speak and share your wisdom
    and give voice to all that fills my heart:
        my need, my love, my prayer...  
 
And, help me clear my throat, Lord,
    of sour words and jealous speech,
    of half-truths, lies and insult, 
    of anything not pleasing to your ear...

Bless my throat, Lord, and help me speak
    words of pardon from my heart,
    words that comfort and console,
    words that soothe and bind and heal,
    words that mend and lead to peace...
 
Bless my throat and open my lips
    to feed me with the Bread of your life,
    to fill me from the Cup of your mercy
    and heal me with your saving Breath...
 
Bless and 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. 
 
It's not easy finding music for Saint Blaise day and the blessing of 
throats, but here's a song that at least, like our throats, connects 
our hearts and mouths! 
 
Let the Words of My Mouth sung by Fernando Ortega 
 
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2/2/23

Pause for Prayer: FRIDAY 2/3



 
Lord, there's not a moment of the day or night 
when you're not waiting, patiently,  
to sit with me, to talk with me, to listen to me 
    ramble, rant, vent and beg,
    cajole, bargain and plead 
        for you to answer my prayer...
      
You're always there
    to give me a shoulder to cry on, 
    to share in my hopes and dreams, 
    to counsel, guide and forgive me...
 
Lord, you've set aide this whole day
    - for me!
 
There won't be a moment you're too busy
    to spend some time with me:
    as much time as I need,
    as much time as I want...
 
Let me not be too busy, Lord,
    to spend some time with you...

How 'bout right now?


  

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IYKYK


 

  

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NIGHT PRAYER: Candlemas Day 2/2



Today is Candlemas Day (the Feast of the Presentation).  Our prayer this evening looks for Christ to be our light, the light of salvation for all peoples.

On the dark days, Lord,
   when thick clouds shade my heart,
      shine your light upon my steps...

Be the light that burns within me,
   in the corners of confusion...

Be the light upon my path
   to show the way when I am lost...

Be a light to search me out
   when I'm huddled in the shadows...
   
Draw me out of my own darkness, Lord,
   into the light of peace...

Be the midday sun and share with me
  the warmth of your embrace...

Be the moon's light in my night skies,
   to glow in all my dreams...

Be a light of truth and wisdom
   in my random, foolish thoughts....

And be my light of hope, Lord,
   when sadness fills my dwelling...

When I prefer the darkness, Lord, 
    or when I close my eyes in fear
then shine your light upon me
    and give me strength of heart..

Brighten the darkness around me, Lord:
   illumine the darkness within me, 
   shine through the darkness that hides me,
   burn in the darkness that chills me, 
   shimmer in the darkness that dulls me,
   gleam in the darkness that shrouds me,
   sparkle in the darkness that clouds my hope...

Draw me out of my own darkness, Lord,
   into the light that never dims...

Amen.


Tonight's musical reflection is a musical setting for Simeon's words in the gospel of the Feast of the Presentation.  His words are prayed every evening at Compline, the official night prayer of church.   The antiphon which introduces and completes Simeon's canticle of praise  is also the familiar ending with which our Night Prayer here concludes every evening.
Canticle of Simeon by Steven Warner
 
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Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake,
watch over us as we sleep
that awake, we may keep watch with Christ
and asleep, rest in his peace...

Lord, now you let your servant go in peace,
your word has been fulfilled
my own eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared in the sight of every people:
a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel

Glory be to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit
as it was in the beginning, is now
and will be forever.  Amen.

Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake,
watch over us as we sleep
as awake, we may keep watch with Christ
and asleep, rest in his peace...
 

  

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